The Shadow

June 3, 2008
By Nat Wilson, Dexter, MI

The train raced down the tracks at quite passable speeds, as I lay idle, thinking about my day. It had been a fairly normal day, for a job on the set of the ‘Nightmares & Dreamscapes’ telenovella. Stephen King had taken an extremely popular turn on the channel I worked for, so we created a show to gain viewers. If you didn’t know, a telenovella is like a television show, but has a set end time. It’s like a movie split up into different episodes.

Where I derailed my train of thought, I was taking the last train still running on solar energy home. Everyone now wanted to ride the electromagnetic, silver 300 miles per hour trains, but I liked the silence of the solar power. We weren’t going very fast, and I had some time to be alone with my thoughts and watch the scenery amble by.
I saw an odd figure, a balloon advertisement for a car dealership. But unlike the usual gorilla or Godzilla, this figure was cloaked, a hood disguising any face it had. It had one long, outstretched arm reaching forward. I knew it was silly, but as we rode past it I saw straight down into the inky blackness of its cloak and the room became cold. I shivered but no one else in the room noticed. We stopped and I knew it was my stop. I thought nothing of the dark figure and continued home.
No one ever drove home. Everyone walked or biked when they weren’t on the train. So, while I was walking home, I again had the chance to think and admire all that surrounded me. I saw a small bird eating cheerily. I saw flowers blooming. Nothing I saw on the way home reminded me of the ghastly balloon. But still I thought about it. It wasn’t the shape of it, no it was the color, the shade that shut off everything and tortured all who had the misfortune to… NO. That was going overboard. It was a silly marketing ploy that didn’t work. Some worker would get their head chewed off for it. There were no frightful shades of black. Nothing at all about it could scare me. Even after all this, I still walked home briskly to leave that figure behind.
Tomorrow was normal, as was the day after. I noticed the balloon was taken down, and that pleased me. It seemed that day my imagination gone amuck. I wondered why my brain would play a trick on me, but still thought little of it. The third day after the sight, however, I was walking home and I saw a sparrow pecking idle at the cement, waiting for someone to throw some seed to it. It looked up as I passed, and in that split second the malice in its eyes without pupils or iris’ or anything but a deep pit of black, in the glance it threw at me, I felt the same degree of cold as I had when I saw the balloon. Then the bird flitted away, and I nearly saw the world get darker where it flew. I sprinted the rest of the way home, anxious to be away from that bird.
The next day passed easily, no birds or ominous figures that chilled my very heart for a second. Nothing at all to worry my little head about. Now as you could have guessed, the next morning, I had left my house no more than 5 minutes ago and I was a fine, and was thinking about costumes and such when I saw graffiti on the sidewalk. Being the curious person I am, I stopped to read it. My heart fell. The word was meaningless; ‘DREDS TURF’, probably a gang title, but the same murky depth of the black enveloped my mind like a vice. I felt an oddly similar temperature of cold. I could feel my mind slipping away from me, from the cold, but quickly I got up and briskly walked to the train station.
That night, I slept mostly fine. I woke up once, at about 2:30 in the morning. Nothing at all about it was too odd, but I felt a little thirsty so got up to get a drink. The kitchen light wasn’t on, so on it went. Nothing at all jumped out at me, or was there that wasn’t there before, or anything supernatural. I grabbed a glass and turned on the faucet. I gasped and stared in shock. The water coming out of the faucet was deeper and darker than the black I saw when I woke up. I felt cold, a familiar cold, and numb. Suddenly I felt a weight on my arm and snapped into reality. I had a nearly full glass of water, dark only because of the blackness outside.
I had some trouble getting to sleep, so naturally I woke up late the next morning. Despite my frantic way of getting ready, I was still quite late to work. Nothing of interest happened until I was told The Boss needed to see me. I glanced at the clock. It was 11:00. I could survive this meeting.
I was wrong. Losing my job was not a possibility I had considered. I staggered out of the office, out of the building, out of the train, into my home. It was now about 11:30. I flopped on the couch, in front of the television. Flicking randomly through, I couldn’t foresee what happened next, although in hindsight I should’ve. Channel surfing was simple, and by now I had spammed the remote with my commands to change the channel. On one channel, however, nothing was showing.
NOTHING. For the instant I saw the screen before it quickly changed, yes, you guessed it, I froze. My mind shut off, and my body slipped from my grasp. I felt as though I was in a walk-in freezer and forgot to walk out. I sat there, staring at the screen. Then, of course, I noticed it had stopped on some addle-brained cartoon and quickly shut the television off. In a hurry, I left to go get some lunch. If I was honest with myself, I would say I wanted to get away from the television, maybe even sell its 48-inch glory, but I could never be that silly.

3:30 now, time to go see some friends. I decided to see them on a whim, nothing more. I went to the computer; social networking could help me get in touch with SOMEONE! I quickly found a good friend online, Vince, whom I hadn’t seen in months. Our conversation went a little like this:
varnishvince says: HEY! I haven’t seen you in a long time!!!!!
Thesillhouette says: ya I know hey how bout getting some dinner later huh?
Varnishvince says: cool lets meet at that deli the French place k?

The conversation continued on like that, boring to other’s ears. After a while, though, something interesting happened.
Varnishvince says: k kool well g2g
Thesillhouette says: noo!!!! Don’t leeeeeeaaaaaaveee!!1
Varnishvince says: I have to go wish I didn’t tho.

The conversation again continued boringly. I must have started to get on his nerves, however, as at 4:03:41, my good friend Vince wrote:
Varnishveince says: g2g. I mean it this time. G2G!!

In retrospect, I should have been more prepared for the way he typed it. The plain blackness of the letters found me, took control of everything in my body and made me freeze. The chat room closed and I realized I had stopped moving of my own accord. Rushing, I fought to come to reality. I felt warmer and instantly knew I had been ice cold. Shakily, I prepared for my dinner with Vince. There wasn’t much to prepare. Vince would probably be less formal than I was even if I came in rags. I wish I knew how he managed the air of total casualty.

The dinner went well, with one glaring exception. All throughout the dinner, Vince’s eyes were empty, as though his body was merely a puppet. It took every ounce of my self -control not to run screaming from the room. I didn’t notice the food, or the wine, or anything about the dinner, even the conversation. The soulless eyes staring back at me for the entire hour were mesmerizing with their icy black beauty. I subconsciously sped home, barely seeing the road, eager just to get away from the eyes. I can remark now how I deeply began to go off the deep end.

Dessert: the perfect time of day. Nothing could make me feel better than eating whatever I wanted. Needless to say, I probably consumed 3-4 pounds of anything resembling dessert in the house. I didn’t even go near one thing, though, the 98% dark chocolate given to me for my birthday. It was in a box, and I could see that there was an inky depth inside. Being smart, I stayed away from it. Then it was in my hands, being eaten. I couldn’t understand why I had eaten the chocolate. The last one was eaten and my empty hands grasped the box. The sight that awaited me was not surprising, though in my hallucinatory state, nothing was expected. Yes, an awful blackness greeted me, eager to stop my body and clench my soul in its grip. I forgot my body. My mind was wandering, and I saw myself stand up and turn towards the door. That was enough to make anyone freak. I came to, facing the door. The clock I suddenly found in my hands read 7:45. Not a suitable time to sleep. I sat and waited for time to pass.

8:00ish. Stuff would be coming on television soon. I channel surfed, slower this time, remembering my other experience. I found some boring show that looked as good as any and decided to watch. A commercial came on for a car of some brand. I saw the car and remembered to be wary only too late. The racing car controlled me, putting my mind into another corner of the universe as I watched my body get up. Struggling to get to consciousness, I couldn’t contain my agony. Now I felt fire surrounding me, blackening my skin. Nothing could save me. I cursed myself, the world, everything I could think of. And then I felt better, more alive. I stared blankly at the fireplace, now with a nice roaring fire and my hand in it. I took my hand out, shocked at myself. My hand was fine, to my surprise.

From then on, the sightings became more and more frequent, each wit h its own bizarre surprises. Once I had on gloves, once I had shampoo in my hair. One thing was certain throughout all, though: incomparable pain. I was certain I couldn’t survive, than I did. My life got worse and worse until one day, I saw a newspaper that had appeared in my hands. I was expecting to have a sighting now, expecting the awful pain and icy wave to close in on my body. But the darkness didn’t come, and I then glanced at the headline. It was the middle of the newspaper; it could’ve been any page.
Jordan Pure
Today we mourn Jordan Pure. Jordan Pure worked on the set of the telenovella ‘Nightmares and Dreamscapes’ for the majority of their working life, from 3 June 2003. Jordan Pure died under mysterious circumstances, expected starvation. Poor Jordan’s working life ended 7 May 2008, and later Jordan died on 17 May 2008. Jordan never left their house after losing job. Neighbors report screams occasionally ensuing from house in growing succession. We mourn Jordan today and give our deepest respects to all of Jordan’s friends and family.
As I read it I could feel my soul leaving my body. I felt warm, and slightly pleased as I read the article. When I finished the article, I could feel my soul plunging down, down into a deep blackness, never to return.

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