Visitors From Another Realm! | The Shadow Figure’s Philosophy By Sarah Henry

Shadows in the doorway, whispers by the window. They come to us in dreams, in nightmares. They are nameless. They are…


Visitors From Another Realm!

The Shadow Figure’s Philosophy

By Sarah Henry

For The ‘Others’ Award


The man and the woman slumbered in their solid wooden bed. They liked keeping the room dark, but tonight, because it was cool, the window overlooking the garden was open. She liked falling asleep with the smells of the outside drifting over her, and tonight the moon shone brightly in the clear night sky. The air was aggressively pure in this place, and if we could have appreciated such an experience we would have felt more robust just for the breathing of it. But we don’t breathe.
He was laying on his side, breathing heavily, not quite a snore, but since she was already asleep it didn’t bother her. We knew she was a light sleeper from our observations, but though she wakes easily, she never sees us.
His eyes, however, suddenly opened in that way habitual to him. He was one who could see while not seeing. Sitting up abruptly, he caused the wooden joints of the bed to creak and squeak.
“They’re here, in the doorway again!” He said this excitedly time, a bit louder than usual. Often he would relay this information in a calm, almost resigned manner. We frequently visited these two, well him really, and he was for the most part used to our presence.
“They’re not. There is no one there,” she replied calmly but we could sense her heart beating more rapidly than it should for one just awakened.
“Yes. They are there. The two of them. In the doorway again,” he insisted.
“No, no, just go back to sleep, you’re hallucinating remember, it’s one of those dreams.”
“Are you sure?” He asked dubiously, “They’re right there.”
“Go back to sleep, it’s not real.” She turned on her side after placing her hand on his arm in reassurance. She didn’t want to stare too intently at the door in case looking too closely would make us appear to her. Her mind didn’t want to accept our presence. She was too practical for that kind of revelation.
He looked suspiciously at the now empty doorway, then laid down again and fell asleep. We wanted to stay just a bit longer to complete our observations, out of sight this time. We can be very discreet when we want to be, but sometimes our curiosity gets the better of us and we become a bit too real.
We have been visiting the realm between dreams and the lives of humans for many, many years, collecting as much information as possible to make sense of their purpose. Our most valuable collections come when our subjects are unconscious to their world. They have strange philosophies, these humans, they attach their language to nearly every experience, emotion, and feeling they encounter, hammering them down to almost dead squirming things, then smile brilliantly at their conquest of each intangible concept.
In our world we know nothing of this conquest, this thing called language. We have learned theirs for the sake of communication, simply, to tell this story among others, but the very act of using these methods leaves a strange taste in our mouths. They think that the labeling of things brings them closer to truths, or, A Truth, or The Truth. What they don’t know is the aching beauty of that which cannot be spoken or named. Some of them know this experience, and may even savor it quietly until another asks what they’re thinking and the moment is lost.
These humans are afraid of us. They scream sometimes as if we are nightmares, call us things like aliens, and we worry our shadowy forms must startle them, but know no other way to inhabit their world. They fear our crawling along walls, flying quickly by bare windows, peering at them from the sides of their beds, so we have taken to standing quietly in the doorframes, politely watching. We understand some of their customs after all, it isn’t correct to walk uninvited through the doorway of someone else’s home. They never speak to us, for all their words, they know not what to say.
We have been visiting these dreamers in endless loops of time and we still can’t figure them out.

5 thoughts on “Visitors From Another Realm! | The Shadow Figure’s Philosophy By Sarah Henry

  1. Really enjoyed the language and labelling part, Sarah.
    Isn’t it poignant that in our intellectual pursuits to analyse everything in life, we risk the beauty of just feeling and living it?
    The imagery provoked of nailing a concept down like a writhing insect was sublime. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment, Ted! I’m glad you enjoyed the story – by far the one I most enjoyed writing.

    2. And yes. It’s tricky while writing – we do want to nail down those intangibles with our words, but something is always lost…

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