(Shadows)

By Jakob Konger

read the suite from the beginning

(shadow)

(She couldn’t resist searching the sky for the source of the shadow. She looked over her shoulder as she fled from it, searching the cloudless sky for the small black dot she’d heard so much about. It grew all on its own into something oh so much like an oversized black street sweeper, or so she was told, but at the same time like an angry rat. It growled like a broken truck stalling out next to you. It was miles before she could reach the nearest mountain. She had no reason to look forward. It would be better to look behind her, to the sky. This was how she tripped: over a large sheet of metal halfway buried  in the dirt. She sneezed then pulled herself into a squat. After a quick look back to check the distance of the shadow (still far), she examined the metal. It looked to have been the door to a jeep at one time very long ago, but now it had disintegrated almost beyond recognition. It was metal first, and then a door. It was light enough now she could lift it over her body (it was hot) and hide from the shadow underneath it without feeling crushed much by its weight, though pulling it over her body did give her one of the oddest sensations she’d ever felt–like she was shutting the door over a crypt. She was alone in the very center of the planet. She was burying herself in the center of the earth. The half that had been buried in the sand was cool to the touch, but the rest she had to hold a few inches from her skin to avoid burns. The door had a window once (now long gone), and she held the empty space where it had been over her head so she could look back out at the shadow. It was edging closer still, as though she weren’t hidden at all.)







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