Shadows -A short story by Ruby Simeon



Ruby Simeon


“John? John?” I kept calling, there was a hint of desperation in my voice now.  And he forgot to do the dishes too. I stared worriedly at the pile of dirty dishes in the sink.

 Maybe I was too harsh. I hated myself for it. I should be afraid of the monster in me.  And the cars whizzing past our flat. And the eerie shadows growing and shrinking on the kitchen walls and floor.
I shuddered and closed the window. I must have been frowning a lot, my temples ached.

“John?  John? JOHN!” I called out, half screaming, half running. But it wasn’t a high pitched, fear-stricken call. Just a low moan that blended in with the sound of fast wheels cutting through the thick rain.

I placed my hand delicately on my bum and sunk to the floor. A woman’s lot. Tears welled up in my eyes and it was hard to force the stubborn lump down my throat.
I couldn’t.
I shouldn’t.
I wouldn’t.
The shadows stretched and shrank across the floor, over my legs and arms.

 Sometimes specks of light would land on my face or his coffee mug on the kitchen top or his dirty socks near the fridge
 “John... please... just come borne,” my voice broke.
 A flood of tears and a flash of lightning.

Suddenly the shadows vanished, leaving the cracked walls and battered window sill bare and exposed.

 I thought I saw a man outside.

 But his silhouette soon blended in with the shifting lights and shadows that filtered through the tatty curtains.
I ran outside in the pouring rain, shivering and shaking in the cold. I watched as my shadow stretched across the pavement and climbed up into our flat.

It finally struck me – he was gone for good.