The Shadow Man

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly blog link-up led by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields at Addicted to PurpleThe Challenge – write a one hundred word (plus or minus) story with a beginning, middle, and end inspired by the picture*. The Key – make every word count. *Image ©  Connie Gayer …(Mrs. Russell)

wired

The Shadow Man

After fifty-five years of marriage, George no longer knows Judith. His brain is as pockmarked as the barren once-upon-a-field they walk every evening, a habit he doesn’t remember has been their routine for as long as they’ve been together.

Tonight he stops her and points down. “Lamont Cranston.”

“Darling, who?” she says. “It’s me, Judith.”

The shadow knows,” he says and attempts a sinister laugh. She looks at where he points. On the ground, waving from a bit of wire, is a shadow of a man dancing with the weed from which it comes. She smiles for the fleeting moment.

*****

100 words. Feedback is appreciated. Click below to read other creative contributions to this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt.

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33 thoughts on “The Shadow Man

  1. Love this! I actually considered writing about the shadow in the photo and then somehow my mind took me elsewhere (to Panama!). Glad you’ve taken this tact…..ripe with possibilities and you’ve done it so well here. Love the simple line, “Darling, who?” I can just hear her saying this and looking at him quizzically! Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my…..just looked at your site’s header and realized that when I started my blogging a year ago in March, I somehow found your site and commented to you about my being from Iowa — and loving this idea of being guests in your corn 🙂 Serendipity that FF would bring me back again!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lillian. I did enjoy your Panama story. I saw that shadow almost immediately, but when I didn’t see any other stories with it yesterday, I began to wonder if I was imagining it. I’m glad you saw it too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. (was a shadow of a man dancing with the weed from which it came ~ this is an awkward sentence)

    I like where you went with this. Upon looking closely at the picture, one can almost see a tiny hand waving off the end of the shadow. Good eye, Good take.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Alicia

      Now that I see it isolated, and I’ve had some time away, I can see that is an awkward sentence. I probably could have let it be at “dancing with the weeds” or “dancing with the weeds of the field.”

      Like

    • It was originally in present tense and in first person. This one went through multiple edits. I slipped into the more comfortable past tense, but neglected to notice I didn’t change the tense in the first paragraph. Thank you for pointing it out.

      Like

  3. Such a great opening – so much is set up in such a few words. I wasn’t sure about when he points and says, ‘Look. Lamont Cranston’, and then she replies, that it’s ‘me, Judith’. This suggests to me that he was pointing at her, but then we learn he’s pointing elsewhere. It’s minor but it made me stop reading to try and work out what was happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In an early draft I had him pointing at the ground, but still she said “it’s me” with her not paying attention to where he was pointing at first. I was unsatisfied with the ending, so I took out those words to get the sentence about her smiling. Thank you for letting me know it caused you to pause. I do return to these after some time has passed and post them on a website dedicated to 100 word stories, and this will help with the edits for that.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think you and Sandra are correct. It was originally in present tense and first person. I changed all but the tense of the first paragraph.
      I’m glad you like it. Thank you for telling me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Dale.
      I do generally do a lot of editing and revising before I publish a story, but it’s all within a 24-hour period. I will edit and update a published post if someone points out a typo or misspelling, or if there’s something multiple people point out as confusing I’ll try to fix it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is the first post I’ve read where the writer took advantage of the shadow. I love that. It worked especially well with your dementia laden character and his patient, loving wife. There’s a lady in our writing group whose husband (a former lawyer) has Alzheimers. Some of her stories touch on these brief moments of connection. Well done, Melanie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hadn’t even consciously seen the shadow before I read your story, and now you’ve given it a shape, a name and a moving story. Since I’m reading rather late, it’s all in present tense and works very well for me. I got the conversation with ‘it’s me, Judith’ immediately, since you mentioned his forgetfulness right in the beginning. Wonderful story.

    Liked by 1 person

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