Shadows

 
I was raised in a quiet neighborhood on the outskirts of San Antonio. We
rarely had to be concerned with the crime and theft that was common in
the city. As the city began to grow out toward us, however, our parents
reluctantly started locking the doors and leaving on the lights outside
at night.

Several houses down the street, the parents of a boy named Matt had begun
missing jewelry. They were becoming concerned that someone may be
taking the items from their house.

One day we were playing in front of their house as Matt was taking
a nap. (Baseball. I wasn't very good at baseball. If someone hit a pop-fly,
I usually caught it with my face. The ballpark a block away, hadn't been
completed yet, and we were forced to slide into home on the pavement.
We went through a lot of blue jeans).

Just as someone was leaping up to catch a pop fly, Matt bolted out
of his house screaming like demon dogs from hell were snapping at his heels.
The forgotten baseball hit the street and bounced off into a yard as we ran
to him to find out what had happened.

Matt took a few seconds to catch his breath as he sat down on the curb,
occasionally looking over his shoulder at the house. After he told us
his story, it was a long time before we went back into his house.

Matt had been fighting the nap his mother wanted him to have, laying
in his bed and staring at the wall. His mother had walked down the street
to visit a neighbor.

As he lay there, he saw a pair of shadows rise up the wall in
front of him. They appeared to be fighting silently over something, pulling
it back and forth between them. The struggle escalated into hitting and
strangling. Matt laid terrified and speechless as he watched. One of shadows
suddenly reached up and gouged out the eyes of its opponent.

At that point Matt jerked around to look for the source of the shadows. No
one was there! He looked back at the wall. The injured shadow was holding
its face in its hands, while the other shadow reached down to pick up
the object they had been fighting over.

Finally something in Matt snapped and he ran screaming from his room
and out of the house.

Matt's mother came walking up the street as he finished telling us the
story. When she asked why he wasn't inside taking his nap, he retold the
story for her (only he had been a little braver in this version).

She was skeptical to say the least.

When his mother entered the house, she was shocked to find the contents
of her jewelry drawer strewn about her bedroom and down the hall.
She never brought up the subject again.

They moved out of the neighborhood a few months later.

 Return to Chickenskin



 
This page was last updated on June 4, 1998.
You can send YOUR stories to Chickenskin.
Copyright 1996-2005 Tim Stevens. All Rights Reserved.