The Shadow Girl, by Fanni Sütő
Dow lived in an alleyway of crooked bricks and poisonous ivy. It was not much of a home but it was the only place she could call her own. An occasional cat or fox kept her company and every now and again a couple would stumble in to have quick and alcohol soaked love.
They never noticed Dow. She was nothing more than a lingering presence, an uneasy feeling of somebody watching. Dow looked at the girls intensely, creeping so close to them that her nose would be just inches from their kissed mouth and she could even see the teardrop trembling on the eyelashes of some of them.
After a few minutes she always sighed with frustration and retreated to the dimness. None of them was Her. Dow stopped hoping a long time ago but since she had nothing else to do, she continued her search. Day by day, week by week she grew a little thinner and paler, becoming nothing more than an echo of a rain washed afternoon, when the girl she belonged to decided it was time to become a woman. Dow remembered the boy who smelled of overchewed bubblegum and had a pimple next to his left ear. She remembered turning her eyes, trying to melt into the darkness of the alley, she didn’t want to see. She huddled behind the shadow of a fat garbage bag and closed her eyes shut. By the time she gathered the strength to come out from her hiding place, her girl and the boy were already gone.
Dow tried to run after them but the shadows of the alleyway were clinging to her and the fingers of poison ivy clutched her ankles. The graffitis overhead were laughing at her in their violent red voice.
In her moment of cowardice, Dow became a disembodied shadow and had to live with the guilt for the rest of her existence. As for the girl, she left the boy on the next corner and ran home; never truly realising that she left a part of herself in that abandoned alleyway.
Fanni Sütő is a writer in her mid-twenties. She writes in Hungarian and English; poems, flash fiction and countless unfinished novels. She tries to find the magical in the everyday and likes to spy on the secret life of cities and their inhabitants. Website: www.inkmapsandmacarons.com