The Invisible Friend

This might work better as a short story than a novel, but it's an intriguing idea I want to write down before I forget. I was watching a record on Hit Record (or perhaps it was this one) and started to think about Peter Pan's shadow. It's not often you see a shadow articulated away from its person unless it's actually a shade, an apparition or some kind of specter. You never see a shadow as a shadow with nothing about its nature more sinister than a person whose very nature is bound to the person who casts it.

This got me thinking on various scenarios. The one I found most intriguing was one where a boy is lonely, and he creates an imaginary friend. But he's too old for imaginary friends. He needs something more tangible but there is nothing. Nothing but his shadow. He can play ball with his shadow (assuming he throws the ball against the wall), he can put on plays with his shadow, tell stories at night, and never be alone.

In fact, his shadow is so real that he discovers it is real. There is a person inside his shadow, one just as lonely, one just as desperate to leave his world behind. And so he does. He takes the boy's body and gives him his.

In the end, when the two are righted, the boy hasn't gained some newfound appreciation. For what he had. He's heartbroken, because in the end, his only friend in the world abandoned him as well. He really is all alone.

(Sorry for any typos. I wrote this on an iPad two-handed, and the autocorrect can get a little aggressive.)