But Flatter

“I’m tired of following this human around,” said the shadow. “It’s stupid.”

“Bored?” asked the other shadow. “Yeah, they do tend to do the same stuff over and over.”

“It’s not boredom!” If they hadn’t been speaking in shadow-voices, which naturally travel through the shadows of sound waves, the shout would have woken up its person. “It’s not. I… I want what it has. To be able to do stuff, not just whatever it does but flatter.”

“Put in for a transfer,” said the second. “Be the shadow of a factory or an office building for a while. Those can be real peaceful. And being so big? Really gives you perspective.”

“No, I want to do things! Like the humans. It’s not fair. Why don’t we get to do? Act instead of react? I just want some choice!”

“Well, what do you do at night?”

“At night?”

“Yeah, you know. With the lights out, the big boss covers your shift. I like to go flying out in craters on the moon.”

“We can go off duty?” Its shadow-voice was breathy, unbelieving.

“Did you even read the shadow manual?” But it was talking to empty darkness, the other shadow already gone.

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