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The Shadow (A Short Story)

By H. J. Huser All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Mystery

Special Delivery

A shadowy figure moved swiftly through the streets of Aldwell. Using the cover of the darkness, the figure carried its package gracefully to its destination. This was an important delivery; one of the more important ones of the figure’s career. The figure clutched the package to its chest as it rounded a corner. It ducked behind a stack of crates as two guards strolled by on their night watch. The two chatted oblivious to the figure hiding in the shadows. One was tall and slender. The other was short and chubby.

“How’s the family?” The taller one spoke.

“The usual,” the other shrugged. “The kids are obnoxious and the wife won’t stop nagging.”

The taller one laughed as they continued their conversation while walking. Once their voices died down as they disappeared around the corner. The figure hurdled the crates with ease. The package was checked once more to ensure its safety as the figure rounded yet another corner to exit the alley. Light from the candles in the streetlamps dimly lit the stone streets.  The figure slowly approached the steps leading to a bakery.

The owners of the small shop lived above in a one-room apartment. The baker and his wife had suffered a recent tragedy. Their newborn son had been stillborn several months before. This occurred after the couple had suffered several miscarriages over the course of a few years.  The wife, distraught at the thought of never becoming a mother, had given up all hope of raising children. Her husband was concerned for her health because the woman’s grief was making her more and more ill with each passing day.

The ghostly figure carefully set the package down on the steps to the bakery. Knock. Knock. Knock.  It pounded on the wooden door three times before disappearing back into the shadows. The mysterious deliverer watched and waited for the baker to open the door to find his package.

The baker, a short and stout man, opened the door in his night clothes. His wife’s nightly sobbing could be heard from upstairs. He gave a quick glance around to look for whoever was visiting his home so late at night. Finding no one, he began to shut the door when a small noise caught his attention. He looked down at the package the figure at brought. His eyes widened before he picked it up. He looked around for whoever delivered the precious cargo. Again, he found no one. He quietly prayed his thanks to God and closed the door behind him. He held the package gently within his arms as he ascended the stairs to his sobbing wife to show her the miracle that had been bestowed upon them.

The figure, satisfied with the night’s delivery, whistled a light tune as it returned home to prepare for the next delivery. 


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