Sin and Shadow

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by Calum Kerr

The lampposts in my street flicker as she passes. The lights disappear for a fraction of a second, yes, but I realise, after she passes the third one, that the whole post also blinks from existence.

I take another sip of whisky and think for a moment, then I look towards each side of the window, looking for the cord to raise the blind. I pull, and it rattles upwards, dust dislodging into a coughing cloud. When it clears, and once more look through the glass, I expect her to be gone, a figment exorcised. But she is still there.

She has stopped in front of one of the lights, which strobes on and off, and the post itself goes with it.

I watch for a moment until I’m sure — the light is distracting — but yes, she too is as impermanent as the street furniture behind her. There, not there. There, not there. And she is staring across the street, in through my window, and straight at me.

I gaze back, my glass falling from my hand. I faintly hear a clunk as the lead crystal impacts on the carpet. Her eyes seem to grow larger — or closer, maybe — and they aren’t flickering at all. They are steady, and deep and dark.

And then, in a flash of dark, too quick to be measured in heartbeats, she is across the road and standing in front of me. She is inside, in the space between me and the glass, as though her body has moved to catch up with her eyes.

“Are you ready?” she asks, and blinks.


Calum Kerr is a writer, lecturer, editor and director of National Flash-Fiction Day in the UK. He has written and published many flashes, stories and poems. He has a website at www.calumkerr.co.uk, and can be found on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/calumkerrwriter/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/calumkerr).