“You can’t lock me in here, my shadow will kill me like it did my mom. It follows me everywhere I go! Shadows aren’t supernatural, at least not the ones I’m talking about. They are the ones that need to be in this jail cell, they are the mental ones. They are smart, I don’t know why, and I don’t know why they like murdering people!”
Let me tell you a story where everyone has a shadow, and only I knew they were there.
My mom said, “Emily, come down and eat breakfast. You’re an adult, you need to send applications for colleges. Just because it’s spring break, doesn’t mean you actually have a break.”
I heard her walk up the stairs. One second later, I find my mother dead on the carpet of my room and a bloody knife in my hand. I just stood there, my insides melting, and my one tear trickling down my left cheek. I thought, Did I kill her? No I couldn’t have, I would remember, and that was the most I could cry.
At that moment I ran downstairs screaming, “How come I hadn’t heard her scream? She would always be there when I needed her, where is she when I need her now? She’s dead. If I would have come down sooner my shadow wouldn’t have murdered my mom.’’ I felt like I had killed her but I knew it was my shadow.
I took a delicate glass vase and smashed it on my head. When I woke up people in white bodysuits were dragging me into the vehicle for the mental institution. The neighbors must have called them; they must think I’m being paranoid by something supernatural. My instincts kicked in and I fought so hard so the men in the white suits couldn’t check my pockets and take my cellphone away.
The next morning I woke up in a mental hospital. The room was grey because of the dimmed lights, like in World War Z. The bed was a steel bed set with a worn out mattress. I walked over into the bathroom that had no door. It had a mirror that was permanently foggy and a rusty bathtub, there was a faucet that only dripped.
I ran and peered into the hallway from the window and screamed to the doctor and guards, “You can’t lock me in here, my shadow will kill me like it did my mom. It follows me everywhere I go! Shadows aren’t supernatural, at least not the ones I’m talking about. They are the ones that need to be in this jail cell, they are the mental ones. They are smart, I don’t know why, and I don’t know why they like murdering people!”
The doctor came with two different types of poison, as I like to call them. They say it will help me, but it will blind some of my vision to see the shadows, then I will just have 20/20 vision, like the average person. Then I can’t see my shadow coming. They are dark and stay in corners, but when you look at them they leave out of sight.
I got a text saying “you never can” and every whiteness goes into the dark.
Who texted me? Who’s there? And why am I in a mental hospital? Then I remember it’s those drugs, they’re making me forget everything and I’m so close. I get a text saying, “You were never so but never so close to what.”
The next morning they let me go. But I didn’t know why my mom would let them take me. She and I needed to have a discussion.
I get a text saying, “can’t wait to get into the dark again, it’s going to be killer.”
I walk out of the car and go in my house to see the police pulling out a stretcher with a cover over it. It falls away and I see it’s my mother. I stand there in a state of shock.
The next morning I got dressed, ate breakfast, and had a morning of tears and emptiness. I decided I was going to investigate to see if my neighbor’s had any info on my mother’s death. I walk over to my neighbor Sarah’s house and she said she thought I had killed my mom, she claims to have seen me stab her and then run out my room screaming. That’s all she said before slamming the door in my face, acting like I was some sort of monster. I felt all alone and there was no one to comfort me.
“Don’t be sad for long, your next victim will arrive. Guess who.”
The next morning it’s back to school and I’m already ready to get my school on. I sent applications for Columbia University. I couldn’t stop thinking about that text I got last night.
I get a text saying, “Thinking about me? So touching. Oh and don’t plan too far ahead, there’s going to be a bump in the road.”
One minute later I get a voicemail singing, “Look both ways before you cross the street.” As I listen to the voicemail, I go to the fridge to get some milk.
A toy car pops up on the kitchen table. I drop the milk, stare at the car and run up the stairs. Once I get upstairs I prepare for the shower, but when I got in the shower the car was there and I was half dry.
“Why is this car following me? Wait, why am I half dry?” I said in frustration.
My head starts to ache and I yell, “Make it stop! Make it stop!”
But it wouldn’t, so I started pounding on my head so the aching would stop. After that I don’t remember much, but the car appeared on the sink in the bathroom, with a doll strapped to the bottom of the car. When it appeared I was out of the shower with my phone in my hand with a text that had not been sent, and that left me asking unanswered questions.
I was so freaked out I started babbling questions like, ”What just happened? Why aren’t I in the shower? Huh? I’m so confused. Why am I so confused?” I say frustratedly. I look at my phone to see the text.
The text says, “You killed her.”
I say to myself, “Who?” I call the mental institution and see if I can get the footage of me in the hospital room . No one is going to believe I am the killer, I wouldn’t hurt a fly. When I ask him to see the footage of me, they say that it’s private information and then he hung up on me.
I say to myself, “Well he’s a jerk.”
I thought to myself, I’ll just have to sneak in. Then I yelled, ”Yes!” and then said sorry to the neighbors.
I dress up in a black shirt, stretchy leather leggings, boots, and a black beanie. I get in my car and drive to the hospital. When I get there, I remember I took a climbing class. I took a rock and aimed it, making sure I wasn’t facing the security camera and so the alarm wouldn’t go off, before I threw it at the window. Then I climbed up the brick wall and climbed in the window.
I ran to the general office. When I got there I took a bobby pin from my hair and picked the lock. When I got in, the footage of me was left on the screen, so played it. I stood there in shock. I got a headache again and a few minutes later I got a text saying, “It was you? Let’s get back into the dark.”
Every day I look at that stupid text trying to convince myself it was probably just one of my friends pranking me. But I had all the evidence. It was me. I didn’t want to believe it.
From then on, I cried myself to sleep. Some nights I would sleep in my mom’s bed because it made me feel safe. The next morning was my birthday and I called my dad to celebrate it with him, because he’s the only family I’ve got. The call goes right to voicemail. So I decide to walk over to his house.
Since my mom and him were divorced they wanted seeing me to be very convenient for them. When I get there I knock on the door. He opened it and gave me a hug and said, ”Watch it, I have a garden knife in my hand.’’
I got a migraine. I howled, ”Make it stop! Make it stop, please‘’!
The next thing I knew was my dad was on the ground. His throat had been slit. ”He bled to death,’’ I said in shock. “What? Oh my gosh, what?’’ I screamed and ran.
When I got in the house I fell and cried with no one to hold me up. The next morning I went into my bright blue bathroom with a large marble white circular bathtub with a curtain and shower head. When I looked in the mirror, I saw something in myself.
I saw a murderer.
Even though I wasn’t certain, I had a feeling. I mean all those times my mom looked at me like I was a monster when I even mentioned a sleepover, or when I told my mom about me and my friends playing army. I wonder if she was thinking I am the enemy and not the hero. But the only thing that doesn’t add up is how would she know about my situation and not tell me. My mom was my best friend.
The next morning I awoke to a sudden loud alarm. I walk out of my room. As I walk down the stairs, I remembered I have school today. So I ran upstairs to take a shower, and get dressed in my crop top, donut leggings, and combat boots. I grab my black hoodie and backpack and ran out of the house.
I got in my car and drove very swiftly. I arrived and checked the time. The parking lot was half empty and the whole world became blurry.
“Brr,” I shake my head and run inside.
This girl had the nerve to walk up to me and say, “You know my dad’s a cop right?”
“So I heard you killed your mom.”
“What did you just say? You don’t know me! You can’t just walk up to me and say that! If you ever mention that I will — ”
“What? You’re gonna kill me?”
After that a sudden spark of rage and fire controlled my body and mentality. The next thing I knew was that I … I attacked her and people had to hold me back.
“Get off of me!!!” I screamed.
I walked away with fire in my eyes and wiped the waterfall of hurt, agony, and ferocity. My friend came to comfort me.
“No. Just stay away from me, please. I always drive people away, so why not now. Bye.” I walked away rapidly, weeping silently.
I get in my car, turn on the radio, and unexpectedly the song “All by Myself’’ by Celine Dion plays. I was right up to the part “All by myself, don’t wanna be all by myself anymore.’’
When I got home I saw my stepmom. She screamed when she saw my Dad. I got out of the car and ran to the house. I observed my dad’s body. He was rotting. Quickly, I turned my head and walked inside. My baby step sister was crying. I walked up the stairs and into her room. I saw her screaming. I said, “It’s ok. No one is going to hurt — Aaah my head!” I screamed. This time I knew and saw what I was doing.
“No I won’t kill this innocent child!”
I feel like I was straining my neck I could hardly breath, then I collapsed. Officers, that’s all I remember, “Now let me out of this interrogation room, please.”
“Ma’am, we are not authorized to do that,” they replied.
I stabbed myself in the stomach. If you’re wondering how I snuck in the knife, just remember, always think dark and maybe you will figure it out. Everyone deserves a chance to go into the dark.