AntiLite: Chapter 3 | Vexation


Kirkland O’Flannery awoke after having the most sound, restful sleep he’d had in years.  Noticing it was dark out, Kirkland exclaimed “My, I’m up early!”  mostly just to hear himself talk.  He was absolutely in love with the sound of his own voice.  In all honesty, Kirkland was confused.  He was used to waking up to seeing the sun glisten through the ever so tall Larch tree in his front yard adjacent to his bedroom. Kirkland glanced at his alarm clock.

It was 8:30 a.m.

Kirkland had not slept this late since he was a teenager.  More alarming, however, was the fact that there was no sunlight where there should be.  Kirkland wondered briefly if he was going blind, but then he could read his digital clock perfectly.

Something was up.

Kirkland went about his standard morning regiment and headed off to work.  He would check news on this interesting development once he was in his favourite leather chair in his office.

Traffic was a crawl in near mid morning darkness as motorists struggled to get used to this new turn of events.  Streetlights would have to work overtime to provide the only source of light for pedestrians

“More money for me!” Kirkland exclaimed to himself.  Nobody else was going to listen to him at that point.  He was alone in his black Aston Martin.

Taking a different route, to change things up, Kirkland guided his V 12 monster across Tower Bridge.  Traffic had stopped, there was a mix up at an intersection 2 blocks down the way that was holding everyone back.

Kirkland looked around and  suddenly locked eyes with a man he thought he recognized from somewhere, but at this point he could not remember where he had seen him before.  The man wore a suit, walked with a limp and pushed a rusty cart filled with beer bottles, cans, and other refundable items.

The man continued to stare at Kirkland from across the street, then taking his right hand out of his pocket he flashed Kirkland an inverted V with his first and second fingers.  The man advanced toward Kirkland slowly, due to a limp, yet  confidently.

As he was making his way across the street, the homeless man began to speak to Kirkland in a loud, distinct voice.

“You know I have a name, don’t you?  That means I am a human, just like you.  My name is Fabian Henwall.  Now I’m going to do something to you that you won’t soon forget, you rich pig!”

Kirkland swore under his breath, he recognized the man now.  He was the one Kirkland had hit the day before.

Mercifully, traffic began to move again.  Kirkland deftly peeled away from the place where he and his car had once existed, just before Fabian was able to reach him and exact his vengeance.

Ten minutes later, Kirkland was relaxing in his real leather office chair.  His faithful, whether he liked it or not, intern Bradley had delivered Kirkland’s first round of coffee.  Everyone was trying to maintain a business as usual attitude, but Kirkland could see that they were all just as confused as he was.  Kirkland checked his favourite news outlets to find that this catastrophe was occurring all over the world.  The media were confirming that the sun, as a whole had just stopped shining.


“Now do you believe me Delbert?” exclaimed Theodore.

“It appears you were on to something after all, young man.”  said Delbert.

Theodore’s monitors were unable to pick up any thermal readings at the moment.  Theodore had been in touch with the I.T. department and they said that they would assist him shortly as there were other departments within the building experiencing similar issues.

Theodore motioned for Delbert to come over.  He showed him his incoming mail.

“I think there needs to be some sort of press conference.” suggested Theodore.

“What do you suppose we’d tell them?” questioned Delbert.

“Tell them we’re keeping an eye on things, the media and citizens are very worried.   Give them some hope.”

A press conference was booked, and two hours later, Delbert addressed the media in the grand foyer of the World Geological Survey London branch.  At this very moment, similar conferences were being held at branches all around the world, so media and citizens of various countries could be assured that the WGS was monitoring things.

“Rest assured people!”  Delbert addressed the crowd, “we are very interested in the current natural event…”

“Natural?  What’s natural about this?” screamed a male reporter for the London Times

“Nothing” replied Delbert, “I was merely using the phrase because the event is occurring outside in nature all around the world.”

“How have we not all frozen to death?” asked a representative of the BBC.

“I can’t tell you that either, honestly it’s all rather perplexing at the moment, but we are working on finding answers…”

Another reporter, representing the Wales Gazette, spit in his face.  “So much for decorum.” Delbert said to himself.

There were no further questions from the media, as they believed Delbert to be incompetent with the current situation.  The reporters left in a huff.  Delbert realized he did not do a reasonable job defending his reputation, nor that of the organization of which he was employed.  Delbert returned to his office.

“How did it go?” asked Theodore.

“They weren’t as reassured as we would have hoped.” said Delbert.  We will do everything I promised them.  There’s bound to be some answers to this madness somewhere.”

“Not judging from the thermal readings.” quipped Theodore.   His indicators had been fixed by the I.T. department, but the readings remained considerably lower than an average day.


Kirkland keyed his computer, within minutes he had Allister Hodges before him on his extravagant wide-screen display that covered an entire wall of his office.

“Allister!  It appears the sun is rather set…permanently.”  Kirkland had sat through the live broadcast of the World Geological Survey, and contrary to the rest of the world, was immediately elated by everyone’s disappointment at the lack of answers.

“Yes sir, it appears that way.” resigned Allister.

“Don’t lose hope, Allister!  This is the best thing that could have ever happened to our company.”

“How so?”  queried Allister.

“I have a plan, but we can’t talk about it over inner office communications.  It’s not the right time for it to be on the company record.  Meet me at my flat at 8:00 this evening.

“Will do.” said Allister confidently.  “Over and out!”

As confident as Allister sounded, he wondered what could possibly solve this problem?  Why was his boss so happy?  He knew he’d find out later, but for now he was still very confused.

“So what’s the big plan!” squeaked Bradley.

Kirkland twitched.  “Shut it  Bradley.  How long have you been here?”

“Long enough to know something amazing is afoot?” said Bradley, eyes wide with anticipation.

“All will be revealed in good time, Bradley.  Now, scram!”  screamed Kirkland.

Bradley obediently slipped out of Kirkland’s office without any Führer remarks.  He knew he was already in hot water with his boss.

Kirkland opened an advanced architectural sketch program on his computer.  He drew a circle and  brain stormed a list of many metals.  Some common, some exotic.  He continued to work at this diagram all day.

Soon the end of Kirkland’s workday came.  He left his office and made efficient time to his home.  Kirkland supped quickly.  He was very interested in his evening meeting with Allister.  He could not wait to show him the new concept he had come up with.





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