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The sign on the door said, in fancy cursive, ‘Shadow’. I never thought I’d come here, but finally the curiosity got the best of me. I was going to go in. The name fit it. It was always a shadow, a shadow in a city, a town, the middle of nowhere. Normally the older showed the younger where it was; but I had the eye. I knew things, I saw things, I was good with details. I had a good fashion sense (which, for a 16-year-old, is one of the best compliments you can give her). I pushed the door open and stepped in. It closed behind me. Thick black curtains made of velvet made the walls. I didn’t touch them. I didn’t know where the lighting was coming from, but it was dark purple and barely there. It was as if it was coming from a black light. I stepped forward, then noticed the sign. ‘Leave shoes here,’ it said. I took my tennis shoes off, then my socks. I stepped onto thick black carpet, my feet sinking into it. It’s as if this place was made to creep you out. But what else can you expect from a store named Shadow?
I continued forward until I came to a black brick wall. There was a sign. It said, ‘Shop’ and ‘Office’, with an arrow pointing to the right underneath office, and an arrow to the left beneath shop. I didn’t want to run into any people – or at least, as few people as possible. I didn’t plan to buy anything, but I had my purse and my wallet. My wallet had $50 in it, total. I didn’t know why, since I was only planning to be in Shadow to satisfy my curiosity. I came into my shop.
It had fine trinkets, love charms, old books, crystal balls, magic prisms, all very dark, magical, and probably expensive. Then I noticed a sign against a wall, saying, ‘Non-magical items this way’. So I browsed the supposedly non-magical section. There’s where I found the dresses.
They were in a large variety of colors, but all dark. There was black, of course, and a lovely emerald green, a stunning amethyst purple, a gorgeous midnight blue, and a viciously pretty blood-red. I gasped. They were all so amazing… I shifted through them, just looking, and then saw a beautiful dress. It was one of the midnight blue ones. The material was silk, and it flowed and swayed. It wasn’t a ball gown or anything like that, but if you spun it would probably fly up and out so that everything below your waist was revealed. It had short sleeves that would fit loosely, and probably went just barely past the shoulders. I had to try it on. I wasn’t going to buy it. I dared not look at the price tag. I took it to the dressing rooms in the back, then put it on. When I looked in the mirror, all my suspicious were confirmed.
Even though there was only one of it (and what’s the chance of anything being in your size when there’s only one?), it fit me perfectly. It was as if it was made for me. And wearing it, I told myself one thing.
I must buy it. I looked at the price tag, and my hopes – thankfully – fell. Ninety-three dollars and seventy two cents. Plus, of course, tax. But then someone knocked on the door.
“Ma’am,” called a meek little voice, “Are you dressed?” I unlocked and opened the door. A humble woman stood there, looking shy and distinctly mouse-like.
“My, that dress looks beautiful on you,” she complemented me, “You look wonderful in it. But can you afford it?” When I shook my head, she continued. “I could probably make you a deal for, oh, under fifty dollars, depending on what necklace you pick out…”
“I could get a necklace too?” I exclaimed. This is fantastic! She nodded.
“Yes, and you should keep that dress on so you know which one matches it,” she said. I was won over and I hurried over to the “non-magical” necklaces. I browsed through them, then I found the perfect one. It was a silver chain, with a single dark sapphire on it. It glittered in sparkled. I held it up to my neck.
It brought out my dark blue eyes and the dress, while still holding its own. The sales clerk came over.
“That’s forty dollars, then, miss,” she said. I quickly handed it over. I went back to the dressing rooms and got out of the dress, lovingly folding it, and then I laid my necklace over it.
“I’ll put that in a bag,” the salesclerk said through the door. I opened it and said thanks. I had ten dollars left, so I went over to the cheap stuff. Wow. Even cheap stuff in Shadow was stunning. Finally, I found a pair of silver earrings. It looked like vines all tangling together, and was designed to cover all of the lobe, plus the side most of the way up your ear. I put them in, and grinned as it fit. I paid for them then took them off, putting them in the bag with the other stuff. And I started home.
But just as I was about to turn in the main hallway, I paused. And started for the office. I wanted to know. The place nearly blinded me when I got in there. It was so… freaking… white. White walls, white velvet curtains, white floor (that was also cold and hard), white everything. Even the two workers – they both had white hair, even though one was darker-skinned. Barely. The other one was stark pale.
Vampires was the first thought. And at their smiles, I caught their pointed teeth as they waved in unison. I shuddered, and turned to backtrack. But I ran into a velvet curtain. I whirled around. Where had the door gone?! I looked wildly around.
“Calm down,” said one.
“We won’t harm you,” said the other.
They had monotone voices. And I realized – they were under some sort of mind control! What was this place?! What was Shadow?!
What the hell was going on here?
“Where’s the door?” I demanded.
“Patience,” they said in unison. And I shuddered. This was a terrible place. Then a woman breezed out, wearing a black dress. She had an olive skin tone and dark red hair. She had painted her nails black, but I could see red designs on them. They were long, and I had no doubt they were sharp.
“Well, well, well. Little Adelina, come to satisfy her curiosity. At last. You have the Third Eye, the Second Sight, the Sixth Sense. Whatever it may be called, you have it.” She smiled coldly.
“Welcome to Shadow. Most of it is a shadow, but here, we try to eliminate it. It’s how the Control works.”
“The… C-Control?” I stammered.
“It’s on them.” She gestured to the two vampires; they could be called nothing more then slaves.
“But don’t worry, I don’t want to use it on you. Yet.” And then she snapped her fingers, and I saw the mind control taken off. Their hair turned normal – one brown, and one a normal dark blonde – and their clothes turned to, probably, whatever they had been wearing before the Control happened. They shook their heads and blinked.
I ran. I shoved my way through those damn curtains and fought out into the darkness. I made my way to the shop, trying to find the clerk. I ripped open a back door and saw her jump, turning around.
“There’s vampires on the loose!” I exclaimed, “We need to get out of here!”
“Mistress has never released them before!” she cried, then: “You still have your bag!” I found what I assumed was her money box and handed them to her.
“Come on!” We made our way through the curtains, and then I saw them. In front of us. The vampires. There was no way. And then she yelled something.
“Ovidius nodimarus!” she cried, and they were thrown into the curtains. We ran by, me grabbing my socks and shoes, and then yanked open the door into sweet sunshine. The vampires were stopped, forced to wait. But the sun was going down.
“Get out and into shadow, fast!” I cried. Surprisingly, they listened to me and ran out, burning a little but making it.
“YOU LITTLE BRAT,” shrieked the woman’s voice in my ear. I fell to the floor, clutching my head. I noticed the others were doing it too. A couple walked by, looking at the weird psychos. They hurried off.
When I looked up, the door was gone. All that was left was the sign. The sign on the wall said, in fancy cursive, ‘Shadow’.