Friday, May 8, 2015


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Monday, December 29, 2014

So let's play pretend that we are ghosts who have searched for ways to find each other. We knew, deep down of one another's existence, yet, we were questioning our sanity. There were strange smoke anomalies in the air. You did not believe in my existence, any more than I believed in yours. This is why we play pretend. This is why we always meet in a world somewhere far removed from our own, yet  similar.

If I were a ghost, how did I die? I dreamed I died in a car accident at a crossroads somewhere close to where I sit now. I guess that this place is only miles from here. It's surrounded by small brick homes  with trampolines in the backyard. There is a trailer on one corner with an old pick-up truck parked on a gravel driveway. There, I came speeding by and never paid much attention to the stop sign. The other guy hit me, jack-knifed and spinning round in circles. There, my engine caught aflame and I was  burned before I could kick open the broken door. And it  hurt, but my pain faded as my spirit wafted up into the air. There, floating above, I thought of you.

You fell to your knees in a strange and sudden bout of pain. Your attempts to call for help were small because you were far from home. There in the midst of the forest by the lake, you grasped the trunk of the closest tree. You were screaming for help. But you were alone because you chose to be alone and no one could hear you.. Your strong will to find yourself enveloped your desire to become one with nature. As your breath grew rapid and the vessels in your head burst, you dropped. No one could hear those sounds, those dying sounds that escaped as you drifted up above. Could it be that you looked down and saw yourself lying  against the pine and the edge of the Mississippi mud? You noticed how strange you looked. Your desire to adjust your clothing and hair was unbearable. But then you thought of me and turned toward the treeline.
And it was complete, you see. As we dreamt it would be, we passed from this life to the next. Things looked different and yet the same. No, they cannot hear us and no we have no solid form. Every now and then for giggles, we pretend we have bodies wrap around each other.  We are vapor. We are dead and yet, we still cannot seem to hold onto something that was just a dream. No matter how many times our transparency tries to pull together, it fails us. We find that we are still dreaming.

The path is there, untouched, the hands of the clock have not moved and yet, we lost each other.

Friday, September 12, 2014

My death in 5 years

I always thought it would be cancer, or maybe it would be cardiac arrest. It turns out, however, that my battery is running out. Yes, you heard it right, my battery. I wanted to die like the rest, human like the rest.
My brother told me yesterday that I was not human. I have a running expectancy of 40 years as well. Since I am 35 years old, that makes my day of death in five years, respectively. And yes, I laughed pretty hard when he told me-my brother has always been one for dry humor. I saw this as one of his silly little stories, set amongst a satirical background of other ridiculous things. I laughed with him and punched him on the arm, and everything seemed like a usual summer day. Then my brother took my wrist in his hand and pressed down.

I was frozen. His mouth moved, the words coming out slowly and melodically-he talked to me but I could not understand what he was saying. Then he pressed my wrist in the same spot and everything went back to normal.

“What did you do?” I questioned him, tilting my head.

My brother shrugged and spoke. “I told you, you are not human. I just pressed pressed your slo-mo button-makes everything you see or hear slow down dramatically. If I could keep that button pressed for the duration of your life, you could burn up within 2-2 and a half years, maybe.”

My brother laughed at the fact that, if he was right, then he thought it was hilarious to shorten my life even more. I thought about what he said and it didn’t really make sense.

“Why would slowing me down make my life pass quicker…I mean…if this notion were real?”

My brother leaned close and whispered. “You see, when I press your slow-mo button, it presses your circuits together and they tend to overheat, like this.”

My brother reached out for my wrist again and I jerked back.

“No way! Stop that!”

The whole thing seemed amusing to him and he continued through his laughter. “You see, if I were to press this button here..”

My brother reached out and pressed the top of my hand gently. Everything surrounding me grew darker and my brother’s voice climbed higher and became virtually inaudible. It was fast-his speech whipped by my ears like squealing chipmunks. The leaves in the trees, the rustling paper scurrying down the street-all these things whipped by at breakneck speed.

“See, now that would prolong your life for about, hmmm a year or so. The thing is, those circuits could snap from stress as well. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, I say.

I stood and stared at him for quite some time, trying to put it all together. The fact of the matter was that I knew something really strange was going on, but I wasn’t quite convinced that I wasn’t human.
“What are those things you put in my hand?” I held up my hand and examined the surface of my skin. I wanted to find the telltale signs of how those blasted devices had been inserted, apparently in my sleep and at the evil hand of my brother.

My brother laughed again and told the story.

“Mom and dad couldn’t have any more children after I was born. They always wanted a girl and so they just kept talking about it around the “wrong” crowds of people. There was this guy, this strange dude that offered my parents a way to have another child. This guy, he had a very talented gift, especially in those times. So, you know the deal, couple pays a hefty price, man makes a way and everyone is happy.”

I heard the story-don’t really know or care too much about how this made my parents happy. Don’t’ understand what I am. I couldn’t be a cyborg, because I was created small and I grew. I just know that, according to him, I am on borrowed time. He showed me how to pause myself, to gain a few hours here and there, and how to watch scenes from my very detailed memory bank.  My brother pressed the nape of my neck and showed me images from my own mind-my smiling parents, my childhood pets and some face that I didn’t recognize. When I described the face to my brother, he smiled.

“Yes, that would be Frank, your creator.”

I have 5 years left, respectively. I guess I should do something amazing, something that will leave a legacy for those who cared about me as a human being. I guess I should do something out of the ordinary. I can go to Disney World or I could climb the Eiffel Tower. Maybe I could stand on the beach and watch the waves crash against the shore, far away from here…on some exotic island. I guess I could do that.

But I don’t want to do that.I think I will try to be as human as I can and lonely. I want to feel the pangs of dying in a normal setting, an unfortunately lonely place, far from the make believe happiness of denial. When the time comes, I shall die peacefully at home, and I will tell them that I have cancer.

I will die as the rest of you, wonderfully full of regrets…human

Mother's ring

My mother’s engagement ring sits in the palm of my hand, or at least I wished it did. It think I will get it out of my jewelry box again and stare at its brilliance. Actually it is ugly now, tarnished and bent. It even has a break in the band, worn thin and broken-it pinches my finger when I put it on.

My memory serves me well, that my favorite thing to hold was her ring, mama’s old engagement ring. She never wore the ring, always taking it from her finger to wash dishes or to mix ground beef. I always saw the trinket, glimmering faintly on the kitchen sink.  Most times, I ran up and got her attention, so that I could slip my hand around her waist, without her being the wiser.

When mama wasn’t looking, I took the ring and ran into the other room. I would hold it tightly at first, feeling the realness of the trinket. Then I carefully opened my hands and enjoyed the fact that I had it away from her. In the kitchen, mother sang some old spiritual song and kept on working. In the living room, I sat on the couch, feet propped against the edge of the table, and I stared at the ring. After a while, I returned to my grandmother’s room and lay on the bed. Sometimes I fell asleep, sometimes I hid mother’s ring in my toybox and sometimes, she came to ask me if I had it again.

I remember holding mama’s ring, thinking that it was really mine. It is an item from my past that I shall never forget. When she died, I took the ring and placed it in my jewelry box. It is still there and sometimes I get it out, lay back on bed and dangle the old thing in front of my eyes. Whether I cry or not, in memory of mother is beside the point, and I have no idea what the ring means for me. I just know that I will forever be in awe of this simple object of beauty.

Monday, July 7, 2014

What the rain brings

When it rains in summer, it is beautiful. That moment, right before the bottom falls out, when the wind whips round the trees and the thunder rumbles through the mid-afternoon air, that is the magic. In summer, when the water falls from the sky, there is no harm in it. The plants are alive and the air is charged with fresh scents of disturbance. That rainfall is good and that rainfall is welcome. But in the winter, the rain turns into something cruel. I guess it was always like this because I was always cold. In the winter, I see clearly and in the winter, I am alone.

It was coming again, that nasty wet season right before the end of fall. There was just enough chill in the air to disgust me. I walked from one window to the next, clad in my converse sneakers, jeans and oversized knit sweater. I was biting my nails again because I knew, that tonight, I would sit by the fireplace in my blanket again. There would be no toasty warmth flowing throughout the house. There would only be an aura of warmth radiating closely around the hearth, and there I would sit, huddled and with some random book in my hand. There was no need for electricity, but there was a need for warmth. Too bad the both of them intersected quite uncomfortably.

It was coming closer, I could hear the winter thunder rumble quietly in the distance. Even the winter thunder was different, more subdued. It wasn’t filled with raging freedome like during the summer. I hated its small voice and I hated its electrical sister that provided nothing for me anymore. I lit a candle quietly, as the sun faded beyond the edge of the dark cloud. The smell of cucumber rose up into my nostrils and reminded me, painfully, of the long gone warm days before. I pushed the candle away so that I didn’t have to smell that lovely smell I hated so much. My fingers grazed the edge of the melting wax and I pulled my hand back to my face. I moved the drying buds of wax around in circles with my finger and thumb. I watched it crumble and fall to the floor. My eyes rested on the crumbs. It was lonely here, but no one could hurt me.

“I am stronger than I think” I whispered to myself.

A long moment of silence passed after those words and I could have sworn I heard an echo. I remembered then that it was coming from outside. A long mournful wail in the distance brought me out of my daze and back to reality. The thunderhead grew larger, I watched the clouds bubble upward and push closer to my home. I stared across the yard, watching the old lady grasp at the air. Her pale flesh had grown darker today, much darker than yesterday. It was safe to say she wasn’t pale anymore, I guess. Her friend bumped into her and turned to see what was making contact with him. He pushed at her and then started to grasp at the air himself. His brown uniform was almost gone now, spotted and torn in various places, shredded in others. He was such a contrast to her prim and proper attire, stained, mottled with something gruesome all her own.

I jumped suddenly as a face appeared glued to the window. He turned to look at the freaks in the yard and then he looked through the window again. His face was familiar. It seemed as though he was with me in another life, maybe a story where he was normal and I was the undead freak.

 He started pounding on the window, floundering at first and then more meaningful. Pieces of his skin flaked away as he hit the reverberating plexi-glass. I watched him shudder each time he pounded the glass, each time he leaned back intentionally and gave surface a good dead walloping.

“That will not last long. Why are you so morbid? Why do you want to watch this?”

I heard my voice and he did too. He stopped pounding the shuddering plexi-glass and tilted his head.

“Oh my god, can you hear me?”

The dead that was relentlessly battling my window moaned and shook his head. Did he think his ears were filled with worms? Did he think the worms were wiggling and buzzing inside his rotten ear canal?

“You used to be important.” I spoke and pushed down on the floor to rise.

My hands wanted to do something, and so I pulled at my gloves. I looked at the fire and then back to him. My favorite zombie was shuffling about on the porch, looking for something. I imagined he was looking for something, but he was probably only trying to figure out how to get the worms out of his ears.

Then again, he looked at me. There was something more than dead in those eyes, there was irritation. There was planning and motivation, there was hunger and courage. He bent over and lifted a brick from the edge of the porch. As he studied the brick, turning it over and passing it from one hand to the other, he smiled. I swear he smiled, there was a crackled grin upon his molded face. I was astonished by the fact that this fucker was about to throw a brick at my window. In a moment, that is just what he did. He drew back and released the brick in my direction, only barely knicking the window sill. So much for that plan. And he knew he had failed too. He grimaced and let out a loud gurgling screech, then rammed his body into the window.

“Apparently, he will never give you any more than you can handle, huh..”

And then the rain fell hard. I heard the dead screaming and the thunder crackling. A moment later, I could smell the wet charred flesh of the dead. No, the rain in winter was never quite as beautiful and the rain in summer. The rain didn't bring life, it brought death, cold, charred, wet and stinking death.

And I was cold, hungry and without one shred of hope left, but the hope that I would die soon as well. And then I found a memory, half-buried and waiting oblivion. I caught the image of the summer rain and I smiled.

The rain in summer is magnetic, astonishing, bringing relief to the dry cracked earth. The summer rain can be amazing, just before the earth cracks open and gives birth to new life, and the coffin takes another breath releasing its putrid babies of renewal. The hand reaching for heaven and the screaming of the reborn as it opens its eyes to a whole new world. 

“Okay, I guess I have had enough.”

I walked into bedroom and slammed the door. Crawling into bed, I pulled the covers over my head. IT seemed, that no matter how hard I tried, they just wouldn’t leave me alone. The only place safe from those undead jerks was deep within the boundaries of sleep. There, I could pretend that it was summer again…and he was still just like me.

.. and he was just like the summer rain, the only thing I ever needed.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


There is an emptiness that is hard to explain. It rambles through my head, keeping me up at night and driving me towards the light of day with dreams and nightmares. The emptiness provides a way to explain my insanity, because insanity would be what you call it. There is no means to an end, except to end it properly. This emptiness raves throughout the days as something that must be heard. I have never been caught in such loud screams and such harsh clawing hands of this nothing.

I look deeply within and I see it there. It awaits me. It has taken root, a root that I supplied with nutrients, and it has dug down to the very deepest depths of me. It has made home within.

A fool am I, that I should create such emptiness and drop bread crumbs along the trail for emptiness to find me. I sit patiently in the waiting room of my dark and devious physician and I watch the hands of the clock. They are not moving and time has definitely stood still for the nothing that I crave.

As I close my eyes, I cannot see you there, I cannot feel nor hear your voice. I quickly understand what it all means.

It's coming, the midnight hour and the hands of the clock are already there, stopped and waiting for me. One shoe is missing and my heart is bursting from my chest. They are coming for me, the emptiness, the nothing and the wicked witch.

There is an emptiness that is hard to explain and a shadow which always remains. The crazy fairy dances in my brain and no one eats the clues that I drop. There is nothing and this is all just a figment of my imagination.

But a dream that I cannot wake.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Me and my Shadow

Everyone has a shadow. But when mine comes around, all other shadows disappear.

I was not sick. I refused to believe that something was wrong with my brain. They all said the same thing and the process of medication was structured. One pill a day; three medications crafted for psychosis, seizures and depression. The thing is, it ended up being the same routine every single time. If I missed a couple doses, the things come back, the shadow monsters, the shadows…my shadows.

 I am not sick, I am not crazy. There is just something inside me that is not me. Sometimes that thing lives outside of me as well.

Region II

“I understand.”

I fidget in my plush chair and stare out the window to my left. There is something out there that will not let me remove my gaze; but I cannot see anything but cars, grass and the window of the hospital’s east wing. Beyond that is the shadow created by the sun. The day is partially sunny, partially cloud, No, it is not a gloomy Sunday. But I like that song. My mind flits between ideas, music and patterns, as I sit with my therapist, Marva.

“Chelsea, are you okay?”

 The therapist leaned across her desk and folded her hands together. She really didn’t look all that concerned by my wandering gaze. Her job was just to listen. I didn’t answer; I just turned toward her and nodded my head. My lips moved a few minutes before I managed to get the words out.

“I am okay. It’s just the thing, you know.”

I turned back toward the window to watch the thing that was almost invisible. The shadow retreated from the surface of the brick wall and moved across the parking lot. Even though my eyes could only detect minimum changes in the outside environment, my brain was sending alarms. I recognized the sensation immediately.

Turning toward the therapist again I spoke. “They are coming for me.”

The tears streamed down my cheeks and my lips quivered. Gripping the arms of my plush chair, I start to rise. I felt them all around and I stop trying to rise from my seat. Inside my chest, beneath my ribcage, I feel my heart thumping furiously. All around me they flew and moved in to make themselves known. I feel the cold breeze caress my nose and then move down my neck.

“Please, you got to help me! They are going to get me.”

“What do you mean? Who is going to get you, Chelsea?”

Marva, my therapist rose from her chair and walked around to the front of her desk. She reached for the phone and lifted the receiver. After pressing a series of buttons, she put the phone to her face. I knew exactly when someone came onto the phone line because she sucked in a sudden breath. It was as if she had been holding her breath and waiting for those things to make themselves known to her as well. Who was I kidding, Marva didn’t see them. No one saw them but me. I hated myself for being different.

“Paul, talk to the medic and ask him if Chelsea can take those old medications until her psychiatric appointment Friday.”

Marva listened and nodded her head. She frowned suddenly and spoke.
“Yes, I understand.”

She set the receiver back onto its cradle and cupped her hands. I stared at Marva. She was a pretty middle-aged therapist. Her red hair cascaded onto her shoulders and I couldn’t stop staring at her green eyes. At the moment, she looked very concerned for me. Sometimes, she looked as though she cared less. Trying to focus on something had been proven to me, a helpful endurance to  the visitations that surrounded me. I focused on Marva and tried to read her mind. I focused on her form, her beautiful curves and how she looked like a cartoon. There was no darkness about her, she was pure. I could have sworn she didn’t even have a shadow.

Marva stared at me and frowned. I waited, staring back into Marva. I was whimpering and digging my nails into the chair arms.

Marva spoke. “Well, you cannot take those old medications. It seems that a year can take away the effectiveness of the seizure medication. If you take the other two medications they will take away the psychosis and the depression, but you will still have the mania to deal with. I cannot suggest that you take the old meds.”

Fear gripped me tightly. “So, what do I do?”

Marva rose and walked back around her desk. She pulled out the chair and sat down slowly. As she opened her mouth, I saw rows of perfectly placed white teeth.

The therapist spoke slowly. “Listen, I am going to try and get you into the office before the week is up. You can get your medications then. Personally, I do not think you need the medications at all. If I could convince the psychiatrist that all you need is therapy, I believe you could recover so much faster.

I panicked. She had no idea how hard it was to avoid the “things”. She was clueless about how they ruled the shadows in the corners of the room. Marva didn’t take me seriously.

“I cannot leave like this.” I held out both hands exposing the scarred underbelly of my forearms. Rows of healed slash marks contrasted against the unmarred flesh of their surroundings. Marva couldn’t help but look at my arms. She furrowed her brow.

“Chelsea, would you like to be on inpatient status?”

The thought rolled around in my head. I hadn’t thought about that. I could stay in the center and the shadows may not be as bad, at least some of the time. If I grew frightened, I could call for help. I could stay here until Friday, and then get my meds. By the time I got back home, I would be free of the shadows.

“Yes, can I?” I leaned forward and rubbed the wood of Marva’s desk.

She smiled and picked up the phone receiver once more. “Sure, let me make arrangements for you. This will only take a moment.”

Who was I kidding, the shadows would always come without my pills. I just felt better knowing that I didn’t have to be alone with them this time.


The room was small, very small, and I was alone. I appreciated that fact. On the bed was a stack of clothing and a bag of hygienic products. I had also been allowed to contact my brother so that he could bring any other items that I may need. I looked around the room and saw a television, a chair and a small table. This seemed good enough. The air was a little too cold but I would manage. The first thing I wanted to do was sleep.

I crawled beneath the blanket and fell fast asleep. It was late when I woke again. I could tell by the darkness of the room.


“You are mine, every part of you.” The thing hovered over me. Its bright eyes were the most prominent thing about the creature. I saw shadows swirling about its body and the smell was horrible. I held my breath and whimpered.

“Leave me alone, please.” I spoke between sobs.

As the thing got closer, its breath burned my face. I saw the eyes get smaller as the thing spoke again.

“You have always been mine, Chelsea.”

Pieces of the creature broke free from the host and swirled about. They were flying black leaches that suddenly bared needle sharp teeth. I cringed drawing back from the swirling mass of monsters.


The large part of the shadow stood taller suddenly and let out a choking noise from its maw. I saw the sharpened teeth as menacing as the small parasites that rushed around it. The thing reached out embracing its parasitic babies.

“Because you see us, the shadows.” The thing looked back down at me and I could see its eyes grow brighter. It smiled and tiny fangs protruded from its bite. A long black tail whipped from behind the creature and brushed the skin of my face. I gasped suddenly drawing back from the jagged and dark shadow monster. I couldn’t breath suddenly and my heart was pounding.


I awoke in a puddle of sweat and grasped my chest. My breath was coming fast and my heart was beating hard. I could hear the meaty drum in my ears. I could also still remember the shadow’s words.

“You are mine.”

I shivered and pushed the nurse’s button.

“Yes, may I help you?” The nurse spoke across the intercom.

I hesitated and then spoke slowly. “I need someone, I am freaking out.”

The intercom was silent for a moment, then the low voices of two people consulted with each other in a hushed tone.

“Ms. Roberts, are you okay?” The nurse asked.

I held my face in my hands and spoke once more, becoming irritated. “No! I am freaking out. I need someone! I am scared, please help me!.”

The intercom died.

The wait was long, or so it seemed. Moments may have passed but they seemed like years. I watched the darkened areas of the wall as they moved with the sun’s rays which shot through the window. I watched closely to see if the shadows suddenly became “the shadow thing” and if they would start to talk with bright eyes. I looked out the window at the trees. The green leaves swayed in the breeze.

Time went by and no one came, neither did the shadow. My heart raced furiously as the wait dragged on. My eyelids grew heavy just as Marva entered the room. She was smiling at me.

“Hello Chelsea.”

I watched Marva’s red hair sway as she took a seat in the corner chair. Her smile never left her. She has a small notebook in one hand and a pen in the other. I suppose she wanted to document the strange moment with the psychotic patient. I was the psychotic patient and she was the normal lady. I hated the card that I had been dealt.

“So, tell me what is happening today, Chelsea.” Marva took a pair of glasses from her white coat and placed them on her face. She moved the pen to paper and wrote something down.

“The shadows are trying to kill me.” It was the only way that I could make Marva understand. I had no tangible evidence of what was happening to me. The only way to convey the process of the shadow was to speak frankly of the shadow and wait for the traditional scratch of the head. It was obvious that Marva did not believe that the shadow existed because of what she said next.

“What I think is going on here, is the fear of being alone. You were adopted then abandoned, your love life has been very sparse and you feel like an outsider with your friends. I see that you are pushing everyone away with your insecurities.”

 Marva stopped writing, she stopped talking and looked up at me. Removing her glasses she deemed to speak once more.

“Now, let’s be honest. These shadows are not real, Chelsea, they are just fear, insecurity and rejection.”

I looked at her eyes and understood that my case was a hopeless one. I could never get Marva to believe the shadows were real. I would take the medication and hope that my mind would be numb enough to not care. This is what I have always done before; and this is what I will do again. It is the only way.

“Chelsea, I really do not think that you need the medication. A good counseling session would work wonders for you. Now, I have talked to your regular psychiatrist and he agrees with me.” Marva removed her glasses and chewed on the ear piece.

My heart suddenly leapt into a thrumming beat. I felt sick and even dizzy. The thought of doing this on my own terrified me. Climbing down from the bed, I went to my knees.

“Please, Ms. Paterson, I have to have the medication. I cannot face this, please”

Marva watched me with criticizing eyes. She cleared her throat and shifted in her seat.

“Chelsea, I really think this is for the best.”

I was defeated. Although I knew in my heart that she was not going to budge, I cried to her. I sobbed pitifully on the floor, face against the hard linoleum. Then I screamed until someone came to save Ms. Marva from the crazy girl. Unfortunately, this still did not warrant my medication. I was doomed.


Don’t get me wrong, I hated the meds. I wanted to be free from the confines of “their” world. The thing is, after freedom was realized, something else followed along behind this freedom. The longer that I went without my medication, the closer I got to something much more complicated than the therapy and its structural aspects. I was on a wild ride, up and down from mountain top to low land valley. I felt the wind through my hair, the sun on my face and my senses were reeling.

But something was watching me. It grew larger as time went on. I could feel it whip around my head and pull close to my ear. The whisper was low but very distinct. It wanted to possess me for its own. I do not know why and what diabolical plan the shadow had, I just know that I had to make it go away.

I started to weigh my options. I loved the freedom from the medications but I hated the shadow thing, it terrified me. It lurked just outside my vision waiting for me to falter. I thought that maybe it was death or maybe even some ghost who was at unrest. As my thoughts drifted from one hypothesis to another, the shadow pulled near to speak again.

“I am none of these.” The voice was serrated knives dragging across my skin. I felt pain at the sound of the shadow’s whispering.

I guess it never really mattered what the shadow really was. I weighed my options and found the answer where I least expected it. I chose sanity over freedom; and I called Marva to schedule my appointment.
It was cold in the hospital bed. I pulled my knees up and under my arms, resting in fetal position. I waited. I knew it would come as it did on most other nights. It would come and do as it wished. Whether it had plans to take me away or whether it just loved to see my torment, the truth was beyond me. It was my birthday and I thought that I would be doing something different than lying in this hospital room, surrounded my pristine and sterile instruments of despair. I hated this place and wished that I had never came back here. What was the point anyway?

The curtains shifted. It was a slight movement that may have otherwise gone unnoticed if I hadn’t been gazing around the room, taking inventory of my surroundings. A inky black smoke crept down the curtain’s edge and onto the floor. I knew it was here.

“No, please, no!” I pulled the white sheet underneath my chin and shivered.

The black shadow moved toward the bed disappearing from my sight range. The air grew colder and the lights from the nurses call button flickered and then went out, as did the bathroom night light. The smell came again. It was the unmistakable smell of the thing, the shadow.

“What do you want?” I asked in desperation.

There was nothing but a low in-audible whispering which seemed to encase the entire room. Voices high and low swept in cradling my ears and then swept back out to fill the air again.

“Please, tell me what you want.” I pleaded. “you come to me and yet you do nothing.”

I challenged the darkness which twisted around and around itself. I challenged the two yellow eyes that formed within the dark shadowy nightmare. My teeth were clenched as were my fists; my eyes watered with emotions stirring deep inside me. I wanted it to be over. I wanted the shadows to cease their torture.

“Please stop tormenting me…please.” I spoke and then curled back into a ball at the edge of the bed. I felt a shadow hand touch my shoulder.

“Do not be alarmed. There is no pain and there is no more torment.” The shadow hand caressed my shoulder and then moved to pat my head. I felt the cool sensation through my hair as the shadow twined its tendrils underneath each lock. I felt strange suddenly. I felt as though I had been waiting for this moment my entire life. There was a sudden dutiful emotion; I felt the waves of sorrow and joy collide into something quiet and still. It was the monster’s touch which soothed me.

“It is time, Chelsea” The monster cooed.

I stared into blackness as the shadow formed a bright yellow smile beneath the bright yellow eyes. The evil smiley face grinned and grinned as if it was horribly delighted by my terror.

“Today is a special day, Chelsea. Today, you are welcomed into the flock.” The thing chuckled and whispered to the others. I couldn’t understand the whispers and frankly, I couldn’t understand why I was special on this special day.

“Please tell me why you are haunting me.” I asked pleadingly.

The shadow lost its smile and its eyes narrowed. The little yellow slits quivered suddenly. The thing made a growling noise and then whispered again to the flying shadow parasites which whipped and flew around its dark mass. Then the thing smiled once more; and then it spoke to me.

“Your world is dying, Chelsea. This place will be gone in a very short time. They know nothing of what will happen to them, to you,if you run from me.” The monster waited…” If you take the medication, you will not be able to hear me anymore; and your chance will be lost.”

I contemplated what the shadow said but it meant nothing to me. I couldn’t understand how the world would end and how I was to be saved by the shadows. Why me?

“Why me?” I asked with eyes now drying from the previous tears.

The shadows stood still. Even the swirling shadows pulled together and re-entered the shadow leader’s mass.

The shadow’s eyes widened and it spoke. “You, why you, huh… You have the ability to see the shadows. What most see as a reflection of their own form, you see as a living thing. That is just it, we are alive. We see what you do, we see how you act and we see the most intelligent of your species. Why, we have followed you for centuries and you have ignored us.
It is time that you followed us for a change.

You call us shadows and you are right. We are the shadows of mankind. Those who see us for what we truly are, these are the ones who deserve to live. You see, we do not truly follow. It is humanity which has left us behind. It is humanity which should be following our lead.

I sat there and thought about what the shadow said. I was no longer afraid and I understood completely. I decided to test the theory of what the thing was implying. I stood and walked around the bed. There by the bedside was a nightstand with a lamp. The light hurt my eyes terribly even when I wasn’t starring right into its brilliance. Moving between the light and the bed, I stood still.

I looked behind me to find my shadow; but my shadow wasn’t there. My shadow stood tall beyond the bed, a living breathing thing which just called me an intelligent being. I saw its yellow eyes and a bright yellow smile, these things intrigued me. He beckoned me to come and follow him home.


I am not sick. I will not get the medication and I suppose Marva expected a rise from me. When she came to my room with the psychiatrist, they were very kind. They talked to me for a while and made plans to find a residency for my inpatient stay. I would remain here for a while and undergo therapy. When time was done with them, I would be ready to go.

Marva moved toward my bed, followed by Dr. Kraus. Neither of them has a shadow and neither of them had a clue of their impending doom.

I am not sick, I am special.