As the sun sank behind the factory chimneys at the end of the day, the alarm clock suddenly and noisily exploded in a cacophony of sound. An arm reached out from under the duvet and slammed down on the stop button. The silence was deafening as Charlie sat up blinking in the half light which was, in his life, the equivalent of morning. He had a condition called ‘Polymorphic Light Eruption’ only he had it acutely which meant exposure to any sunlight would cause serious rashes on his skin.


     After his ablutions he made his way to the kitchen for breakfast, toast and marmalade and a mug of coffee to set him up for the night to come. After watching the evening news to see what had happened in the day he set off to work. It had started raining, what a surprise, but this was England in the winter so what do you expect. Pulling up at the factory gates the security guards swiped his ID card and he was officially on the premises.


      He made his way to the locker room, meeting up with his mates who all worked the nightshift at the worldwide manufacturing plant. Because of Charlie’s pure white skin he was known throughout the works as ‘Chalky’.

The foreman was Jakey and as they passed his office he called out to Chalky to come in.


     “There’s something in the company magazine which might be of interest to you Chalky.”


     Charlie picked up the open magazine and read the article. It said that the company had taken over a rival concern which was based in Iceland. They were keen to send British workers over to run it but the problem was there was only six months of daylight so most of the men weren’t keen.


     “I thought with your condition maybe it would suit you. You’re a good worker and I would give you a good reference, think about it”


     “Cheers Jakey, I will”


     The company listened and were very sympathetic. They wanted his experience and offered him a good deal. If he worked in Iceland for the dark period, then returned to England for the six month daylight period he would be well rewarded. So that’s what they did. Charlie worked hard and could go out in the perpetual darkness then returned to England and did what he had always done for six months.


     Iceland has a very low crime rate, mainly because of the small population and also the fact of life that poverty is almost non – existent.

However the country was rocked by a sudden increase in violent and bloody murders, all carried out during the winter months of darkness there seemed to be one a month.

     As the daylight got longer the murders stopped and the country relaxed, until the next winter. The first full period of total darkness brought the first victim.

      ‘Seasonal Murders start again!’ were the headlines in all the newspapers.Everybody was on the alert, doors were locked and bolted, the sale of guard dogs went through the roof.


      In the depth of winter a police patrol car spotted a suspicious figure and stopped to investigate. Approaching the suspect they called out for him to stop. He ran, they ran after him rugby tackling him down they arrested him. He was covered in blood. A search started in the area and sure enough a blood covered body was found nearby.


     On questioning it was established that the perpetrator was English and worked at the factory, they had caught him!


     Headlines in the papers said that Charles (Chalky) Deracola had been arrested and charged with the serial killings. He said in his defence “It wasn’t my fault I just had too much night-time on my hands.”


625 words Michael White 2020

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