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Tags: life, lessons

I remember the night when it started. The dark mass that haunted me in my room.

My friends and I were playing tag along the edge of the woods. It was becoming dark, and the noises in the forest began. Crickets chirping. Toads bellowing. Owls hooting. The fireflies lighting their paths in flight.

As we walked home, the brightest one flew close, and that's when I grabbed her. I held her loose as she lighted the hollow of my fist. She was beautiful.

When I got home, I found a jar and put her inside. I punched holes in the lid so she could breathe. Her light made the glass sparkle as I put her on the table next to my bed.

When I turned the overhead light out, I shook the jar to make her cast her light. It was then that I first saw the dark mass. It was only brief. Out of the corner of my eye. I shook the jar again and lost my breath as the mass stood close, almost on top of me.

I ducked and jumped under the covers, oddly feeling safe in the darkness. I looked over at the darkened jar as I fell asleep.

The next day I went to school and forgot all about the jar and the demon in my room. Safety in numbers I suppose. My friends and I played until dark as we always did before I headed home.

Homework, bath, and dinner out of the way, I retired to my room where once again I saw her in the jar. I shook it and watched as she lit her body bright and beautiful. It was almost as if she was signaling me to let her go. But she was mine. I wanted to keep her.

I turned the overhead light off and without thinking, shook her again to see her brilliance. She lit so brightly I thought the jar would burn me. Suddenly, the dark mass was as black as ever and seemingly ready to grab me. I yelped and covered the jar with my body.

Night after night I kept her in that jar. Knowing her light would bring the demon, but unable to let her light escape me. Each night her light grew dimmer and dimmer. Each glow begging me for freedom.

Only three of us showed for tag that last night. The forest was unusually dark. And silent. Only the fireflies glowed as we lay in the grass. As I watched them, I thought of her. I would let her go in the morning. Maybe she could still find her friends.

When I got home, I rushed to my room. I wanted to see her light again and tell her; she would be set free. As I picked it up and shook it, she lay motionless in the bottom of the jar. There would be no more light. Without knowing why the sadness overwhelmed me.

The next morning I took her to the edge of the forest and buried her. I thought of the beautiful light I took away from her. I killed her. It was then I realized it was my own shadow she was showing me. I was the demon.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © 2010-2040 LDJohnson (Dreamcatcher) - All rights reserved, including all copyrights and all other intellectual property rights in the contents hereof.

The contents and composition herein are not to be copied, reproduced, printed, published, posted, displayed, incorporated, stored in or scanned into a retrieval system or database, transmitted, broadcast, bartered or sold, in whole or in part without the prior express written permission of this author.

Unauthorized duplication is strictly prohibited and will be considered illegally plagiarized and subject to any or all damage claims, and is an infringement of National and International Copyright laws.

This composition may have been inspired by something seen or heard at a time or place heretofore forgotten. In all cases, credit has been attempted to be properly given and when so given, shown as a note or in footnotes. Failure to give proper credit is a mere oversight and/or unknown to this author and not an intentional act.

It is intended to reflect an original work of fiction or based upon personal experiences. Names, characters, places, and descriptions of incidents are products of this author's imagination, fictitiously expressed, personal experience expressed either in detail or loosely referenced, or merely the humble opinion of this author. Any similarities to actual persons or events are coincidental and subject to this author's determination.

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