Immovable Shadow

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

In my dream I saw you in the morning sunlight as I got on with my business. From between cracks in the sidewalk, and spaces between shrubbery branches and blades of grass, you spied my every move.

Each time I stepped into daylight, I found you waiting, delusory and immovable. My ignominy grew with each sunny day. Though I saw myself in mirrors an upright man, outside you mocked my nature in your low mutated de-form.

One morning when the marine layer held, I shut my door and walked into a dense coastal fog. The cold mist hid me from you. A sense of relief overcame me. But as I continued to walk, and the sun’s heat dissipated the cold air, I could see your faint shape in vanishing vapors. Were you there laughing?

I found a brief reprieve at high noon when dimensions flattened you to nothing. But you returned in the afternoon, and passers-by distanced themselves, and dogs growled, and children ran behind trees.

Then I dreamed a time late in fall when short days were on my side, I took a walk after dinner when darkness hid me. But in the cold night sky as the rising harvest moon illumed, you returned laughing.

As a feral cat screamed from its post, I ran from you cowering under the cover of a eucalyptus. Its branches reached out to me. The familiar scent in my head kept you at bay. Unseen, you laughed louder and louder. In the distorted span of hours I couldn’t shake you from my mind. So I remained under the protective scent of the tree until I could no longer keep my vigilant eyes open.

Near the midnight hour I awoke in the imaginary void. You were in my thoughts. You were the inescapable darkness. You were everywhere.

I passed the remainder of night unmoved and on the cusp of daybreak, laughing on the border of lunacy, I assumed my monstrous form. I became the immovable shadow.

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