In the night Billy laid on the couch in front of the big bay windows looking out over the valley. A layer of cloud hemmed in the world, cutting off the tops of the mountains and muting the moon that was a few nights past being full. But the moon still lit the earth, it bounced off the snows that dotted the ground and laid on the branches of the trees, and against its light the darkness of things stood out. The great fir trees lined in front of the windows as towering and black jagged things. The forests across the valley, dark patterns on the mountainside. The deck railing right outside of the windows, a solid black outline against the dimly lit sky.
Billy closed his eyes and put his head against the pillow and took a breath. He waited and looked out the window again and wondered why the darkness was so strong, even in a night when the world seemed to be trying so hard to be bright.