Shadow – Flash Fiction

Photo of the shadow of a woman on an orange background.
Photo: Cecilia Lovos

Since you insist on following me, I’m going to have to take your picture.

Are you here to stay? Will you get angry when my words dry out? Will you take my offerings as nuisances or blessings? Can we change places for a day?

Just for once, I’d love to look at myself in the mirror and see a blank canvas and not an assortment of features to be improved. Not a face too flat, a nose too small, or lips too thin, or eyes too blunt. Maybe if all the lines of my face disappeared, its reflection would no longer evoke memories of storms from a drowning world or the words of love I’ll never hear again. Maybe I’d move among people, attract no gaze, to observe them from a distance and wonder what it feels like to share their laughter.

Many years ago I wrote a short story about a woman who turns invisible. At first, it was great. She could go where she pleases undetected and enjoys the freedom of living a life without being noticed. But eventually, a man catches her eye. He’s kind and sensitive and funny, and she starts following him. She tries and fails to communicate with him, and in the end, she frightens him, and he leaves.

This short vignette is perhaps a companion of that story. If I can’t find the original one, I might rewrite it.

I took the photo a couple of days ago at the Expo. It took me a while to get the courage to take my DSLR with me to take photos at the Expo, mostly because I didn’t know what to photograph. But trying to take photos of details and more everyday images of it has been fun so far.

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Want to read another short story? Try these:

Love with every stranger, stranger the better

The Birds

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