Flash Fiction: Shadow Man

shadow man

“Bring her to me.”

The gravelly tone didn’t affect Naja anymore, she’d numerous years at Midnight’s side to get used to the sound. But it was amusing to see the effect on others, feel their fear when face to face with the creature she’d pledged her allegiance to.

The black hole that was Midnight’s face turned her way. “You do not approve?” he asked, shadows dark beneath his wide brimmed hat, the skulls that hung down from the hat danced as he cocked his head.

She couldn’t see his eyes, couldn’t discern any features but she felt his gaze on her. Naja was one of the few people who had seen Midnight’s face—most didn’t even know he had one—but this one served his purpose.

Intimidation. Who wouldn’t want to shit themselves when faced with what amounted to a shadow in dark clothing.

Naja hadn’t said a thing but of course he already knew her thoughts on this command. The her in question was locked away on the League compound not that that would stop Midnight’s shadows, but Naja found it a waste of the shadow creatures.

“This is a pointless mission,” she said.

Midnight chuckled loudly and the shadows that were pooled around his legs shifted until they formed into three dog like shapes with glowing eyes and horns.

“Bringing you a playmate is beneath me.” They always argued about this but in the end Naja would bring the woman. She wrinkled her nose at the thought. A creature so powerful as Midnight still gave into these  urges. She didn’t get it. Would never get it.

Sex was strange to her. What was even the point of it? Seemed like a total waste of time. There were far more important things than helping Midnight sate his hunger for this woman who was more trouble than anything else.

Midnight leaned back in his chair, gloved hands settled on his front, shadow dogs dancing around his chair, seemingly rubbing against him affectionately. Naja sneered at the things.

“But you’ll do it.”

Not a question. Naja could get mouthy about anything Midnight asked of her, he clearly enjoyed their banter, but in the end they both knew she would never refuse his command.

So it had been for their entire time together. She’d owed him her life and even though he’d claimed the debt had been repaid ages ago, Naja never left.  Someone had to make sure the old shadow didn’t ruin things too much.

“What if she refuses this time?” Naja wished she would, but she never had.

“She won’t.” His tone gave the impression he was grinning. Not that she could see it. Her snake writhed on her arm. Feeding time. Perhaps she’d have time for that before she had to bring back the woman.

“I don’t understand why you do this.”

“You don’t need to.”

“She’s trouble,” Naja pointed out for the hundredth time.

“Jumbies don’t shy away from a little trouble now do we? Go. I’m hungry.”

She understood most things about Midnight but this would always be a mystery to her. These dealings with this human woman.

She snapped her fingers at the shadow soldiers. The dogs stretched their shape until they wrapped around her, leaving a tiny portion visible for her to see Midnight.

“Don’t fail me.”

He said it every time. It was their thing.

She stroked the snake on her arm, soothing it. “I never do,” she replied, before the shadows fully engulfed her, ready to take her to do the shadow man’s bidding.


Copyright © 2019 N.G. Peltier

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