Night-Eyed Prayer

by Grant Carrington

    "Night-Eyed Prayer" was inspired by a song in one of Bob Dylan's earliest albums, with a line that went, "Won't you meet me in the night, I pray?" which I kept hearing as "Won't you meet me in the night-eyed prayer?" I also had read some similar stories and decided that I had something new to add, of a time when humanity had truly broken up into two species, Night People and Day People. I hadn't read Wells's The Time Machine or I probably would have realized it had all been said already.
    I was working at Book World in New Haven when Ted White bought it, my first sf publication. It was on the basis of his having bought it that I called him while passing through the DC area on my way to New Orleans to ask him about "His Hour Upon the Stage," which I had also sent him. And that eventually led me to reading Amazing's slush pile.

    It's not impossible to consider this grim vignette the sequel to"By the Book" [a story by Gene DeWeese & Robert Coulson in the same issue]. But then again, it may well be the sequel to human life as we presently know it ...

    I watched the red line on the ground fade, waiting for it to become bearable. My head throbbed from the light which, even when reflected off the ground, was still unbearably bright. I could never look directly at the source. Yet I knew there were creatures outside, creatures similar to me, who revelled in it and were frightened by the darkness that was my element.
    The thought of those creatures, who would soon be cowering in the darkness, as frightened of me as I was of them, made me hungry.