The Boy and His Shadow

November 14, 2009
Tonight was a peaceful night, in the calm of the town of Gleemburg, Massachusetts. It was a quaint and sleepy little hamlet, often known for it’s many qualities of nature. The wind was blowing an eerie but soothing melody as the moon rose above the horizon beyond The people were all fast asleep with dreams or grandeur, horrifying nightmares, and some weren’t asleep at all. Children were often the subjects of this lack of sleep because of the things that often lurked in the shadows.

The most interesting child was a boy named, Edward Stromheart. He was a shy boy who did not stir or bother with friends for he had none to play with. He only muttered to himself and often went outside to watch the other children make merriment. His life was one shrouded in mystery and pity, for the boy knew of no one who would be his friend. So his nights would be those of loneliness and fear for the things hiding in the dark.

His cries of fear were ranging throughout his house, alerting his parents to their son. Both mother and father ran to his room to find what could ail their boy. When they arrived in his room, they found him crying beneath the sheets as if to believe nothing was outside.

“Dear child what stirs you in your slumber? What makes you weep while the moon has not reached full height?” begged father with concern in his voice.

“Oh father, oh mother, I fear that the devil has returned to kill me!” shuddered the small child with his finger outstretching from the blanket to shed light on his greatest fear: his shadow.

Mother yawned and shook her head in disappointment and walked away to return to her deep slumber. Father however stayed behind in hopes to calm his boy, and relieve him of his fears.

“Oh dear child, there is nothing to fear. Return to your slumbers and do not stir. Your shadow is not your enemy, but instead it is your greatest ally,” cheered father with great optimism. “Let me tell you of a tale my boy; it is a tale of a boy who also bore a shadow.”

It was ages past, and ages lost when this slumbering town bore true magic. Now it has all been put to waste and to naught by the mistrust of the hearts of men. Back then, a heart was all one needed to live a life of joy. The heart was something that made a human whole. It was the thing that made us strong enough to have friends, to profess love, to say no, and even to admit you were wrong. The people of this little burg needed only their hearts to make this place happy for all, whether friends or enemies.

The issue however arose when the first demon came. Demons were those who were born from a heart with too much darkness. They thrived on the suffering of humans and the darkness in their hearts. As they grew in number, they felt sweet sensations for the growing darkness, like bee’s attraction to nectar. If possible, they would have engulfed this land in eternal darkness had it not been for that one day, they came to meet a boy.
This boy was a frail child, brought up with no parents and no one to care for him. However, the boy had the strongest heart among all the people of that town. So one day he climbed up top to the highest scaffolding and mocked the demons.

“What foolish monsters you are!” cried the boy with an insulting tone. “To fly from the fist of a man! To ensconce yourselves within the bosoms of harlets! To flee at first light! Come hither and strike this target you shall never touch!”

The demons scoffed at the boy’s words and charged at him, with intents of teaching him a lesson in darkness. But they were driven back by mysterious power. It was the power of the boy’s shadow! It was his one and only companion through his years of suffering and loneliness, and now he was going to make good of it. Soon the monsters found themselves in a hasty retreat from the shadow and the light stirring from the boy.

Hope was now finally returning to what was once thought to be a land lost in darkness. The children could play outside without fear of the boogeyman that used to prowl at night. Men were free from the sexual seduction from the succubi. Woman were final able to venture for food without dragging a sword in fear of being devoured. Sailors could now traverse waters without fear of a siren to drag them down. Truly, this was the work of miracles.

The demons however, were slow to stop. They knew that a shadow needed light to shine in full. So they climbed the highest of mountains to steal the stars from the sky. They shooed the moon away with frightening looks and threatened to pour water on the sun should it rise. Candles were extinguished and angels were shunned. Soon, the world was engulfed in the choking blanket of darkness.

The boy found his shadow to be lost in the darkness and unable to help it’s friend. Everything around the child began to twist around him; the world he once saw as a place for light was now turning chaotic. There was too much darkness obscuring the light, and it frightened the boy. Never before had he been so melancholy, and so utterly alone. Without the light there to make his shadow appear, he was a useless shell.
However, the demons did not find the boy to be so useless; in fact, they found him quite appetizing. So the demons charged up on to the boy and began to feast upon his suffering and blot out the light in his heart. Each one would perform horrible things to horrify the boy even more. The boogeyman bit pieces his stomach off, while throwing some to the dogs. The Oni would beat the child with large clubs and used him as a ball. The succubi tricked the child with the promise of milk that stung his tongue like the breath of the devil.

Alas; all the effort made before now seemed to be for naught. The people’s only hope was slowly disintegrating into a mesh of disgusting mesh. The boy would soon be consumed by the darkness, and balance would never reshape itself again. But suddenly a spark came to his eyes. The child was terrified of these creatures but he knew that if he did nothing then his heart would be lost. So the boy gathered up the courage left in his heart and gave a large shout.

“ENOUGH!” he shouted.

The demons were frightened by a terrible light that poured from the boy’s heart. It was then the boy realized that the light of his heart was enough. It was the strongest light in the world and would rip through the blanket of darkness. So he yelled once more and repeated himself again and again as his light grew. Suddenly he noticed that his shadow had returned to him. So together, with his shadow they drove the demons back into the dark abyss from whence they came and illuminated the world in light for generation upon generation.

“You see child; our world has forgotten the things that boy and his shadow did for us, and now the demons roam this world once more. So remember; your shadow is there to protect you, and you have to embrace it, as if it was your own brother.” explained father before he left Edward’s room.

Edward sat in bed quietly, staring at his shadow without expression. Suddenly he smiled at the shadow and waved to it. If his shadow was his friend, then he knew he had to take care of it. It was then that he noticed that the horrible feeling he had before was gone. Was this his shadow’s doing?

“Thank you,” he whispered. “Goodnight.”

Edward dropped on his bed and began to fall in a deep slumber without noticing that he didn’t tuck himself in. However the sheet suddenly raised up and began to cover Edward as if someone was tucking him in. The shade stood there on the wall and danced with the light of the moon as the night began to pass, and new days would come for the boy and his shadow.

Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

AnnonymousFate said...
Dec. 28, 2009 at 9:05 am
It's a very captivating story. I couldn't stop reading it. Being able to draw you readers in like that is an essential for becoming a good writer. The grammar and spelling could be worked on, but other then that I thought it was a fine piece of work. Please check out some of my stuff as well. Particularly "Just a Guy" Thanks : )
GazellarendraThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 11, 2009 at 2:17 pm
Oh that's truly unique! Definitely resembles the brothers Grimm. I love the twist at the end and you have little to no grammaticalor spelling errors. I appreciate your realization on the fact that it may not have "enough meat" for a full length story, and this is true, but it makes a lovely short story. Perhaps you could continue with the adventures Edward and his shadows endure. Kudos to you!
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback