Tag: Shadow

SHADOW: The Accident By Peg Scarano

Word: Shadow
Word Count: 488

The Accident
By Peg Scarano

It was Friday night of Memorial Day Weekend – no work and a sunny forecast for three days. The older girls had plans for the evening and Emily had gone to a friend’s birthday party. The phone call came around 8 p.m. “There has been an accident. Meet us at the ER!”

Rock and I were there in a matter of minutes. I had worked at the hospital my entire career and was confident whatever was wrong would be properly fixed and we would be headed home shortly. We were not allowed in her room right away. The dad of the birthday boy just said she was hit with a golf ball and kept offering apologies over and over. I was still confident Emily would be just fine.

We were finally allowed into her cubicle and I got to see her. Her face was covered in bandages and she tearlessly said she was OK. I gave her a confident smile and told her everything would be fine. Rock entered our little space and said I needed to speak with the doctor who was right there to whisk me away to a private area.

I was told Emily had a serious eye injury and would need to be transported to Cooperstown. An ophthalmologic surgeon had been called and was awaiting her arrival. The ambulance would be here momentarily. Julie rushed to the hospital and rode to Cooperstown with her dad while I rode in the ambulance.

The trip was a blur; the waiting interminable. Jenny arrived after Julie found her through a maze of mutual friends. Finally, sometime in the early morning hours, the surgeon emerged from the OR. I gave him a confident smile which was met with a somber façade followed by a tired sigh. He assured us Emily was resting comfortably and that he did all he could to help her. However, he was pessimistically optimistic about the recovery of her eyesight in her left eye.

Never in my wildest nightmares did I imagine the severity of her injury. A few stitches here and there and I figured she would be as good as new. For three days I clung to that optimism. However, on day three, after a thorough examination, the good doctor explained, “I am afraid Emily will never regain the sight in her left eye. The retina was severely damaged and the optic nerve was severed and cannot heal itself.” I reminded him it had only been three days – maybe she just needs more time. He very gently took one of my hands and one of Emily’s hands in his healing hands and said, “I can tell you now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Emily’s eye has been damaged beyond repair.”

Emily never cried – not once over the last three days and not that day. She looked at me and my uncontrollable tears and softly said to me, “It will be OK, mom.”

SHADOW: Shadow of Revenge by G. Ackman

Word: SHADOW
Word Count 499

Shadow of Revenge
by G. Ackman

Have you ever considered committing a criminal act? Deliberately and consciously contemplating doing something so blatantly illegal that jail time is a very real possibility? I would have said no – until this past weekend.

Last Sunday, I considered breaking a window, entering a closed business and taking something without permission. This was more than Poe’s “imp of the perverse.” This was a hostage situation and the business owner had something of mine that I was determined to get back. She had my dogs. I actually don’t think I would have gotten jail time – I’m a teacher, first offense and all that. Restitution and a fine – but oh, the media circus I would have instigated.

It all started several weeks ago when I planned our annual weekend getaway to Rockport, Massachusetts. Three days of over-indulgence in all things lobster, a balcony on the beach, a treasure trove of sea glass, and a whale-watching excursion. The latter required a dog sitter for my two dachshunds. I called a local dog groomer with five star ratings and she agreed to watch my babies on Sunday from 11:30 am to 5 pm. She arrived at 11:31, which should have been my first clue, but I stuffed my misgivings under the mantle of anticipation of a fun day and walked in. She immediately bent down to greet my dogs, which I found comforting. And after assuring me that I could call anytime and pick them up early if I desired, I said goodbye to my boys and left.

The whale watch was cancelled due to high seas, but my husband and I spent a leisurely day strolling on beaches and having a nice lunch. We decided around 3:30 to pick up the dogs, so I sent the owner a text. No answer. I called and left a message. No return call. We went to her place. It was dark and locked. No owner in sight. I could hear my boys crying and barking. We waited impatiently until the original appointed return time – 5:00. No owner. I called. No answer. I sent another text. No response. This went on until 5:30, at which time we seriously considered breaking the window and rescuing our dogs. A more rational thought prevailed and I began to dial the police, when the owner called me.

“Are you ready to head my way?” she blithely inquired. “I’m here” my terse response. “Ok, I’ll be there in 2 minutes.” 10 minutes later she arrived. No explanation. No apology. She opened the door and without turning on the lights, let my dogs out of the cage they had been in – no water, no bathroom breaks, in the dark, all alone, in a strange place. “That’ll be $50” she said, unaware of my seething rage. Knowing that any other response would be an exercise in futility, I threw the money on the counter, grabbed my babies, and left. The scathing reviews on facebook and yelp will have to be my shadow of revenge.

SHADOW: Shadow By Nan Ressue

Word: SHADOW
Word Count 426

Shadow
Nan Ressue
Maybe this is the day I can make my dream come true. I have thought about it for so long that it is hard to imagine that the time has come to try to make it happen. I’ll try my best but I have to wait for a sunny day. I can just imagine it. I am going to try to be free. Able to go where I choose, when it pleases me, and maybe convince a friend to come with me.
Yes, it’s going to be a beautiful sunny day today and my owner is going for a walk downtown.The time has come!
Here she comes and here I go!
“Nan! Nan!” I said in my biggest voice.
She looked around, up, across, over there, but not down.
“Down here”, I said. “No, no. down HERE>” It’s your shadow”
“Well, this is a surprise. What’s on your mind?”
I have a special request. You know how many years I’ve been with you and have never failed you on a sunny day? Man, you are OLD and it’s been a lot of years… So as a reward for all that loyalty, I want to be free and live my own life.
“I understand why you would feel that way but how do you propose to separate?’”“I’m thinking a plastic surgeon could saw us apart under your feet… guaranteed painless. Just think of the changes it would give me. On a day when you didn’t need company, I could do something that I chose all on my own… And I wouldn’t have to stay home on a cloudy day by myself waiting for the weather to clear.
“I certainly can see where it would make life more interesting for you, I replied… People and their shadows don’t always want to do the same things.”
“You would have to do some designing and make some decisions. Like how smart and how emotional am I going to be? And what are my rights and responsibilities when I am free?”
“OK”, I replied. “I think I can figure that out.”
I’ve never told anybody this but I have a secret dream that is very close to my heart. I would really like to be a reflection. Do you realize how wonderful it would be to wear colored clothes and have an identity? I know it would be a long process and I might not make it but I sure would like to try.”
“Check the yellow pages for that surgeon Shadow and let’s get underway…Freedom, here she comes!”
.

.

SHADOW: Lavender Loss By Sharon Collins

Word: HEART/SHADOW
Word Count 499

Lavender Loss
By Sharon Collins

Lavender Blue, Dilly-Dilly; Lavender Green; When I am King, Dilly-Dilly, you shall be queen… How these silly words assault me. Sitting here, humming them under Dame Willow’s leafy locks, I can testify that a broken heart still beats.
He is gone and will never call me Willy-Dilly again; or insist my eyes are Lavender Blue and Lavender Green; or pretend we will be King and Queen. That tangle of a boy did just what I expected; he asked. Did he do it private-like? Oh, no, he did it yesterday at the Summer-Gift-Giving-Festival, in front of the entire village. Squealing, the Kitchen-Cook gave the Dungeon-Master a hearty smack on the back. He pulled out his purse and gave her a silver, which she immediately tucked in her ample bosom. Of course, I said yes, as I must with this geis upon me, but the tears springing to my eyes said no. Widrick knows when yes means no; he’s been my shadow ever since Toby adopted him. What a pair, the Bee-Keeper’s-Boy translating for the Gate-Keeper’s-Girl… But now, he is gone.
After enduring the endless well-wishing, he walked me to the cottage I share with Magda the Midwife and her trained magpie with a vocabulary twice mine. It can say Welcome and Farewell, but rarely gets the right word for the occasion. What a pair of misfits we are, the Midwife’s-Magpie and me. Maybe that’s why Magda took me in after I replaced the Gate-Keeper the year his eyebrows broke, and then said yes once too many times to tinkers and ner’do-wells asking entrance. Well, we have a new Gate-Keeper, and I am now the Midwife’s Assistant with a new cottage and garden to tend when I am not tending others.
Widrick and I sat on the garden wall in the lavender twilight a long time before he took my hand, “Willy-Dilly,” he sighed, “ I know I ain’t yer idea of a Knight in Shinin’ Armor, but I love you from the bottom of my hurtin’ heart. I know you caint say no, and I’m sorry for puttin’’ you on the spot today. It’s jest that when I saw your pretty-self standin’ there, the only one tyin’ a grateful-ribbon on Dame Willow with the sun a-shinin’ on your strawberry-tea hair and you a-hummin’ the Lavender-Song… well, the words just tumbled out. I oughta have waited til we were alone…”
“Yes,” I nodded. “Yes.”
“Well, I ain’t holdin’ you to it. But I ain’t hangin’ ‘round here a’hankerin’ after what I caint have, so I’m leavin’. I’m goin’ on a quest startin’ at dawn tomorrow , just like a real knight. I’m headin’ up-river to learn how to remove this geis on you. And when I do, I will ask you agin. But fer now, I knows yer Yes means No.”
With a bow and a chivalrous kiss to my hand, he left. The fool magpie squeaked, “Farewell,” getting it right for once, as my sweet shadow faded into the night.

SHADOW: It is Time By Sally Madison

Word: Shadow
Words: 495
It is Time
By Sally Madison

As soon as Alexandria saw the messenger come into the room, she knew it was important news. The messenger had given her an ominous glance. The general dismissed her, and she left the room. She quickly ran to the barn to find Kolya.

The officers were returning to the castle after having inspected the troops on the far hill, where they had been camped for the past four weeks, preparing for battle, while waiting for the other divisions of their army to arrive. A great offensive was planned, only the timing was in question. The messenger had just left the castle when the officers hailed him to join them. “What news have you conveyed to the general, do we move soon?”

The messenger replied, “Yes, the general sent me to tell you that we move, tomorrow.”

Just then, Natalia was seen leaving the castle, going to the well. The first lieutenant noticed her, and commented to the second lieutenant. “It is too bad we will loose the fine hospitality and great meals that we have had here.”

“Can we not enjoy this hospitality, after we defeat our enemy? I would like to enjoy this pleasant time again,” replied the second lieutenant.

“Oh, no, we have orders that there can be no survivors. The woman of the castle understands Turkish, and she could have overheard our plans for the next siege of Vienna. Enjoy the feast tonight, but let no hint of the plan reach their ears, for tonight will be their last on this earth,” informed the first lieutenant.

In the shadows, from inside the barn, Alexandria could hear the conversation. She drew a deep breath. It is time to put our plan into action, she thought. She had prepared her companions, as best she could; now we can only pray that there is enough time for it’s completion.

Alexandria found Kolya in the garden. While picking a few beans for the supper, she whispered, “Tonight”. Kolya closed his eyes for a quick prayer, and nodded that he understood. He was ready.

Alexandria took the apron load of beans to the castle and found Alma. Alexandria dumped the beans on the table and whispered to Alma, “It is time.”

“It’s about time! Replied Alma, rather loudly. “I cannot wait to cook THIS supper; I’ve been planning this mushroom stew for weeks.”

“Hush!” admonished Alexandria. “We do not want to have our plans thwarted. Also, mix the valerian and the St. John’s Wart for the horses.”

Next, Alexandria found Natalia, who had returned from the well, and was pouring a cool drink for the general. From around the corner, Alexandria was able to get Natalia’s attention, and beckon her to come. Natalia, understanding the signal, excused herself from the general’s presence. “The time has come to follow our plan. But try not to draw attention. We will be in for a very long and hard night. I will give the signal when the officers are down.”

SHADOW: The Shadow Remains By B.A. Sarvey

Word: SHADOW
Word Count 500
The Shadow Remains
By B.A. Sarvey
By the time they reached the glade leading to Luna’s village, they all knew, through tales of his exploits, how Meme had treasured and taught a spirited Guff; Howard confided Dragnos were solitary by nature, and he still feared confrontation; Luna admitted she was headstrong but didn’t always know the best path. Luna translated the moths’ ideas about sacrifice: it didn’t matter how small or short-lived a creature was, its contribution was as important as anyone’s.
“But we still don’t know what better thing you found, Guff.”
“Of course you do,” he replied, his smile crooking from one ear to the other.
“I think G…guff means us, L…luna.”
Guff stopped, bowed. “Well done, Howard!”
“I thought maybe Meme was the better thing.”
“You and Meme are equally important,” he said. “She knew my purpose. You helped me fulfill it. What could be better than that?”
“Reuniting with your birth-mother?” Luna asked.
“I feel nothing for her. No hate. Yet, no longing. What happened, happened.”
Suddenly, the sky darkened. Small whirlwinds twisted across the dell, flinging sticks and dirt everywhere. Guff sheltered Luna. A split second of lightning illuminated them and Howard, whose wings protectively encompassed the moths. A whirring buzz, like locusts swarming, then silence. Just as suddenly, all was as it had been. Except for a niggling sense of unease. A shadow had been cast over their high spirits, unabated by Guff’s quip about a spectacular welcome.
The group moved apart. Howard spread his wings. Hesitantly, the moths fluttered, waiting for Luna’s signal, then ventured through the trees leading to her settlement. They soon returned.
“That can’t be,” Luna declared, visibly agitated by their mute communications. She strode through a gap in the trees and out of sight.
“W…what are you w…waiting for?” A slight tremble moved along Howard’s wings. “We m…must stay together.” Glancing back at Guff, he followed Luna. Guff quickly caught up.
As they entered what should have been the village, they saw Luna on the ground, beneath the heap of her loden cloak, hands grasping at undisturbed grasses. “Where?” she keened. “Where are they?”
“Have we come to the right place?”
“P…perhaps we are l…lost.”
“No,” moaned Luna. “My clan. Not us. My clan is lost. Vanished.”
Taking in the expanse of grassy paths meandering among stands of saplings and scrub, Guff, though foreign here, knew nothing was right about the scene. “How?” he asked.
“It’s as though nobody has ever lived here. Animals, perhaps. No people. My family—gone.” Luna sobbed.
They heard nearby river waters cascading over rocks, but saw no evidence of flooding—or anything else—that could explain a village vanished. Not only were the people gone, but no huts, no cooking-pits, no cloth or trinkets were to be found. Then, one moth flew to Luna, a pale green ribbon gripped by its spiny legs.
Luna stroked its satiny softness against her tear-streaked cheek. She rose resolutely, shook leaves from her cloak, breathed deeply. “Today, we rest. Tomorrow, we consult Meme.”