The Man in the Shadow

part 2: That night/that morning

By: Vallarie Luckner

That night as I was laying in bed I couldn’t help but feel I was being watched — now, I don’t know who or what it was, but I didn’t feel safe, not even a little. I was so tired and afraid that I didn’t even dare to move from my bed, I didn’t even want to lift my head to look around my well lit room to see if I could see anything. I tucked my feet under my blanket, pulled my blanket over my head, shut my eyes tight, and listened to my howling, drunk uncle Tom, until I eventually fell asleep. That night I had a dream, or something I thought was a dream… it felt so real, yet I could have sworn I was asleep. There was a man, a shadow man, and he was floating around my bedroom that night, taunting me. I felt like I knew him, like he was a part of me in some way — I know, it sounds absurd but he knew so much about me, stuff that my parents didn't even know about me. Why was this man, this thing mocking me for the person I was — for the person I wanted to be — for the person I was going to become?

The next morning I woke up to the suns rays on my face, and the sound of singing birds. I couldn’t stop thinking of the man in my dreams; did I know him? How did he know me? I rolled over to look at the time, I saw it was half past nine in the morning — which was odd because ever Sunday my mom would make a huge breakfast! I'm talking homemade pancakes, French toast, waffles, bacon, sausage, eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice! oh man, I could go on. The problem was, the air didn't smell of freshly cooked bacon and eggs nor did I hear anyone in the kitchen. I stretch my arms up over my head only to realize I wasn't wearing the same pajamas I had gone to bed in — how was that even possible? Something wasn't right, and I was about to find out what the something was.

I called for my mom as I tossed the covers off of myself but I didn’t get a reply back. I sprung out of bed, and called for her once more but, again, no reply. As I reached for the handle on my bedroom door I heard someone shuffling around in the hallway. While I was opening my bedroom door I called for her once more, again, no reply. I walked down the hallway and tiptoed up the three, soft carpeted steps that led to my parents bedroom. Before reaching the door I heard giggling followed by a mans voice which said; “annnnd what do we have behind door number one?” I jumped back towards the wall and looked around… I saw nothing, I heard nothing — just the sound of my heavy breathing. I shut my eyes as tight as I possibly could, took a deep breath, and slowly reached for the bedroom door — My sweaty palms had fogged up the glass door handle. As I turned the handle slowly, like I was the leading role in a scary movie, I couldn’t help but think that something horrible was behind that door. Something that was going to change my life in more than one way and at the time, I didn’t know it.

I had slowly begun to open my parents door and was hit with freezing cold air in an instant and a strong sent of metal. I froze. I was in automatic shock, as I tightly gripped onto the glass door handle I felt numb. It was almost like my brain just completely shut itself down. I couldn't speak, I couldn’t blink, I couldn't cry, I couldn't move. I was in shock, and I don't know how long I stood there holding that glass door handle for, but I do know it felt like an eternity. I can still see the image in my mind, that morning haunts me and it is something that I will never forget. That image is imbedded into my mind like the lyrics to my favorite song.

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