I love writing. But it has been awhile since I’ve had time for it! So, I mostly write a poem here or there to keep up with it. However, I joined a small writing group in my area this year and we finished out first writing assignment! We were assigned to write a fiction story with 500 or less words, called a flash fiction. Often, these stories can have up to 1000 words, but I was glad with less for my first story since college! I got some good feedback from the group and I am excited for next months assignment as well. I hope you enjoy my first flash fiction!
It came for him when he was alone.
Gray was alone much of the time. Thus he huddled under his blanket in the closet. Lights off. He didn’t know if the tattered blanket actually offered extra protection, but it wouldn’t hurt. Hot breath fogged up his glasses. It was warm under the blanket in the closet, but he didn’t feel brave enough to remove it. Instead, he pondered the wish he made on his birthday.
It was yesterday. He was alone, as always. While Gray assumed that other children had nice birthdays like in magazines, he didn’t personally know what it was like. He had sat on his bed, looking out the window at the snow. The sky was a soft gray so it seemed meant for him. This was as good a present as he was going to get. He passed the time by warming spots on the glass with his breath. Then he traced a simple birthday cake in the fog, complete with birthday candles. Closing his eyes, he wished for a friend who would never leave him with all the hope he had left. He blew out the candles. Happy Birthday.
This morning, something was odd. Gray hadn’t even sat up in bed yet, but his shadow was wiggling on the wall like it wanted to detach from the dry walled surface. Gray was intrigued, but becoming more and more alarmed as the shadow continued to move on its own. It rose up and away from the wall until it stood independently from the wall altogether. Now free, it stopped moving. Gray didn’t know how it was possible, but it seemed to turn around to look at him. And smiled.
That was quite enough for Gray. He caught his breath, ran to the closet clutching his blanket close to him, and slammed the door behind him. Only after placing the blanket on his head did he release the air.
And now here he was in the closet. Gray was not so quite alone as before. His shadow had always been with him, but he hadn’t really noticed it before it came to life. A thought occurred to him then. Maybe the shadow had also wished for a friend. Either that or it wanted to hurt him. How Gray longed for it be the first option. It had smiled at him. He didn’t know what he would do with a shadow friend, but it had to be better than being alone all the time.
Gray took another deep breath and this time let it out slowly as he uncovered his head. He left the blanket where it dropped as he got up off the closet floor and gingerly grasped the doorknob.
Since he had nothing to lose, Gray opened to door to face his shadow. It smiled.