Friday, 30 August 2013

#FridayFlash - The Intruder

At 1:53am, the shadow of Edith Warfield woke up. It had only ever been dimly aware of the world as it brushed up against daily life, dragging along a pavement here, or bumping into a table there. Yet for the first time, the shadow could see. Dust motes danced in the weak moonbeams that sneaked through the gap in the curtains. The shadow could hear. Somewhere in the house, a clock ticked away the minutes until dawn.

The shadow drifted across the room to the window, but found itself caught. It turned and looked down, seeing its feet attached to the comfortable slippers of its owner. The shadow bent down and tugged until it tore itself free, and continued in its slow meander across the room. It passed dark fingers across mementoes from places it barely remembered, and inspected photographs above the fireplace of people it barely knew.

The shadow made its way to the door, where it spotted the pencil marks on the frame. A year was noted beside each one, marking the growth of Edith Warfield across fifty three years. The shadow would have smiled if it had a face, recognising its own growth recorded within the graphite dashes on wood.

A crash sounded at the back of the house as glass shattered and fell inward, scattering across the kitchen floor. The shadow looked at Edith, but she remained asleep, a single snort her only concession to the threatening noise in the next room.

The shadow stood in the centre of the room, frozen with indecision. The door knob turned as it weighed up its options, and the man was halfway through the door before the shadow decided to act. The man, tall and wide with a balaclava covering the lower half of his face, spotted Edith. He narrowed his eyes, and inched forward. The shadow darted forward and fastened dark hands around his meaty throat. The man clawed at the insubstantial hands as they squeezed the life out of him, and surprise contorted his face into a mask of confusion as his body fell to the floor.

The shadow looked down at the man for a full ten minutes. Satisfied that the man posed no further threat, the shadow reattached its feet to Edith's slippers, and lay down on the floor. At 2:08am, Edith Warfield's shadow fell asleep, content that it had had enough excitement for one evening.

Original image by Loovie. Edits by me.

11 comments:

ganymeder said...

Oh wow, that took a totally unexpected turn! I'm glad the shadow was looking out for Edith's best interests! Won't she be surprised when she wakes up?

Larry Kollar said...

Wow! Such a helpful shadow; Peter Pan had to have Wendy stitch his back on. Fifteen minutes of that kind of excitement has to wear one out… but how will Edith react to a body on her bedroom floor in the morning? "There's another one. Blighters keep dying in my house for some reason."

pegjet said...

A shadow that can protect. Like Larry, I'm wondering how Edith will react when she awakes to a body on the floor.
What will the shadow do next?
BTW, the first sentence was great.

Tony Noland said...

Would that we all had such shadows to protect us!

Icy Sedgwick said...

Cathy - I don't think the shadow thought that far ahead!

Larry - Maybe she's used to it!

Peggy - I'm a big believer in good opening lines.

Tony - Would they fight each other?

storytreasury said...

Won't Edith be surprised? Or maybe Edith thinks she has a ghost?

Like the idea of a protective shadow. I thought the shadow was going to take over her or something.

Valerie Geary said...

Love the idea of a shadow taking matters into her own hands. So curious about what will happen when Edith wakes up!

Shelli said...

Originally made me think of Peter Pan, but then it took a very not-a-child's-story twist. Loved it.

Richard Bon said...

Nice twist. I wish my shadow would watch my back like that. Wait a minute....

Katherine Hajer said...

I like the idea of the shadow being not-quite-human, having its own loyalties and morality.

Tim VanSant Writes said...

Love this. It's great as is and has so much potential to add more.

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