I saw a shadow man today, tracking me through the corn. It kept its distance, for which I was grateful, but it moved when I moved, stepped where I stepped, stumbled when I stumbled. It stayed with me for some time before I stopped and turned to face it.
Hey, there, shadow man, I called to it. Why do you shadow me today?
I could see its mouth open in response, but I could not hear its words. After a moment I shrugged and moved on. It shrugged and did the same.
We traveled together for a while in this way. The corn was tall, the sun high overhead, and I lost the shadow man several times. Each time, though, it reappeared and continued to shadow me.
Eventually, we reached the end of the corn, and the field opened onto a rolling hillside.
This is where I go, I said. Will you still shadow?
It thought this over for a moment, then shook its head.
Very well, I said. Perhaps I will see you again.
I waved and moved on down the hill.
The shadow man stayed, but I could feel it waving behind me.
[Originally posted at Ficly.]