Chasing Shadows

By Andrew Samuelsen

Twilight shows through our windows

Inside the house, we turn on the lights

For the moment night is pushed from us

Outside the darkness grows

as night makes its way through the windows and into our rooms

We turn on the outside lights

Time for sleep arrives

and I turn off the lights downstairs

The last one in the foyer can be turned off by one switch

I turn it off and immediately climb the stairs

Instead of climbing, I start to run up the steps, taking one

then two steps at a time

certain I’m about to be grabbed,

surprised by some unknown and sinister thing

Once upstairs, the light in the hall shines down

on the darkness below

where obscure corners and unseen rooms

remain quiet, revealing nothing as I wait,

looking, listening, willing my heart to slow

Soon I am ready to turn off the last of the lights

I turn off the hall light and, for a moment, darkness prevails

As my eyes adjust, a different kind of light appears

through the window ever faintly

Tonight it is moonlight, silvery, full, and somehow pure

Shadows appear, first in the hallway

as if creeping up the stairs to follow unwanted

where I see only in a kind of half-light

Later, from a deep sleep, a thump followed by a creaking

tells me I must face the shadows, peer into them

to see if they are indeed shadows or something more,

I lift my head from the pillow to listen

then return to the hallway, alert

Once there I strain to look, wondering if they move

my heart thumping as I wait

the familiar creaking and cracking of the house returns

Seeing and hearing nothing,

I take one last look down the stairs and to the dark corners

I cannot see, I cannot sleep, for there are so many

other places I ought to check, but I don’t!

About the Author

Drew Samuelsen is an Actor and Writer, known for his work on Insomniac Frightmare Killers and Aloof Drifter (2018). He served four years on active duty in the Marines. He is also known for his stories, Fiend and Restart, on his podcast, American Gothic.