Living Shadows

“At some point in your life, I’m betting someone you know will come to you – if they haven’t already. They will tell you something extraordinary – paranormal even is happening. Don’t dismiss it as a moment of stupidity. Listen, maybe there’s even some truth to their encounter. They chose you for help. Remember: one day it could be you who has the paranormal encounter – Already had one? Tell me about it in the comments.

I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
FOWC with Fandango — Upside
Your Daily Word — Comfort
Ragtag Daily Word — Storm
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie– Photo challenge — The picture above

Living Shadows

They say life only exists upon normal planes. That the paranormal only lives within the fantasies of over-imaginative minds. I’m Sherman Lentz and I disagree. The paranormal is very real and has it in for me.

It began a week ago. I was walking home that night when a lightning storm struck. Crossing through the park, as I always did, I saw a flash of blue light. The next thing I knew I was in bed and it was morning. I don’t remember walking the rest of the way home, getting undressed or going to bed.

Passing it off as tiredness I tried to get on with my life. As I walked down the stairs, my shadow turned from the wall and waved at me. I don’t know how or why but my shadow and those around me are alive.

The last week has been hell. Trying to work in the office, I’d watch my shadow join forces with those of my workmates. They’d always be threatening to kill those around me. As if somebody was playing games with the light; they could form their hands into blades, guns even a grenade. Each time threatening one of my colleagues who seemed blissfully unaware of the strange goings-on.

At home, my shadow would occupy my favourite chair; forcing me to sit on the sofa. It would leer at me, jumped me whenever I passed into a gloomier place where it could exist strongest. The worst was its maniacal laughing and taunting. There is one upside, at least I’m no longer alone. Although it provides little comfort when my guest is my own demonic shadow.

So, this is a week later. A storm is forecast for tonight. I’m hoping, repeating my footsteps will end this nightmare. That’s why I am leaning with my head against this concrete wall. My pinstripe trousers and blazer — yes, those are my office uniform. Why it has to be so flamboyant I have no idea. All I do is sell car insurance and help with claims. The trainers are for comfort. Walking three miles in work shoes is agony on the toes. Look closely, my shadow is pretending to head-butt me. Along the wall, two others are laughing, leering at me. Then there’s the one behind me. He is wielding the fencepost. Pretending to stab me with it.

You can’t see it but I’m sweating. My heart’s thumping like an anxiety-filled pneumatic drill. I wish the shadows would go away. I can’t take this anymore.

Just like last week I had my five-bean burger and fries at Danny’s Diner after work. I washed those down with a crisp cider and waited. At 8 PM I left the diner and walked on toward the park. The shadows forced me against a concrete wall.

“Nothing can save you. You will come over to the dark side. You will join us!” They chanted. A passing police officer gave me a funny look but carried on. He couldn’t hear them. Nobody bloody well could accept me.

Their droning voices echoed only into my ears. Deep into my conscious. Driving me insane. “You will get out! You will leave me alone!” I screamed as I set off running toward the park. Dark clouds were beginning to roll overhead. The storm was approaching.

The rain began to fall heavy, saturating my clothes as it hammered down all around me. An initial flash of lightning cut through the boiling charcoal sky. For a split-second, it turned the street brilliant white. I heard the shadows scream. They could not exist in such bright light. Then darkness returned and so did the demons as I raced past the houses.

“Can’t get rid of this that easy!” They chanted.

“But I will get rid of you!” I yelled back as the thunder rolled overhead. I slipped on the wet pavement and slammed into the park gates. My shoulder burned from the impact but I staggered upright and continued into the park.

Turn left past the children’s play area, I remembered seeing a fox by the slide that night a week ago. I know I went left and walked toward the Fountain after that. Rainwater was pouring out of my hair as I wracked my brains. Did I reach the Fountain? Did I get past it last week? Dammit, I couldn’t remember!

“Haha! You don’t know. You can’t rid of us can you?” jeered the shadows. In the streetlight, they were running circles around me. I felt like the sacrifice in the cauldron between them.

Forcing myself to look away, I sloshed on along the gravel path between hedges. There was the fountain. The water rose from the marble bowl and erupted from the mouths of the three salmon fish ten-feet above. I felt myself panting, my breathing shallow as my feet carried me to the bowl. Two-feet of water lay inside, algae turned it green. My finger tensed with the cold as I plunged them inside. Lightning ripped through the air, reflecting off, electrifying the water. I screamed as my soul was torn from my body. It fell charred and smoking to the gravel.

I stood there like a wraith the following morning when the police came. I feel sorry for the schoolgirl who discovered my body. I did smile when I heard the officers puzzling over how my shadow could be burned into the ground. However, there was. Stretching out from my feet was my perfect shadow. Instead of being black, it was a charred brown. I may have died but at least I took the demonic bastard with me!

The End


Thanks for reading my friends.

There’s more in the Poetry CornerShort Stories. and Short Stories 2 tabs.

Have a great day!

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