I began to see the shadows a couple weeks ago. Those tall, thin figures that follow everyone, black limbs draped over them. When I first began seeing them, I told myself I was crazy. But isn't that just an excuse we all use to explain the impossible?

The sight of the shadows made my stomach churn and my mind ache. On my tongue, I would taste death. What was I seeing? And why?

Eventually I could block them out, but I never forgot them.

There are days that I slip up. Too much on my mind and I... I see them again. I see them behind my mom, my little brother. I see them behind my dad.

I have come to believe that those figures are a darker part of us we try to hide. And as far as I know, I'm the only one that can see them. The people around me are like puppets on strings, moved along by their shadows.

I don't know much more about them. All I know is that I'm not being played by any kind of puppeteer. That's the only comfort I have in this mess.

I avoid people as much as possible now. I cancelled my plans for college, and I'm going to be leaving the house as soon as possible. Where I'll go? I don't know. But even alone in my room, I can feel the shadows. I can't block them out anymore. And believe me, I've tried. Rot and decay cloud my senses. I can't be around people without wanting to claw my eyes out. It wouldn't matter if I did, though. I don't have to see them to know they're there.

Right now I'm going through my things, packing a bag with only necessities. Tomorrow I'm out of here.

It'll be so much better on my own. I can be free from the shadows. That's all I care about anymore.

Moving clothes from my closet, I bump the long mirror that's stashed away in the far back. I had forgotten about that. It falls and hits the wooden floor. The impact wasn't enough to break it though.

I kneel down and pick it up, holding it steady in my hands. Hesitantly, I peer at my reflection. My eyes are blood shot, dark circles beneath them. My brown hair is a mess. I'm thinner than I used to be.

Suddenly a sharp pain cuts through my mind, and my stomach begins to ache. My hands shake as they go to my mouth, holding back a scream when I taste death. The mirror tips over away from me. I scramble backwards and slam into the wall. My breath is quick as I close my eyes and hit my head over and over, trying to convince myself that what I saw behind me wasn't really there. I'm crazy.

But we all know that was just an excuse. What I had seen could never have been more real.