Shadow Walker

Claire was a sullen child. Dark of mood and grim of expression. People said she should learn to smile. She moved through life with one foot at the door of the apocalypse. Years later, she retained her pessimistic nature. Her mother once told her, “It’s because you were born in winter. Winter babies are always grouchy.”

Claire didn’t believe her mother, not at first. As the furrows dug themselves into her skin, creating creases she’d never erase, Claire knew dear old mom was right. “Ah, hell.” she muttered to herself. “I’m old before my time.”

Instead of fixing her ways, Claire grew more sullen. More out of touch. She stopped eating properly, and her hair developed long wispy white streaks.

And then, the light changed.

At an intersection near Fifth and Hunter, a black SUV ran the red. It hit oncoming traffic, ricocheting off to the right. Towards Claire. A slam of contact, blinding white mixed with swirls of red. Faint cries, flashing lights. She walked in the shadows.

Claire met her mother perched on a misty park bench. “Claire Bear,” her mother said, “go home. I love you, but it’s not your time.”

Thick shadows fading, falling. “Wake up, dear.” Her lids fluttered, each new beat bearing strange and unfamiliar hope.


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on 200 Word Tuesdays:

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