It was late. Sleep was far-off though. I had never really been a night owl. Nor had I ever really been a morning person. I hated sleep as much as I loved it, this had always been true.
I had grown up a lot since I first learned about the truth of shadows, but in another way I hadn’t changed at all; I’m still just as afraid as I have ever been. As a child, and even now as an adult, I would sleep with a night light. It made it harder to sleep, but I don’t care.
When I was thirteen my life was so chaotic; I had to keep track of so many things, it made my head spin. And my only break was sleeping. Though having a night light made it hard to fall asleep; and I was left in the semi-dark feeling lonely, so I started talking to the shadows on the wall. Never in a million years had I ever expected the shadows to talk back, but they did. I started to drift away from my friends, and started to get closer to the shadows on my wall. Soon I no longer cared for people, but rather the shadows on my wall.
When I moved out, Dad and I had a three-day long argument about me keeping all my childhood toys. From my perspective I couldn’t get rid of them, they were my friends. But from Dad’s point of view I was being childish, keeping things that I was too young for. The fight ended when I finally broke down in tears and I told him “but they’re my friends! I can’t just get rid of my friends!” I hadn’t meant to tell him that, it just slipped out in my anger and sadness. Dad had given me a weird look when I had said this, but finally he gave up and let me keep my old toys.
I should have listened to Dad though. Even though I had saved their life, they were planning to kill me. The shadows that had once been there for me when I had no one else, the shadows that had become my best friends. After all we had been through together, they were going to kill me. The only shadow on my side was the lamp I had since I was four. I lied still on my bed, pretending to be asleep, and listened to the conversation that surrounded me.
“Listen, I say we let her be,” said the lamp’s shadow.
“No, it’s too risky. We have to get ride of her,” said the chair’s shadow.
The chair and lamp’s shadows often fought. Though tonight was different, now there was more at stake.
“What did she even do to deserve this?” The lamp’s shadow asked, “how are we going to survive if she dies? She won’t be here anymore to turn the night light on.”
"But she knows our secret!” Interjected the water glass on my night stand’s shadow, “How can we trust her to keep it? I mean she could tell anyone and we’d have no idea.”
“That’s exactly what I’m trying to say,” said the chair’s shadow, “I mean how do we know she’s trust worthy? And when she dies we’ll all go some place else.”
Now every shadow in the room started shouting. Most of them seemed to be in favor of killing me. I sat up and the whole room went quiet, then my shadow spoke. Not me, but the shadow that was cast upon the wall from the night light in the corner of my room.
“She must die,” said my shadow, “if anyone has a problem with that, then you may deal with me.”
No one said anything for a long time. For some reason my shadow seemed to have reign over all the other shadows.
“It’s not her fault that we weren’t careful enough,” pleaded the lamp’s shadow. “How do you think she felt when she first heard us talk? I’m sure she was terrified. She didn’t do anything wrong. You can’t just kill her.”
“I gave you a warning,” said my shadow, and leapt forward and devoured the lamp’s shadow in horrid movement. I started to shake. I knew the lamp’s shadow was the only one who would stand up for me.
I saw my shadow slowly move towards the night light. The light went out. My room went dark and I felt the shadows start to consume me. It felt as though shadows were coursing through my veins. It was as though they were eating me from the inside out. I fought it with all my strength. I looked around, there was nothing but darkness. I wanted so desperately for someone to save me, but it was too late for that now. I closed my eyes and let the shadows consume me.
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