Losing Her Shadow


Leading him down the lightless corridor she could feel the layers of darkness peeling away from her. Layers of her darkness detaching themselves from the corridors of her mind and transferring themselves to the walls around her. In that moment she lost her compulsion to the light. A light that drove her onto a pedestal and screamed out her flaws, her anxieties, her sins. For too long now she felt as though she had been resisting her shadow, resisting nourishment from space the light cannot possess. She realised, then, that darkness is not something real, something visible, something judged; it is just the absence of light. Only in the darkness, in both losing and accepting her shadow, could she be truly free.

Time to see now, she thought. Her mind did not have to fight off the vision her eyes normally conceded to. The colours of her mind splashed across her, liberated from the shackles of a rainbow. Her new spectrum rippled through her, through the fingers of the hand she tugged at, through the air that she gulped at. Through the darkness that pervaded the room as her essence did.

A final room took her and a door concealed any light left, a light that snatched at her heels and clawed at her skin. The hands took her and peeled away her clothes, the last artifice of a world she forgot in that blackness. He carved her shell a new shape. A forbidden shape. She felt an Eve in a garden she could not see. A garden she did not want to see, or understand. She had picked her fruit and it drooled sweetly over her lips.

But with the knowledge of good comes evil.

Reclining she saw a small window she had not noticed before. Through it she saw the roof of a building, a tree, the hat of a man standing near. But it was the light she saw. It was the light she feared. It screamed down at her, shrieking in her ears. It burned into her, igniting every synapse, inflaming every nerve. It was her husband screaming, her children, her mother, her colleagues, her life. Screaming at her shadow that fell from her, back against the wall.