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By Which Light Does This Hand Scramble?

A Ghost Story.

By Andi James ChamberlainPublished 3 months ago 2 min read

I’ve watched it,

For an hour or two now - I forget - time has become so untrustworthy, I couldn’t tell you…

But I have watched.

Gentle, nefarious, almost imperceptible movements as it creeps forlornly across the wall, reaching thin lithe fingers out, with which to grasp me and wring my neck.

I’ve watched.

I’ve seen.

That shadow.

However long it’s been, with lights affixed to walls by tight shiny brass fittings, there is no sun here, carving bright yellow arcs across the sky to make a shadow seem alive.

Only these wall lights, which do not move, which do not shimmer or duck and weave behind cloud or mist, deceiving and deluding and dreamily making shadows seem corporeal and animated.

There is nothing in this room which would allow the shadow to move, to shiver, to stretch and to reach out toward me, as though a spider deftly stalking an unknowing fly caught in thin silky web.

The shadow is moving, by some force unknown.

Some animus cheerleads it forward, those fingers like twiggy branches, almost touching my own shadow, toward the neck, where it wishes to sink its fingernails - so black and oily - into equally as black shadow flesh.

To squeeze and drain the shadowy life out of me, through this cruel assault.

The shadow creeps, another inch, so slowly, so nonchalant. So proud and driven, unrelenting in its mission.

I can feel a coldness that is pulled along. The shadow a comet, dragging ice and devastation on its wake.

From some unseeable, unknowable source.

I am frozen.

My shadow is frozen.

Until, the fingers of the hand in silhouette, drawn like some inkyblot Rorschach upon my wall, touches the very edge of my shadow self, and I am propelled, flying, arms and legs loose from surprise, neck and back braced suddenly by violent action, as my shadow self no longer frozen bolts for the open door.

I am thrown, ragdoll and dishevelled, as the shadow-me cannot bare to be touched by this willowy hand in jet black painted animatedly upon the wall.

The shadow-me wants to escape, and I am along for the ride.

Each step the shadow of my soul takes toward the front door and the dark shadowless obsidian of the outside world, umbrellaed in a sheet of impenetrable darkness - free of the advancing hand, free of the arctic chill of the sharp black fingernails. Free of this feeling of unforgettable cold.

I am torn from comfort and from warmth, the door bursting open, and I am tossed and discarded out into the world beyond.

My shadow breathing out deeply a breath of immediate relief, seconds ticking by, the clock making no sound. Idle hands moving at a gentle pace. Calmness, gently permeates the cool night air.

The starlit skies above me are not enough to cast a shadow, so I am alone.

No ghosts or spirits here.

Lay on my back, lungs heaving in great gasps of air, I am alone and free of that creeping hand that crawled and stretched and reached for me, that made my blood run like soup within my veins.


I am safe.

I am safe.

I am safe.


About the Creator

Andi James Chamberlain

Leicester, UK based author of novel "ONE MAN AND HIS DOGMA" released in Sept 2015, and short story collection "10 SHORT OF 31" released in Sept 2016.

He lives in exile with an order of Anxious Tantric Clowns and makes epic shit happen.

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