Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Prompt: Shadow life

Sherry paused by the window and glanced down. Movement on the empty square made her take a closer look. With school on break, and the cafeteria closed, there were no people sitting at the usually crowded outdoor tables. The sun cast shadows of the white metal tables and chairs. And people sitting at them, waving their hands and nodding their heads in conversation. Sherry blinked and looked again. She turned and ran toward the stairs.

Bursting through the double glass doors, she stood poised on the top step, gazing from one table to the next. Every table had two or three shadows on the courtyard, except one. The far table, partially shaded by the old oak tree, had only one shadow figure on the ground. He? She? He, Sherry decided in an instant. He sat still, and as she watched a slender line moved in an arc across the table’s shadow in front of his. He was reading a book.

She bubbled with nervous, curious energy as she walked to the table and sat down next to the chair with the shadow boy. She didn’t look at the chair. She looked on the ground. His head turned toward her.

“Hi,” she said softly. He nodded.

“What are you reading?”

He held up the book, and she laughed at the rectangular shadow. Of course she couldn’t see it. “Do you like it?” Nod.

“Do you mind if I join you?” He shook his head.

And so it began…

Dogs in house

Time writing:
15 minutes

October word count:


  1. Prompt: Shadow life

    The shadow moved, over rocks and sticks – jumping airborne to reach the lower tips of a weeping willow’s branches – then shot straight up onto the brick side of the storefront. Jamie stopped, and the shadow stopped.

    “See, it’s you,” said his big sister.

    Jamie shook his head. Another shadow merged in, long thin extensions gyrating wildly.

    His sister flapped her arms. “And that’s me.”

    Jamie shook his head again. She didn’t understand. “It’s alive.” It wasn’t exactly what he wanted to say, but the words eluded him. He had so many thoughts, and so few ways to say them. But the shadow. The shadow would have more.

    He tilted his head, and the shadow’s bulbous top canted sideways. The taller, skinnier shadow had already separated. _Can you explain?_ he thought at it. The shadow seemed to melt deeper into the brick. _No_, apparently.

    He lifted an arm, and the shadow spawned a proboscis which attached to the other shadow. His sister took his hand, warm, after the faint cold of a shadow passed across their palms. He grinned. The shadow could come with them, safe in their grip. He trotted to keep up.

    Time writing: ~15 minutes

  2. Nice shock value in the first paragraph, as your mind rewinds to assess that yes, the tables _are_ empty. Makes me wonder what is going on! And how she knows the boy.