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Horrific screams fell from the sky, waking me from a deep sleep. There was a flock of Corella's passing over the house, and they were carrying something… it was hidden in the darkness and had hitched a ride. An uneasy, otherworldly odour filled the air and I leaned from my open window to see if I could see what it was. That’s when I saw them, shadows. They looked like shadow’s dancing their way to the ground.
An uneasy dread filled my mind.
What are they? I thought.
Whatever they were, they landed like a troupe of ballerina’s, up and down the street, with one landing in my front yard. I pulled back from the window as fast as I could, but wasn’t fast enough. It’d seen me. I can’t say how I knew, but I felt its gaze searing its way into my soul.
What dark entity is this, I thought and attempted to hide, but there was nowhere for me to go. How can it see… me?
I wanted to look out the window again, but fear and fright froze my intentions. I could hear them shifting through the air, the yard, the town, and I slid under my bed, pulling a blanket from it to try to not be seen. My soul was burning its brand on my heart.
I wanted to scream, but a searing pain had paralysed me and all feeling, movement stopped. I can’t say if it was the fear or pain, but only my eyes could move, though I could still breathe. It came out in rattled and raspy exhales. Then, I sensed the moment it slid into my room through my window.
‘Stay,’ it whispered not by mouth but by mind alone.
I had no will, and it had hold of me in some psychic way, and I feared that thing more than anything I’d feared before.
Who are you? I asked in thought. What do you want?
‘We are one,’ it whispered. ‘We are the same.’
What? I asked, and my terror eased into fright.
‘I am you,’ it said, ‘and you are me.’
You’ve already said that. What do you mean?
‘In sleep we do wander,’ it said. ‘In night do we play. You must rest, so I may return for us to become one. You cannot be without me.’
What… are you saying… you’re my… my shadow? I asked.
It was a good guess, It did look like a shadow against a white wall.
‘I am, and without me, you shall fall,’ it said. ‘Only in sleep can I move through to make you complete.’
But… but I’m awake. I don’t want to know this, I said, and started to panic again.
My breathing became laboured and that terror, I thought lost, came back with an ear shattering vengeance.
You’re burning me from the inside out, I said and knew I was crying, but couldn’t feel the tears.
Let me go, I begged.
‘Sleep,’ it whispered.
‘I shall assist,’ it said. ‘Let me in, child. In sleep, you will feel no pain, but now you know what you should not know. I can wipe from your mind, the terror in your heart, the pain in your soul, but with this new knowledge you now know you can never share in tales or whispers. I will know, they will know. They would not allow me to stay, and without me, you shall cease to be.’
What are you? I asked again.
‘A shadow jumper,’ it said, ‘we frolic freely in the night while you sleep.’
Its whisper was so soothing, relaxing that the last thing I remember seeing was the back of my eyelids. When I woke to sunlight, I did not remember the horror or pain, but knew of the shadow jumpers. I didn’t know what that meant for my continued existence.
Shadow jumpers claim the night for themselves. They are living entities. We co-exist, my shadow and I. I talk to it in thought before I go to sleep, and it whispers to me before it retires before the dawn.
I am more complete than I have ever been, and willingly give myself over to my shadow jumper when in sleep.
About the Creator
In addition to her creative pursuits, Karen is also a dedicated advocate for education and literacy. Through her writing, she seeks to inspire and empower others to follow their passions and make a positive impact on the world around them.
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