There’s a shadow in my neighborhood and sometimes it walks behind me. I can hear footsteps, but when I turn around, there’s nobody there. I don’t know why I’m being followed, but I know I am and if I tell anyone, they think I’m crazy. I haven’t seen the shadow for a couple days, which bums me out. My parents have me on these meds; they’re supposed to treat hallucinations. Why does everyone think reality can be solved with a pill?

At the end of Henderson’s driveway, a sign says: Estate Sale—Everything Must Go.

“Do you read?” Henderson asked. “I’ve got some books you might be interested in.”

“I can get what I need on my Kindle.”

“Oh, but a book is different. “It’s ancient Egypt; there’s magic between the pages.”

“Only content matters.”

“That’s what they teach you in school, but not all knowledge is on the internet.”

“Of course it is.”

“Selfish knowledge is kept to one’s self.”

“Then why are you willing to share it with me?”

“You’re a sharp young man; I bet you get in trouble for that. Your parents think you’re mentally ill.”

“How do you know?”

“I’m a shadow and I’ve been hoping to pass my knowledge on to you. I have less than a week to live.”

“Did a doctor tell you that?”

“I just know.”

“You’re crazy.”

“A doctor told you that and do you believe him? I’ll tell you what. I’ll box up what you need and if I die, you’ll know I’m telling the truth.”

“Whatever man.”

He smiled at me, like he knew what I didn’t.

And the next week, his lawyer was standing at the end of his driveway.

“Is your name Andy?”

“Yes.”

“Henderson wanted you to have these. He died yesterday.”

The boxes were full of books, a note, and a long overcoat.

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5 thoughts on “Chapter 1 Shadow Man

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