Shadow
Francine Witte


E verywhere she looked, she saw herself. Mirrors, of course, but more.
She had to avoid appliances. Shiny toasters, irons and such.
She gave up talking to people with glasses, or slicked-back hair. And spoons, spoons offered her nothing but upside-down cameos of herself. She soon learned to eat with her hands.



One day, she went to work and someone told her she looked nice. She quit that very afternoon.
She went home and sold everything that offered a reflection. The TV, computer. And since her bank account reflected how much money she had, she decided to sell that, too.
She ended up all alone in the desert. Twirls of dust and grit. Cactus playing stick-em-up. Here, she could become a ripple in the sand. If anyone wanted to ask her anything, if anyone wanted to know why she was busy, always busy while her mother stared at the ceiling in the nursing home, she could say, hey, can't you see I'm just a ripple?
The sun in the desert never ends. Except at night and exactly noon. Those times, she doesn't have to look at her shadow.

First published: November 2000
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