Short Story – Shadows

This story is based on the song “Shadows” by RED.  It’s about my characters Cecil and Gail with Cecil struggling against himself and Gail being there to help him.

All characters belong to me.

I’m going to bed now, Cecil.”

Okay. I’ll be up on the roof or something,” he said absently.

Gail glanced toward him and tilted her head. “Ya sure about that?”

Yeah. It’s a nice night out, and I like looking up at the stars. Besides, I don’t really need sleep like you do.”

Mm, yeah. That makes sense. You’re not real, after all.” She waved to him lightly as he walked away, closing the door to her room behind him.

I’m not real,” he murmured to himself. “I thought you had accepted that I was by now.” He sighed and opened a window, then climbed through it and flew up to the roof of the apartment building, stretching out his ashen wings.

The sun had set some time ago, already. The sky was dark with no stars even visible. He frowned softly and hugged his legs against his chest, feeling the wind blow through his hair.

Abbey,” he said to himself. “Do you remember when you were a little girl? We would play all day until the sun set and fall over to gaze at the stars. I could even tell you the names of every one you pointed to. Everything was beautiful then.”

But then everything turned ugly. It’s all his fault. Brother, why would you do this to me?

He grit his teeth and balled his hand into a fist, slamming it down on the roof. No, he couldn’t think that way. That’s what was changing him in the first place. It was thoughts like that which made him spiral down further into the darkness consuming him.

But it was his fault,” a soft voice whispered in his ear. Hands clasped over his eyes and he gasped. Everything grew dark and his skin became chilled.

Who’s there?” he asked in a trembling voice.

You know who I am,” came the response. “Though you deny my existence. I’m you, or rather what you are to become. You resist me, but you’ll never win, Cecil. There’s only room for one of us in this existence, so eventually the other must die.”

Cecil shuddered but didn’t try to pull free. “What makes you think you’re going to win?”

Because you’re afraid of me. You’re terrified. Your fear is making you all the easier to take control of.” He chuckled and withdrew his hands from Cecil’s eyes. He turned around and saw the fading outline of his own demonic visage, waving at him.

Don’t you remember, Cecil?” he said in the angel’s ear. “I’m the one that made you leave Abbey in the first place. I think, perhaps, I’ll visit her again.” His laughter faded into the night as he disappeared. Cecil’s eyes grew wide with horror.

No, Abbey!” He dove off the roof and flew back through the window, then threw the door to Gail’s room open. “Abigail!”

The room was dark, but there was nothing amiss in it. Gail opened her eyes a little and frowned at him. “What?” she grumbled. “I’m trying to sleep, Cecil. Just because you can’t sleep doesn’t mean you should drag me out of bed.”

He bit his lip and looked away. “I’m sorry, I thought…” He paused and then whispered, “I thought it was happening again.”

Thought what was happening again?” she asked sleepily.

Nothing.” He walked over to her and lightly touched her forehead. “I’m sorry for disturbing you. Go back to sleep.”

She pushed his hand away and curled up on her side, turning her back to him. “Gladly.”

He smiled faintly and whispered, “Goodnight, Abbey.”

No, no sleep tonight.

A chilling feeling came over the angel. His heart skipped a beat. “Gail.”

What?” she growled.

Help me.”

She turned slowly and her eyes grew wide. Shadowy arms curled all around Cecil, claws scratching at his skin. A dark portal was open behind him and the arms were pulling him toward it. He struggled to reach out to her, tears in his eyes.

Help me, please!”

Cecil!” She threw the covers aside and reached out to him, grasping his outstretched hand. The shadowy arms extended toward her, clawing and squeezing her, but she refused to let go. The arms then pulled on the two of them and they were taken through the portal.

They fell through darkness, the claws tearing into their flesh. Gail shuddered but fought to pull closer to Cecil, managing to wrap her arms around him.

Cecil, tell me what’s going on, now!”

He shook all over, struggling against the arms. “It’s… it’s trying to change me. Gail, I’m so scared!”

Another figure appeared, hanging onto Cecil’s back and looking over his shoulder. Gail gasped when she saw the figure, because it looked like Cecil, only more evil. He grinned at her. “He’ll be gone, soon. And then only I’ll remain. You saw me once before, Abigail. When you were young. That’s when he left you all alone.”

She stared at the demon for a long moment, then set her jaw and scowled at him. “No, you won’t. Cecil isn’t going to change, you hear me? So get lost!” She balled her hand into a fist and slammed it into the demon’s face. He screeched and fell away, and all the arms let go of them.

Cecil’s eyes grew wide and he wrapped his arms tight around Gail as they fell deeper into the dark. The tears continued to flow, stinging his eyes. He whispered, “Thank you.”

When Gail opened her eyes again, she found she was in her bed, curled up under the covers the way she had been before. She glanced up slowly and saw Cecil slumped in a chair with is wings wrapped around him like a blanket.

She smiled faintly and snuggled deeper under the blankets. “Wasn’t real. Or maybe it was. Either way, we’re safe now.”

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