Home among Shadows


Levi was a total night owl; the late nights and slow to rise mornings had forever been his usual routine. The night was his isolated playground, in a sense, a place and time where the young boy could truly feel open and away from life. It was the only time where he could do what he wished without the distrustful glances and nasty glares from people he had known to be his neighbors and the children of his family's friends; the usual experiences Levi found outside his door during daylight hours. This spell of bliss didn't arise in Levi's life without expense, as it is the way of luck and fate to call forward a balance in life and nature. Levi's obsession toiled with his mentality during school hours, destroying his attention and wrecking any glimmering chances to socialize. Although many peers value Levi with worth equal to that of an old gym sock, the life Levi lived was one he greatly enjoyed.

However, his was an existence that greatly irritated his mother and father. They despised their son's senseless interests and stories, and often found the predicament of raising such a despicable child frustrating beyond anything they have ever encountered. His mother and father constantly tried to nudge their son back onto the proverbial track by buying him sporting equipment and setting play dates with the children of their co-workers; ideas which never prevailed to woo the young boy from his true home among shadows.

Levi may have been commonly considered an odd duck, but he was smarter than most gave him credit for. He could see how he displeased his parents, despite sharing all of his wondrous tales of adventure at the table each night. Soon after Levi realized that he was disconnected in strange ways from his mother and father, he became miserable. With each and every passing day, Levi began to understand his effect on the lives of so many once thought close. His passion was what separated, and it was apparent that his love for adventure and his family bonds couldn't co-exist. Life itself seemed to spite the family; the son and parents had nothing in common.

Finally, after years of gentle prodding, Levi's parents forced him to give up his books, his games, even the little hand powered flashlight which he used every night to light his way when on his explorations. The mother and father became stern; constantly reminding Levi that school was the key to success, success which Levi was destined to find by right of his family lineage. The Gillyburgs were the butt of no joke.

But Levi soon found that he hated school; the place that once was a minor inconvenience in his day had suddenly become a horrid nightmare. Each night he sat at the dinner table, doing homework with aid from his parents. No longer did Levi belong to the night, but rather to the textbooks he drug home every afternoon from school.

Despite what his parents said of their son, Levi still loved being surrounded by the very essence of the dark that prevails after the sun has set. Each night spent under the confines of the dining room developed in him a deepening desire to escape, to return to the world he had been forced to leave so abruptly, without the chance to say goodbye to his friends.

For months, Levi would wonder why exactly his continual struggle with academics was so valuable. He pondered the idea of running away, leaving the dull existence of textbooks and athletics behind and submersing his imagination into the richest of shadows once more.

But these questions he contemplated were always rhetorical in nature. Levi was entirely obedient and would always do what was expected. Ever so slowly, as the young boy became a young man, Levi lost his appetite to explore the night, to search for new and mysterious phenomena which only Levi seemed able to experience. The pang of regret and sorrow for leaving his world was slowly devoured by concerns not entirely his. The line between who he was, and who he was becoming had blurred, then disappeared altogether.

Walking the streets at night with shadows trailing his feet no longer fuels his once feral imagination. Long ago, to Levi, every shadow hid a creature waiting to rip his limbs off and pick its teeth with the remains of his ribcage, every secluded backstreet concealed treacherous strangers waiting for the perfect opportunity to slay those unlucky enough to cross them. Now, shadows are just surfaces that reflect less light than what surrounds it, a simple explanation derived from common sense that has been purified from several courses in classical and calculus-based physics. Yes, a shadow is but a lack of light which trails one who stands before a source of light. Of course Levi could now understand that there wasn't anything amidst the shadows in the real world; what he saw as a child were just figments of his youthful imagination, fragments of dream which somehow seeped into his consciousness. It hadn't taken long for Levi to learn that no one else could see some things that he could, and this difference had acted as the barrier between his family and himself. Levi had to eliminate the abnormal from his life in order to life it.

His true happiness only came when he had accepted this fact of life. Levi no longer talked to shadows, but to friends and family. People definitely noticed Levi once he turned his life around. The one who had once been the lunatic huddled in the corner talking to no one was now at the top of his class and started on several varsity teams. No one new to the school would have ever expected Levi to have been who he once was; in fact, everyone seemed to have forgotten the old Levi had ever existed.

But luck and fate are not to be crossed, especially when one forgets the gift bestowed on them…

Author -

I've put a lot of time into the flesh of this story, rather than the actual plot. I feel that my writing in the past was very bland, and lacked character in and of itself altogether. It is my goal to correct this poor technique of story telling. Please help me by sharing your opinions. Does this story hold your attention? Are you curious to read what's to follow? Is there anything notable about this story, or is there anything that you would change if you had the power to do so? Even if you answered just one of these questions, I do ask that you give me the courtesy of letting me know.

Thank you to all who have read this far :)