The Shadow Guardian (The Shadow Series Book 1)

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Chapter 3

I would like to say that I did something mature and grown up like whisper back or stay still, but no. As you can guess, I screamed.

I jumped up from my bed, my feet touching down on the cold, carpeted floor, my back pressed up against my bedroom door. I scanned the room, seeing nothing unusual. I kept my ears open. Hearing nothing but the loud music from downstairs, I decided it to be just my imagination. Until...

"Era...!" I could hear it. The voice was solid and familiar, but I just couldn't pinpoint where I heard it from. The creapiest part? It came from right behind me.

I tried not to squirm, but I moved my back just a few inches away from the door. "Wh-who are you?" I asked, my voice quivering. All my life, I've been dreaming of something supernatural and out of the ordinary to actually happen to me, like in the books I read. But now that it's actually happening? Well then...

"Who are you?" I asked again, my voice a little louder this time.

"Turn around, and you'll see." The voice said again, directly behind me. I wanted to turn around, but the cautious part of my brain told me not to. I felt cold, as if the cold autmn air was flooding into my room, but the window was closed shut. So, throwing caution to the wind, I turned around.

I opened my eyes which I shut just seconds before, and I saw nothing but my shadow cast upon the door. "Wh-what?" I muttered, utterly confused. I watched as my shadow tilted it's head to the side, but I was very, very sure that I didn't. My emerald eyes widened in surprise and I stepped back, but my shadow didn't move. It raised it's left hand and waved. "Hi."

And I screamed again, stumbling onto my bed. "Wh-what?" I stared at my shadow, unmoving, not following my lead.

"What is it with you and questions?" My shadow said, humbly crossing it's arms. It's voice, undoubtedly, sounded exactly like mine. "Relax, girl. I won't hurt you. I can't hurt you at all, really. I'm just a shadow." It jestured to itself. "So will you please calm down and let me explain- uh - stuff?"

I took a deep breath trying to process everything that was happening. This shadow's outline was exactly like mine. Same height, figure, same wavy hair. But everything else was all dark. "Uhm, okay, er- shadow." I said, unsure of what to call it... or her.

"Just call me Erika, and I'll call you Era. " My shadow laughed nervously, moving across the walls to stand next to me. "Listen, I'm not sure entirely how to explaint this, but let's start with the fact that I'm your shadow. "

"Duh." I said as a default reply. I was getting a little used to this.... shadow.

It...I mean, Erika, laughed again. "Sorry." She said. "You and I...we were never really good with speaches or 'hello's."

"I know." I reassured her, a smile cracking onto my face as well. "So as my shadow, do you know everything about me?" I asked.

"Yes, actually. Being with you since birth, I pretty much have your memories and manerism." She said. "Except I don't know all your thoughts. And my attitude is a little bit different from yours. But hey, it goes for everybody." My shadow shrugged. "So, I'll go ahead and start with the basics. Shadows are basically bound to their perspective humans. Part of our escence goes with you wherever the light shines so that we can be cast. But most of our escence, usually our conscious escence, is in the Shadow realm. There we thrive and live our lives, but part of us remain with you as the shadows who walk beside you. The only way we can talk to you is through our mortal form. It takes immense power to detatch from following your movements, but we can talk to you anytime if we want. That's why I've been saving all my energy for this day.

"A few certain people have tried to stop me but they totally failed. Mostly because doctors think that those people who hear voices in their head are crazy, but those are just shadows trying to communicate. It's become outlawed, really. Endangering the humans. But if you gather enough strength to actually unbind yourself from a human, like I did, it's allowed. It only lasts for about less than an hour, depending on your strength. They think too little of me. Like how Jessica and Lisa think of you, at least that's what you think."

"Wait." I cut in. "You know how I think of them?"

"And how you feel." Erika confirmed. "Anyways, so shadows, as most people like to think, weren't actually created from darkness. They were created from light and darkness. Shine a light on an object, and a shadow is cast behind it as darkness. We live in the between of the light and shadow realm. Without light, you won't see shadows. Without dark, shadows can't form. So yeah, we're kind of like a boundary. And humans are kind of like our anchors."

"So what happens if.... let's say a human dies?" I asked, a little curious. "What happens to his shadow?"

"The shadow's escence floods back into itself, but it can never return to the mortal realm. Once humans die, we're completed. Our missing selves restored. But it gets a little lonely." She said. "So yes, I am here to bring you to the Shadow Realm. I want you to see. I know how you've been feeling lately, and I just.... wanted to cheer you up. And you just.... you just have to come with me, okay?"

I pondered my shadow's words. It did sound pretty good. But then I remembered Zach's warning. "Question: is someone after me?" I asked.

Erika laughed. "Other than me? No." She said. "Like I said, people are trying to stop me." Then her head tilted from side to side, looking around the room. And then her eyes stopped on my desk. "To get to the Shadow Realm, we need a solid shadow for transportation and an escort. That shadow under your table... that works. No blurred lines on the side, see?"

I looked at it, moving closer. The shadow did seem like solid darkness, the sides weren't fused with color. The lights suddenly shut off and I had to keep from screaming again. I felt a cold hand grab mine and I felt a chill flow through my body.

"Relax, it's me." I heard Erika say next to me. I looked to where she was and saw... well,I saw her. Out of the darkness in the room, there seemed to be a more solid blob of darkness in the shape of a person. I knew right away that that was Erika. "You ready?" She asked. I made out her free hand reaching in towards the underneath of the table. I didn't even have the time to respond when she surged forward, molting into the shadow. Then she pulled me in as well. I closed my eyes as I felt the coldness wrap around my body and then I was falling. Falling and falling and falling.... and then standing.

I still felt Erika's cold hand clutching mine. "Open your eyes..." her gentle voice whispered with excitement. And I did...

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