11. Shadow

Kelsey was always warned that it was dangerous for pretty girls to walk alone late at night. Men were monsters, or at least that was what her mother and the news always tried to tell her. And after Jessica got attacked on her way home from school a few weeks before, maybe Alicia Martin and Fox News had been right. Kelsey never much cared, or worried, about these sorts of things, though. After all, summer in Nevada was way too warm to wear anything but shorts and tank tops.
Maybe an inch above her fingertips was a little shorter than her father, and her Good Christian upbringing, would have liked. But, that was why she didn’t live at home any more. Well, that and her mother couldn’t cook for shit.
With her headphones on, she couldn’t hear much else but Brittany pre-meltdown as she danced her way down the sidewalk. It had been a long shift at the bar, but she was still burning with energy. As she spun around at a red light, her backpack hitting against her back as she did so, hips swaying as she stopped. The woman in the car beside her smiled and waved back before the light turned green.
Kelsey didn’t know that she wasn’t alone until she passed under the street lamp and saw the second shadow up against the wall of the drug store two blocks away from her apartment. The figure’s breathing was erratic, as if it had been running to keep up with her. Or, more likely, from adrenaline. She did not turn to face it, but instead reached up to remove the buds from her ears, tucking them under the strap of her bag so they wouldn’t hit the ground. She slowly raised her empty hands when she saw the shadow’s arm go up.
“You really don’t want to do this, dude.” She said, wincing when she turned around to see the barrel of a gun not far from her pointy little nose.
“Give me your wallet, now.”
“Okay, but it’s in my bag so I have to-”
“And your phone too.”
“Calm down, Buddy.” she slowly began to lower her arms, in order to shift to remove her backpack.
When she heard the gun cock back, she froze. Her shadow, however, did not. A scream pierced the air as she turned back around and un-tucked her earbuds from the backpack strap and readjusted it to balance the weight again. She only heard the scream for a moment before putting the headphones back in. She looked to the wall though, watching as the tendrils that extended from her image against the wall. She turned up the music when she watched two of them go clear through the other human shape, so she wouldn’t hear the screaming. She frowned a little when she felt the first splash of blood hit the back of her neck.
“I told you that you didn’t want to do it.” she wiped it off of the back of her neck, glad the tank-top was black instead of the pretty pink one she was going to wear. The tendrils slowly began to take her shape once more as she walked out of the small circle of light. ” They never listen.”

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Stories

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