The Child and the Shadow


Shadow Play by Michael Hartford

The child was wary of the shadow, and so she tossed it into the basement and locked the door.

The shadow felt hurt and lonely and started to cry. He cried and cried and his voice echoed through the house haunting the night. Pretty soon the child saw shadows everywhere – in the closet, under the bed, on walls.

The child shut her eyes and stuffed her ears and hid under the sheets. She went “nah nah nah” refusing to hear the pleas of the shadow. Falling into a fitful sleep, she dreamt that the shadow crawled into bed with her and clutched her feet with his icy hands.

When night was deepest, she woke. Trembling but determined she stood at basement’s door. She drew a deep breath, pushed and turned on the light. Lo and behold, gazing back at her were her own scared and tired eyes.

Outside, dawn transformed the night and splashed the sky with red and gold.

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