I could stay awake for hours watching the shadow across the room. It loomed craggy and distorted, the shadow that in daytime was nothing at all. My sister, one year younger, had slipped again into the bottom bunk next to me, her face cavernous in the darkness, blocking my way out. Alert and still, I watched her intently as she slept, assessing whether she was still breathing, still human, still herself. Now, I glide at ease through my dark house, keep lights dim in the evening, crave the softness of shadow. When I wake at night, it’s the inner shadows that loom craggy and distorted, the weight of intangible loss pressing my ribs tight like a corset. In the daytime I breathe deeply: I am sane, I am happy, I am whole.
From my current daily writing practice with three women across the continent. Word prompt: shadow.