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It is dark. It is dark and you are in the woods. It is dark and you are in the woods and you are being followed. It is dark and you are in the woods and you are being followed and you cannot do anything but continue being followed in the dark woods.

My mind could process nothing but that string of words. I was like a helpless child, trapped between my thoughts and the truth behind them. It is dark. It was indeed dark. There were no stars out. The night was lit poorly by only the moon. I could not see the large root jutting from the earth before I tripped over it and landed face-first onto the damp, hard ground. It is dark and you are in the woods. I was indeed in the woods. I did not remember how I got there or which woods I was in, but I knew I was surrounded by trees and bush and perhaps even a creature or two. It is dark and you are in the woods and you are being followed. I was indeed being followed. By who? I had no idea. Why were they following me? I did not know this either, but I knew they were following me, and more than likely I was in danger of sorts. It is dark and you are in the woods and you are being followed and you cannot do anything but continue being followed in the dark woods. I did indeed not have any other option but to be followed by my mysterious stalker. I could not get away from the follower, I was too weak to run. As usual, I was walking in circles on a path I could not stray from, but this time I had stumbled. And instead of standing, I stayed and awaited the approach of my follower.

This unusual turn of events threw off both me and my follower. I transformed from a fragile, terrified girl to a brave and ready opponent. I did not think I stood a chance, but I was not going down without a fight. I had been followed too long. I had let this person destroy me from the inside out. I was done being someone else's puppet. My courage became obvious, and my follower stopped in their tracks. I willed my body to move towards them, again surprising both parties. I studied my follower intensely.

I could not tell a gender. This person was wearing a large black trench coat and a black hat that revealed nothing but more blackness underneath. I looked down at their feet and saw nothing. It was as if they were levitating above the ground composed of nothing but darkness. This was a shadow. This was my Shadow.

This intense realization made me stop dead in my tracks. I was standing so close to the Shadow that I could feel the hatred and evil pulsing from the creature. It was like gravity. The Shadow was silently threatening to pull me in. It drew me close, and I became woozy. I did not want to fight the Shadow, it seemed too challenging. I wanted to jump into the Shadow and let the pain envelop me and control my life as I had for so long. Just as I was ready to topple into the Shadow's abyss, I grabbed onto my strain of thought. ...and you cannot do anything but continue being followed in the dark woods. Yes I could. I could do something. I could fight back.

I held onto the small ounce of courage I had developed earlier. I bent to the ground and picked up a large rock, ready to throw it at the Shadow in the hopes of something happening and the Shadow leaving me. As I prepared to throw, the Shadow transformed. The Shadow became a mirror, and I found myself looking directly at my fragile body.

I did not look like me. I was wearing only my tank top and sleep shorts, and most of my body was exposed. My collar bone jutted out greatly. My arms looked so thin and frail. My hips were bony and protruded from my pelvis. My long dark hair lay limp on my small shoulders. But saddest of all, my eyes were grey and sank into my yellowed face. My eyes that were once blue and so full of life and laughter had faded to grey. I was lifeless, but I could do something about it. I took my rock and threw it as hard as possible, and I watched my Shadow disappear in the form of a hundred tiny glass shards.

The beep of my alarm clock jerked me out of my sleep. I had been crying. I jumped out of my bed quickly and had to sit down to regain my balance. I hit the snooze button and left my room. I went straight downstairs and headed for the kitchen. My mother glanced at me with a tired look of concern that had obviously made sleep for her very strenuous for a while and stayed silent. To her surprise, I opened the pantry. I found my favorite chocolate granola bar box, grabbed a granola bar, ripped the package open, and felt my Shadow begin to disappear in the form of a hundred life-changing calories.

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Jenim said...
Oct. 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm
The story was great leading up to the last paragraph, where I felt you kind of deystroyed the whole meaning of the work by eating the chocolate and being comforted by it. If the message was that nervous eating makes you feel like a million bucks, then rock on. Otherwise, I might change the last paragraph up just a little bit.
lonelyLaviathin replied...
Oct. 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm
i think what she was going for was that the chocolate granola bar was the first step she took from the shadow of anorexia into the light of being healthy. i didn't get that she was saying it made her feel like a million bucks. did you really read it or did you just skim?
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