The Guest.



(Flash fiction on a theme of “shadow”)

My friend the shadow dwells with me. Like a comfortable blanket he shrouds my existence sucking the colour from the shades I glimpse beyond our window. Colours that blaze and glow in the life of others fizzle and die upon my bleak casement, shadow cloaks them.

It wasn’t always so. There was a time I lived amidst the colours, radiant and free, but now I live with shadow, he pales the hues that would hurt my eyes.

Alone with shadow I rest, afraid to raise the blinds upon the outer world, to look upon others in their bright resplendent hues. My clothes are soiled and torn with the wounds of life. That’s why I chose to live here with shadow, he comforts me.

There is a knock on my door. I tremble as it opens. Why it is not locked? I shade my eyes, but no light streams in, just a tiny glow, a candle held in trembling hand. Her clothes are torn like mine, her countenance somber, dim. From somewhere I remember her face. It was brilliant then, peach, rose and gleaming blue. Now it is grey like mine.

She holds the candle high. “I thought we might enjoy this together. It’s not too bright; it doesn’t hurt to look at. Don’t you think it beautiful?”

I trace a flicker of colour in her cheek, soft hues in her hair.

“Yes,” I breathe, “It is lovely.” We sit side by side enraptured by the tiny flame. I slip my arm around her shoulders. It feels good not to be alone.

One day when we are brave we will let the light in again and I’ll see the red curls I once played with and she’ll look deep in my brown eyes and I hope she’ll say “I love you.”


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