Shadow Man

Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

I saw a shadow man today, tracking me through the corn. It kept its distance, for which I was grateful, but it moved when I moved, stepped where I stepped, stumbled when I stumbled. It stayed with me for some time before I stopped and turned to face it.

Hey, there, shadow man, I called to it. Why do you shadow me today?

I could see its mouth open in response, but I could not hear its words. After a moment I shrugged and moved on. It shrugged and did the same.

We traveled together for a while in this way. The corn was tall, the sun high overhead, and I lost the shadow man several times. Each time, though, it reappeared and continued to shadow me.

Eventually, we reached the end of the corn, and the field opened onto a rolling hillside.

This is where I go, I said. Will you still shadow?

It thought this over for a moment, then shook its head.

Very well, I said. Perhaps I will see you again.

I waved and moved on down the hill.

The shadow man stayed, but I could feel it waving behind me.

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Comments (5 so far!)

  1. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    It’s been a while since my writer’s brain has been turned on, where I can pick a story out of the most mundane happenings. This one appeared when I went out to feed my animals this morning and I noticed (or thought I noticed) a shadow moving on the corn 150 yards away. It was too far away to be my own shadow, but it provided the seed for a new story. The idea grew while I dropped hay and grain, and when I got back to my desk, the whole story took me all of 15 minutes to write. Sometimes, the words do flow so very easily.

  2. Avatar Writearound

    Found this very spooky. Redolent of Peter Pan and his shadow which he had to have sewn back on. Although you suggest a sort of easy relationship between you and the shadow can’t help feeling the shadow has an agenda but then my brain works that way.

  3. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Yeah, it could be. This was the extent of the mental image I had in my mind this morning. Anyone who wants is welcome to explore the relationship further. :)

  4. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Very odd, but I like the tone and flow of it. For the most part it could easily be just an imaginative person talking to their own shadow, perhaps a fan of Peter Pan. Still, there’s just enough to allow for it to be more magical than that.

  5. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    And that was kind of the effect I was going for. It could be imagination, it could be insanity — or it could be something more. I liked the idea of just kind of toeing that line and leaving it up to the reader — just a little bit — to decide what’s going on.