This story was originally published on Reddit and made into an animation by Tales of Tim on YouTube.
I was the first person to see the thing.
I only became aware of it when the light in my room started to dim. I looked up from my laptop and there it was, a thin humanoid form hunched upside-down next to the lamp.
I yelled. I tried to scamper away but my chair caught in the carpet and I simply toppled over, pulling the laptop down by its cable.
It didn't seem to notice. It fixated on my lamp, gingerly cupping it with charcoal-black fingers as if it was a rare insect. Then, it closed its hands and the light was out.
For a few moments I could just about make out its dim silhouette and then—its two blank white eyes turned towards me. A dark shape started to descend. It was reaching down.
I shut my eyes. The thought of it touching me made me break out in sweat. It never did though. I opened my eyes again. Its hand had instead settled on my laptop. It caressed the surface, and then sprouted hundreds of little fingers which quickly engulfed the entire screen.
Over the next few days, the thing never hurt anyone. Not directly, at least. There were some casualties, sure, but most of them happened during the inevitable riots. There were others too, the woman on life support that gave out, or the man who stumbled down a flight of stairs in the darkness.
For me, that first night was a sleepless one. I shivered in the darkness with just a dead laptop keeping me company.
News spread fast in the morning. The thing had appeared in broad daylight, going for traffic lights, TVs, fires, anything that emitted visible light. It covered them with its hands, and didn't remove them until the source was off. Its appetite seemed to get bigger the more it had, and at night, when the street lamps went on again, it extended extra arms to keep up.
Distance was no problem for it. It could stretch over ridiculous lengths, and on the second and third days the city was a forest of black rubbery limbs that branched off, climbed into windows, always searching, feeling their way to the smallest light-bulb.
We couldn't hurt it. Blades bounced back, and it only took notice of bullets because of the brief flash of light that accompanied them.
By the fifth day, we were exhausted. With barely any electricity food was going spoiled, communication was down, and we had nothing to do but observe it as it stood motionless and unblinking in the city square. It retracted its arms until it had two left, hanging by its side.
We could tell there was not a source of light left in the whole city.
For a while it did nothing. It slowly lifted its gaze up to the sky and then, after some contemplation, it stretched out its right arm, impossibly, towards the sun.