The Shadow Butcher | Teen Ink

The Shadow Butcher

October 8, 2016
By Quiltie BRONZE, Springfield, Pennsylvania
Quiltie BRONZE, Springfield, Pennsylvania
1 article 1 photo 0 comments

Within the deepest apartment buried beneath the streets of New York City resides the Shadow Butcher. He is a gruesome beast, human only in form and bone. His eyes bulge from his face, flicking this way and that, encircled by garish purple bags to rival the shadows he steals. Rumors of his thievery have made their rounds through the subway terminals, reaching the ears of quaking children and penniless nomads alike. There have been whispers of his trade, eyes seeking confirmation of the shadowless victims.

The Butcher strikes when the sun is highest. Equipped with a scalpel, he slips into the streets. He hunkers down into his trench coat as if resisting some unseen wind from the otherworld and melts into the bustle. With a pace matching the innocent masses and a wandering eye unnoticed, he waits for stragglers to turn toward the alleyways.

He preys upon those alone. A businessman with an anxious, trailing hand upon his head looking up to the nearest skyscraper, frantically whispering into the phone. A sweating baker bending to empty her dumpster. A teenager slouching through a grimy shortcut home.

The Butcher creeps behind. And when the sun angles just so, and a life-sized shadow splays lazily across the concrete, he slices.

He cuts the shadow from its partner-- he always swipes cleanly-- and gobbles it down into his greedy mouth. The shadows do not bleed. He swallows, briskly steps away. His victims never notice until it is too late: there is no shadow stemming sideways from their feet.

Beware the Butcher. You can run. Your shadow cannot.

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