Light, Dark, and the Shadow Heart | Teen Ink

Light, Dark, and the Shadow Heart

April 14, 2015
By theporcelaingirl BRONZE, Austin, Texas
theporcelaingirl BRONZE, Austin, Texas
4 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't point the blame when you can't find nothing, look to yourself and you might find something..." Sleeping With Sirens



That's all I can see.




That's all I can feel.




That's all I know.


Where am I? Where is my family? Where are my friends? What is going on? Why is the sound of my heart racing the only thing that I can hear?


Questions. That's what's running through my mind.


"Help!" I yell, but there is no noise. I try to speak again.




What the h---? I try to scream, I try to shout, I even try to sing.




I try to flail my arms around me, but they won't move. Great. I'm falling, and there is no way for me to possibly save myself. But why can't I move? Why can't I talk? Why can't I see or hear? What the h--- is going on? My stomach jolts and my heart leaps into my throat. I'm not falling anymore. Am I somehow floating, or am I on the ground? If I'm on the ground, how could I have not felt my body collide with the floor? Is there even a floor? Am I even on earth? Is there even an earth? Am I even alive? Was I ever alive? Come to think of it, I have no memories. There are no faces to scan through in my mind, no birthday parties to reminisce, nothing. I don't even know what my voice sounds like. Am I male or female? I know nothing. The only thing I have is my mind and the steady beating of my heart.




How can I hear the beating of my heart if I can't hear anything else? Maybe I can hear, but I just can't make any noise. Maybe I can't make any noise because maybe I'm not human. Am I an animal? Oh God, I hope I'm not a bug. If I could shudder, I would, but I can't. So I'm just going to have to think about the infinite possibilities of who or what I am. I could be dead. I could be just a lost spirit that was never brought into the world. I could be drifting forever for all I know, just hovering in nothingness. Do I even have a body? I groan in frustration. Hold on, I just grunted. I made a noise. This is progress. I try to see where I am, but I'm still blind. But I can see shadows. My eyes fly open. I chuckle at my idiocy. I'm so stupid! My eyes have been closed the whole time. My eyes fly to my right and left and I see that I have arms. Human arms. Human hands, human legs, human feet, human torso. I'm human! I try to wiggle my index finger. It twitches. I try harder and I manage to close my hand into a fist. I laugh. I bend my legs and stretch them out again. I wiggle my toes. I twist my wrists around. I can move! 


"Hello?" I whisper.


I can talk! I slowly crane my neck downward. I'm female! I wonder what my name is. I'll call myself...Jordan. Yes. That sounds right. I look around me, taking in my surroundings.


I gasp.


I'm no where. I'm floating in literally nothing. I'm in a world of white that stretches on in every direction. My heart sinks. Maybe I am dead. I manage to turn myself over so that I'm floating on my stomach. I see that I have a shadow. If there's a shadow, there has to be light. I look up and squint as I'm blinded by white light. I look back down, trying to judge the distance from where I'm floating to the ground. It doesn't seem far. I swim through the air, struggling to actually move. I don't know that I've actually moved until my head bangs into the ground. I curse to myself. I press my hands down onto the firm, white floor and try to right myself. I finally manage to get my feet onto the ground. The gravity is weird here, wherever here is. I look around me. I'm still surrounded by white.




There's something dark coming my way. I squint, trying to make out what it is. It's a shadow, I'm sure of it. But I'm not casting that shadow. So what is? It's getting closer and closer and my heart speeds up. The shadowy figure is getting closer. It's huge and my heart picks up it's pace. My heart stops as the shadowy figure grows bigger while more and more shadowy figures come out from behind it. There are thousands of them now, and they're all coming toward me. They are only a few feet away from me now.






They are now on top of me, pulling at my hair, tugging at my clothes, scratching my skin. I close my eyes and drop to the ground, shielding my head, trying to protect myself. It's not working. They seem to be reaching inside of me, through my skin. I feel them tugging at my heart. I scream as I feel them squeeze it, then rip it out of my body. One shadow is clutching it in its hand, blood dripping down from my still beating heart. It squeezes it so hard I'm afraid it's going to burst. I grit my teeth in agony, wondering how the h--- I'm still alive. The figure seems to grin as it plunges my heart into its own body. The figure then shakes and twists until it has taken a human form. I stare into the eyes of the figure, a seemingly normal human being. I recognize the face that it is wearing. I realize with terror that it isn't just any face. It's mine.



I jolt awake, drenched in sweat. It was only a dream, but I still clutch my chest. I relax when I feel my heart beating inside my chest. I freeze as I hear something like a whisper. I reach over to my bedside table and fumble around until I find my lamp. I turn it on. I scan my room. I am about to turn off my lamp and go back to sleep when I see something move. I look toward where I had seen the movement out of the corner of my eye. It's just a shadow cast by a sweater hanging from the end of my bed. I see the shadow move. It must be my eyes playing tricks on me. Shadows can't move. But then, the shadow seems to detach itself from my sweater. The sweater no longer has a shadow because its shadow is now inching it's way toward me. The shadow rises from the ground and becomes a three dimensional blob. I throw myself back down onto my bed and yank the covers up and over my head. I see the shadow pass through the blankets. It reaches toward my chest. It pulls my heart out, a sickening snap sounding as my heart is ripped from my body. I'm choking on my own sobs as the shadow squeezes it. It somehow grins at me as it shoves my heart into its shapeless body. It then twists and forms into a human that wears my face. I look down at myself. I'm now a shadow. I float up from my bed, my memories slowly fading.

So this is how it works, I realize. A shadow takes the heart of a living human being, turning itself into a human being. The person that the shadow had stolen the heart from then turns into a shadow. I realize that I'm going to forget who I am. I realize that no one will ever know what happened to me. My family and friends will all think that the shadow is me. The shadow will continue to live my life as if it had been born as me in the beginning. The worst part of this all was knowing that I would lose myself and have to cause the loss of someone else too, one day. And I wouldn't even know what I was doing. I slowly drift into nothingness, my world turning from my bedroom, to the white, empty world that I had seen in my dream. The last thing that I can say before I fade into an empty, lost shadow, a warning really, is that it isn't a dream. It has never been a dream. And the shadows? Well, they're not just shadows. The shadow that follows you as you take a walk along the beach isn't just a shadow. The darkness that you played with as you made shadow puppets with your friends at sleep overs isn't just a shadow. It's living and breathing. It's conscious of only the fact that it hungers for the pumping heart of a human being. So next time you see something moving in the dark, be prepared. Because you're our next victim. We could strike at any time. And right now, I can hear your heart beating faster and faster as you look at your own shadow and laugh nervously, thinking that this is all just one story. I thought that too, once. I thought it was just a story based on some nightmare that someone once had. I thought it was just a story told at campfires just to try to scare the youngsters. But no. I see it all now. We're real. So don't ignore me when I say that you are never safe. Not in the light, not in the dark. You will never be safe, even when there is so little as a sliver of light casting even the tiniest of shadows. You will never be safe in the dark because we are the dark. You can't run from the dark or the light because we will follow you. We're anywhere and everywhere. We are your worst nightmare living not only in your dreams, but in reality. We are in the light, the shadow cast behind you as you run. We are the darkness. So look down at your shadow right now because that is the last thing that you will see. There is no way to stop us. No way to be safe.


Are you scared yet?


Well, you should be.


Because you are next.

The author's comments:

I've never been afraid of the dark. Not even as a child. But I know that the fear of darkness is one of the most common phobias in the world. With this short story, I decided to play around with this idea. After I wrote this short story (I wrote this a while ago but just now decided to post it), I decided to start writing a novel based on these ideas. Anyway, I had a lot of fun writing this creepy short story and I hope you enjoy.


P.S. I would tell you that after reading this you should sleep with a light on, but even that won't keep you safe... MUAHAHAHA

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