The LED in my basement
by J. Daniels
There is an LED on the stairs down to my basement, and it switches on and off. I spotted it earlier, coming down to write another story, not this one. The lights are out so I can’t say what it is attached to, though I neither recall wiring anything up to that particular step recently, nor carrying out any electronics projects there.
Seen out of the corner of my eye, it could be any shade – red, amber, green. Do LEDs come in blue? I don’t know. I only have those ones. In a few moments I will go to check if it flashes in a pattern.
But for now I think I will stay here, in the light.
Update: The LED on my basement stairs doesn’t adhere to any regularity. It is reddish-green. Surprising, the difficulty I had in determining its colour.
Today I found another LED in a tiny alcove beneath the top stairs, some relic space from an earlier renovation. The area is barely big enough to squeeze a cat into, so I can’t get too close to look. But from my vantage point, on my side in the landing, it too seems to flash randomly.
I could shine a torch there, though something seems to be stopping me. Nothing physical, but a distraction, a sort of lethargy that arises whenever I think about it.
Update: this one is definitely amber – a kind of yellowish-gold. Tomorrow I shall start recording its pulses over a one-minute period
Friends came yesterday. It was wonderful. We visited Empire State and ate lunch. The only thing that marred the outing was the discovery of another LED, flashing away in a dark store cupboard at the end of an elevator line. This one was electric blue, almost white. By the time I finished investigating my friends had gone, sending me a terse message, and Empire State was closing. Security furnished me with a hard stare, like an angry dog.
But I have an inkling. There is something familiar about this pattern.
Update: I must visit again tomorrow, though it is crushingly expensive.
This morning I heard of an LED appearing at the bottom of the Challenger Deeps! I do not habitually visit the Earth’s hidden places; this knowledge arrived via my email inbox and social media channels. No sender, no message, just some co-ordinates and a little animation accompanying the tiny diode. Hard to say the colour. I think perhaps red. Hours of examination demonstrate that the pattern is quite clear to see. It runs for about seven minutes before repeating. My inkling coalesces.
I will ask my ISP to determine the originator but when I think of their server room, I imagine thousands of LEDs blinking in unison. The queasy feeling I get at that notion is best described as envy.
Update: I called my provider and was put in a queue. Agitation soon got the better of me so I hung up. There was a strange click-clicking on the line.
Breakthrough! I have discerned a connection between the patterns of the LED under my top stairs and the one in the Challenger Deeps. It is highly complex, but through practical application of my intellect I found a link between the first ten seconds of each. This is good news! Something in me is humming; I cannot wait to discover more in the dark places of the world.
It also means my inkling is showing more signs of being correct.
Update: my ISP and the waiters at Empire State have grown sick of me! But it doesn’t matter. I have timed and written down both patterns. Onward!
Visiting a relative in hospital today I passed the maternity ward. But when I heard a seemingly-irregular blip-blip, I was unable to help myself. I rushed in and placed my right ear to the swollen belly of the lady therein. She wasn’t best pleased, nor was the man by her side (who I presume was her husband). Fortunately there was a pen nearby so I was able to scratch the code onto the nearest piece of paper, which happened to be her birthing plan.
I suspect I am getting carried away. The hospital staff seemed to think so as they manoeuvred me to an exit, but I wonder if they are missing something of considerable magnitude. I feel I am – this close (holds two fingers an inch apart). More correlations have been found, though they tend to beget more questions than answers.
Update: I am tired. Very, very tired.
If you are in any way worried about me, let me assuage your kind concerns. I had a date tonight – me, a date! We had a lovely time, though the dinner was a little slow in coming and was not what I ordered. But I hesitate to complain, and ate without a stern word.
The young lady also showed polite interest in the LEDs and other pulse tones. She is most beguiling. It is almost as if –
Update: I woke tonight with a rather peculiar thought: what if a human body could contain some echoes of these pulses? A heartbeat? An old biorhythm. How would I find out?
I fear the day I hear rumour of one in space, or somewhere I can’t reach. It would tingle like an endless itch.
My romantic endeavours ended but it no longer matters, for the final investigations have yielded their information. I now know origin and meaning of the pulses. I am sorry. Some strange civilisation, some terrible construction that we birthed, is taking something from us. Never did I wish for this knowledge. It is utter despair that I must bring such tidings. We could never have known. How could we?
I want to stop the clock, for everyone’s sakes. Further signs have appeared. Others are noticing. Soon they too will learn that we are finished. Absolutely finished.
Update: I am frightened. I went too far. Curse that light on the stairs. Please forgive me.
About the author:
J.Daniels is a writer and editor living in West Yorkshire, England with his wife, two daughters, two dogs, and a host of imaginary friends who’d love to feature in his SFF writing. He also enjoys music and cycling, and has one short story under the pseudonym bdcharles published in Fantasy Faction.