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The Shadow People of City Park – Short Story

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If you ever happen to take a stroll near City Park, be sure to take the main road back and not the narrow, dark one. It is said that if you still happen to get on it by mistake or by a deliberate test of courage, be modest and be humble. Do not walk with your head held high and under no circumstances speak of your courage. Stories about that dark, narrow road say you are not alone on that road after all; that there are shadows that see you through dense, thorny trees. They hear every word you say and if they catch you boosting about how fearless you are, they play tricks on you till you are reduced to a coward and run for your life.

The shadow people who live on that dark street are not bad though. All they want is some peace and tranquility. If they sense you have a good heart, they will make it easier for you to pass through and will also help you if needed. This is because these were good people themselves but are very sad now; they were tricked and conned into dying when they wanted nothing more than to live. They didn’t know what was coming. Death was simply a fainting spell for them and the next instant, for all they knew, they opened their eyes to the horrific reality of death. Their souls fell into the eternal abyss of nothingness. They did not pass through and so, were condemned to live forever in this world, wandering aimlessly till they found others just like them. Now they inhabit that dark, damp, quiet road that connects City Park to the lonelier parts of the city. No person in his or her right mind ventures to go there except the ignorant.

I know of a woman who was new in town and she fell astray. Walking aimlessly, she soon got on that road. She claims she saw the shadow of a little boy behind a small dark tree. “My dear boy, is this the way back?” she cried out, pointing to the left. “I confess, I am so utterly lost! But I am old and weak with a failing eye sight, pray, help me.” With this she chuckled the way sweet, round women do. The boy said nothing but nodded his head lightly and pointed to the left, affirming what she said. The woman gave a sigh of relief, thanked him and hurried away. She was quite alarmed when she was told the particulars of the place where she had accidentally just ventured. She gave a little fright but maintained that even though all she could see was the shadow outline of the young boy, there was something sad about him. He seemed tired and rooted to that place somehow. “My heart reached out to him when I saw him and at the moment, I didn’t know why I felt so. May be it’s just those motherly instincts only a woman’s heart can possess.” This just confirms my belief that the shadow people do not tease good, harmless people. The boy must have sensed some likeness to his old dead mother in that woman. May be that, or may be something we can never fathom. Who knows the woes of the dead. Who knows what shackles of sorrow binds them to this world still.

Do not attempt to venture on that road. The seemingly plain experience is not for the faint of heart. And if you see a small shadow in the shape of a boy, try not to go too near. Be good and be kind. Who knows how you end up on that road.

About mehreenfarhan (90 Articles)
20-something, semi-extraordinary, fashionably lazy, wife to an amazing guy, writer and dreamer, that's me!

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