Darkness was the main focus.

There was not a natural light in sight – the sun had either set completely behind the desolate, crowded horizon, or the fog of the distant skirmish had clouded the entire sky over. Hopefully it was the former; she always had liked the cold, welcoming darkness, broken only by the tiny sparkle of a candle.

Vocifer Manchester was only a teenage girl, and yet she lived in a world of darkness. She knew the light of the candelabras that graced her relatively small home, and of the sun, but the repetitive, distant banging that proceeded throughout the day constantly filled her ears, and she had practically forgotten what true silence was. The girl lived in a small town quite a distance from London, England. The first world war had just recently begun, and so far she kept her parents, but that might soon change.

Honestly, she hoped nobody would leave her life that soon, but hoping rarely did anything, so she tried not to think about it much.

A tiny fire shined in the distant corner of the room. Vocifer was staring out of the black, transparent window, into the burnt and blue night sky. Few stars twinkled tonight; the heavens were rent with silvery clouds, although she couldn't be sure that they weren't really smoke. Nowadays she didn't bother to distinguish between the two –they were so similar, anyway, so why was there a difference in the first place?

She watched the smoky clouds slowly army-crawl across the sky, occasionally glancing down at her and giving an irritable flash of a temporarily revealed star. This was rare, however. As always, the only vague, golden light came from the candle on the other side of her room.

Vocifer let her neck relax, and she rested her chin on the back of the armchair. She enjoyed watching the night sky, but she had stayed up so late already, and her eyelids were beginning to droop. She really did not want to go to bed, but it was about time that she did, anyway. Surely it was at least ten at night by now.

Now that she was aware that she was sleepy, it was impossible to ignore the creeping slumber. Giving a near-silent yawn, she slithered off of the armchair and strolled mechanically to the other side of the room. When she reached the opposite corner she gently blew out the candle, bathing the area in black once more.

She didn't mind the dark much, but it was still frustrating that she couldn't find her bed. Still, she eventually found a soft, rectangular lump that was positioned against the wall, and collapsed onto it.

It was comfortable to lie here on her back, but she still didn't fall asleep. Though the repetitive banging in the distance had stopped for the night already, it echoed in her head, and she only slept for somewhere around half of the night.

The next morning then changed her life. For a while, at least.