From the day of the accident, Daisy began living one step ahead of the world. Or, rather, her shadow did.
At first, it was mere moments. The anticipation of a sip of tea, her silhouette’s hand reaching for the mug before hers did. The premonition of a turning page, shadow fingers grazing paper while her real ones still lingered. It was an intriguing, albeit harmless game of catch-up, with her life ever so slightly lagging behind its own forecast.
But then, amidst the mundane and the innocent, a darker omen lurked. A shadow stretched itself before her on her daily walk, one that wasn’t hers— a gaunt, elongated form of a man, head tilted, as though scrutinizing her. It would appear around corners, its feet dancing a few heartbeats before she’d turn the bend, its silhouette posturing as if waiting… watching.
Daisy took a different route home every day, but there was no escaping the shadow. It was persistent, growing bolder, beginning to interact with her own shadow in eerie pantomimes of whispered secrets and hushed conversations. Desperate, Daisy began avoiding sunlight, staying indoors, surrounding herself with artificial light where shadows behaved predictably.
However, it was during one gloomy evening that she was confronted not by the man’s shadow but by another, familiar one—soft, delicate, unmistakably her mother’s. But her mother had been gone for years. This shadow mimed a beckoning gesture, urging Daisy to follow.
Despite herself, Daisy was drawn out into the twilight, trailing the ghostly shadow as it glided through the streets, leading her to a dilapidated building—her childhood home. Inside, time seemed suspended. Every item, every faded photograph was exactly where she remembered.
In her old bedroom, Daisy discovered a hidden floorboard. Beneath it lay a diary. Her mother’s words spilled forth, revealing the gift of foresight passed down in their family, a gift that sometimes became a curse. The diary detailed her mother’s own struggle with her anticipating shadow, her guilt of foreseeing tragedies she couldn’t prevent, and finally, her decision to shelter Daisy from this legacy.
The last page carried a warning: the shadow of a mysterious man, a harbinger, appearing to those who are struggling with their gift, signaling a crucial crossroads.
Realization crashed over Daisy. The gift wasn’t a curse; it was a beacon, a tool. She decided to embrace it, to harness its power for good. The shadow of the mysterious man faded with her acceptance, replaced by the warm, guiding silhouette of her mother.
Daisy founded a sanctuary for those like her, teaching them to navigate their shadows, to discern the line between fate and free will. And in the dance of light and dark, she discovered a delicate balance—where the past whispered to the present, and the future was but a shadow away.