I live in the light, but carry my dark with me.
Name: Chris Lang
Chris may be not the most important character to the series’ plot, but he’s one of the first we think of. He’s a significant one: a highly intelligent and creative poet.
With his parents overseas (Ireland) he doesn’t feel as emotionally involved as the other members of the group. He joins Ellie and her friends, but he could have survived even if left alone.
Ellie constantly keeps an eye on him. She soon finds out that he’s sweet and fragile by reading his poetry, and from that moment on Chris becomes someone new to her eyes, someone with a great personality, someone sensitive and caring.
Sadly, it doesn’t matter that Chris is surrounded by the love of his friends, he’s the victim of his own depression.
Chris is introverted…
“Chris was a lightly built boy with intense eyes and a lot of nervous habits, like coughing in the middle of every sentence. He wouldn’t be into Commem Day or woodchopping competitions; he was more into the Grateful Dead, Hieronymus Bosch, and computers. He was also known for writing poetry and using more illegal substances than you’d find in the average police laboratory. His motto was ‘If it grows, smoke it’. Ninety per cent of the school thought he was weird, ten per cent thought he was a legend, everybody thought he was a genius.” (Tomorrow, When The War Began, Chapter 11)
Chris is creative…
“Chris’s notebooks were so different to mine. His were more creative; all kinds of jottings and ideas and poems and stories and thoughts about life, like this: ‘We kill all the caterpillars, then complain there are no butterflies.’” (The Dead Of The Night, Chapter 12)
Chris’ lack of initiative…
“Apart from Fi, the ones who were least keen were Chris and, strangely enough, Kevin. I could understand it a bit with Chris. He just lived in his own world most of the time, his parents were overseas, he didn’t have many friends. In fact I don’t think he liked people all that much. He probably could have lived in the Hermit’s hut quite happily, unlike Fi, who would have gone crazy in half a day. But I got the impression that, like Fi, Chris’d go along with whatever we decided; in his case because he didn’t have the energy or initiative to stand out against the group” (Tomorrow, When The War Began, Chapter 18)
A matter of feelings…
“‘Life’s harder, the deeper you feel things,’ was all I could think as I put the books away. ‘Feelings, who needs them? Sometimes they’re like a gift, when you feel love or happiness. Sometimes they’re a curse.’
Seemed like for Chris they were more a Curse than a blessing.” (The Dead Of The Night, Chapter 12)
“He turned and stretched out past me to get something from his jacket, which was lying on a rock. Mechanically I picked it up and handed it to him. As I did so I smelt again the stale sweet smell of alcohol on his breath. So he still did have a secret collection of grog somewhere. He pulled out a box of matches. He seemed to be ignoring me. I felt flat and dispirited.” (The Dead Of The Night, Chapter 7)
“Chris’s body was different. It should have been like the others, like the corpses of animals. He’d been there a few weeks, like they often were before anyone noticed them. Like them he had been attacked by predators: foxes, feral cats, crows, who knows? Like them the earth around him told the story of his death: he lay ten metres from the overturned ute, and the rain had not been able to rub out the marks that his hands had made as he gouged at the soil. You could see where he’d been thrown, how far he’d crawled, and you could tell he’d lain there a day or more, waiting to die. His face still stared at the sky; his empty eye sockets gazed up as if searching for the stars he could no longer see; his mouth was locked open in an animal snarl; and his back was arched in agony. I wondered if he’d tried to write anything on the ground beside him, but if he had, it was no longer readable. That would be so like Chris, sending messages that nobody else understood.” (The Dead Of The Night, Chapter 17)
“A lot of things had killed Chris. Us leaving him alone in Hell was one of them.” (The Dead Of The Night, Chapter 17)
“Anyway, that’s not the illogical part. The illogical part is the way I feel about it all. About Chris. I miss him and I feel terrible that he died like that and it seems so unfair and such a waste. But I feel other things too, guilt especially. Guilt that we left him on his own, that we didn’t try harder. When he was in one of his moods we usually gave up and didn’t make an effort to humour him out of it. I think we should have done more. And I feel angry, angry at him. Angry that he was so weak and didn’t try harder. Angry that he was such a genius but didn’t do enough with it.” (The Dead Of The Night, Epilogue)
“I love these four people. And that’s why I feel bad about Chris. I didn’t love him enough.” (The Dead Of The Night, Epilogue)