A Shadow’s Promise.
A conglomeration of disparaged shadows slid like dribbling mercury out of the closet, and Benny was awake.
The moon had its back turned on the world tonight, and from it no light came. The stars, too, had taken it upon themselves to find less bitter darknesses to shine themselves at.
Benny, that poor off little blind boy, could not bear witness to the shadows which rose so coldly from themselves. But those shadows rose anyway, and they slunk toward him, and he could hear them chittering among themselves as they did so, that poor little blind boy, whispering of children gone lost and never found, and of tears and platonic little boys and girls getting deader and deader as their cries fled their mouths but were just a hair too dull to cut into the simple dark of it all and—
And now their hands were on his shoulders, and he flailed, and wailing drove his fists and feet and voice into the air all round himself, until his fear had coated the bed and the walls and the floor and the pillows that he spent so many warmer nights crying into when those portly shadow fragments pushed themselves into his eyes, and made his poor little lightless world that much darker, and sucked away at sanity.
Benny coiled and recoiled his body until its shape began to compress into itself, pushing out the marrow and calcium of his bones into his bloodstream, where they clogged themselves and curdled his heart. The grip and the bite and the sunkenness of the shadows were driven into him, and not an ounce of his cry could have left the room that night when they finally came, all after so many nights of cadaver-cold death promises that neither Mommy nor Daddy could wish away with their own assurances that things were alright, that even though the news was full of bad boys and crueler men, none would come for him, no sir, not this blind little Benny.
But it did not take bad men to make shadows.
And shadows . . . shadows do not take long at all to fulfill their promises.