Five O’Clock Shadow

Feeling his Fitbit buzz, Thomas leaped up, hurrying out of the house as he checked the time and confirmed, yes, 4:59.

It was sunny, which was helpful. He ran out of the house to the sidewalk, scattering the snoozing cats on his porch into three directions. On the sidewalk, he stopped, panting fast and holding still. He checked his shadow. It was crisply defined on the white pavement. The other wasn’t there.

The Fitbit said it was still 4:59. It didn’t show seconds, which he lamented. Cars rumbled by, breezes tousled the trees’ leaves, and the cats crept out to see what he was doing.

Then, it must have been five, because the shadow was there. “Who are you?” Thomas said.

“Your shadow,” the shadow said. “One of many.”


“Yes. You’re the one true person. The rest, like me, are just shadow.” The voice and shadow were fading.

“Wait,” Thomas said, a ridiculous request because the shadow couldn’t wait. It was a five o’clock shadow. Why did it appear? What did it all meant?

He didn’t know. At this point, only his shadow knew for sure.


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