Wednesday, December 25, 2013

When the Shadow Comes

By Chris Milam

Lily crawled into bed, her bare feet and princess pajamas slid under her Barbie adorned blanket. She was stuck in perpetual childhood, an eleven-year old girl in a six-year old mind.   She loved toys too, especially her beloved purple stuffed unicorn.   She grabbed Annie, and pulled the toy in close, resting the plush animal against her soft cheek.

 “Annie, do you remember when mommy took us to the zoo for my eighth birthday?” Lily asked.

 “Of course I do, Lily,” Annie said “You loved the zebras, you said they looked like a horse newspaper.   Your mom laughed so hard I thought she was going to fall down.    That was one of my favorite days.”

 “Mine too,” said Lily “Or the time I scraped my elbow playing hopscotch on the sidewalk.   Do you remember that, Annie?”

 “Yes.  Your mom put a Dora The Explorer band-aid on the cut and kissed it and everything felt better again.  I won’t ever forget our adventures together.”

When the shadow appeared under her bedroom door, darkness hovering over the crack of light, Lily pulled her blanket up to her chin. The knuckles of her fragile hands whitened as she gripped the edge of the pink cover.

 “OK, Lily, it’s time for us to play our game.  What’s your favorite color?” Annie asked.

 “Purple” Lily said, barely above a whisper.

 “That’s such a pretty color.  It’s the same color as me, so I love purple too.  What’s your favorite vegetable?"


 “Mine too” said Annie.  “This is fun Lily.  What about your favorite cartoon? I know you can answer this one, it’s so easy.”

 “I don’t want to play anymore, Annie,” Lily said, her eyes staring at the ceiling.

 “Just for a few more minutes, OK?   Everything will be fine soon, let’s just play a little longer.”

The door knob turned softly and the shadow entered the room, shutting the door gently.

“What’s your favorite candy?” pleaded the purple unicorn.

 Lily continued to stare at the ceiling, thoughts of her mom flooding her mind.

 “Come on Lily, you can do this.  Is your favorite candy Smarties or Lemon Drops, I can’t remember.”

The shadow walked quietly over to the bed and grabbed Annie by her silver horn and tossed her onto the ground.

 Lily glanced at the shadow and quickly looked away, tears leaking down her pale cheeks. She saw Annie upturned on the floor, the unicorns plastic eyes staring back at her.

“Gummy Bears,” Lily whispered to her friend.

“Gummy Bears and zebras are the best things in world.”

 “See, I knew you could do it, Lily” said Annie.  “Just keeping looking at me and remember that day at the zoo, OK?”

 Lily nodded her head.  “I love you, Annie.”

 “I love you more, Lily” Annie said. “Now, can you tell me what your favorite book is?  Can you do that for me?”

 Lily went silent.   Her eyes clamped shut.   She didn’t want to play anymore.

Copyright ©2013 Chris Milam.  All rights reserved.  Do not reproduce in any form, including electronic, without the author’s express permission.



Chris Milam currently resides in Hamilton, Ohio. He enjoys writing, rooting for the Washington Nationals and he reads anything he can get his hands on. He believes everybody has a story in them that needs to be told.