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Fables

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Shadowperson

Fourteen year old Dolly opened her eyes slowly and, through her blurry vision, saw a dark figure moving at the foot of her bed. She immediately recoiled back and whimpered, “W-who's that?” The figure turned its head and looked at her for only a few moments before moving to the desk on the opposite wall and picking up the adjacent foldable chair. The gaze of this stranger had strangely comforted Dolly. Despite the curious circumstances, if asked, she wouldn't be able to explain why she was so calm in its presence. While the mysterious figure moved about her room, pulling a book out from the shelf over her desk as well as the chair, she looked at her electronic clock and saw, in neon-blue numbers, 3:53 AM on the face of the clock. She looked back to see the visitor standing over her side of the bed.

The figure, taking on a slightly more recognizable form as that of a male, set the book down by the side of the bed. He then proceeded to unfold the chair and place it next to the her. The man sat in the chair and bent over sideways to pick up the book, never breaking eye contact with her. He opened up the book and moved his hands to his face as if to put on reading glasses. In a lovely, warm voice which Dolly instantly recognized as her father's, he started reading excerpts from Aesop's Fables which were her personal favorites as a young child.

Dolly lay and listen as her father read The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Bear and the Travelers, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Dog and the Wolf, and her favorite of them all, The Lion and the Mouse. She looked back at the clock to see that she had spent a full hour listening to her father read aloud to her as he did years ago. Like a young child being sung a lullaby, Dolly felt her eyes get heavier and heavier. She fell asleep to her father brushing the hair out of her face.

She woke up the next morning crying.

She was so happy to have spent a little more time with her father who, just one month before, had died at the hands of a thug.

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