grabbed the gum off my nose and blew another bubble. As it popped, the soup started
to clear and I was looking through a pink haze at a gate that stretched across
the road. The pink haze was the gum all over my face, and as I tried to pull it
off, the gateman coughed impatiently.
"Do ya need tokens, bud?" he grunted through his cigar as he looked up from his
"Tokens?" I stammered.
"You're going on the subway, I presume? You and your little friend."
"Subway...friend..." I blurted.
"Subway, as in Trans-Dimensional. And friend, as in your friend there," the gateman
grunted, and he pointed the cigar behind me.
I turned around and saw my shadow dash to my other side. I turned to the other
side and it dashed back the other way. I turned my head again and again until
I fell down in dizziness.
"Come on, bub, you're holding up da line," the gateman scowled as he turned back
to his puzzle.
"Line?" I questioned. I was the only one there, besides my shadow.
"Can't you speak in sentences, man!" the gateman hissed, and he pointed above
I looked up and saw a yellow line floating above my head. It stretched back into
the distance, disappearing down the center of the road and into the horizon.
I got off the ground and dusted my pants.
"Can you help me up, please," my shadow begged, and without thinking I held out
The darkness grabbed it and tugged.
"Thank you," my shadow smiled and brushed off some specks of light. It looked
up at the gateman, shivered, and wrapped itself behind me. I felt it skirting
back and forth in fear, and the hair on the back of my neck stood up.
I turned back to the gateman. He leaned out of the booth and puffed cigar smoke
in my face, and I smelled his garlic-tabasco breath.
"Cupid?!" I gasped as the smells clicked in my brain. I hadn't recognized him
with clothes on. And he must have had a blue toupee on, too.
"Yeah, in the flesh. What you looking at, anyway. So, I woyk here nights. You
got a problem with dat!"
"Uh, no. None at all. It's just that I don't have any money. For the tokens..."
Cupid threw down his cigar. He crumpled up his crossword puzzle. "Money? Don't
ya know nuttin' mac? Now what would I want money for? Your soul, bub. Ya gotta
leave your soul at da Gate!"
"Don't give it to him," my shadow whispered, and he started to push me toward
the gate. "You don't have to give up your soul to enter Eternity!"
"Hey, you, what do you think you're doing!" the gateman bellowed.
As my shadow and I stepped over a red line that screamed in pain, the gateman
yelled again, "Guards! Security!"
Lights started flashing everywhere, and sirens screeched. I put my hands over
my ears, frozen in fright.
"Come on," my shadow urged, and dashing out in front of me, it tugged at my sleeve.
I looked around, frantically. The yellow line was wrapping around my legs, tying
them in a knot. The red line was reaching for my neck. Footsteps were crashing
down from everywhere.
My shadow tugged in one direction. The lines tugged in the other. The gateman
was coming. I turned and jumped over the gate with my shadow.
Colors were flying everywhere like blazing lights, and I was so dizzy I couldn't
get up. I felt my body was being torn apart. My mind was reeling. I kept seeing
myself jumping over the gate, again and again, and each time, I slipped through
a crack of colored light and disappeared. And in a flash I saw a new world, a
new existence, a new storyline flowing before me. And then the "me" that was watching
all these other me's jumping through colored cracks, saw that the lines of softly
glowing light were connected like threads from my mind to each of the me's that
jumped through the cracks. And although the cracks closed up, swallowing the me's
that jumped, the threads still remained. It wasn't long before I found myself
tangled in a million, billion colored threads.
My shadow wrapped itself across my face. I could hear tiny yelps of glee as he
cut the threads of light away, and I felt like parts of myself were lost somewhere,
When my shadow unwrapped itself, we were alone in a long corridor.
Shadow & Me
Chapter 25- MP3 song demo by Lyndon DeRobertis)