PETALS OF A SHADOW: A SHORT STORY short story fiction stories

ayomakinde Fiction Writer
Autoplay OFF   •   8 months ago
Our lives are like shadows, when we die.
The petals are our personal traits; the life that follow us to the grave!


My sleep had been interrupted; the manner and way with which I sprang up said it all. I had gotten up abruptly, eyes still very red, my blue spotted shirt ruffled.

There was no perspiration, no nightmares, I think, but, I had been in a deep sleep. I struggled to recall my environment, as my head banged severely, a reminder of the rude interruption.

My eyes caught a man lying down in front of me. I tried to get his attention to no avail.

He appeared to be a hell of a deep sleeper! Still disoriented, I stepped out of the room and then out of the house.

“What was happening?’’ was the first question on my mind,’’ Was it that I had been in such deep sleep that upon waking up, I had lost touch with reality?

But, I had never been a deep sleeper!

Even when my desk at Safari dailies, the online magazine company for which I work as a journalist and editor was packed full and I had to take some work home,

which of course was against my personal principle, with the stress of working into the night, I never slept like this.

Fine, I was a workaholic, something that has become somewhat of a crazy addiction I have become comfortable with, but as hard as I worked, I was not a serious sleeper.

As I stood outside , looking down at myself in a bid to bring myself up to date with reality, a young lady hurriedly passed by me.

“ Excuse me……,” I tried to get her attention .

If she was a snob, she must have been a pretty good one, because the way she breezed past me without so much as a glance in my direction said it all.

“Or did she think I wanted to flirt with her? But, why would she think that way of a complete stranger?” I reasoned.

She had very good ‘assets’ though, the butt was well rounded as if it had been carefully moulded by a master potter, vibrating in undulation as she walked.

Her two full blown melons had one of the finest proportions, well packaged and regal.

The blast of a siren whisked me back to reality from my lustful thoughts! What was happening? I observed keenly from where I stood.

Right in front of the house I had stepped out from, an ambulance halted, the tyres screeching. Three paramedics rushed out of the ambulance carrying a stretcher.

Then, a fourth person stepped out and suddenly my brain was hit, the memories rushed in!

“Yewande!’’ I called out. Yewande was my wife, I fondly call her the sausage in my sharwama. We loved each other dearly.

We’ve being married for about three years and our love seem to be on fire everyday.

Yes we fight, we have our individual differences, and disagree like regular couples, but guess what? The disagreements when resolved always helped to fan the flames of our love.

Our love was one made in heaven!

The energy with which I had shouted her name no doubt should have captured her attention, however the look on her face confused me.

At the moment I appeared not to be relevant… something else was. There was something overwhelmingly urgent she and the paramedics were racing into the house to do.

The look on her face was intense, whatever was inside that house was more important than me from all indications. So, I waited.

“Who is that?” I asked no one in particular as I sighted the paramedics carrying a man out of the house on the stretcher.

“Who was this man?” My wife followed behind, but it was not the same Yewande that entered the house that came out.

The woman that came out was completely broken, the river of tears that spilled from her eyes flowed freely without restraint. Her eyes were glued to the man on the stretcher.

But who was this man? I moved closer to get a better look, maybe now she would see me, I thought. That was when I received the greatest shock of my life. ..

The man on the stretcher was the same man I had seen sleeping in the house. He had been lying face down then so I could not see his face.

I knew this man all along! The man that laid lifeless on the stretcher was no other person but me!!! So I was dead? Now everything began to add up.

I finally understood why the young lady that passed by me did not respond when I spoke to her. She did not see me, she did not hear me.

Was this what it meant to be dead? You can’t communicate with anyone around you no matter how hard you try? I have always wondered what it meant to be dead.

So this was it? I moved closer to hug and console my wife, but my body slipped through her. I screamed in shock, but nobody heard me.

I overheard the paramedics telling my wife I had died of cardiac arrest. I sighed.

As I continued trying to unsuccessfully get the attention of my wife, I heard a deafening bang. Apparently, no one else had heard it.

Looking up, I saw a huge light, brighter than anything I have ever seen in my life. The light was so compelling, it drew me in, I could feel it.

I wanted to declare my love for my wife, I wanted to wipe her tears and tell her not to cry for me.

I wanted to tell her that death was nothing but a transition, and I still feel very much alive, only I had no form or voice to reach her.

This was an end, but death is not death as many people see it, it was the beginning of another life totally different from the one we know. The new life was calling…

I woke up in heavy perspiration. It was all a dream! My heart pounding vehemently against my rib cage as if it wanted to be free by all means. My bedspread was all soaked in my sweat.

The air conditioner was off. There had been a power outage, the usual gimmick of the electricity providers….the travails of living in a developing country. I cursed under my breath.

The room was too stuffy, the very air in the room was hot. I looked right, my wife was still fast asleep beside me.

‘’But what kind of dream is this?’’ I asked myself, still bewildered. The dream had felt very real. “Was it just a dream?” I wondered.


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