Tag Archive | verse: shadow

Evolution, a story of the Shadow Rebellion for the Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt.

Shadow Rebellion now has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ

I didn’t believe my dad at first.

Okay, that’s not really nice of me, but I really didn’t. He liked to make up stories sometimes, to entertain us, and I knew, having spent the last summer living in one during an internship, that the cubes in the middle of the megaplexes can get really creepy if you spend too long there. I could put one and one together and come up with a dad who had gone just a little loopy, without loving him any less, without trusting him any less… just without believing him at all.

I didn’t really even believe him “at second;” when the news reports started coming out of the City, in part because he was quoted on the news. “Hey, Janie, isn’t that your dad?” is really not what you want to hear when you’re studying for an exam.

It wasn’t until we went into the City for the weekend that I really understood, or at least believed, and having begun the process, well, then I had to study it. I’m a college student, aren’t I? So I talked to a professor and he talked to the Dean and the Dean signed the papers and four of my buddies and I now have a grant.

It’s lovely how those things work out, isn’t it?

We started with the statues, figuring they would be easy. I mean, they were Writing, weren’t they?

And they were. Of course, the problem was, they weren’t writing in English. They weren’t writing in any language anyone we could find could recognize. So we hauled in a couple language students, and got them deciphering the super-slow-writing while the rest of us started finding something that could identify the shadows and the ghosts.

It took us a while.

It took us weeks just to determine exactly where to read their signal, and why the daylight lights were making them visible (not the “daylight” function, actually, but the fact that they were a special style of bulb. The light streaming through one of the chemicals in the fluorescent did it). Once we did that, we could follow them, and figure out their patterns. They followed humans, we theorized, out of camouflage; even in the light of those bulbs, they still looked pretty much like a flat shadow.

Running with that theory, we tried to open up communication with them. We tried all different sound frequencies, some different light patterns, even smells. We were on to textures and tastes when the intern we’d put on deciphering the statues came running into the lab.

“There’s a problem!” she screamed, just as we were about to try vanilla-scented sandpaper. “No, stop. They’re tactile. Haptic language, we’re pretty sure.”

“That’s what we’re trying,” I pointed out, as patiently as I could.

“The problem is, you don’t want to talk to them. You really don’t. We deciphered the statue’s language. They’re not statues. They’re… well. They used to be shadows. And, uh, we think that they have a three-stage evolution…”

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Creep – Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] bubbleblower‘s prompt, after In the Shadows (LJ) and directly after Shadow of a Doubt (LJ).


It wasn’t until a week later – when I was certain I wasn’t the only one seeing the shadows and ghosts, and when we’d determined that they were all over the City but, so far, nowhere else in America and, as far as we could tell, nowhere else in the world, either – that we really started noticing the other things.

Shadows, okay, it’s pretty obvious when a shadow points back at you. Ghosts, same thing. When they’re stealing the laundry off the line and the hot dogs out of the street vendors’ hands, obviously there’s something there doing something.

The old lights made them go away, but the old fluorescents were making people call-it-sick-we-can’t-say-crazy, and those of us who got paid to do those things made a unilateral decision that shadows pointing at people weren’t as bad as shooting sprees, and left the daylight bulbs in. We were starting to get used to the shadows and ghosts – except when they were stealing our lunch – by the time we noticed the statue.

The street-vendors were really corridor-vendors (but that sounded stupid), gathered in courtyards in the ‘plexes. Eight of us electricians met for our lunch-meetings in the same courtyard, hanging around the base of some famous chick. It wasn’t me, this time, thank god; it was Andy who noticed that the chick, who had been standing reading a book, was now writing in the same book.

Once we noticed that, well, we started looking at other statues. The ‘plexes were dotted with the things like sprinkles on cookies, and when we started asking the locals, it turned out, yeah. No-one had noticed, but they’d all started creeping, changing position. Must have taken weeks – in the week while we were asking around, the famous chick’s finger moved an inch.

They moved so damn slowly, it took us another month to realize they were trying to tell us something.

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In the Shadows – for Giraffe Call

For ZiaNuray‘s prompt.

Commenters: 3

The shadows were the first thing to go weird.

I was working on one of the new mega-complexes when I first noticed it, installing the daylight bulbs those things needed on the inner corridors, to keep people from going nuts and killing everyone (I kid you not. It had happened three time. THREE TIMES! before they figured out it was the light that was doing it, people who lived and worked and shopped all deep in the ‘plex and never got out into the real sun), when the shadows started going funny.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that it had been almost a week since I’d seen the sun myself – I rented a capsule deep in a ‘plex, worked in the city all week and drove home to Fredonia on the weekends to see the wife and kids – but I wasn’t feeling like killing anyone except the manufacturer of the damn fixtures. And then shadows, well, the first thing I noticed was that there was a shadow coming towards me with no person attached.

Okay, that was a bit weird, so I hurried up and got that bank of lights installed, flipped the breaker, checked them out. The shadow was gone, but, for a moment, ALL the shadows were gone. Even mine. I flipped the switch again, and looked at my shadow.

It was looking at me. Well, not “looking,” I guess, but it was reaching towards me. Sort of like it was pleading, I guess. And the longer those daylight bulbs glowed on it, the darker it got.

And like I said… that was the FIRST thing that went weird.

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