Shadow Puppet Girl

Shadow Puppet Girl flies in through my open window and kneels by my bedside. She shakes me awake and says she’s here for a visit and doesn’t stop poking at my ribs until I finally get out of bed. She smells like spring flowers dying slowly. It’s dark in my bedroom but I can still see her so distinctly from everything else. She is one color only, the color of shadow. I ask her who she is and where she comes from, and she tells me she is the shadow of my past. Of every memory and heartache and wound. I ask her why she is only one color then, and shouldn’t she also be red? The color of heartbreak and blood and rage? Shadow Puppet Girl points a blaming finger straight at me. Tells me that all my wounds cast the same dark shadow on the wall of the world, and that she can only be what I project. I feel bad about this so I get dressed. Put on a pair of overalls, braid my hair, and ask Shadow Puppet Girl to take me back to my childhood. We travel back to the age when I had the most stuffed animals, and together we rip out the hearts of every single one of them and I make Shadow Puppet Girl a dress from the soft red threads of my childhood. I ask her if she’ll leave me alone now, if she’ll let me sleep in peace. But Shadow Puppet Girl is too busy twirling around and around in her new pretty red dress and doesn’t hear a word I say.

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