This is sort of an idea/sketch I have for yet ANOTHER book I want to write. I thought, in lieu of a personal post, I’d throw it up on here. See if I can get it going.
She lay in the darkness, her room quiet yet a host to the flurry of its usual activity. With her heavy blanket wrapped protectively around her ears, she watched.
The shadows, growing rapidly from small black dots until they manifested into tangible human form, popping up unexplainably in places that shadows just don’t reasonably belong.
It wasn’t the shadow people that scared her so much, she didn’t mind their movements. They seemed harmless plus she had been visited by them for as long as she could remember. It was when they spoke to her that she would panic.
Shadows don’t speak.
Rachel had been trying to explain these occurrences to her parents since she was a little girl. So many times she told her parents of the unexplained shadows stepping out from other shadows. She stopped when they started taking her to psychiatrists who slapped paranoid schizophrenic labels and loaded her up with anti-psychotics. No one believed her so she lay down and played crazy for them.
The meds dulled her senses, but she had become used to it. She considered herself to be the equivalent of a zombie, going through the motions of living but with no real life in her. No feelings. But the shadows, even under heavy doses, never went away.
Her earliest recollection of her visitors started back when she was still in a crib. The older man would come out of a triangle shadow in the corner of her old bedroom and coo at her. He would pet her hair and speak softly in a language that was familiar yet unintelligible. He always brought with him a wide-eyed little boy, a few years older than she.
For years the two would come visit her and even in the darkest of nights, she would unmistakably recognize their outlines that would materialize into a shadowy human form.
For years, they spoke to her in a beautiful whispered language that was now even more familiar yet she didn’t understand a single word.
For years, she never said a word back to them. She never asked their names or where they came from.
She was afraid that if she spoke, they would somehow take her through the shadow that brought them here. And she was more scared of that than she was of the zombie-like feeling the prescription drugs gave her.
When Rachel was little, she used to tell anyone who would listen that she had ghosts who talked to her. That’s what she always assumed they were, ghosts that lived in her house that only she could see. Her parents and their friends thought that she was cute and eccentric for a time. But when she was twelve and they moved into their new house, the same shadows moved with her and she knew they were something much more.
A few months ago, right before Rachel turned 17, she began to notice that she could see them during the day. Not so much the old man any longer, he didn’t seem to come around as much, but the boy who was now more of a man. Which was how Rachel discovered that these weren’t ghosts, the shadow people aged.
She was mainstreamed at school. Her parents believed that just because their daughter was a whack job she still deserved her the right to a private school education. They tried to give her financially what they stopped trying to give emotionally.
They just couldn’t have an insane child.
The brunt of many cruel jokes and horrible bullying and with no parents to turn to, Rachel was a very private teenager. She felt she was lucky to have Monique as her best friend. Her only friend.
Monique was an outcast like Rachel, more on a physical level than an emotional one though. Monique was all angles and lines accentuated by heavy kohl eyeliner, the latest Guess fashions from where she worked and dyed white hair with turquoise blue underneath. She loved to tell people she was the spirit of her great grandmother trapped in a teenagers body. Opposite of Monique was Rachel. Her lines curved and she hid underneath black clothes and shaded glasses. The glasses were to dull the visions not to hid blood shot eyes the way the rumors stated.
The only drugs she did were prescribed. She didn’t think she could handle any others.
Seeing the shadow boy in her science class gave her a start. The way he stared at her, through her. It was so unexpected, she jumped from her chair, yelled out something about the shadows and ran out of the lab. She could sometimes get away with this type of behavior, everyone knew she was schizo. Classmates just laughed at her and shouted derogatory names.
She hated it. She hated that she had trusted one of them, Callie, a few years back. She and Callie became friendly. They ate lunch together and even had sleepovers. Rachel told Callie everything. Of course, it turned out that Callie was the spy of the group, sent to gather information to use as emotional bullying warfare.
Monique had warned. Rachel didn’t listen, grateful for another friend. Both girls never spoke of that time in Rachels life.
Ever since her friendship and spill-all with Callie, the whole class called her the SchizoShadow. Sometimes just Schiz. Sometimes just Shad. Never Rachel anymore.
Monique was the only one who believed Rachel. Not because she saw the shadows, she admitted she didn’t. But she believed in something more. Rachel was her proof.
There was something more. Rachel knew it. She felt it. She had to reach beyond her zombie meds and fear of speaking to the shadows to find out, once and for all, who they are and what they want with her.