(WP) Three Shadows

(WP) Three Shadows

               The sun’s harsh, bright light beat down on the barren plains, and three shadows appeared slowly, bleeding like dark ink on the grass.

               I waited for them, trying not to give in to the bitterness when my dark silhouette did not also materialize. My shadow had left me long ago, a sick sort of joke that reminded me of that old animated Peter Pan movie. But I didn’t have any helpful Wendy Darling with a needle and thread.

               I never imagined I would miss my shadow.

               “The time has come for you to answer for your crimes against humanity,”

               The speaker’s shadow lifted, walking stiffly until it formed into the shape of a young man clothed in a dove-gray suit. There was a sunflower pinned to his lapel. His skin, scars covering every bit of it I could see, was pale, almost gray, as though he were an underwater creature. But his eyes were dark and intelligent, and he did not blink.

               “I didn’t do anything wrong,” I replied, crossing my arms. I shouldn’t have had to defend myself; everyone knew that without your shadow, you lost some of your power. Something out of your essence that made you who you were.

               “The Council sees it differently, I’m afraid.” He smiled sadly, holding out his hand.

               The two other shadows slowly took form, two young women. One was dressed in something like a ball gown, the color a purple so dark and rich it reminded me of merlot wine. She wore a necklace of sparkling amethysts, with the largest stone resting just above her bodice’s neckline. Her bright, golden curls were piled at the top of her head in an elegant chignon. Her eyes were like hard, like chipped garnets.

               “You’re lucky you haven’t been executed by now, girl,” She said from her place behind my escort, smiling cruelly. “You’re violating every law of the Shadow Order and a disgrace to those who serve it.”

               “You still have your shadow,” I replied hotly, feeling my cheeks heat up in my rage.

               The blonde opened her mouth to retort, but the other woman held up her hand.

               “Peace, sister Mara.” She murmured. “Now is not the time to fight. She is going before the Council to answer for what she has done.”

               Her addendum was unspoken, but there it was: She is about to be punished enough as it is.

               She was a contrast to her sister, as dark as Mara was fair. Her olive skin was mostly covered, and she was dressed in military garb, all dark greens and earthy browns. The only adornment to her clothing at all was medals and stars: commencement, perhaps, for serving the Order and Council. Her hair was short and dark, so glossy in the sun that it looked closer to blue than black.

               She looked at me, and left her sister’s side, striding until she was right in front of me.

               “I’m sorry to do this, Regina, but it’s time to go.”