Shadows- The Original Story
Red orbs flashed at me when I stood, as if I were a genuine threat, and the pure black shadows in my room shifted to be of dimension and blade-like. All of the lines were directly pointed me and darkness started to swirl around my body as if I were standing in a glass of water with a droplet of black food dye dancing around me. The metaphorical glass I stood in remained still though, and when I sat back down on the edge of my bed, all signs of defense softened and faded away as if nothing happened. What I assumed to be red eyes turned white and the creature pushed itself off of the wall to face me directly and fear struck through all of my senses.
From my place on the bed, I guessed that my doorway was about eight feet tall. The silhouette was at least a foot shorter, making the figure larger than the average human. With the blue light from my speakers that bathed the wall and doorway, I could tell that it had a physical shape that seemed vaguely like that of a human, but there was a shape on its head that seemed much like that of a Stetson style hat.
In short: There was something else in my room and it was keeping me from leaving. What would happen if this thing started making advances? I may have seen it before, but for all I had known, it could have been staking out victims. It knew I was conscious and that I was probably in shock, but why wasn’t it moving?
Minutes passed, and soon the alarm clock on my bookshelf flashed one o’clock in the morning. Neither of us had made any move towards each other, but the shadow creature seemed comfortable in his spot, merely watching me. More time passed and he still made no move to come closer. Panic still danced through my nerves, but as more time passed, I decided that I needed to know a few things if this thing was going to harm me at all.
“Will you hurt me?” My voice pierced the palpable air between us. The creature shifted slightly and didn’t seem to answer.
No noise came in response.
“Why are you here?” Still nothing from the shadow creature. “Why are you here? What are you? Why won’t you let me stand?” Question after question, it still made no reply. More questions spilled from my mouth, trivial things: “What’s your name? Do you have a name? Are you an alien?” And finally, “Can you even speak?”
It was a commanding rumble that shook my ears, but low enough to still be a whisper. Goosebumps rose on my skin and the stillness around me intensified. Adrenaline filled my blood, but my fright left me frozen. Why would I ask questions if I wasn’t expecting answers?
“You are a strange human,” the shadow creature stood up straight and cocked his head off to the side, the hat remaining in place. He didn’t seem to have a mouth at first, but as soon as he turned his head, I could see the plain features of a young man’s face, no older than myself, underneath the blanket of shadows. The statement he made was nothing I hadn’t heard before and, if anything, true. “Barraging me with questions. Most would not do that, much less speak, and would be scared out of their wits, much like you are now. Does the fact that I can speak surprise you?” He paused, cocking his head to the other side, lighting up a small knowing smile on his lips. “Human, I exist beside you, just as I always have. I am as much an alien as you are and my name is Observer. I am here to feed off of your fright, as I am a parasitic being. You’re bristling in fear yet your eyes are glittering with curiosity, but you are undeniably frightened.” I opened my mouth to try to respond, but I found myself unable to breathe.
“So, if you’re here when I’m sleeping… You feed off of my nightmares? How else would you get fear from me like this?” I finally managed. I watched the smile grow larger and then a laugh burst forward from those lips.
“Smart. You catch on quickly.” The creature said, crossing his arms over his chest, as if expecting me to continue.
“You’re enjoying my current confusion.”
“Now you’re just grabbing at strings just out of your reach.” He gave off a seemingly loud and long sigh, swirling shadows dancing around his lips as he exhaled. “I was too quick to make a judgment of your wit.” There was a shift off to the right in the shadows around me. “I can’t and won’t physically harm you, just as you can’t harm me. Do you have any further questions?” Condescending tones usually brought out sarcasm in me, but in this moment, I found myself incapable to render such speech.
“Why-“ I stumbled over my own words, all of them jumbling together as my thoughts started to race. “Why are you called Observer?” Of all things I could have asked, why did I ask this? The more I look back upon this night, I can’t help but feel like I was an idiot for just simply trusting in him.
There was a moment of hesitation- did he not want to answer? His smirk of a smile disappeared in a near instant, but slowly started coming back. Then it hit me: he was surprised that I would ask this.
“Because that is what I do.”
“But those who observe don’t interact with what they’re studying.”
“Are you calling me a contradiction?” Laughter tinted his voice, as if he had heard a toddler say a curse word and was trying to scold them unsuccessfully. Confidence started to build in my stomach, as if it were building a tower around my currently jelly-like spine that helped me sit up straighter. He was treating this like a game, and if what he said was true, there was no consequence for me to play along.
“Well, if you are betraying your name by talking to me, I would say that you are.” I answered without a single shake to my voice. Laughter like thunder shook my head and I couldn’t help but smile myself. It was small though, something barely noticeable.
“Observer is not my name, but a job, human. Just because it is in the description does not mean that is the sole thing I do.” Another movement of his head showed the glimmering of teeth, all sharp and pointed.
“Why enlighten me?” I asked.
“You did not try to fight against me.”
“Your answers are so simple.”
“It is you who is simple, human.”
“Can you go away?” My lips pursed slightly and a movement like the shrugging of shoulders came in reply from him. “I can’t sleep with you just watching me.”
“You are usually able to sleep with me here just fine. And I keep the monsters away.”
“Monsters?” Those I hadn’t seen before. He was obviously pretty good at his job.
“They are those who feed off your pleasant dreams and then insert the bad. I merely feed off of your organic nightmares.”
“Oh.” I looked down, feeling stupid for not knowing the difference even though there was honestly no way for me to have known. When I looked back up, the shadow creature stood in front of me, arms still crossed. I raised an eyebrow as he crouched down to be eye level with me. With him being so close I could see the details of his face in the light of his glowing eyes.
“I have known you since you were very small, human.” He said quietly before patting me on the head with a feather-like touch. He left his hand on my head and continued. “You are safe.”
“Go to sleep, human.” His voice sounded exasperated, intoned with that inability to fully explain the complexities of something to a child. He removed his hand and then stood. After leaning over to press a soft kiss to the top of my head, he turned to go back towards his spot at the doorway.
With his back towards me, another shadow creature appeared in my room, rising in seconds and starting towards me. Long, octopus like legs scooted it across the floor, leaving a tar-like substance in its wake that seemed to come from its apparently scribbled on mouth. Eerie red eyes shone in the darkness, even brighter than the Observer’s.
This was not a monster- this was a nightmare.
As soon as the Observer turned around, his eyes glowed and darkness started swirling from the walls and around me like a cocoon. I watched as each tendril danced around me and then attach itself to my skin in a hurried way. In moments, I was almost completely encompassed in shadows, but the last thing I saw was undeniably glowing red eyes aimed at another dark figure in my room before the shadows boxed me in completely in a pitch black coffin. As my eyes shut and sleep overtook me like a wave, I could hear the noises of a fight and curses flying from the Observer’s mouth.
I would not dream that night.
When my eyes opened again, light filled the entire room, leaving not a single shadow cast.
Eyes wide, I merely hoped that nothing like that would happen again
Shadows is an original story by myself that I had to write for English this year as my final. This is the written version of this story.
Shadows is drawn and written by
Please comment and credit with a link to the original work if you are to post it somewhere else.