I am the shadow you seek

The ten-minute timed writing exercise. It’s sort of long, so I put it in the click-through text. Just click the link for more if you’re interested.

I’m always surprised by how rich these things turn out, how very meaty and full of juice. I have things in here that I can definitely use. What this says about the inside of my head, though, ain’t pretty.

(This is unedited raw first draft. Please forgive typos.)

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I am the shadow you seek, though I found you long before you found me. I am with you always, watching, listening, waiting. Death follows in my wake, but I am not death. I have never lived, I will never die. I am.

You came to me, you sought me out in your dreams and nightmares. I am the moment when your dream takes you off the road over a cliff, I am the moment where you slide under water and know that everyone else in the car with you will not live without you, but you cannot save them all, perhaps cannot save any of them, possibly cannot even save yourself.

I am not Nightmare, but Nightmare is a friend of mine. I am as real as breath, as real as flesh and blood and bone, but I am Shadow. I am all the dark places in the world gathered together, held close. Every ancestor of yours knew me intimately, as do you if you will let yourself listen to my whisper.

I am with you always. I do not love you. Do not hate you. Do not desire you. But I own you in every instant when you step free from the light. With your first tenuous step into my domain, I collect you to my bosom and hold you close, and feed off your trembling, growing stronger. In this world of light at all hours, there still exist enough pools of darkness to keep me well-fed, strong, powerful.

You cannot kill me. You cannot even fight me. You can hide from me for a while — keep the nightlight on, sit in the sunny places, wait under fluorescent lights. But you have to sleep eventually, and you cannot walk always beneath lights.

I can touch you if I choose. I can claim you if I choose, make you one of mine. I can bleed you, own you, ride you to madness and destruction and eventual oblivion. Light requires effort, energy, a constant fight. The dark is always there. The dark is easy, and it is my kingdom, and with time, you will dwell within its alleys and its caverns, and you will forget the light.

You cannot know my face, but I know yours.

I find that I like it. That I want it. I want to bring you to me, I want to love you.

I am never alone, but sometimes I grow lonely.

You smell of fresh air and sunshine.

For a while, you will taste good, I think.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.