Story: A Shadowlander’s Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within (all chapters)

Authors: Shinigami_Shimai

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Chapter 1

[Author's notes: Note: This is a side story from my Shadowlanders Series, however it is a stand alone short that does not require reading A Shadowlander’s Dream in order to understand. For those who have read the Shadowlanders stories it will open up more insight into the mysteries of the shadowlands and the worlds there after. Enjoy.

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams


Chapter One

As I lay upon the icy marble floor with this frosty mist drifting over my head I think to myself. Did the pills really opened the door to this dreadful place or my own mind. Maybe by telling you the tale of how I got where I now lay you will understand my ponderings and watch out for the warning signs that are all about us.


I trudged along the dark downtown street of the small town of London with only the light of the street lamps to guide my way. If you could call that strip of shops, downtown. It comprised of two square blocked of three story high buildings with shops ranging from tiny fast food joints and seedy bars to jewellery stores next and pawn shops. If one was visiting London they might walk right past the downtown district without even being aware that they had passed on through.

I watches as a plastic bag was picked up by the wind and tumbled along the centre of Main street. At this hour one would have thought this to be a ghost town if they did not know better. The streets of Downtown London rolled up around six o'clock at night, leaving only the bar and club folk to peruse the streets. There was barely a soul out at such a late hour and I was glad to find it that way, because I did not want to bump into anyone along my way. Even with its population of three hundred thousand the city held strong to its small town feeling and one was most likely to run into someone they were trying to avoid if they ventured in to the downtown district during the light of day. It was as if everyone knew you in some way or another and the more you wished to be left alone the more people popped up out of the wood work to greet you with a pat on the back and ask you how your dreadful family was doing or even worse, to remind you that your poor mother was missing your presence. This is why I only risk coming to venture out of my home after the sun had long disappeared behind the horizon and all the people returned to their homes.

One would wonder why I would choose to hold my place of business in such an area if I detested it so deeply. There was a small charm to these streets that only a few of us truly admired. Many of the night folk took up housing in the many beautiful apartments that had been set up above the shops. Homes that did not reflect the dark and grittiness of the streets below. Artist of all sorts set up shop in those very buildings as they toiled through the cold nights in search of some form of inspiration. One would be amazed to find such wondrous havens hovering lightly over these dismal streets. I could see the light of a fireplace flickering away in one window and wondered what it would be like to live in such a place. I was not among the creative minded, but that was not my reason for being down in this area. My business dealt with the darker side of life in this town. The part that people would rather sweep into the back alleys and forget about. Those are the very people I seek to protect from the shadows that lingered within the darkest corners of this god forsaken town. To bad very few people heed my warnings for then there would be a lot less misery on these streets.

I shivered in the cold, my breath coming out in small clouds of frosty air as I pulled my trench coat tight around my neck and glanced up at the star lit sky. They twinkles merrily in the black void above the city without a care in the world. I wondered what it would be like to have no cares or worries then shook the thought from my mind. I could never be the type to not care and that would be my curse to the very end.

The nights had begun to get rather nippy at that late an hour and I started to wish I'd brought my leather jacket to work with me, instead of this flimsy trenchcoat. The weather in this town never made any kind of sense out here. Earlier one would not have been aware that it was the middle of January with the warm breeze that swept in from the lakes. Now that wonderful lake air had turned frigged as the thermometer dropped below zero, causing a lot of people to huddle in their warm homes with the windows drawn closed and blankets pulled close around their chins. Only a rare few were willing to brave a chance of frost bite on nights like this and I was among those crazy enough to venture out. Even if it were drizzling rain or tossing snow by the buckets, nothing would stop me from visiting my favourite place in town. Anything was better then staying in my tiny apartment with only the darkness to keep me company, and company of the warmer and softer type was what I was after on that night.

I glanced up at a passing store window to see it was still filled with Christmas lights and fake snow. The New Year had long since passed and yet very few shops had got around to removing the decorations from the front windows. I peered into the darkened rooms within and shuttered. They held a bleak and dead feeling to them that made me want to be far away from them. I quickly rounded a corner and ventured down a small back alley, allowing the shadows to envelope me. Back then I enjoyed the embrace of the shadows in this alley way. For some reason it comforted me, maybe it was the fact that it lead to my second home that brightened the rather dreary mood that had filled me during the day. As I moved away from the lights of the downtown streets I could see a new light in the distance. A smile crossed my face, making my cheek hurt, but I didn't care. I was nearly at my favourite place in the world. The only place that I truly felt a home. ‘Our Place'.

Our Place is a small gay club tucked out of sight of the many homophobic citizens of our lovely little town, note the sarcasm, I would do anything to escape this hell hole and Our Place gives a lot of us just that, escape. It was a small sanctuary tucked away from the harsh reality of life. I know what you are thinking, what kind of a lame name is ‘Our Place'. Well you see, the club had changed hands many times over the years and with the exchange of owners came the new names. I remember it being called "The Apartment" when I first found it five years ago. I had turned twenty and a couple of my friends decided to take me out on the town. One of them had heard of a hidden gay bar and thought it would be fun to see what the place was like. They all knew I liked women and thought it would be a treat for me by taking me someplace where I could get hitched. Who would have thought that I would like the place enough to call it home.

Anyway, the name never really mattered, what did was the warm and welcoming feeling it managed to hold onto over the change of ownership. I was afraid after the last changes that they would alter things too much, but I was actually happy with what they have done. They kept the music soft and low, added in a couple of sofas and coffee tables, plus a small diner that served some surprisingly good burgers, it was no Harvey's but it did in a pinch. The touches made the place feel more like a home away from home then a bar. It was a pleasant change from the other gay club down the street, where the music is so loud that you can not even hear yourself think and it was so crammed packed that you needed to shove your way to the bar to get yourself a drink. Right at that time I needed a place to relax and thought that I might actually find the right girl to do the trick there. Who would have thought I could have been both right and wrong at the same time.

I came across a set of rickety wooden stair outside of an old brick building with boarded up windows. A passerby would not even think that there was a lively club filled with even more lively women beyond these weather worn walls. I sometimes wondered why they never cleaned up the exterior of the building and make it more inviting. Then I remembered what happened to my last haunt. They placed a pretty sign out front that announced that the place was a lesbian hangout and before we knew it not only were pretty faces joining but rather obnoxious and irritating men as well. Not to say I'm against men, but these guy were on a mission to straighten lesbians out and it was less then pleasant. After two months of harassments the place was shut down and we dykes were out of a home. I ended up going to the only other club that I knew of at the time. It was alright, if you were into sweaty bodies pressed up against each other and music so loud that you felt as if your ear drums were going to explode. The smoke was the worst thing of it all. I can not stand the stuff and even the addition of a outdoor patio did not help, because they expected us non-smokers to go outside if we wanted to breath. Sure, punish the ones who wished to keep their lungs. 

Back to Our Place. As I was saying before, the stairs leading up to the second floor entrance would not have caught the average person's eye. The stairs actually looked rather scary and as if it would fall apart at any moment. I took hold of the railing and tested it, as I did every time I came to visit. The railing was wobbly and not very sturdy, but held tight to the stairs. I was certain it would have fallen off years ago, but somehow it had held up against even the heaviest of drunken individuals leaning over it to puke up their night's drinks. I could already see a steaming pile in some snow to my left as I climbed the stairs and shook my head. I never understood the purpose of drinking until you puke. I guess it is another form of escaping their worries, but I will never know because I tend to stay away from the drink and stick to soda pop and fruit drinks. I know, I know, what is a person like me doing going to a place like this if I don't intend to drink. Well, there is more then one way for a person to drown their worries in and this is one of the few places that I can acquire my guilty pleasures.

I stopped on the third step and stared up at the landing ahead of me. I took off my fedora and ran my hand through my mop of ragged blonde hair. Why did I keep coming back here anyway? I should have gone back home and got some sleep. I had a lot of work in the morning and getting lost in this place wasn't going to help matters. I was about to turn around when I heard the sound of a door open above me and saw a faint yellow light pour across the stairs. Someone stepped out onto the landing but did not head for the stairs, curious to know who could be up there I climbed the last of the stairs.

I came to a small square landing at the top of the stairs with a wooden railing along the edge and a makeshift awning overhead. There was a burly woman in a heavy parka standing in front of a steel door at the end of the landing. Her fur surrounded hood was pulled over her head covering her face in shadows. The moment I came into view she pulled the hood off to reveal the face of a tough looking woman with long curly black hair. Most would be intimidated when they saw this woman, I know I sure was the first time I met her, but after getting to know her they would realize that she is rather kind and loving person.

"Brenda!" The woman called out to me with a wave of her beefy arm, "I was beginning to wonder if you were going to show tonight." She stated with a warm smile. 

"Hey Julia," I returned the bouncer's smile and gave her a quick hug. She returned the hug and I thought I heard my ribs crack in several places. I covered up the pain and continued to smile as if her strong embrace did not effect me. To say Julia was butch would be an understatement. She shorter then me, and I stood 5 foot 7 inches tall and 130 pounds so I want not much to look at myself, and well built beyond belief. I was sure if she wanted to she could lift me off the ground and toss me over the railing with the slightest of ease. I'd even heard rumours of her doing so to many disgruntle partons that got out of place. At the same time she had more compassion in her then I've seen in any other lady around here and I knew I could come to her if I ever had a problem and she would be more then willing to listen. A real friend, "You know me. All work and little play." I explained with a laugh.

Julia gave me a knowing look and chuckled, "Yeah, right... you always try to find a way to squeeze in a little play in every now and then." She stated with a wink.

I could feel myself flush and pulled the brim of my hat over my eyes to hid them from the woman, "Yeah... I guess I can't keep that from you." I admitted sheepishly. Everyone here knew I was a harmless flirt and they tended to tease me about the fact. Only lightly, all in fun.

"How is the Private Eye work treating you?" Julia inquired curiously as she lit a cigarette.

Now usually I would just answer with a shrug because most people were just trying to make conversation, but when it came to the people from Our Place I found myself being a little more open. They were like family to me after all and considering that my really family really didn't want anything to do with me I clung to any kind of family I could find.

"It's alright I guess. I'm just finding it hard to deal with all these suicide cases as of late." I remarked with a sigh, "I wise I could get to these kids before they end their lives, maybe I could help them in some way. I don't know." I scratched the back of my head in embarrassment of my rambling. I tend to not know what to say at times and when I do say something I never know when to stop. I try to keep things as short as possible because I don't want to spread my dreadful life onto others. I'm not your ordinary P.I. for I tend to investigate the more unusual cases. As of late I've taken it upon myself to keep track of all the missing children and suicides. It is something a lot of people would rather not chat about and so I keep my mouth shut about the facts of my job.

Julia frowned at the mention of suicide, "This town is always killing people." She stated miserably, "It's as if the town eats at your soul and it is amazing any of us survive at all, you know? I can understand why so many kids can't handle life, but I wish there was more we could do for them."

I nod in agreement. It really did feel like something was eating away at our souls. I had been certain since I was small there was something out there that I could not quite explain that was causing our youth to commit suicide. I even fought against it for a time and in the end finally won, but I was unwilling to tell that to Julia. People already considered me a bit of a loon and if I let them in on many inner most fears of the shadows the linger about the town, then they would surely want to have me locked away for good. I mean how do you explain to someone that you believe that there is something lingering around town in search of young souls to snack on? It is just not something you bring up in everyday conversation and now that I was a respected detective I could not go around talking about such things. People would never come to me with their problems ever again. It was tiresome at times, but I learned to just let out a bit here and there so that my own thoughts did not eat away at my insides. I was determined that one day I would solve this rash of suicides and strange disappearances and have a logical explanation to follow.

Unsure what else to say to Julia I glanced around the landing to see another woman leaning on the railing. She had a tight leather jacket pulled around her shoulders and long blonde hair that rolled over her back in waves that glistened in the light from above the club door. Her tight jean skirt peeked out from under the fringe of her jacket and my eyes caught a glimpse of her long legs clad in flesh coloured stockings. A pair of high heeled leather boots adorned her feet and she kicked the snow off the tip of her toe over the railing. As I approached the woman I could see that she was in her own world as she gazed up at the stars. She did not seem to notice as I moved in closer and slowly slipped a hand around her waist.

"Hey!!" She screamed out in protest and spun around to face me. Her eyes took me in and a wide smile quickly spread across her face. "Brenda!!" She wrapped her arms around my neck and hugged me tight. A warm and welcoming embrace in comparison to Julia's. I returned the hug and allowed myself a chance to steal a whiff of her sweet scent to discover that she still did not cover it up with some cheap perfume. I hated it when women hide their scent behind a mask of manmade produces. A little make up I could understand, but other then that I really can not stand much more.

"Hey, there little lady." I flirted as I pulled back from the hug to glance over her features. Her cheeks were rose red from the cool air and bright green eyes sparkled in delight of my appearance, at least I hoped that was what caused them to sparkle like that, but I knew that was far from the truth. I'd looked into those eyes on more then one occasion and I tell you they were the type that I could really get lost in, but never once did she return my gaze in the same way. So the fact that they were sparkling at that moment interested me. That was when I noticed it, a multitude of tiny balls of ice clinging to her eyelashes, slight bags and an unmistakable depth of pain in her eyes. At once I realize that something was bothering my friend and this tugged at my heart, "Beth, Is everything alright?" I inquired as I gentle ran a hand through her long blonde hair and pushed it behind her ear. I'd know Beth for a few years now and she was a close friend of mine. I almost thought I could love her if she gave me the chance and seeing that sadness in her eyes pained my me greatly. She took my hand in her's and held it to her cheek, her cheek was ice cold. Even though I knew she had only stepped out a moment ago I could tell that she had been crying and it was her tears that had frozen to her skin and made them sparkle so. In turn they made her cheek a lot colder then they should have been.

"I...." Her lips trembled and her eyes darted around as if in search of some from of escape.

"Come inside with me." I suggested as I wrapped an arm around her shoulder and she did not protest as I lead her back to the door. Julia opened the door for us without a single word, "Thanks Julia." I said with a smile and a nod to the woman.

"Anytime." Julia patted me on the shoulder, "Beth, you take care too."

"Thank you Julia." Beth replied in but a whisper. This was one of the things that I loved about this place. We all understood when one of us was in pain. It was a strange bound that many of us at Our Place held and I for one was glad to have found such a tight knit community of wonderful women. We entered the warmth of the club and Julie closed the door behind us. I was glad I decided to drop by that day, but if I known where this was going to lead me I might have considered turning right around. But I couldn't have done that to Beth, not then and not ever. There was that caring curse of mine at work again. This was going to be one long night I could tell.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 2

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Two

Inside we were faced with two decisions. There was a hallway directly in front of us and a stairway off to our right. I am not really sure what was down that hallway, but I was usually steered clear of that area by the other ladies. Something about it being used by a lot of the gay men that visited here. Our Place was open to all, but attracted primarily a lesbian crowd downstairs. So without a second thought we started on our way down the winding set of stair that were claustrophobic to say the least. The stairs were unpleasantly steep and circled around a couple time with only the bulb from the above hallway to light our path. I could feel the cold air seeping through the crumbling brick walls and wondered why no one ever cared to insulate these walls. It must be hell on the heating bills during these cold months, but I guess if they were to add in some insulation and drywall it would only add to the cramped feeling the stairwell already had. I glanced down at the stairs under my feet, being sure to keep an eye out for crumbling steps. The stair themselves were decaying from water damage and foot traffic. Someone years ago tried to cover them up with a red carpet that was now so worn down from the constant traffic it had turned black in the middle and the only sign that it was ever red was near the edges.

"Careful there, Beth." I warned as I pointing out a step that appeared to be ready to completely come free if it wasn't for the carpet keeping the cement in place. I hopped over the step and offered the woman my hand.

Beth accepted my hand and stretched one of her slender legs over the broken step, "Yeah, I hate that step too." She stated, grimacing at the stairs, "You would think they would have put some money into this stairwell instead of spending it on more pool tables."

"I like pool table." I remarked with a light chuckle then wiped the smile off my face when I saw the serious look upon Beth's face, "But yeah, they should really do something about this area. I wish they could open up the front door so we were not forced to come this way all the time."

Beth sighed, "As if that will ever happen in our lifetime." She stated miserably.

I tried to think of a way to reassure her, but with the mayor of our town trying to shut down Pride week it was kind of hard to think of something positive to say, "One can never tell what the future will hold." I remarked simply.

"I sure wish there was a way too." Beth returned flatly.

Something pretty bad must have happed to the woman for her to be so negative. Beth was usually filled with so much life and laughter. It was unusual for her to be down about anything. It really worried me all the more, but I decided I would not push matters until a better time.

We finally reached the last step to find ourselves standing at the end of a long thin hallway. A hallway that barely gave enough space for the both of us to walk side by side. The walls were freshly painted since the renovations, but for some odd reason I could still see the yellowing stains, peeling paint and cracks that lined the walls since the first day I visited this place. For me it was as if the past and present blended together in this hall and it gave me a dreadful feeling. The single bulb attached to the ceiling did not help relieve that feeling as it made our shadows stretch out around us as we moved under it. We saw another woman step out through an rainbow bead covered opening at the end of the hall and I could feel Beth hold close to me. It was almost as if she was afraid of the woman. As the woman passed by and I exchanged a greeting then we squeezed up against the wall to allow each other through. This place had a way to force people to be cozy or they would need to leave rather quickly. I wonder how many people never got passed the stairwell, never mind this ridiculous hall.

We came across the women's washroom, which had no door, and I could hear the faint sounds of someone making out in one of the stalls. Sex in the washrooms never appealed to me and I wondered why so many resorted to such an activity. The stalls were barely clean and I could not stand using them even when I needed to take a pee. The thought of being pushed up against those grimy walls made me shutter, but at the same time it perked the curiosity of my darker side and I felt a need to force it away yet again. I glanced down at Beth and bit my lip. Sex was the one thing that this girl was not interested in at this time. She needed a friend right now and not a lover. I shoved the horniness out of my mind as we approached the bead covered door  and could hear the faint sounds of 80s soft rock drifting from within.

"Ladies first." I said politely as I parted the beads that draped over the entrance and allowed my friend to enter, "May I take your jacket, my lady?" I offered as I reached for her jacket.

Beth giggled as she took off her jacket and held it out to me, "Thank you so much." She said with a smile that I could tell was only half hearted. She wore a spaghetti string tank that complemented her features kindly and I found myself needing to look away before I stared too long.

I quickly glanced around the room, taking in the scene and searching for a place to sit and talk. We stood at the back of the bar which was taken up by a set of four pool table, two of which were in use by a group of leather clad diesel dykes. Tucked beside the pool area was a space dedicated to several black leather couches and coffee tables set in circles. This was my favourite place to be when I'm visiting. I enjoyed stretching out on a couch with a book in hand and a girl curled up with me. They even added in some smaller night tables with table lamps upon them that gave the place a very comforting feeling. It really did feel like home away from home. I could relax there forever if I was allowed too. I'd even fell asleep here on a couple of occasions, to be awoken by a friend jumping on me. The wonders of friends, one could alway count of them to be there for you.

The DJ's booth was located off to the right of the couches and the sound system focussed mainly around this area. In the middle was an empty space for dancing when the mood hits. At the far end of the room, which would have been the front if the main door had not been bolted shut and covered up with newspaper print, was the bar and dinning area. At that time I was a little hungry for I had missed dinner and decided that would be the best place for us to sit down for a chat. It was the quietest area of the club and a nice place to eat and catch up on old times.

"You hunger?" I inquired of Beth as we carefully wove our way passed the pool players.

"Not really." Beth replied with a shrug, which told me that she was hungry and just did not want to admit it.

"Well, I hope you don't mind me ordering some food because I'm starved." I remarked while patting my stomach.

"I don't mind." Beth stated simply. She seemed to be distracted by something and I glanced around to see what could have caught her eye, but saw nothing of importance.
Everywhere there were many pretty faces, some I recognized and others I probably would know soon enough, that is if they stuck around long enough to be considered regulars. I noticed a few gay men here and there, but for the most part they were just friends of many of the ladies and not on the prowl. I smiled and waved to a few friendly faces on the couches, but for the life of me I could not see what could have been bothering my friend. I guess I will have to find out while we eat.

"Listen," I turned to her and looked her in the eye, making sure she returned my gaze, "I'm going to order some food. Will you be alright on your own for a moment?" I inquired gently.

She wrapped her hands around her bare elbows, "I... I guess..." Her eyes darted around the room as if she were in search of something that might attack her. Again I quickly searched for what she could be afraid of to see nothing. I wrapped my arms around her and hugged her tight.

"You are safe here." I softly reminded her, "No one here will hurt you. I promise you that." I felt her arms squeeze me lightly and let go.

"You are so kind." She mumbled into my shoulder, "I'm glad you came here today."

"So am I." I admitted then lured her towards a dinning table. We stepped up three stairs to the bar and dining area, where I coxed Beth over to the first empty booth I could find, "I will be right back." I assured the girl as I placed her jackets on the bench opposite her and took off my trench coat, placing it atop of Beth's. As I hurried over to the bar I found a place between two partons and slipped up to the bar. 

A bartender with long brown hair smiled at me as she handed to beer bottles to someone. I was not paying much attention to whom she handed the bottles to because my eyes were drawn to the fact that the bartender's short sleeved black silk shirt was unbuttoned. I could see her black lace bra clearly against the white skin of her breasts. Breast that were so perfect in my mind, the very size of my hand and the image of caressing them drifted into my mind when she suddenly turned to me, "Hello Detective!" Liz called out the moment I arrived at the long dark wooden counter that served at the club's bar. Liz like to tease me about my chosen perfection, but I didn't mind much, as long as it was only her that did the teasing, "Ginger ale as always?" She inquired knowingly, already placing a glass in front of me and prepared to fill it.

"Yep." I replied with a silly grin upon my face that I tried hard to wipe away, "I'm alright, I guess." I responded as I unbuttoned the top button of my cream dress shirt, loosened my tie and tried to fix my brown blazer. Fashion was not my forte and many had told me that I should consider something other then cream shirts and brown suits, but I happened to like these suits. It is hard to find clothes that fit me right. They are usually to short for my long legs or to loss in the waist. So I stuck with the business look. I mean I need to look professional in my line of work right?

"I could be better." I stated nervously, to say that I felt strongly for Liz would be putting things delicately. She was absolutely beautiful. The way she smiled at me made my heart race, those large brown eyes and dimple were so adorable. She had curves to her that were beyond description and the way those tight jeans hugged her butt. I rubbed at my face as I tried to shake the feelings away. If she was not spoken for I would run around the counter at that moment and plant a kiss upon those soft pink lips at that very moment, but I have my morals and as such she was off limits.

I lowered my hand from my face to could see Liz frowning at me as she filled my glass with a brownish yellow liquid, "Is everything alright?" She inquired in a tone of worry, god I sometimes wish I could just shout out my feelings for her. I pulled on my tie more and rubbed the back of my neck as I tried to sort my thoughts out. She glanced over my shoulder at Beth, "Is Beth alright?" She queried with concern in her eyes. Liz had been the bartender at this club even before it changed names. She was a kind and friendly women who was easy to befriend and considered the regulars to her counter as family. When she saw any of them distressed it effected her and she would do anything to help out. Right now I could see a mix of rage and worry in those eyes. She was probably thinking that someone hurt Beth and if it was someone at this club they were about to receive a piece of Liz's mind and that was not a pleasant sight to witness. I'm just glad that I'd never got on this girl's bad side as of yet.

"I don't know." I finally managed to push my feelings to the side and I took a look over my shoulder to see Beth huddled up against the wall with her knees wrapped up close to her. There was a frightened look upon her face as her eyes darted around the room like a frightened mouse in search of the house cat, "It worries me. She is not the type to be dragged down so easily."

"If anyone can help her it is you." Liz stated with more confidence then I felt, patting my hand on the counter. The feeling of her hand upon mine sent shivers through me and I needed to pull away, "If you need anything you know you can depend on me." She stated with a serious look upon her face.

I picked up my drink and took a sip. I could see my hand was visibly shaking so I placed the drink back on the counter before Liz noticed, "Thank." It was always nice to know you could depend on Liz for anything. She had comforted me through a couple of breakups over the years and at that moment I was hoping a breakup was all that was bothering our dear friend, Beth, "Could you bring a bacon cheese burger to our table along with some fries." I placed a twenty on the counter in front of Liz.

"Sure thing." She stated as she quickly snatched up the money and rung up my bill, "Does Beth want anything?" She inquired giving the girl another concerned glance.

I simply shrugged, "She says she doesn't, but I get the idea that she is lying." She stated in a low voice so only Liz could hear.

Liz nodded understandingly, "I'll add in an extra plate of fries to your order, no charge." She offered with a smile that sent my heart a flutter.

I glanced down at the counter, "You are the best Liz." I leaned over the counter and placed a quick small peck upon the woman's cheek that caused her to giggle.

"Are you trying to get more then some fries out of me?" She inquired with a mischievous grin as she handed me my changed.

"Maybe it would be... if you were not already taken." I remarked with a sly grin then grabbed my drink and stepped away from the bar. I could not believe I'd actually said that. I must be insane or something.

Liz shook her head, "You are going to get yourself into a lot of trouble one of these days, you know that don't you?" She remarked, I was almost certain I could sense uneasy in those words, but ignored the feeling. It was probably just my imagination anyway. 

I took off my fedora and took a bow, "I only aim to please." I stated with a flourish the spun around to face Beth. The moment my eyes set on Beth my smile Faded.

For a brief instant I saw a flick of something unusual that wiped my thoughts of Liz away instantly. I'd had strange flickering images appear before me for years and for the most part I had become accustom to them, however this one was different, It almost felt real. Instead of Beth being at a dinner bench I saw her sitting out on the street. A tattered blanket wrapped around her shoulders and her bare legs turning blue in the cold winds, a wind that I could feel wiping against my face and sent my tie whirling around. She looked so frail and lost, all alone with her back again the cold brick and a blanket of snow beginning to build up around her feet. When she gazed up at me her eyes were sunken into their sockets and had a vacant look to them. Like so many kids I'd see on the street, but much worse. It was almost as if her soul was missing and only a shell was sitting before me. If I had not seen the change before my eyes I would have not recognized the girl at all. Then as quickly as the vision started it stopped and I was again standing in Our Place.

Beth stared at me with a curious look upon her face, "Are you alright?" She asked quietly, then her eyes widened and she scrambled away from the wall, "They are behind me, aren't they?" She frantically tried to get out of the bench as if something were chasing her and if I had not moved swiftly she would have fallen off the end. It was a good thing I was fast and managed to get my arm under her shoulder's quickly because I got an awful image in my head of Beth cracking her skull open upon the floor. I'd seen it a couple photos of such a thing and the one thing I did not need was to have a familiar face connected to those images.

I cradled Beth in my arms as I sunk to the ground and held her close. She continued to try to break free of my grip, screaming as she tried to escape some kind of nightmare, but I held tight and did not give her any chance of flight, "Beth! Beth, calm down!!" I held the girl's arms close to her body and nuzzled into her shoulder, "Please calm down, Beth. It is me, Brenda. Shhhhh..." I cooed, trying to reach any reasoning left in the girl's mind. It seemed to work, I could feel her struggles began to weaken in my grip and she relaxed. I slowly loosened my hold on her arms and softly stroked at her head, "It is alright. You are going to be alright." I lied, I hate lying, but at that moment I was not sure what to say. I had no idea what things were haunting this girl's mind and at that moment I just wanted to assure her that she was safe. It was all could do and I felt so hopeless not knowing what else to say.

Several patrons started to gather around us and Liz came running out from behind the bar. I quickly glanced up at the woman and shook my head. Somehow Liz understand my silent command and slowed her pace to a crawl as she moved in closer, "Is she alright?" She inquired softly.

I glanced down at Beth to see the girl had fallen into a light sleep and I let out a sigh of relief, "I don't know." I stated in a lost voice, for the first time I did not know what was happening to my friend. Could she be on drugs or something? I turned her arms over to see no sign of needle marks, but that still left a large range of pills that she could have ingested. I looked up at Liz, "Has Beth been taking any drugs or medication of any kind?" I inquired worriedly.

Liz shook her head in frustration, "Not that I'm aware of. I have not seen her around here in weeks. As far as I know she is clean. She never seemed the sort to turn to drugs."

I took this in and mulled it over. Beth stirred ever so slightly in my arms as she slept, "Could you help me get her to one of the couches?" I inquired of Liz.

Liz nodded and quickly moved to the girl's feet. Together we lifted the girl off the ground. She felt light as a feather, but she did not look thin at all so that made very little sense. She should have weighed 110 to 120 at the very least, but at that moment she felt as if she was no more then that of a small cat. A group of people quickly vacated a circle of couches as we carried the girl down the small set of stairs.

"Thanks everyone." I whispered to the group, not wanting to wake the girl. I even noticed that the DJ, a big drag queen by the name of Madam Melissa, had lowered the music ever so slightly and came out of her booth with a blanket in hand. Like I said before, this is a very close group we have here. Once someone was having a really bad trip from mixing drugs and everyone rushed to help them while we awaited the ambulance. I think that is one of the few times that the front doors are ever opened around here. Sad to think that our doors have to be closed until someone gets hurt. Makes me want to cry at times.

I sat down on the couch with Beth's head lightly resting upon my lap and Liz lay her leg across the couched then took the blanket gratefully and spread it out across the girl. We all watched in silence as we gave a silent prey to whatever god would listen to a us. I was not the type to believe in a god, but at times like this I really hoped that there was something out there looking over a few of us.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 3

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Three

That night felt like the longest ever. I am not sure how long Beth was out like that, but the minutes felt like hours as I watched over that child. I knew in the back of my mind I should probably call the police, but I did not want to get Beth in trouble. She still lived with her parents and explaining why she passed out at a gay bar would be a lot more then she needed in her life at this moment in time. Sure she was only four years my younger, but at that time she felt much more fragile and young then ever before. I occasionally whispered into the girl's ear to assure her that I was still there and to remind her that she was safe, more then anything else I told her that she was still needed in this world and to not give up. The very thought of Beth dying in my arms shook me up something else. I felt so lost at that moment and wished that I knew what to do to help the girl.

Liz came down the stairs at that moment with a plate of food in one hand and our coats in the other. She lay the coats upon the back of a sofa chair in front of me and set the food down on the coffee table, "Thanks Liz, but I'm not sure if I'm very hungry right now." I remarked dismally.

Liz gave me a stern look, "You had better eat or you will have me to answer too." She commanded sternly.

"Alright, Alright." I held my hands up in defence, then glanced down at the sleeping girl, "But I'm sort of trapped at the moment." I gestured to Beth.

Liz rolled her eyes and rounded the table, "You will use any excuse to get out of things." She remarked disappointedly.

"That is far from the truth." I protested, "I am very serious when it comes to my work."

Liz carefully lifted Beth's head off my lap, "I know, but I also remember finding someone dead asleep in her office one day due to spending so much time working and less time eating." She reminded me in a quiet annoyed tone, "If I had not happened by then you probably would have starved."

I slipped out from under Beth and gave Liz a foolish smile which rubbing the back of my neck, "It is not my fault. People need me and I want to help them." I defended, which was true. I was swamped with unsolved cases since my sister's little girl had gone missing. I was determined to find any clue as to where my niece could have disappeared too. I kept having this feeling that I was getting closer, but she kept slipping through my fingers. It felt as if I was not seeing something that was right in front of my eyes and it was upsetting. Missing children cases always effected me the most out of all my case load. I tended to steer clear of them as best I could, but when my little sister showed up at my doorstep I could hardly refuse.

There was something really strange about this case that was disturbing me. One moment little Brittany was in her bedroom, fast asleep and the next she was gone. The police found no sign of anyone entering or leaving the room and deemed the case as yet another runaway. The fact is she could not have gotten out of the room. My sister had been locking the door since it was discovered that the girl sleepwalked, just like myself. There was no way to open that door from the inside and the drop from her window was above the rose garden. If she had jumped there would have been signs of the fact, it was as if she just vanished into the night. Since then I've been rather obsessed with anything related to sleepwalking, missing children and even child suicide. I was sure there was some connection and had been concentrating all my mental strength on figuring out what was happening in this bloody pit of a town.

"I'm sorry to snap at you." Liz sincerely apologized, I could hear the strain on her voice. I could tell that all of this was really effecting Liz and I was starting to wonder if I should have just taken Beth back to my apartment instead of bringing her in here. Then again what would I have done at my place? At least here I have my family to help us cope with all of this.

"It's alright." I moaned as I sat up and stared down at the food. My stomach seemed to be asleep and even the sight of the burger did not seem to awaken it. Actually it was making me feel a tad bit sick, but I would force myself to eat a bit if it made Liz feel better. She really was like my sister more then my own flesh and blood. Ever since we met all those years ago we hit it off pretty well. At first I flirted with her and thought that maybe we had a chance together and then she got a girlfriend and I started to back off, but we stayed close all the same. We would do the usual friend things, go to movies, have lunch together and the like. Over time our bond had grown stronger and she seemed to understand me better then anyone else. I picked up the burger and took a bite.

Liz stroked the back of my head and patted my back, "That is a good boi. Now eat up." She ordered with a giggle and started back to the bar when she suddenly stopped and pulled something out of the pocket of her shirt, "Oh, I almost forgot to give you this. It fell out of Beth's coat pocket and I thought you might know what it is." She explained as she handed me a tiny blue bottle with a white cap and label wrapped around it.

I took the bottle and looked it over, "Medication?" I asked no one in particular.

"Yeah," Liz leaned in closer to me, I could feel her breath upon my cheek as she pointed at the label, "I noticed that she got them a week ago. I've never heard to the brand before so I thought you would know."

I searched the label til I found the contains and blinked at the word before me, "Somnambulom?" I read aloud, "I've never heard of anything like this before."

"So you don't know what they are?" Liz inquired worriedly, "Why would she be taking meds? Is there something wrong with her?"

I shook my head, "I don't know." I thought for a moment as I turned the drug's name over in my mind, "It makes me think of Somnambulism, which is another word for Sleep Walking" I explained, slightly mesmerized by my own strange knowledge of unusual facts.

"I never heard of that before." Liz stated perplexedly, "How did you know something like that?"

I shrugged, "I studied a lot of crazy stuff while in school." I remarked distantly, my mind a flutter with thoughts, "I was a troubled sleeper and was known to have extreme night terrors. I read everything I could on dreams and a lot of it fascinated me. There are things about the human mind that you would not believe." And things that I would never repeat out loud for fear of what everyone would think. I discovered writing somewhere about a world that existed beyond the edge of the human mind. A place that only a few know about and even fewer could enter. I glanced over at Beth and the image I'd seen before appeared in my mind again. I turned back to the pills and shook my head. My mind was just playing tricks on me from working too many late nights. There was no way that world existed. The doctors told me it was all in my head and that I'd dreamed everything up, including the book. I had shoved all those thoughts from my mind many years ago so why were they appearing in my mind now.

Liz lightly place her hand upon mine. I did not notice until then that I had been shaking and Liz's touch snapped my mind out of it reminiscences, "Brenda? are you alright?" Liz inquired gently, I glanced up to see a great amount of worry in those dark brown eyes and I smiled up at her.

"I'll be fine." I stated, then placed the pills down upon the table, "Just lost in my thoughts was all. I've been rather busy at work lately." I explained, hoping that would satisfy the woman's worries.

Liz gave me a sceptical look, but stood up straight, "Alright then." She said, I could tell she did not believe me entirely, but she was willing to let it go, for now. I suspect I will receive a couple of surprise visits from her at my office over the next week or so. It was her way to keep an eye on me and to some extent I was grateful that someone out there worried about me. I watched as she reluctantly went back to the bar, but kept one eye on me the entire way.  

I turned back to my food and my eyes dropped to the pill bottle again. What could Beth been taking and was it the cause for her current condition? I really needed to know.

I leaned back in the chair and ran a hand through my curly bangs as I stared up at the ceiling. My mind drifted back to the image I saw before Beth panicked. What was that all about? There had to be a reason for my vision to be so strong. I turned around in the chair and found my coat pocket. I pulled out a small black note book and pen from the pocket and opened it. I tended to keep a note book with myself since I was in the hospital to help me sort my thought. I quickly jotted down what I'd see along with the name of the medication in hopes that someday it will become of use to me, then I set the pad back down and returned to eating my burger.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 4

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Four

A few hours later Liz offered to take the two of us back to my place seeing as it was nearing closing hour. The manager knew the both of us, Beth and myself, personally so did not mind us staying around after closing, otherwise we would have been kicked out with the rest. I watched Beth sleep the whole while, responding to the occasion person's well wishes. It seemed that a lot of people were concerned about Beth and wanted to wish the girl well. I bet if a card store was opened at that late an hour someone would have ran off to buy a get well card for everyone to sign. I smiled at the notion of Beth waking up to a mound of cards surrounding her while she slept in a gay bar. That would have been a sight to see, but no cards came nor did Beth stir. Before long Liz called out Last Call and the patrons rushed to get their final drinks.

I've found the moment Last Call is called out that time slips by rather quickly. It usually meant that there was an hour until closing, but it usually felt like minutes. Tonight was not like that. I wished time and time again for Beth to awaken and give me that well known smile or even a groggy look, I did not care at that moment. I just wanted to see her eyes open and look at me just one more time before the night came to a close. No god seem to answer my prayers and the small amount of belief that I held on to slipped away like sand through an hour glass.

I finally got up from my spot and knelt down next to Beth. She looked so peaceful laying there. I watched for the rise and fall of her chest to make sure she was alive and let out a sigh of relief. Part of me feared the worse, that she had died in her sleep with me watching over her. I shakily reached out and brushed a lock of hair from the girl's face. She stirred ever so slightly, but did not wake up.

"Beth?" I whispered into the girl's ear, "It's nearly time to go." I hoped that maybe telling her it was closing time would awaken the girl, but again she slept on. Frustrated I got to my feet and went up to the bar, "Is there anything I can do to help out?" I inquired, feeling helpless and lost. I wanted something to do with my hands. Something that did not feel like I was doing nothing.

Liz glanced at me and gave me a weak smile, "Just stay with Beth and make sure she sees you when she wakes up." She stated with as much calm as she could muster, "I'll be done here in a sec and Julia said she would lock up after us so there is no problem."

"A... alright..." I turned back around to find Beth no longer laying on the couch. Only the blanket lay where she used to be, "Beth?!?" I glanced around the empty club to find the girl nowhere in sight. I spun back around to face Liz, "Liz, Beth is gone!!!" I exclaimed frantically.

"What?!?" Liz rushed around the bar, "Where could she have gone too?" She inquired anxiously.

"She couldn't have gone far." I rushed across the club, searching around every couch, "I was only gone a moment. She has to be here somewhere." I stated as I knelt to inspected every place she could hide.

"I'll search here." Liz stated then pointed to the back door, "You find out if she left." She commanded.

I sprung to my feet and rushed for the door, "Alright. I'm on it." I ran down the tiny corridor to the back stairs and took the two at a time. My foot landed on that unstable step and it broke loose beneath my weight sending me tumbling down the stairs, scraping my shin upon the sharp concrete steps. I ignored the pain and doubled my pace, avoiding the broken step, and using my hands to help me climb the winding stairwell. I had to find Beth and I hope that she did not leave this way. I got to the top just as Julia entered and I nearly collided with the woman. I grabbed onto Julia's parka for balance as I reached the top of the stairs and panted as I tried to catch my breath.

"Woah Brenda!" Julia grabbed hold of me in an attempt to keep me from falling back down those dreadful stairs, "What is the matter? What happened? Is it Beth?" She inquired fearfully.

I nodded frantically, "S... she is... gone..." I said between pants, "D.. Did she.. come this way?" I swallowed hard against the pain that was raising up from my leg. I could deal with the pain, I just needed to find Beth and make sure she was alright.

Julia shook her head, "No one has come this way in a while." She stated uneasily, "Why? Weren't you looking over her?"

I nodded, "I turned away for one moment and she was gone. She just disappeared..." I explained frantically.

"Let's see if she is back in the club." She was about to lead me towards the stair when she glanced down at my leg and sucked in a deep breath, "Brenda, What happened to your leg?" She exclaimed, pointing down at my leg.

I looked down to see that the lower half of my left pant leg was red with blood, "I must have hit my leg harder then I thought." I explained with a slight chuckle.

"We need to get you to a hospital." Julia stated seriously as she tried to lead me to the back entrance.

I grabbed the frame of the door, "I'm alright I tell you." I protested vigilantly, "We need to find Beth and I'm not leaving without her." I cried out.

Julia refrained from carrying me out of the club and let out a sigh, "Fine, but let me at least look your leg over when we get back to the club." She insisted.

"A.. alright." I was not one to refuse Julia when she insists upon something, but I could not go to the hospital just yet. I needed to know if Beth was alright first. Anyway, it was probably just a small scratch and nothing more. Boy was I so wrong, it would seem that I was on roll today.

Julia half carried me down the stairs and back to the club where she carefully set me down upon one of the couches and quickly tore at a small rip in my pant leg. It was far worse then anything I could have imagined. I had somehow managed to scrap a good portion of skin off my shin and the bone was visible in places. Blood oozed down my leg and onto my nice black shoes.

"We really need to get you to a doctor." Julia nervously wiped at her forehead, "This is more then I can handle." She glanced around for some help and spotted Liz coming back from the storage area, "Any luck?" She asked uneasily.

She shook her head sadly, "She isn't here anywhere." She stated miserably. She approached us and her eyes fell upon my wounded leg, "What happened?" She inquired worriedly as she rushed to my side.

"I slipped on that back step." I stated through a haze of pain, "You really need to tell your boss to fix those stairs." She remarked with a chuckle. 

Liz shook her head at me in disbelief, "How can you be laughing at a time like this?" She inquired surly, "Beth is missing and you look to have a broken leg. I can't believe you at time." She seethed.

Julia got to her feet and held Liz off, "Don't yell at her." She stated calmly, "None of this is her fault and you know it."

Liz rubbed at her forehead in frustration, "I know... I know..." She paced a couple of time as she tried to think of what to do. I could see her mind working over the situation from where I sat and knew she would think of something.

The owner stepped down from the bar area, a large burly woman who only seemed to appear at the bar during closing hours, "Julie, I know you are worried about your friend, but maybe you should take Brenda to the hospital." She suggested collectedly, "We will keep an eye out for Beth, but right now Brenda is in need of attention."

"Al.. allright..." Liz agree and was about to head back to the bar when she stopped and glanced over at me, "I'll be right back... I just need to get my coat and keys." She stated before rushing off.

I leaned back against the couch and let out a sign. "I can't believe this is happening. I hope Liz's girl doesn't get angry with me for keeping her away for so long..." I muttered to myself.

Julia carefully applied a splint from a first aid kit, that the owner had handed her, to my leg and bandaged it the best she could, "You didn't hear?" She inquired softly.

I looked down at Julia and I tried hard to keep my eyes off my wound. Blood on other people I can handle. My own is another matter, "Hear what?" I asked curiously.

"Liz and Sarah..." Julia glanced around to make sure that Liz was still out of sight, "They broke up a month ago." She stated in but a whisper.

I gave the woman a curious look, "You sure that isn't a rumour. You know how rumours spread around this place." I reminded the woman, suspicious of this news.

Julia shook her head, "It's true." She stated softly, "I helped her moved out not long ago. They are quits."

A small smiled played across my face, then Liz appeared before me with her jacket in hand and a puzzled look upon her face, "What are you smiling about? Did Julia give you some pain killers or something?" She inquired curiously.

I shook my head, "No no." At that moment Julia fastened the bandage in place and sent a wave of pain through my system that made me keel over. I felt as if I was going to throw up that hamburger all over the floor at any moment.

Julia wrapped an arm around me and helped me too my feet, "Up you go." She heaved me partly onto her back and half carried me towards the front door. I scooped up my note book as we passed by it and held it close to my body, "Liz, could you bring your car around front?" Julia inquired lightly, "I don't think I could take her back up those stairs in her condition."

"Alright." Liz grabbed my coat and reached for Beth's, "Maybe I will leave Beth's incase she returns." She stated hesitantly.

"She will return." Julia assured, "There is no way she could have gotten out of here without my knowing it. We'll find her."

Liz took one last look around the club and then nodded, "I'll be around front in a second." She stated before running to the back of the club and out the door.

"Thanks Julia." I tried my best to use my good leg to keep some of my weight off the woman.

"No problem." Julia smiled, "What are friends for?" She stated as we moved passed the bar to a pair of large glass double doors. The owner opened the door for us and as we passed through those doors I wished once again that one day there would a time that the paper would be removed and I could enter without worry or shame. This thought drifted through my mind as I began to pass out from the pain.

I do not remember the trip to the hospital much. I remember being placed in the back of Liz's small white Acadian and being in pain as I tried to fold my leg into the tiny rear seat. But other then that it is was pretty much a haze. There was a hospital located right downtown so we did not have far to go, but I recall every bump hurting like hell and when we arrived Liz pulled up to the emergency doors and quickly jumped out of the car without even a word to me.

Within seconds the back door opened and I was being hauled onto a stretcher with Liz close to my side. I felt her hand encircle mine and I smiled up at her. She glanced down at me and squeezed my hand lightly. One of the nurse stopped Liz from going any further and I was almost certain I could see tears fill her eyes as she was refused to be with me. Those were tears, I'm almost sure of it. Could she really have feelings for me or were those just tears of concern for a dear friend? I would not be able to find out the answer until much later.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 5

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Five

I awoke to find myself surround by towering stark white curtain pulled around a ridged metal  hospital bed. I quickly sat up and clenched at my chest to find myself in a pale blue hospital gown. Anxiety filled my heart as memories of being back in that mental hospital entered my mind. Hastily I checked my wrists to find no bounds held me in place and no bandaged covered my arms, only a medical bracelet was attached to my right arm bearing my name. A tube stuck out of my left arm to an IV bag and my leg was neatly bandaged with a metal splint to hold the bone in place, but other then that there was no sign of the old hospital that I had spent so much time at as a child. I glanced down at my leg and winced at the sight before me. I could see blood seeping through the bindings, however I felt absolutely no pain what so ever. I figured they had given me something to deaden the pain, no matter how much they gave me there should have been a slight bit of pain.

I was not sure how long I was out for, but it could not have been that long. I searched the room for any sign of a clock, however the curtain blocked my view of the rest of the room so all I could see was the tiny night table next to my bed and the lamp attached to the wall above my head. I suspected that I was sharing the room with some other patients, considering the fact that I was not that special to gain my own room. I glanced down at the gown they had covered me in and I wondered where my clothes had gotten too. I needed to help search for Beth and I could not stay in this place for long.

I rolled off the bed and used the IV pole for balance as I hobbled around the bed. I found a blue house coat hanging on a hook next to the bed and carefully pulled it on, then turned to investigate my surroundings. Just as I was about to pull the curtain back I heard the sounds of a small child's laughter, then a small shadow darted around the curtain. I felt my body freeze in place as fear filled my heart, I could not understand why I would be so frightened, it was only a child after all, but something told me to back away from that curtain. As I did the shadow of a small hand appeared before me and ran along the white material. It slowly moved passed me and then abruptly stopped, almost as if it sensed my presence. I clenched the housecoat tight around my neck and bid a silent prayer. Then I realized that there was no one to hear my prayers and shook my head at the helpless feeling that swam its way through my mind. Suddenly the shadow disappeared, as if something else had attracted its attention and I heard the sound of tiny feet running out of the room.

Quickly I vanquished my fears and pulled the curtain back to find no one there. I glanced around a couple of time to see that curtains had been drawn around every bed. I figured there were maybe three beds per side, but it was hard to say with those curtains waving in a soft breeze that emitted from an open window at the end of the room. A window that showed me it was still nightfall outside, so maybe I'd only been out for a few hours, or maybe the sun had fallen on yet another day. I had no time to worry about such things and prepared to leave the room when I felt something unusual under my bear foot.

I glanced down to see that there was a small square piece of paper laying upon the ground under the heel of my foot, or what I figured was paper. I bent over, with great difficulty I can tell you, and picked up the paper. It turned out to be a photograph and as I turned it over I observed that it was a picture of my niece. A photo that could only have been taken long before the little girl went missing. She was sitting in a high back chair, clad in a hospital gown and there were many strange looking wires coming from her head. The worst part had to be the expression upon her face. Her cheeks were tear streaked and she appeared to be crying out to someone as she struggled with her restraints. The mere sight of the photo sent a wave of sadness through me. What were they doing to her? Why didn't my sister tell me about any of this? More over how could such a photo appear here of all places?

I don't know why I thought my sister would tell me anything about this. I'd not seen her for years before her appearance at my office. She was shaken and I could see anger in her eyes. An anger that she quickly set upon me. Everyone know about my nightmares as a child and everyone thought I was just insane. My sister refused to have anything to do with me after my release from the hospital, stating that I would spread my disease to her child. I'm not sure if she meant my gayness or my sleeping troubles, but it turned out that the sleeping problems were to appear even without me being around. My sister demanded me to find her child, that it was my fault for her little girl having so many issues. I'd only seen the girl in photos for the most part and something about the look in the girl's eyes called out to me. There was a depth of sadness under those long blonde bangs that seeped out of every photo. In one photo particularly I could see a shadowy figure linger behind the child and that was enough for me to take on my annoying sister's case.

I gazed at the photo in my hand once again. I should have known my sister would have taken her child to this place, just as my parents had. I felt sorry for the child and wished I could take her into my arms and whisk her away from that place the held her captive. Then a thought occurred to me. What is she was still at that hospital? I had not thought of looking there because my sister insisted that she had not taken the child to see any doctors. She turned out to be as much a liar as my dear mother.

The giggles of a child tore me from my thoughts with a start. This time my curiosity over came my fears and moved as rapidly as I could to the door of my room, placing the photo protectively in the house coat pocket. The bright light of the hallway hurt my eyes and I squinted against it as I searched for any sign of who could have dropped this photo. Then I spotted a small girl in a long white nightgown and long blonde hair dart into one of the rooms to my left. Clenching tight to my IV pole, and using a railing that ran along the hallway walls, I carefully moved towards the room that the child disappeared into. I took note of the small black plaque on the door with its white letters, "W6-A4" it read. Something about that number seemed oddly familiar and scratched at the surface of my mind. Not being able to recall what the numbers meant I decided to forgo it for now and push on forwards.

I found the door to room "W6-A4" wide open as if someone were inviting me to enter. Cautiously peeking into the room, for the most part it was bare of anything, aside from a large wooden bed in the centre of the room. Uncertainty filled my heart, but the need to learn more about where this photo came from and the fact that there might be a clue to my nieces disappearance made me force my legs to enter the room.

As I moved into the room I could tell that the bed was made of a polished red oak, not the type of bed you would find in a hospital that was for certain. The head board was large and curved along the top with elaborate carvings along its surface. Four rounded bed posts rose up around the bed to about breast height at each of the corners. I admired the smooth surface of the wood as I set my hand upon one of the balled tips. Whoever made this bed payed close attention to their craft and I could feel that they put their heart and soul into making this bed. Finally I moved my attention from the frame to the centre of the bed. There was thin white sheet draped over the bed and I could see something moving underneath its surface. The figure seemed to be squirming against the cloth as if it held them in place. An open window caused the sheets to flutter about in a surreal manner and for a moment I thought I could see a hand peek out from under the sheet, hanging over the edge of the mattress.

I stepped around the bed, unsure what it was doing in there, but unable to turn away. Something about the movements of those sheets mesmerized me and I could not pull my eyes away from it. I approached the side of the bed and tried to gather the strength to peek under that sheet when I noticed a small pool of blood began to form at the edges of the bed and drip down the sides of the sheets. My fears were suddenly replaced with a need to help whomever was beneath that cloth and I shook away the transfixed feeling that has entrapped my mind. Without further hesitation I reached out and pulled the sheet off in one swift movement. I was startled to find the bed was completely empty aside from four large blood stains, two near the foot of the bed and two more at either side.

Curiously, I inspected the stains and lightly dabbed my pinky finger in the centre to find it was still fresh, warm even. Upon placing my finger under my nose and sniffed at the substance. As my nostrils filled with a sweet coppery scent it verified, for me at least, that it truly was blood. The very fact that the blood had not entirely soaked into the bed and had not even begun to harden told me that whomever this bed belonged to had not been gone very long ago. I'd say about thirty minutes or so tops, but I could be wrong about that. I was not a expert on crime scene investigation but I have read my fair share over the years to know that blood would not be pooled up on the bed like this if it had been longer then a few hours.

Anxiously, I glanced down at the bottom of the bed to find restraints had been attached to the underside of the bed's frame. The sight of which caused me to think back to the days of my night terrors and how my own parents would strap me down to the bed in an attempt to stop me from flailing about and a shudder filled me as I recalled the way the bindings would bite into my flesh. Whomever this bed was meant for the maker did not wish for them to escape during their sleep. Could this bed have been made for a sleepwalker? The thought that someone would strap their child down at night was unsettling to me. Again I recalled the way the leather would cut into my wrists and my eyes returned to the blood. Could mere restraints cause that much blood? I was not certain, but I felt a need to seek whomever this bed belonged to and get them medical attention.

I was about to move away from the bed when my eyes noticed something odd about the restraints and I rushed around the bed to check out the other side, paying close attention to the foot shackles as I passed the foot of the bed. Each were leather with large metal buckles fastened tightly in place. This was what I found unusual. If the person escaped then why were the restraints still fastened? I knelt next to the other arm shackle to find that it too was still secure. How was it possible for someone to free themselves without unbuckling at least one of their restraints.

As I pondered this I spotted a smeared bloody hand print upon the white tile floor below the dangling restraint and something white laying near it. I carefully picked up the object to discover it was a fingernail, not a clipping but an full nail, maybe that of a child. I hastily dropped the nail back to the ground as a wave of uneasy filled my stomach. Why would there be a finger nail laying upon the ground? My eye drifted to a set of marks around the hand print, four long claw marks as if someone had been trying to grip the ground as they were pulled under the bed and that was when I noticed it. Something under the bed stirred and a pair of dark eyes stared out from the shadows at me. I froze in place as I gazed into those deep eyes, eye of some kind of monster that only existed within a child's nightmares. I was far from a child any longer so why would I be seeing this thing? More so why was the mere sight of this creature causing my heart to race with fright.

I fled from the beast, if you could call it flight, it was more like I scrambled upon the floor in an attempt to gain some distance between myself and that bed. I tried to get to my feet, but forgot that my leg was in a splint and could not get it to work for me. The beast snarled at me and I could see a large clawed hand slip out from under the bed and move towards me. I let out a childishly horrified scream as it reached out towards me. I turned and scrambled out of the room, slamming the door quickly behind myself, cutting my IV off in the door. I pulled the needle from my arm, ignoring the small spirt of blood that ran down my arm, and crawled back to my room when a nurse came running down the hall towards me.

"Miss. Bakerson!?!" The nurse called out, startled by my presence in the hall.

I ignored the woman as I continued my way down the hall. I wanted out of that place and away from whatever was in that room.

The nurse grabbed me by the arm and forced me up against the wall, "Miss, Bakerson!!" She shouted at me this time, like I was some kind of child, "What are you doing out here? What are you running from?" She exclaimed, her eyes fell on the blood that had formed on my hospital gown and stared in bewilderment, "What happened to you?

I shakily pointed at the door, "S... shadows..." was about all I could muster. I really did feel like a child again and I hated it. Where was all the collectiveness that I'd gained over the pasted five years? What happened to that bold Private Eye? Where was she? I called out inside of my head, but there was no answer.

Another nurse, a younger one this time, came running down the hall towards us and I shrank against the wall. The first nurse turned to the young woman and pointed at the door I'd just exited, "I'll handle this. You check in there. Something really shook this woman up something furious."

The younger nurse nodded and opened the door to the room. The moment she gazed beyond that door I could see the colour drain from her skin and she placed a hand to her quivering mouth.

"What is wrong?" The first nurse called out, but got no response, "You stay right here." She commanded of me as she let me go and rushed over to the other nurses side. The second she looked into the room she quickly turned away with a hand over her mouth. She shook her head as if she were trying to force the image out of her head. Then she quickly moved away from the door, "We have to find Doctor Jakes." She stated as she rushed to the front desk and picked up the phone.

Suddenly the intercom overhead sprung to life as the nurse's voice rang out over them, "Dr. Jakes to ward 6. Dr. Jakes to ward 6."

Ward 6? My mind raced and I glanced around to find a sign above the nurses station. "Psychiatric In Patient Ward 6" It read. What was I doing back here in the psycho ward? I only broke my leg, didn't I? I struggled to get to my feet and frantically rubbed at the sides of my head. This had to be all a dream. There was no way I could be back here. It was impossible. There was no reason to send me here.

The nurse rushed back to me, with a quick glance into that room again, then stopped in front of me, "Miss. Bakers, What happened in there?" She inquired sternly. For the first time I actually got a look at the woman and remembered her from my days in Ward 6 all those years ago. Mrs. Helder was her name and she had a nasty reputation for being strict and cold. I recalled her once telling me how she wished that she was allowed to go back to the old days of using shock therapy, because it would teach us a few manners. The sight of this old wrinkled woman set a fire within my mind. I never hated human in my life, but this woman was not human in my eyes. She was a vicious demon that gained pleasure from children's sorrow and pain. I hated her with every part of my being and the mere sight of her withered old face made me feel like reaching out and strangling the women.

I raised my head and glared at the woman, "What am I doing here?" I inquired with as much calm as I could muster, trying hard to hide my frustration and anger of the situation .

The nurse seemed startled by my question and I thought I saw her take a step back from me, "Don't you remember?" She asked lightly, as if she were talking to a hostile patient or something along those lines.

I shook my head, "I remember going to the club and trying to help Beth and then I hurt my leg on the back stairs and I was brought here." I explained simply.

The nurse let out a displeased sigh, "Maybe you should wait here until Dr. Jakes arrives." She suggested, gesturing to a chair across from my room.

"I don't want to speak to that man ever again." I snarled at the nurse. I was losing it and I could feel it. I hated losing my temper, but I hated it more when people, like this nurse, danced around a topic instead of being straight forward with me, "Tell me what the hell I'm doing here?" I demanded, taking a step towards the woman.

She raised her hands up in defence, "You were admitted after breaking your leg." She stated frantically, "You kept going on and on about some girl disappearing and that you are a detective so they sent you up here for observation."

"My friend did disappear." I shouted, appalled by the way I was being treated, "She vanished while I was at a club. One second she was there and the next she had disappeared. Just like so many of the children in this hell hole!!" I exclaimed.  

Suddenly a doctor came running down the hall with his white doctor's coat fluttering around him. I turned to face the man and greeted him with a snarl which made him stop shortly in front of me, "Why hello Brenda. I'm glad to see you are well."

"Well, I'm not glad to see you." I hissed. He was a greying old man that looked innocent enough, that dissolved the moment you got the know the man. His face always held a long expression as if he were incapable of smiling. He watched me carefully through his thick rimmed black glasses that sat upon his fat nose. The very sight of the doctor infuriated me more then seeing Nurse Helder again. This man suggested to my parents that I should be admitted to this hospital back when I was fifteen and I've despised him ever since. I was supposed to only spend a week and ended up staying for over a year. He kept coming up with excuses as to why I was not allowed to leave and seeing him again sickened me.

"I see you are the same old fireball of energy." He observed with his usual chuckle, a sound which I loathe intensely and still haunted me in my nightmares, "Do you not remember why you are here?" He inquired curiously.

"I had an accident and broke my leg." I stated coldly, "Is there anything wrong with that?"

"Hmmm..." He opened a folder in his hands and looked over some papers, "It says here that you claim to be a detective, is that right?" He inquired with a raised eyebrow. He always raised that eyebrow when he was being cynical or talking down to people.

I rolled my eyes in disbelief, "Of course it is. After leaving here I made sure to never end up here again."

"What school did you attend?" He quizzed.

"It was..." I suddenly froze. My mind felt as if it suddenly drew a blank. I knew I'd attended a detective school, it was not the best one, but it taught me the basics and allowed me to open my own business. I'd worked so hard to gain the respect of the town's people and never look back at my past. So why couldn't I remember the name of the school.

"You can't remember can you?" He inquired with a smirk.

I felt a rage build up inside of me and I reached out for the man, "You prick!" I screamed out, my hand circled around the collar of his shirt, "What have you done to me? I was living my life the way I wanted and then you ruined it as always. I'm not insane, you are!!" I screamed into his face like a madman. I guess at that time I really did seem insane, but I remember going to work everyday and reading over each of those cases one by one. I am not a liar. They must have done something to me. They must have.

Suddenly I felt something prick me in the rear and the world started to become blurry. My arms weakened and I sunk into his arms like a puppet with its strings cut. I heard him say something, but his voice was gurgled and sounded as if I were hearing through water. This could not be happening to me again. I was finally getting somewhere in life. It can't be all a lie... what about Liz? Was she part of my imaginary world as well? The questions circled in my mind as I drifted into a deep sleep.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 6

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Six

I woke up with a start and sat up straight, checking my arms for restraints, to find . I found the IV back in my arm, but other then that there was nothing. However something felt different, I glanced around to find myself again in a large hospital room. The room was bright with the light of a new day, shining through an open window. The curtains were pulled back and I could see other patients laying in their beds. One person in a arm cast and another with bandages over his eye. This room felt like it has more life to it them before, but I could not explain why. Then I noticed a bouquet of flowers sitting in a vase on the night stand next to my bed, next to my journal. A card stuck out from between a couple of the flowers and I plucked it free from its plastic stand as I picked up my notebook and I read the card.

"Get well soon.
From everyone at Our Place."

I smiled at the card and could feel a tear brim up at the edge of my eye. I opened the journal to the last entry to see my final notes from the night before. It really was a dream and I really was with Liz and Beth. I let out a sigh of relief that I was not truly insane, but that still did not explain that dream I just had. I'd had my fair share of strange nightmares, but nothing like that before. Then I recalled something that I'd dreamed about a few years back and started to flip through the book in search of the entry. I stopped on a page marked May eleventh, almost two years ago. My eyes fell upon a paragraph and my heart felt as if it stopped:

"I saw its eyes staring out as me from under the bed again. It watched me, waiting for me to move. I could sense it wanted to feed on me, but I was unwilling to allow it the pleasure. This beast had been waiting for me since I was young, I know this now, but I would not and will not ever surrender myself to it. Never."

I did not recall writing those words and I knew almost every word in this book as if it were part of my heart. I've found that just by writing out my thoughts and dreams I tended to record them in my mind forever. That didn't explain this passage. What was this beast I was referring too? Why did I feel it was after me? I glanced over the page until I came across another unusual paragraph.

"I remember now. She died in that hellish place and I could not help her. I remember the way she screamed out as she was tied down to her bed and the way she struggled against her restraints as I watched from her bedroom door. She had a feeling that she would die that day and even told me so. She wanted to be free of this place before death came for her, but they caught her just outside of those cold glass doors. As she was tied down I could see her eyes pleading to me. Begging me to free her, but what was I to do? I was just a small child back then. How was I supposed to help her? That night I remember the screams, sounds that I must have blocked out of my mind because they hurt my heart and mind so dearly. Then they suddenly stopped and a deep silence filled the room. I would not find out til the next morning that she was gone. They say she escaped, but I do not believe it. She died on that bed and now her soul was lost somewhere in the shadows of the night."

I shuddered at my own words. I hated not remembering and writing in this book was supposed to help, so why could I not remember these entries until now. I rubbed at my eyes with the palm of my hand as I hugged the opened book to my chest. It made no sense. I was not insane and I knew it, but this book, these things I'd written. How could I explain them?

There was a slight rapping at the door and I glanced up to see Liz standing before my bed with her hands behind her back and an embarrassed look upon her face. Her cloths were rumpled as if she had slept in them and there were red bags under her eyes.

"Liz!!" I exclaimed, excited to see the woman was not a figment of my imagination. Maybe all that other stuff was a dream after all and this was the reality. I closed my book and placed it at my side, "I'm so glad to see you." I rubbed at the tears the threatened to tumble from my eyes.

Liz rushed around the bed and gave me a tight hug, "I was so worry... they made me leave and... I wanted to stay by your side, but you know how it is... only family are allowed in..."

I returned her hug and felt a comfort in the feeling of her warm arms around my body. She was real, really real. The feeling of her hand stroking the back of my head and smell the scent of her hair was relieving. This was real and that other place was just a bad dream. I squeezed Liz tightly as I felt myself become overcome by emotion.

She backed up slightly, leaving her hands on my shoulders, and stared into my eyes, "Hey, you alright sweetie?" She asked worriedly.

"Sweetie?" I gazed into those brown eyes as I watched restlessness fill them. She had never called me a nickname before. What brought this on? As I pondered this I watched her cheeks take on a shade of crimson and she stood up straight.

"I... I'm sorry..." She stammered and paced beside my bed.

I gave the woman a puzzled look as I watched her carefully, "Are you alright?" I inquired, unsure what was going on here exactly. Then I recalled Julia telling me that Liz broke up with her girlfriend. Could she actually have feelings for me? My heart raced out of control as the idea of Liz returning my love sent it into overdrive.

At that moment a young nurse entered the room, "Well, I see you are awake." She observed, with a warm smile upon her face, "You had quite a fall I hear."

"Yeah," I rubbed the back of my neck in embarrassment, "It's stupid considering I'd just warned someone about that step only a few hours earlier." I remarked foolishly.

Liz shook her head at me, "You are not stupid." She stated confidently, "You were worried about Beth, just like the rest of us. I would have run up those stairs just like you, if it was me." She admitted with a nod of her head, "It could have easily been either of us in the hospital."

I flushed lightly at Liz's confidence in me, "Yeah, I guess so." I glanced up at Liz with the recollection of Beth's disappearance, "Did you find Beth?" I inquired hopefully.

Liz's face grew long and I knew the answer before she even spoke the words, "She never returned. We looked everywhere, but there was no sign of her. I spent the entire night in the lobby waiting to be allowed to see you." She explained sheepishly, "I called Julia and she stayed behind the entire night with no sign of Beth at all." She stated with a sigh.

I pushed myself into a seated position and placed a hand to my chin as I tried to think about what could have happened to our friend, when I noticed the nurse as she checked over my chart and I remembered Beth's medication, "Miss?" I picked up my notebook and began to search for the name of that drug Beth had been taking.

"Yes, Miss Baker?" The nurse replied politely as she moved around the bed to come to my side, "Is there anything I can do for you?"

I nodded, "Do you know of a medication called..." I paused as I leafed through the pages and finally came across the entry, "Somnambulom?" I asked. I figured it was the best lead I had to finding out what happened to our friend and this might be the only time I get to talk to the staff here.

The nurse had a puzzled look upon her face, "Somnambulom?" She repeated the word as if it held some familiarity to it, "I remember one of the doctors talking about it the other day."

"Which doctor?" I gently probed, "I am a detective, well a P.I., and this is of extreme importance."

"Ummm... uhhhh..." The nurse seemed unsettled by my questions and glanced around before turning back to me, "I don't know if I should be telling you this, but Dr. Johns has been prescribing that mediation to several of the patients in Ward 6." She explained in a low voice.

"Dr. Johns!!" Just the sound of that man's name made my blood chill. It couldn't be possible, could he really be linked to Beth's disappearance? Was that what my dream was trying to tell me?

"Brenda? You look sick, are you going to be alright?" Liz inquired worriedly.

I pulled the blankets off my legs, "I need to have a words with an old acquaintance." I grumbled as I swung my good leg off the bed.

"Wait!" The nurse took hold of my arm, "You can't leave here. The doctor still needs to check your wounds."

I glared at the nurse, "You don't understand." I pleaded with the woman, "I have to see Dr. Johns. Someone's life could depend on it."

Liz to tried to force me back into my bed, "Are you crazy? You can't walk on that leg!" She exclaimed uneasily, I heard her voice crack and felt a tear drop upon my hand.

"Liz?" I stopped and placed a hand to the woman's chin, forcing her to look up at me. Now that I got a closer look at her I could see that she had spent the last while crying. She was probably trying to keep herself from tearing up since she entered the room, trying to be strong for me.

"I... I know you want to help Beth." She rambled through a stream of tears, "But you need to stay put or you'll get hurt. I can't stand the idea of you being hurt." She cried and dropped her head into my lap.

Hesitantly I placed a hand upon her head and ran my fingers through her soft hair, "I'm sorry... I didn't mean to worry you." I said softly. I never realized how deeply she felt for me or how much I caused her pain. I felt horrible at that moment and wanted to sink into the sheets and hide.

"You are always being so reckless." She stated as she raised her head slightly, still keeping her eyes upon my lap, "You always seemed to care more about others and never about yourself. That is what I love about you, but you can really drive a girl crazy at time, you know that?"

I blinked in disbelief, "D... did you say you l... love me...?" I stammered, unsure if I really wanted to hear this. All this time I'd dreamed of Liz returning my feelings and now that I was getting it I was terrified.

Liz lifted her head and looked dead in the eyes, "Of course I do." She stated boldly, "You are so sweet and lovably, how could I not love you?" She said with a crocked smile, "I've always loved you."

"But... you..." I tried to piece together what she was telling me, "But you always pushed me away... and... What about Sarah?" I inquired frantically.

Liz ran her hand frantically through her hair, "You were so caught up in your work you never seemed to notice me and I needed someone who would not run off to their death." She cried out.

I was startled by what I was hearing. Here I thought she didn't love me because I was a foolish idiot and now I find out it is because of my lifestyle. My mind raced as I tried to put everything together when I noticed the nurse nervously standing beside me, trying not to be paying attention to us. I flushed as I glanced around to see several other patients were now watching us. We must have looked like some kind of drama show at that moment. Well, there goes my attempt to keep my sexuality a secret. I just hope this does not bite me when I return to work. A lesbian P.I. would not be looked upon to highly in this day and age. I gazed down at Liz and smiled, maybe it would be a good thing if I lost my job. At least I would still have Liz. That is I would have her, if spoke up soon and didn't let her run off on me again.

"I love you too." I said softly, not really wanting the entire room to hear me, "I've loved you since I first set my eyes on you behind that bar. I never realized that you felt the same for me. The thought makes me heart pound wildly in my chest. I've always wanted to be with you. I just thought you didn't want to be with me."

Liz looked up at me and a twitchy smile upon her face and wiped at her tears, "R... really?" She stammered and she rubbed the heel of her palm into her eye.

I nodded my head at the girl, "Really." I said simply and pulled her into my arms, "I'll always love you."

She sobbed into my shoulder as I held her in my arms. I could feel a blush cross my face as many eyes watches us, but at that moment I didn't really care. If someone had a problem with us I would defend my love to the death and I eyed a couple of the people to make sure they got the point. I would never allow anyone to hurt Liz. I would alway protect he, I just wish someone could have been there to protect her from me.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 7

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Seven

Liz stayed with me most of the afternoon while doctors looked over my leg and told me that I would have to stay a couple of day, but could go soon enough. It turns out that I only had a hair line fracture and I would not be able to use that leg for some time, but it could have been much, much worse. The nurse showed Liz how to change my bandages so she would be able to help me after I was finally released from the hospital. It brought a smile to my face as I watched her intensively listen to the nurse and take in all the details of how to clean my wounds and what to keep an eye out for if something should go wrong.

The news of being forced off work for some time did not effect me much. I had Liz at my side and that was all that counted now in this dark world. I milled over a change in pace in my work. Maybe I could down play the more dangerous jobs and just take missing persons cases. Maybe that would settle Liz's worries about my work, or I could forgo the P.I. work and just focus on photography. I was not that bad with the camera and maybe I could make a living working for a magazine or something along those lines.

Before long, visiting hour came to a close, and Liz was again forced to leave me. "I'm sorry." The nurse said apologetically, she seemed very embarrassed to have to tell us that Liz was not allowed to stay with me through the night and apologized many times throughout the afternoon.

I smiled at the nurse, "It is alright. We understand." I explained gently, to show I was not angry, "It is not like she is my wife... yet..."

Liz stared at me with a startled look upon her face, "W... wife!?!" She exclaimed with a squeak.

I blushed, "Sorry, Maybe I'm moving to quickly." I said sheepishly.

Liz shook her head at me, then leaned over to place a kiss on my forehead, "Let's try moving in together first, alright?"

My mood really brightened at the sound of that idea, "Y... you want to move in with me?" I stammered. That was one thing I had not really thought about. I lived in a small apartment which partly served as my office. The living room was filled with walls of shelves that were overflowing with notes and books of all sorts. Would we need to move? My thoughts crashed about inside of my head as I puzzled over the new life that was awaiting me when I got out of this hospital.

Liz stood to her full height, "We'll talk about this later." She stated as she moved towards the door then glanced over her shoulder, "I'll see you tomorrow, love." She said with a smile.

I could feel myself flush even deeper, "I love you." I replied softly.

Liz waved, "Bye." With that she disappeared out of the room, leaving me with only the lingering scent of her hair and the vision of us sharing the same bed. I let out a deep sigh and suck into my pillows. This had turned out to be quite the day and all of this because I broke my leg. Who would have thought that was all it would take to get us together?

"You are very lucky." The nurse stated with a smile and a blush.

I returned the smile, "Yeah." I crossed my arms behind my head and beamed to myself.

"So you are here after all." A voice said from the door. A voice that haunted my dreams and sent a shudder through my spine. I sat up to find Dr. Jakes standing before me. A hand deep in his pocket and my chart in his other.

"What are you doing here?" I snarled at the man.

"I... I'm sorry..." The nurse stammered nervously, "I told him you wanted to see him." She explained anxiously, "Did I do something wrong?"

I slowly shook my head, "No, I did want to see him." I stated as I kept my eyes on the man before me. His hair had greyed in the past 10 years, but other then that he looked like the same old bastard that I remembered. His glasses set upon his slightly bent nose, a nose that I myself broke upon our first visit. The thought of it not healing properly made me grin satisfactorily.

The doctor hung my chart back on the headboard of my bed and turned to face me, "So I see you have grown up quiet a lot over the years. I also see you have not dropped your unreasonable affections for women." His eyes shifted to the door and I knew he was talking about Liz. I bet he was standing outside of the door waiting for me to be alone the entire time. The creepy snoop, I wish he would be straight forward and stop with the sneaky crap. I remember him giving gifts to the other kids at the psycho ward if they ratted someone out and I was the one who got into the most trouble of them all. I just could not understand what was so wrong with loving girls and as such every time I kissed one of the girls I would be punished, severely.

"And I see you are still the blunt jackass as always." I growled under my breath.

"Come now." He crossed his arms in front of himself, "I thought for sure that you would have dropped the vulgarities when you became a detective." He mused, "What happened to that charming demure that I've heard you are famous for."

"I reserve that only for those that deserve my respect." I hissed.

He shook his head, "If I wanted this kind of banter I would have talked to my other patents. Now what is it that you wanted from me?"

"Somnambulom." I stated coldly, I was certain that I saw a twitch in his right eye, "You have been prescribing it to your patents, am I correct?" I probed.

"I see." I could feel his eyes crawling over me, he knew something and I wanted to know what it was, "So you have come across Somnambulom in your investigations, have you?" He never even batted an eye. God I wish this guy would show some sign of emotion. It was creepy the way he never so much as smiled. I was sure that if I could crack his shell I would be able to find out what was going on around here.

"You could say that." I stated simply, not wanting to let all my cards out of my hand just yet.

He glanced around the room at the many people listening to them, then his eyes fell upon the nurse, "Nurse, would you find a wheel chair for the young detective." He ordered the woman.

"Yes, Doctor." She hastily started for the door as commanded.

"Then be sure to bring her to my office." He added and then turned back to me, "I'll explain what I can when you arrive." Without a further word he turned and left the room.

I really felt I was onto something. Maybe I could blow entire missing children's cases wide open, possibly even save my job in the process. It did not surprise me that the good doctor could be responsible for all of this madness, but what was he up too. Part of me feared confronting the man. I mean he was the cause of a lot of the pain in my life and I bet he is even responsible for these annoying visions I keep having too. I don't recall having them before being in his care, but then again I don't remember much of anything before being sent to that horrible place.

The nurse returned with the wheelchair rather quickly and moved it beside my bed, "Here we go." She helped me pull on a house coat and swing my legs into the chair then locked my wounded leg into place, "The doctor must have something really important to talk to you about if he wants to see you in his office." She stated in astonishment.

I quickly snatched up my journal off the bed as she pushed the chair out of the room and down the hall. "Or he has something to hide." I remarked suspiciously, hugging my book to my chest, "Tell me, have you seen anything strange around this place? I read that a couple of children went missing here not long ago."

"I... I'm not allowed to talk about that." I could sense the nervousness in her voice. In my investigations I'd never considered looking into the hospital, maybe there was a greater connection that I was not quite seeing. Why didn't I look into this place before? Maybe it was my own fears that made me steer clear of this hospital? Well, now that I'm here I could not allow my fears to keep me away from the answers that I seek any longer.

I glanced up at the woman to see a single drop of sweet run down her cheek, "Is it that horrible to talk about?" I probed calmly, "I mean the reports said they just ran off and could not be found again." I was hoping the round about approach would lead to more information. One can never tell what they will get out of a nervous witness if they kept their feeler's out.

"Y.. yes..." I could see her eyes were darting around the hall, probably to make sure none of her coworkers were paying attention to our conversation, "They somehow got out of the psych ward in the night and ran away."

I gazed forward again and pondered this, "I recall when I was in that ward that the doors were always kept locked at night and there was no way out until morning." I really hated that, because I loved night walks and felt so claustrophobic in that place. Then I recalled the words that I had discovered in my note book earlier that day. During my stay at Ward 6 someone had gone missing and something about the shadows. I shook my head violently as I tried to rattle some of the memories loose from their bearings. I could feel that some of the answers where hidden somewhere in my mind, but no matter of shaking would loosen them.

I pulled at my hair in frustration and glanced up to see that we were approaching an elevator. Upon the wall was a plaque and my eyes instantly were drawn to the words, "Ward 6 - Floor 5" I couldn't believe I am willing going back there this time. The thought made me stomach do flips, but I told it to settle down. There was nothing to keep us there this time. We would find out what was going on here and get the hell out as quickly as we could. Which would not be quick enough no matter how long it was.

"It is strange, isn't it." The nurse suddenly spoke up as she pushed the button to call for the elevator.

"What was wrong with the children who vanished?" I returned my interrogation, I felt kind of sorry for the young woman, but I needed answers and she seemed the most talkative person I've yet come across, that doesn't say much.

"They had troubles sleeping." She remarked as the grey steel doors opened and she pushed me onto the elevator.

"Sleep walkers?" I inquired curiously.

She simply nodded and pushed for the button for the fifth floor.

"So Somnambulom is to suppress the will to sleepwalk? Is that right?" I dug deeper, I could see her startle slightly and chew on her lip.

"So that is what this is all about." I muddled everything I had learned and everything I'd already known over in my head. What could Dr. Jakes be doing with these sleep walkers? Then it hit me, I remembered being injected with some kind of drug years ago. Something that sent my mind into a feverish madness. That was the first time I'd seen the shadows clearly. So clear it was like any of my normal memories. That was when the visions started, but I managed to keep them from the doctors. I refrained to speak of any of them and did not write about it until I got out of there.

Could it be that he was testing this new drug on us and instead of suppressing our sleep walking and night terrors it was increasing them? But where did all the children go then? The thought that we were being used like guinea pigs made my blood freeze cold. What exactly had I stumbled upon here?

The elevator doors opened again and before me I could see a large set of glass doors with a receptionist desk out front. The nurse pushed me up to the desk and turned to another nurse behind it, "Dr. Jakes asked me to bring this patient to his office." She stated with a friendly smile.

The nurse glanced down at me and I realized that it was the same old nurse from my nightmares, Mrs. Haler. She grinned at me in a menacing way, "Ah yes. Miss. Baker, so glad to see you again." She pressed a button behind the counter and the doors in front of me began to open.

My hands began to tremble at the sight of those doors. It took me so long to be free of this place and here I was allowing myself to be lead back into the lion's den. Maybe I really was insane after all. I mean who in their right mind would return to the place of their torture. The place that brought about the most haunting images and frightening memories. I suddenly did not want to go in there. I wanted nothing to do with this place. I glanced up at Mrs. Haler to see her smiling down at me. The look upon that woman's face scared the hell out of me, but it was already too late, the nurse had already begun to push me through those doors. I tried to tell the nurse to turn around. Tried to tell her that I did not wish to be here any longer, but I could not find my voice. It was as if my voice had frozen up inside of my throat and refused to speak.

I watched in horror as the door closed behind me and I realized that I had made a big mistake. I had got cocky and thought that I was strong enough to face whatever I needed to head on, but this was more then I ever expected. I was such a fool to pretend that I knew what I was doing. There was no way I could save everyone. I was not even able to save myself.

As we moved down the hall I could hear the familiar sounds of wails and sobs from behind the closed doors to either side of me. We came across a door that was still open and I looked in to see a single bed made of metal rods. Restraints could be seen hanging to either side of the bed and I was almost sure I could see blood upon the floor. As I gazed up at the door I noted the small plague which read, "W6-A4". The same number as in my nightmares. Could I have actually been in that room? Did someone die in there? So many questions circled through my mind and I was finding it hard to keep them in check. I felt my entire body tremble with fright as we moved down the long white hall, I hate white walls. They we are so devoid of colour and seemed to suck the life out of everything around them, making the task of living seem so useless and impossible. I bowed my head in defeat. I would never get out of here again and I had no one to blame besides myself.

Then my hand fell to my housecoat pocket and I felt something within its folds. I reached inside to find the photo of my niece. I did not know how it got there, but at that moment I felt my strength return. I needed to face my fears and face whatever I was up against head on. No more running and hiding for me. I would solve this case and rescue those missing children. My niece and Beth and everyone else. Plus I would return to Liz and we would live our lives together, happily ever after. I smiled down at the photo and placed it between the paged of my journal. I was finally ready to face the lion. Nothing would stop me from living again. Nothing.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 8

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Eight

Finally we arrived at a oak door with a brass plaque which read, "Dr. Jakes" in smooth curved lettering. The nurse stopped my wheelchair and reached around me to tap lightly upon the door, "Dr. Jakes, Miss Baker is here to see you." She called out through the thick door.

"Bring her in." He's muffled voice ordered. The door was opened by a burly man dressed all in a white short sleeved shirt, that showed off his tattooed arms, and white slacks. Fear rose up inside of me yet again. These orderlies were known to be brutal and cold. I'd watched them slam a small girl's face into the tile floor and knock out one of her teeth just because she refused to have her blood taken. I'd forgotten that Dr. Jakes usually had two of these brutes at his side whenever he was in Ward 6. I glanced around to find the second orderly standing to his right, just as I suspected, there always came in pairs. I could not blame the doctor for keeping his guards close at hand, after all I wished him dead as I sat there in my wheelchair and I'd been free of his grasp for years. What about all the others that pass through those doors? I don't think of one them had a kind feeling for the doctor, and nor did he in return.

"You can go now nurse." The doctor waved the woman out of the room while one of the orderlies wheeled me closer to his desk. I remember the desk being much larger, but then again I was much smaller at the time. It was still an impressive sized piece of furniture. At a glance I'd say it was nearly two metre's in length, for you non-metric people who come across this journal that would be six and a half feet... abouts, and made of the most beautiful polished red oak that I'd ever had the pleasure to glaze upon. I have to admit there was something about wooden furniture that always attracted my attention since I was little. This desk before me was a marvel that I wished I could run my fingers across. Along the fringe were carvings of Celtic origin if I remembered my carvings correctly. There were more intricate marking along the legs that stretched up to the desk's top. All in all it looked more like some kind of alter then a desk and I sometimes wondered where the man had come by such a unique piece of furniture.

"Did you enjoy your trip here?" Jakes inquired, I do not feel he was really interested in my trip or my well being, but I felt a need to answer him all the same.

"It was alright." I replied as I nervously moved about in my seat, "A lot better then that time your dogs tackled me in my room and dragged me here." I remarked in distaste as I glanced at one of the orderlies.

Jakes folded his hands in front of himself, "Are you still upset over things that happened nearly ten years ago?" He asked softly.

"Of course I am." I snarled, trying hard to keep my emotions under control. I could see the orderly at the doctors side twitch slightly as if he were ready to spring upon me, but I sat back in my chair and calmed myself.

Jakes glanced down at the folder before him. I noticed that there was a set of files stacked to his right and in front of him another file lay open. From my spot I could not see what this file contained, but part of me figured that it was probably something to do with me. He always had his current victims file open before him as he extracted his torture, "You have become one rather prestigious little girl since we last met. I've been keeping a close eye on you for the past ten years and you are something else indeed. It is amazing how you struggled to survive even after being raped. You really are impressive."

How did he know about that? It happened after I left here and I never reported it, "I've been making a better life for myself." I stated confidently, "You taught me that I needed to be a productive part of society and I've done just that."

He looked at me, I could almost swear that there was a flicker of hate in those eyes, "And yet you still are weak to female flesh." He probed, "One would think that after all the punishments life has sent your way you would have learned your lesson."

I ran my hand through my hair, not this again, "Are you still going on about that?" I chuckled, trying to cover my fright, "You still think I have a choice to be this way? Haven't you learned that this is how I am and there is no cure for it."

"It is a sickness and you know it." He remarked coldly, "You even told me so before leaving."

"Come on." I glared at the man, "Being gay is not an illness and that is not a reason to keep someone locked up. I am sane and you know it."

I saw a smirk cross the man's face, "Is that so?" He inquired skeptically, "Have you been seeing things since you left here?"

I was startled by this new line of questioning, then I remembered my reason for being there in the first place, "Wait, I should be the one asking questions." I insisted.

A smile crossed his face for the first time and it made my stomach sink. It was a menacing, like that of an animal that had finally cornered its pray. All the times I'd wished he would show some form of expression and now that I see it I want that cold face again, "That is correct. You wanted to know about Somnambulom." He stated as he took a key ring from his pocket, "Tell me, how did you learn about my drug?"

"One of my friends had it on her." I stated, keeping my eyes on his hands as he unlocked the top draw of his desk and opened the drawer, "Before she disappeared."

"Oh," His eyebrow rose ever so slightly, "What was the child's name perchance?"

"Beth." I said boldly, "Bethany Thomson and she was no child."

He glanced at me, his hand pausing inside the draw, "Awww... Bethany. As I recall she was having troubles sleeping after her little sister committed suicide, right down the hall in fact." He almost seemed happy with this fact and it made me feel even more ill at easy.

"Beth's sister was here?" I had a mix of curiousness and worry fill me, "Why was she here?"

He pulled out a leather pouch from the drawer and set it in front of himself, "If I recall she was suffering from dreadful night terrors."

"Did you give her your wonder drug?"

"Why yes, I did." He admitted without a sign of shame or regret, "She reacted fine at first and then one night went into a rage and slashed her wrists." He flipped through a couple of files and pulled on out and opened it, "Here her file if you are curious." He handed the orderly the file, who in turn handed it to me.

I took the file and opened it. A photo fell from the file and I picked it up to gaze upon it's surface. Before me was a picture of the same lonely room with the large wooden bed in the middle, however this time there was someone laying upon the bed. A young girl no more then twelve year of age. Her hands and feet had been bound and her back was arched as if she were in great agony. I could see pools of blood had already begun to form under her wrist. I glared at the doctor, "What the hell is this? Is this some kind of sick joke?" I inquired turning the photo around and showing it to him, disgusted by what I was seeing, "Do you do this to all your patients?"

"Why?" He asked there was a look of intrigued upon his face and I was not sure if I followed, "It is only the girl's school photo. What did you see?" He questioned, there was something in the way he looked at me that made my stomach do a back flip.

I stared at the photo to see it shift before my eyes to an image of a sweet little girl smiling out at me. Hastily I opened my journal to the page with my nieces photo and picked it up. No longer did I see the image of her sitting in a chair with wires coming out of her head, instead I was faced with an picture from her sixth grade picture day. A picture that I had hanging on my office wall, as a reminder of the innocent lives that needed my help. I became confused. How could the photos change before my very eyes? I was not imagining things, was I?

"But... But..." I stammered as I looked from one photo to the other, "You did have my niece here, didn't you?"

He tilted his head slightly, "Your niece?" He seemed confused for a moment then smiled, "Oh, yes. Your sister thought she had the same illness as you. Sleepwalking, night terrors and feelings for her best friend so she brought her here." He explained simply, as if this kind of thing happened every passing day, "I gave her a sample of Somnambulom in its new pill form. Another failed experiment it would seem."

"Experiment? Wha?" Where they really experimenting on children? "How long have you been doing this experiment."

The doctor grinned, "Why you were our first test subject." The doctor stated as he untied the pouch before himself and pulled out a needle with a strange cloudy fluid floating about inside. I suddenly recalled that needle. I recalled being tackled to my bed and strapped down then Dr. Jakes inserting the needle into my arm, "You have done better then I ever expected Brenda." He remarked proudly, "I knew that you were perfect for this experiment. I just never thought you would return to us willingly." He tapped the needle and pushed the plunger slightly, sending a spirt of fluid through the air.

"You can't be serious." I exclaimed, "You tested that crap on me?"

"Yes and you are the first and only one to survive its effects." He stated with a sinister grin, "I believe you will show us some amazing things. Gentlemen," He nodded to me and without another word the two orderlies were upon me. They pulled out leather restraints from behind their backs and quickly fastened my arms to the chair.

"What do you think you are doing to me?!?" I screamed out, kicking at one of the men with my good leg, "You can't do this to me! I have a life to return too!!"

The doctor shook he head as he moved around his desk, "Your life has always belonged to me." He stated as approached me, "I wanted to see what would happen if we released you back into the real world. This has all be orchestrated from the very moment you walked through those doors. Even your rape after you were released and your acceptance into that detective school."

"Liar!!!" I cried out as I struggled with my restraints, "I got free on my own. It had nothing to do with you. I did it on my own." I could feel hot tears roll down my cheek as I watched the needle move in closer. One of the orderlies held me down while the doctor rolled up my sleeve.

"Now just calm down." He stated calmly, " I just need you to open the door. Just do that for me and I will let set you free."

"What door?" I did not understand what he was going on about. Before I could protest any longer he stabbed the needle into the meat of my arm and pressed the plunger.

"You will know what I mean soon enough." He explained as he took a step away from me, "I just hope that you will not be a failure like the others."


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 9

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Nine

The rain has come again. I can hear it tapping upon the rooftop, tap tap tapping upon the windowpane, gently urging me to awaken from my slumber. A flash of lightening floods the room, a light so bright that it turns the backs of my eyelids a bright red and leavings me with the last eminence of coloured lights as I slowly crawl my way through the doldrums of the recent nights dreams. Dreams of darkness and claws that reached out to take hold of my leg as it hangs over the edge of my bed, dangling ever so precariously out from under the sheets from which it was safe.

Now half awake I feel long nails slowly slip around my ankle, my mind pictures reptilian hands attached to long yellow nails that lightly graze my bare skin, sneaking further up my leg to get a better grip. My body is paralysed in fear of what could be under the bed, I try to will my leg to move, to retreat back to the safety of the covers, but it refuses to respond to my silent commands. A scream locks upon my lips turning it into more of a pitiful squeak that would make any nightmarish creature laugh at the patheticness of the sound. Abruptly the air crackled as thunder rolls over head and there is a resounding boom that hits the house with enough force to rattle the very walls of the room. I feel the creatures hands retreat ever so slightly and my eye flutter open as I awake to discovered that I was sitting within my childhood room. I quickly pull my feet back into the bed, wrapping warm safe blankets around my body, leaving only my eyes to peer out into the darkness of my room. I felt small and afraid and I had not felt that way in many years.

My eyes dart around my surrounds, no monster awaited me at the edge of the bed as I figured it would. Even so I waited silently as if prepared for its glowing eyes to peer over the corner and crawl out of its hiding place, aware that I could never fight it off and ready to feed. Yet no eyes appeared and the only sound to greet me was the repeated tapping of the rain. Heavy drops that rung against the eavestrough on its collective way out to the street down below. Another flash of lightening was followed even quicker by an even louder resounding boom. My mind leapt about the bedroom as I suddenly realized that something was terribly wrong with what I was seeing before me. I shook my head frantically in an attempt to puzzle together what it was that was linger on the tip of my tongue, not freeing its grasp from my mind. My head collided with the plaster wall that ran along the length of the bed creating a hollow echo that make me freeze in place. My ears perked in alertness for something more furious then any creature that could reside under the bed.

My ears partook the sounds of footfalls under the echoing hammering of the rain. Not heavy footfalls, but more of that of a lighter variety. I distinctly knew those footfalls from somewhere, but just as my mind would not free itself before it still refused to release it grasp as of yet. Finally my eyes dropped to my hands for the first time. A child's hands moved before my eyes, young, soft and shaking tremendously. Were these really my hands that were before me? Hands so frail and lacking such colour that they glowed in the light of the street lamps that shone through the window across the room.

Something clicked, light through window... I could hear the footsteps moving closer to the bedroom door, a bedroom that I suddenly realized was my own at a time before. A room that I only saw in my nightmares for I had not slept within these walls since the age of fourteen. I combed a hand through my hair to find it long and matted, another memory from my past or was it real? Was my life as a Detective the dream and this the reality, I could not tell and the more I thought the more my heart began to pound. My eyes darted wildly about the room, taking in everything and nothing. Desk, chair, shelves, books, dresser, closet, curtains, pendent, bed. Wait... that was it. I returned to the crystal pendent that swung gently from the curtain rode. A small moon shaped necklace that was given to me by someone special, more I could not recall, but that was all I needed for I recalled leaving it in the window at night to charge, believing that the moon's soft blue light would some how instil powers into the crystal and protect me from whatever haunted me in the night.

The door knob turned and I quickly rose to my feet, soft mattress moving under my feet as I hurried across the bed. I could hear the creaking of the door's hinges and feared I would be too late, that the creature beyond the door would get me and I would be no more. I reached the end of the bed and set one foot upon the bedframe as I extended my hand towards the dangling pendent. My salvation was nearly in reach, I just had to grasp it in my hands.

Fear leapt from my stomach to my throat as a crack of light formed across the wall before me. I could not let the light touch me and yet it was in my path to the window. Clumsily I leapt from the bed to the dresser, knocking many papers and books to the floor, then I moved to the desk that sat below the window. My fingers intertwined around the crystal and I could feel its warmth run through my hand. Suddenly my foot slipped upon some papers on the desk and I toppled to the ground. My hands reached out for the curtains only to feel them slip between my fingertips as I felt the world rush passed my head on my way towards the hard wood floors.

My shoulder was the first to strike the floor, followed closely by my head and then the rest of me. I landed in a heap at the foot of my bed and saw bright flashes of light before my eyes for a moment, then darkness surrounded me. I do not know how long I was out for, but after a time I started to stir once again. The back of my head hurt like a bugger and my shoulder felt out of place.

I cried out as I struggled to a seated potion and held my shoulder. It was indeed out of place, but I'd grown used to this over the years. I could not recall how my shoulder ended up in such condition, but I discovered very soon that I could return it back to shape. Lacing my hands together behind my back I pulled on my arms until my elbow touched each other and my spine. I heard my shoulder pop and a sharp pain sliced through my body causing me to cry out and curl up in a ball on the floor. My forehead touched the floor and for the first time I realized I was not in my bedroom. The floor was hard and smelt damp, like that of a basement.

Quickly I sat up again and spotted the crystal glowing faintly in the dimly light room. With a sigh of relief I scooped up the pendent and held it tight between my tiny fingers. No matter how much my rational mind tried to tell me how silly it was to believe in a necklace being able to protect someone my other side shouted madly at how ignorant my rational mind was. I mean my rational mind believed I was an adult and yet I clearly couldn't be over ten years of age so clearly my rational mind had no clue about the workings of the world. I laughed to myself as I listened to the bickering of my persona, when the lights suddenly turned on.

My rational mind shut up quickly as I suddenly realized where I sat. All around me were grey cement walls that had been stained with water damage over the years. A small window could be seeing at the top of one of the walls, but only darkness could be seen through it. The room was filled with many boxes and there was a set of wooden stairs that lead up. At the top of the stairs stood a large man dressed in grease stained jeans and a dirty shirt sleeved white dress shirt. His face covered in shadows, however I did not need to see his face to know he was my father and more so I knew what he was doing there. I shook my head as the man slowly descended the stairway, each step creaking against his immense weight, I recall him telling me his size was due to him being a wrestler whilst he was in high school. I have no idea what wrestling had to do with his weight, but I remember his gut being strong as steel and hitting him hurt my hand. I glanced up to see him stop for a moment to close the door and locked it behind him.

Quickly I scrambled backwards in search of a place to hide. He had not yet seen me and for some reason I felt the need to stay hidden. At the back of the room I found an old metal framed cot and crawled under it, curling up with my back to the wall the necklace clenched tight in my hands.

My father slowly crossed the room, his feet dragging as he went, as if he had been heavily drinking, which he frequently did. He approached the cot and I could feel fear rise up inside of me, fear of him discovering me down then where I should have been in bed. He did not seem to notice me, in fact his eyes seemed glazed over and vacant, as if no one was home inside of his body. He trudged across the cement flooring to the cot and plopped down heavily upon the mattress. The frame sagged against his heavy build and I needed to squeeze up against the wall in order to avoid being crushed. I could feel myself holding my breath as I lay there, praying that he would leave quickly.

"I'm sorry..." I heard him sob. I had never heard my father sob before. What could have made him so upset? "I'm so sorry, Brenda..." His words held heavy on my heart as I listened to his sobs, "I never..." The springs on the cot squeezed as he moved slightly. I could see one of his hands hanging between his legs, which were spread apart, and I envisioned him leaning over with his elbows on his knees and his hands on his face, an image I'd had seen from time to time and it made me wonder how long he had been holding in those tears. Then something else came into light. A long cylindrical object that I at first thought was a silver pen, but it couldn't be a pen for it was much thicker then normal. Before I had time to figure out what it was he pulled the object back up and I felt him lean against the wall above me.

Twisting ever so slightly I peeked through a crack between the wall and the mattress to see my father's back. I could barely see his face, which was dirty from working on cars all day and tears streaked through the grease and grim. The pained look upon his face make me want to reach out to him. I could felt a need to swallow back my own tears as I watched him sit there. Finally I got up the courage to reveal myself when I saw his hand move and I suddenly knew what he was holding in his hand. I shook my head in disbelief as I watched him bring a pistol to his head. I did not have time to utter a single word as the room filled the echoing bark of a single shot from the gun and I watched as my father's head was thrown sideways from the blast and collapsed to the bed.

A scream like none other emitted from my throat and I clenched my eyes against the images that invaded my mind. There was no way any of this had happened. It was all a horrible nightmare and I wanted nothing more then to be freed from is grasp. I clenched my eyes tightly as I tried to shake the images that tried to cling to my memories. This was nothing but another nightmare. I had to be. It just had to be.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 10

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Ten

As my eyes opened once again I discovered that I no longer lay upon the hard cement floor of the bedroom. Instead I found myself standing at the end of a large room with many long wooden benches lined up to each side with a long red carpet rolling up the middle. Candelabrums could be seen to either end of the room with many candles a glow. At the front of the room stood a table with a long coffin upon it. I could heard the sounds of sobs from all around me and yet I could not see a single other person in the room. A hand fell upon my shoulder and I glanced up to see my father standing beside me. I let out a sigh of relief when I realized that the images before were nothing more then a nightmare after all.

My father smiled down at me and held out his hand. I took it happily and noticed just how cold it felt, then, as I held his hand, it began to change. It changed in colour from its usual sun tanned colour, from so many days in the sun working on the siding of homes to automobile repairs, it changed to a pale grey colour. I tried to let go of the hand only to have him clench tightly to me, hurting my fingers in hid grasp. A drop of blood rolled down his arm and onto my hand, I followed it up to my father's to see him grinning down upon me. There was blood dripping down his face from a small hole in the right side of his head and the left side of his head was entirely missing. I could see a chuck of skull hanging onto a piece of flesh with a few tattered bits of hair clinging dearly to the side of his head. I felt the urge to throw up at the sight, but swallowed it back as I tried to remind myself it must have been another nightmare.

His lips parted and cracked as he tried to speak, "Y... you.... killlled... meeeee.. Brrr...ennndaaa..." His voice came out in long choked gasps, as if death had his hand around the man's throat and was strangling the last bit of life out of him, "I... t...old you... to... kee...keep our sec..secret and y... you cou... couldn't even d... do that..."

I tried to pull away from the man as he stepped closer to me, "I... I'm sorry daddy..." I cried. I had no idea what he was talking about. What secret could he be meaning? My mind ran over all my memories like a computer searching for a file and kept coming up "File not found." I shook my head in dismay as the man continued to decay before my eyes.

"Y... you... you are... the one that... de... deserves... to be... dea... dead and... NOT ME!!!" He screamed those final words as he reached out towards me with his now skeletal hands, "They... they want you... they... they mi... miss you... come... come join us." I felt his hand circle around my neck. This was when I noticed something lingering behind the man. It appeared to be an ordinary shadow and yet for a moment I was certain that I could see it move, almost positive that I saw glowing red eyes within its dark shape. It was death that I was seeing and I knew it. Death had finally come for me after all those years. I reached out towards the shadow, welcoming its presence and longing for it to take me away from the shackles of life.

All of a sudden my right hand began to feel warm and started to glow, or at least it appeared to glow. The light made the shadow cringe in pain and it slide across the ground, hiding behind a pillar. My father released my arm to shield his eyes from the light. Unsure what was happening, but not wanting to wait around for my father and the shadow to recover I turned on my heels and ran from the room, through a pair of large wooden double doors.

I slammed the doors behind me and flipped a latch near the handles to lock them. I knew that would not keep a creature of darkness away for long, but it was better then nothing. Leaning against the doors I stared down at my hand, fingers still clenched tightly in a fist, I parted my fingers one at a time to see the moon shaped crystal laying on the palm of my hand, still glowing faintly with what appeared to be a small amount of trapped moonlight within. I'm not really sure about if it was real moonlight that was glowing inside the gem, but that childish part of me told me that it was and at that moment I was not willing to argue with it. Where did I get that crystal from in the first place, anyway? I couldn't recall who had given it to me or where I got the idea that it would protect me, but not willing to let a good charm go to waste, I placed the necklace carefully around my neck and smiled down at up. The crystal's warms seeped into my flesh as I lay it to rest upon my chest.

With a glance around I discovered that I now stood in a long, rather twisty, hallway with many doorways. The walls were covered in deep red wallpaper, covered in elaborate black felt designs, while the lower half was trimmed with strips of dark wood that extended across the floor. Crystal chancelleries shone dim light that only made it possible to see down a few dog legs of the hall before everything seeped into darkness. There were several doors along each twist of the hall, each differing in shape, size and colour. I realized right away that I must be still sleeping, in some form of dream I was not aware of before. I kept a good log of all my dreams and remembered them vividly, this hallways looked nothing like anything I had ever seen before and yet there was something familiar about it all the same.

As I pondered over which way to travel something dropped from above to land at my feet. To my surprise it was the very journal that I was just think over. I quickly glanced up, wondering where it could have fell from, when I spotted another young girl, my niece, standing on the ceiling overhead. For some odd reason this did not startle or excite me. I felt more bemused by the sight of the child standing upside down as if gravity had no ill effect on the girl, not even her hair or her pyjama's seemed effected by the fact that she stood aloft and upside-down. As I cocked my head to get a better look at the girl, so did she. I raised a hand to wave at the girl and she mimicked the same gesture. Now I was becoming a tad bewildered.

I glimpsed down at my journal then back up at the girl, "Did you bring my journal to me?" I inquired lightly, not wanting to startle the child.

The girl copied my every lip movement and simply returned my stares. I became increasingly confused by the girl's refusal to answer, and her childish ways, so I crossed my arms curtly in response to her non-answer and she again did the same. Suddenly my frustration over the child's attitude began to melt as I notice my very journal sat upon the ground at her very feet, just as it did my own. I finally took a good look at myself to find I was clad in the same blue pyjama's as the girl that stood above me and my hair was indeed the same length. Then it dawned on me, my niece was not standing on the ceiling, I was staring at some strange mirror. If that were the case then was I playing the role of my niece or was something else going on here that I was not catching on too.

A soft breeze built up from down the hall, picking up dust from off the unkept floor and blew it in tiny whirlwinds around my feet. The pages of my journal began to turn before me, one page at a time, until they stop on a draw that I did not recall sketching. It was in my unmistakable shaky hand, that was for certain, and done with the same charcoal that I preferred, but it held an eerie unknown quality to it that stirred my mind. I picked up the book and stared at the drawing, it was of a large door surrounded by many wooden beams, that seemed to hold the hall around it in place. Even from the sketch I could tell that the beams were bending from the stress of the ceiling and it would not take long for them to collapse entirely. Somehow I got a feeling that I needed to find this door. I glanced up and down the twisted hallway with no sign of which direction to follow when I heard the sound of tiny feet clad in hard soled shoes scamper down the hall to my left. With no other sign I chose to follow, hoping that it was not a beast trying to lure me into danger.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 11

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Eleven

After only moments I spotted the patterns of small feet in the dust ahead of me. Almost instantly I knew they were left by the soles of Mary Janes, every girl's favourite shoe when they are young. Well not every girl for I was more fond of sneakers then those shiny single buckled shoes and yet I knew without a doubt that they must have been Mary Janes and I would have bet my life upon it, and with the feeling of death still behind me I believed I could. How I could have known this fact was well beyond me. As I sit here writing this I begin to wonder just how much I'd lost it back then, as I chased a phantom down that long twisting hallways. Door after door passed me by and although I had a slight curiosity as to what could lay beyond those doors I forced myself to not allow said curiosity to over come me and focussed instead upon the shoe prints in the dust.

I could hear the foot falls growing louder and the thought of catching up to my prey both excited and frightened me. What if I was being lured to a creatures dark lair? What if it jumped out at me as I turned the next corner? That thought made me up and halt to my stride, however the dust beneath my slipper beared feet had other plans for me. My feet slipped and slide and suddenly my feet came out from beneath myself and I found myself laying on my back once again. I turned my head in time to see a small, nightgown clad, child run through a door and slam it shut. The moment the door closed it released from its hinges and fell to the ground with a great resounding echo that made me clap my hands to my ears.

I lay still for a moment, still as the dead, holding my breath as I awaited any monster that might be lingering in the shadows. My hand slowly encircled the pendent around my neck and I prayed that I would not be discovered. After a time, when I could no longer hold my breath and needed badly to exhale, I sat up and glanced around myself. When I was sure that nothing was coming out of the depths of the hallways I stood to my feet and approached the opening the girl had just passed through, only to find the wall completely bare with no sign that there had ever been a door there before.

The door, a set of several thin pieces of wood that had been hastily nailed to a pair of cross planks, lay at my feet. There were no hinges at either side of the door to indicate that it was ever attached to anything. With I sigh I leaned against the wall as I tried to fathom where the child could have vanished too. Then I realized that I was thinking too logically, the door didn't exist because I didn't allow it to exist. I remembered reading in a book once about someone using a portable door. They would simply lean the door against a wall, knock and when they opened it there would be a passages awaiting them.

Unsure if it really would work, or not, I stood at the top of the door and placed my fingers under it. The door turned out to be remarkably lighter then I first thought it would be and it was extremely smooth, where I first thought I might get a few splinters I was surprised to find not one stray sliver of wood. With little effort the door raised off the ground, however the left side of the door refused to come free from the floor and instead of lifting it to the wall I ended up flipping the thing over to find a hole underneath it. I blinked down at the dark opening before me in confusion. I wanted to open a new door, but this was not what I was expecting. In the darkness I could see a set of earthen steps leading downwards. Part of my mind told me to enter the room and another part told me to close the door and try again.

That was when I heard it. It was soft at first and then grew steadily louder. It sounded like a broom sweeping across the ground, or something equivalent. What made my hairs stand on end was the fact that the sound was not coming from down the hole, it was coming from behind me. I cautiously turned to see a shadow slinking along the ground, the same shadow that was controlling my father. The shadow stopped when I set my eyes upon its form, as if it were trying to convince me that it was a natural shadow, however the fact that it lay below one of the chancelleries told me that it was not a trick of my mind and that shadow really did not belong there.

Not wishing to face death again at that moment I carefully began to climb into the hole provided by the door. As if the shadow realized that I was about to escape it raised off the ground and I could see it burning red eyes staring at me from under what appeared to be a black sheet resting over a hunkered form. A low roar rose up down the hall as the shadow lifted off the ground like a strange black manta ray. Not wanting to be around that creature when it reached me I rushed down the stairs and grabbed the door. The shadow rushed at me, howling angrily, I could feel its eyes burning into my soul as I frantically pulled on the door. Just as I thought the shadow would be upon me the door flipped back over and fell into place over my head. The moment it slammed shut however it came free of its hinges and fell upon me, forcing me to tumble down the stairs head first and with the door following closely after.

I came to the bottom of the stairs, which I was grateful to discover there were very few of, with a soft thud as I hit an earth floor. I struggled with the door and pushed it off of myself, leaning it sideways against the wall, hoping that sideways it would not open to any other strange world. I glanced around myself to find I was in a rather tiny room. There were roots growing out of the ceiling, and along the walls, if I were any taller I would need to crotch in order to stand. There was a small wooden table in the far corner with a single candle standing upon a nightstick, but other then that, and the stairs I'd just fallen down, there were nothing else of interest in the room. Scratching my head I plopped upon the ground, with my legs crossed, and pondered my new situation.

I may have been stuck in a tiny room, but I could be grateful that the door came down with me for I would not have to go back the way I came, which I was certain that shadow would be lingering near for sometime, awaiting my return. This also gave me a few moment to think to myself as I planned my next action. Spotting my journal laying on the floor before me, face down in the dirt with its pages slightly mangled, I picked it up and began to flip through the pages. More and more sketches that I'd never seen before began to appear between my many entries, as well as entires that I was sure I never wrote. I stopped at one entry and read the words upon the page.

"I lay in fear as I curl up beneath the cot in the basement. I was not supposed to be up that late at night, but I did not know how I came to be in the basement in the first place. I did not want him to know I was still sleepwalking. I did not want to get into trouble again. It wasn't my fault. I don't know why I keep doing this. I just wish this would all stop and just go away. He crossed the room and sat upon the cot, it looked like he did not even notice I was there. I could hear him sobbing about something, apologizing for something he had done. I wanted to reach out and tell him it was alright, that I was alright, that he shouldn't be sad. Just as I got of the nerve to say something he leaned heavily against the wall and I could see him through a crack between the wall and the cot. I could see tears streaming down his face as he brought a gun to his head and shot himself. Oh, my god he really shot himself... I can still see the blood... so much blood... if I'd only said something... if I'd only spoke then he would be alive... it is all my fault... I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..."

I stared down at the words before me in disbelief. I did not recall anything like that happening before. It was impossible. My dad left us, he never killed himself. He left us because of me... he... I... I knew the book was telling the truth and yet I still could not handle the truth even after all these years. Now that I have time to think about it I now know why I was haunted by images of blood all these years. Why I was such a strange child. It is unfair. If he had not killed himself then maybe I could have been normal. Maybe I could have lived a proper life instead of going insane. It is not fair. It just isn't fair...

I... I'm sorry about that... I needed a moment, but I'm back now. Where was I? Oh yes, I sat in that dank earthen cave of a room. Angry over the entry in the journal I tossed it across the room in disgust, "You lie!!!" I cried out as the book hit the wall and fell to the ground, "He is alive!!" I screamed in that tiny room, the earth walls absorbing most of my fury as I pounded and clawed at the walls. A decade of pain and fury came free as I lashed out at the walls, kicking and screaming. I did not want to believe that book, even though a part of me knew it was telling the truth. I think I did not want to believe because that would mean I was more messed up then I realized. I mean how many people not only sleep walk, but sleep write and draw as well? It was not something I was ready to handle at that moment and so I did the one thing I could do. I fought against the nothingness around me and allowed my rage to finally release itself.

After a time, I'm still not sure how long for I did not wear a watch and it would seem that the candle in the corner never lowered even a centimetre, I finally calmed down and lay in the cool dirt floor as I panted heavily in an attempt to catch my breath. My eyes moved to the strange door, still leaning against the wall, and I sat up again. I could not spend the rest of my life in that room and I was not the type to just give up. I turned around to find my journal still against the wall and I picked it up. Although I did not want to believe the entries in the journal they were my thoughts and desires so I couldn't just leave them behind. With my journal under arm I lightly touched the pendent around my neck to feel its reassuring warmth and started to consider how I was going to get out of that room. I studied the walls very carefully and found the were just over the size of the door, luck for me. I choose the wall with the night table as the best possible direction to go, well it was better then not choosing any at all.

Picking up the door I dragged it over to the wall and placed it flat against the wall. It stuck fast as if there was some form of glue behind the door. I was about to open the door when I noticed a hole in the door to one side about waist high, which appeared to be where a handle once was attached. Quickly I opened by journal and flipped through it. I remembered seeing something like this in my journal during my flipping and before long I stopped upon a page with a sketch of the very door before me and another drawing of a long slender, slightly curved, handle. I stared at the handle for a moment and puzzled over what I was to do now.

I glanced at the night stand and noticed a small drawer. Excitedly I opened the door only to find a small key within, no door knob at all. I picked up the key and turned it over in my hand. It was made of brace and had a heart shape at one end and a red ribbon looped through the middle. This only added to the puzzle and did not seem to solve anything, but I had a feeling that this key held some kind of importance to my current situation. I flipped through my journal in hopes that there would be another clue within its pages only to find nothing about the key. I slammed the book closed in frustration and that was when I noticed it. A tiny key hole in the front of the book, something that I'd never recalled seeing before. I glanced at the key in my hand and back to the cover of the book. With a shrugs I placed the key in the hole and turned it until I heard a muffled click from beyond the cover. When I reopened the book I discovered the pages were no longer there, the interior of the book had been replaced with the inside of a box with a red felt lining. It was as if someone had replaced my journal with a strange box of some sort. Inside the book was a brass handle, just like the one from my drawing. Without question I picked up the handle and closed the book. Curiously I turned the key back to its original position and pulled it out, then opened the book again. The box no longer existed and again pages fluttered before my eyes. I shook my head in bewilderment, but decided to study the book more later.

I tied the key to the necklace around my neck, tucked the journal under my arm and approached the door, with knob in hand. Nervously I placed the end of the knob to the hole in the door to find it locked in place fast. With a deep breath I grasped the knob tightly and gave it a quick turn.

The door opened smoothly and without effort. Excitement filled my mind as the idea of escaping this wondering land surfaced to mind, but were suddenly wiped away as I discovered yet another door behind the first.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 12

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Twelve

I opened the door fully to find a short hall, of maybe a metre long, that ended at yet another door. I let out a sigh of frustration at the sight of this new door, then I noticed something familiar about this door. I grabbed the candle off the stand, to give myself more light, as I stepped through the first door and into the small alcove. This new door was flanked by two massive grey stone pillars and stone archway. The door itself looked to be nothing special. It was an ordinary white bedroom door, however as I moved closer I noticed that there were marking upon the surface. Strange markings that looked older then time itself. I reached out towards the door to discover that the markings had actually been carved into its surface by some kind of sharp object. There were splinters of wood protruding from the door as if something attacked it in great hast.

My eyes stopped on one of the symbols and I stared at it. There was something familiar about this design. Something at the edge of my memory. I glanced down at my journal and wondered. Could it possible have an answer to this puzzle too? I shrugged to myself and decided that there was no reason to not try the book. I leaned against the wall next to the door and flipped through the pages and stopped on a random entry and could not believe what I saw before me. There was an exact sketch of the same door I stood next too. The page opposite the drawing was filled with the same carvings upon the door, but somehow I could understand these pencil scratchings.

If I was correct about my reading then the door before me was the bridge between what is and what isn't. The boundary between reality and dream. A place where the guardian laying in waiting. Allowing only those of worth to pass under his multiple gazes.

Multiple gazes? What the hell did that mean? There was nothing more about this guardian and it made me slightly worried. I glanced back at the small room I'd just escaped and pondered trying a different wall. Then I realized that if this really lead to a bridge between what is and what isn't then maybe it would lead out of this place and back to Liz. Excited about the prospect of being back in my lover's arm I closed the book and turned back to the door. Then hesitation slightly, there appeared to be no door knob on this door either. I turned back to the strange portable door I'd just passed through and that odd curved from inside my book and shook my head perplexedly, was it possible that this door knob worked for more then one door?

Figuring there was no reason not to try I moved back to the portable door and closed it, then took the door knob off, which turned out to be on both sides of the door. This time the door did not come free from the wall and stayed put. With a nod I returned to the new door and put the knob in place. To my surprise it fit perfectly and I prepared to open the door to whatever lingered beyond it. I really hoped that there wasn't any strange monsters behind this door for I was not sure how my mind would handle it. Taking a deep breath I proceeded to turn the knob and open the door.

When nothing leapt out to eat me I cautiously opened my eyes and peered into the opening before me. The door seemed to lead to a strange earthen cave. I could feel a gentle breeze cross my bare ankles and the linger scent of moistened earth invaded my nose. I could almost sense a flowing river in the distance and taste its cool waters upon my tongue. Whatever was beyond this door was heaven in comparison to this place. I took a step passed the threshold and into the dark abyss before me, but not before removing the door knob and returning it to its place inside of my journal.

I crept closer, using the wall for balance because the floor was rather slippery. The wall was moist and muddy to the touch and made me cringe as it slipped between my fingertips. I wanted to let go of the wall, but I feared if I did I would slide down the mild decline and cake my pyjamas entirely in mud. The further I moved the more I hoped that this truly was the way out, because there was no way I was going to be able to climb back up this tunnel.

After moving a few metres or so I started to see a light in front of me. An odd pale blue light that seemed to shimmer ever so slightly. It did not take long for me to reached the source of the light and was astonished by what I saw before me. Threads as find as silk, that glowed with a strange blue light, covered every inch of the walls, arching over my head in a specular array of woven designs that I'd ever seen. A detailed rug, made of the same silk, string rolled out before me and I felt horrible about setting my mud covered slippers upon it's beautiful surface.

"It is quite alright to wipe your feet upon my carpet." A smooth, soothing, voice called out from the far end of the cave, "That is what I meant it for after all."

"Who?" I puzzled, as I did as I was told and cleaned my slippers of the caked on mud.

"You know who I am." The voice drifted to my ears almost harmoniously. I'd never heard such a wonderfully soft and pleasant voice in my life, "And I know you, dear Brenda."

I could almost hear the smile in the person's tone. It was very feminine and made me curious who the voice could belong too. Was the person creating such a sound as lovely as the music they created? Was I being lured into the embrace of some temptress, a siren perhaps. No, there were no rocks for me to crash upon so that could not be right. A succubus maybe then? No, this person did not have the tone of a demon. It had almost a motherly ring to it.

A soft laugh floated down the tunnel, "You are a very curious girl, now aren't you?" The voice half inquired and half stated, "I am none of the things you are thinking. I am not trying to lure you into some abyss or devour your soul. I just want to chat."

I hauled in my spot and pondered what I was being told, "How can I be sure that you are not lying?" I inquired cautiously.

"Because I give you my word." It replied simply, "Try to trust me. I mean you no harm. Your friend Beth trusted me. She told me to inform you that she is alright and very happy."

"Beth?" I became excited to here my friends name, "Beth passed through here?"

"Yes." The voice said, "She is quite a lovely child. You were the only person she regretted not being able to say good bye too."

"Oh..." This was news to me. I never imagined Beth thought much of me. I continued to creep my way along the path, "I wish she had told me she was going."

"She did not have much of a choice." The voice remarked dismally, "You will find me in the first room to the right. You are nearly there in fact." It said gleefully.

"Alright," I stepped forward until I came around a corner and the cave opened up around me to reveal a large room covered in the same glowing thread. In the middle was a large round table that appeared to have the same glow as the web. There were several small stools, that looked more like mushrooms, were set around the table as if it awaited more guests. I noticed a grand silver tea set sitting in the middle of the table, steam arose from the spout of a silver kettle as it sat over a smile candle, to keep it warm, and there were two cups place upside down on saucers of the same metal. I could not believe my eyes as the soft glow of the threads gleamed off the tea set. Several large black pillars stretched over head to a curious black fur curtain at the far end of the room, that I figured the person I'd been talking to was hiding within. The curtain was covered in unusual blue markings that I could not place. They appeared to be a design that I'd seen once on a spider in my dreams, but why would someone put the design on a curtain was beyond me.

"Please take a seat and I will be right with you." The voice said from the dark corner of the room.

I crossed the room to the tables and slowly lowered myself to one of the mushroom stools. As I stared at the curtain I felt the need to hold back a chuckle as an image of the Wizard of Oz came to mind.

"Please ignore the man behind the curtain." The voice boomed and echoed off the walls. The sound held such power to it that my body dropped into the mushrooms and sunk slightly into its soft surface. Suddenly the fur certain began to shift and a large furry pole moved over my head, followed by another and yet another, "I loved that story, but I'm afraid that there is no curtain in the corner." The voice explained sadly, "Don't you remember me, Brenda?"

I watched in amazement as I realized that the fur curtain was actually a large round object. Another mound came into view and I all of a suddenly attained that I had made a big mistake. The pillars of fur that moved over my head were actually giant legs connected to a large furry body. As it turned to face me I found myself staring at my reflection in eight large shiny black eyes. I swallowed hard as my own eyes fell upon a set of long fangs that extended below the creatures head. My mind finally pieced together what I was looking at and I finally understood that the guardian of the bridge was in fact a giant spider and the silk carpet under my feet was actually a spider's web that this creature had woven. I recalled the words on the door and grasped its meaning of ‘Multiple gazes.'

I sensed a frown crossed the creatures face as it set its eyes upon me, "I see my appearance was far from what you were expecting. I am sorry if I frighten you, but this is who I am and I meant it when I said I would not eat you."

I cleared my throat and calmed myself. I might indeed be looking at a spider, but I could still see a kind heart in those black eyes. I was not sure how I could see it considering I could only really see my own self in them, but I felt it in my heart, "I am sorry. It tis rude of me to stare. I guess I am no better then anyone else." I bowed my head in shame, "You did not frighten me actually. I was just shocked. You have to admit that it is not everyday that one sees a spider as grand as yourself." What was wrong with me? I'd never talked like this before. Maybe it was the drugs or the effect to of this strange world I could not tell, but this was not like me.

"It is because you are standing at the edge of reality and dream." The spider explained, "It is the reason I can hear your thoughts and your words come out so differently then you expected. It is a produce of the self that you keep locked away within that dream world of yours?"

"My dream world?" I was more confused then before, "I thought this was my dreams. Is it not?"

The spider shook it's head and moved across the room to a small white cupboard that I had not noticed before and it picked up a white porcelain bowl off the top of it, "No, this is between worlds. Your dream sphere is beyond those doors that you passed earlier." It returned to the table and set the bowl down, "Would you like some tea?" It offered politely, gesturing to the tea set with it's front arms.

"Are the Mad Hatter and the March Hare going to join us?" I inquired cynically, unsure what to expect in this place.

"They only visit on Thursdays." The creature answered with a smile.

"Okay, I should have expected that answer." I admitted, "And I would love some tea." I was actually very thirsty and the thought of tea seemed rather refreshing. I just hoped there were no flies in the broth because that I was not sure I could handle.

"I do not eat flies." The spider remarked as it picked up the kettle and turned a cup over in front of me, "They are rather disgusting creatures and I am not very found of them." It explained as it filled my cup, "Sugar?"

"Lots!" I stated, nodding my head vigorously.

"We should probably get to the reason you are here." The spider stated as it picked up a spoon and scooped a heaping mound of sugar into my cup, followed closely by another, "You should wash up your hands before drinking, my dear." With another leg it pushed the large bowl that it had brought to the table a moment ago closer to me. The bowl appeared to be filled with clear water and there was a silver towel on the side that I was certain was made of the same silk that strung from the very wall.

"I am not really sure about that one myself." I set my note book upon the table and dipped my hands into the liquid, it was not cold and not exactly warm either, just the way I liked it, "Do you know why there are entries in this that I do not remember writing?" I inquired curiously, nodding to the journal.

The spider nodded as it set a cup in front of me and picked up a second cup, "It is because you wrote them while between worlds." It explained simply, "You will only be able to read them when you mind slips between the here and there. For you see you are a dream walker and like many before you, you can walk between realities by mere thought. However your strength is weak so one foot is always in one world while another is in the next."

I rubbed my head in frustration, "Where is here and there?" I inquired, perplexed by what I'd been hearing.

The spider lifted the cup to it's fangs and sucked at it, "You see most believe that there is only one world. However, the reality that you think is real is actually a fragment of what the real world is comprised of and what your mind is willing to believe. Do you follow?"

"You are saying that there are multiple realities." I replied, hoping that I was somewhat correct.

The spider shook its head, "Only one reality, but your mind is only able to focus on one part of that reality at a time. The place you go in your dreams in only a fragment of the places that exist if you allow yourself to believe it is possible." It explained as it lifted the lid off a silver tray to reveal an array of cookies and took one, "Right now you stand at the bridge between what is and what isn't. If you pass beyond the bridge then you throw the boundaries of your own mind wide open and only what binds your mind can stop you from achieving anything and going anywhere." It stated as it dipped the a cookie in its tea and took a bit, "It is very simply once you get used to it, but not everyone can handle the possibility that their reality is not entirely truth and end up departing from all existence."

"Is that why they disappear?" I to took a cookie, an oatmeal looking one and bit a piece off to discover it was in fact oatmeal and dunked it into my tea.

"Not exactly," The spider muddled over things, "The ones who disappeared from your reality were accepted the truth and moved on to a place that better suited them. Those who could not accept the reality simply could not face it and ended their lives."

"So that is why they committed suicide." I stated, slightly understanding what the spider was trying to tell me, "Then the others moved on to this place at the other side of the bridge?"

"Yes and no." The spider replied, "The bridge simply opens the door in your mind to other possibilities."

"Do you know where Beth and my niece are?" I asked, feeling as if my prays were finally being answered. If it was possible for this spider to know Beth then it must know where my niece went too.

"They are beyond the edge of reality in the realm of shadows." The spider responded and took another sip of its tea.

I suddenly remembered my tea and brought it to my lips as I pondered what I was being told. The broth was sweet and soothing, just like the words of the spider. I quickly emptied the cup and lightly set it upon the saucer,, "Could you take me to them?" I inquired eagerly, as I nibbled upon my cookie.

The spider stared at me and laughed in amusement, "You really wish to find your friend, do you?"

I nodded, "The tea was delicious by the way." I admitted as I picked up a napkin from the table and dabbed at my mouth, "As were the cookies."

"I am glad you liked it. You can take some cookies with you if you like." The spider said gratefully, "But I am sorry I can not take you to the Realm of Shadows, but I can take you across the bridge if you would like my company."

"That would be very nice." I said politely, the idea of going alone actually made me feel uncomfortable and the thought of having this new friend at my side made me feel safer.

The spider's smile broadened, "It is nice to know you like my company so much. Most are in such a rush to go that they do not want to talk along the trip." It said sadly, "I feel that I truly do frighten most people away and never seen them again."

"I will return to see you." I promised, "Maybe we can have tea and cookies together again." I offered with a grin, taking a few cookies and placing them in my pocket.

"You should really come by on a Thursday." The spider remarked, "The Hatter would love to meet you."

"I am sure I would love to meet him too." And that was the truth. I always enjoyed the tales of the Hatter and the March Hare. I only wish there were more tale about them to be told. I uneasily go to my feet, using the table to brace myself when I felt one of the spider's legs come up from behind me and help me gain my balance.

"Careful there. My tea has been known to make people a little lightheaded at times." The spider said with a soft chuckle and then gestured to the door, "Allow me to show you to the bridge. It is right this way."

I followed the spider's arm back out of the room and togther we strolled down the tunnel. It was rather cramped for my friend, but it seemed to have no troubles moving about the hall, however I needed to keep in front or I would probably be crushed under foot.

"Do you live here alone?" I inquired, interested to learn more about the creature.

"Actually I do." The spider said gloomily, "But I have a lot of visitors and meet a lot of new friends, like yourself. It is an interesting job, being Guardian and all. I do not think I could ever leave this place. It is my home and home is where the heart is after all."

"I can understand that." I said with a nod, I wished there was something I could do to help the creatures loneliness that I could see it was covering up. I turned to the spider and looked it straight in the eyes, "I will return. I mean it. I will." I promised.

The spider smiled at me, "That really makes my day." The spider stated with a deep sigh, "I really am glad you came to visit me."

"So am I."


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 13

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Thirteen

Before long the tunnel came to an end and I could barely believe what I saw before me. I found myself standing at the edge of a very impressive chasm. It's depth swallowed up all forms of light leaving very little for my eyes to take in. I gazed up to see no opening overhead and I looked around to find I could not even see the other side.

"Where is the bridge?" I inquired curiously.

The spider grinned at me, "That is the part I enjoy the most about this job." It stated gleefully as it gathered some thread from its abdomen between its arms, "Stay right here and give me a moment. I will only be a second."

"A... alright..." I backed up against the wall to give the creature way and watched as it tossed a line out into the great darkness before us. In amazement I watched the glowing line fly through the blackness and stick to something at the far end. Suddenly the spider jumped upon the line and started across the pit. The thread did not bend under the creatures weight even the slightest and I watched in awe as the spider moved with swift sureness to the centre and tie another line to the first then leap off. Before my very eyes I observed as the spider wove the magnificent triangles of a truss bridge before me. Instead of steel beams I was surrounded by sturdy glowing threads that has been woven to the thickness of steel. Then the spider started to create horizontal beams between the pillars with such speed that my eyes could no longer see the creature and only the project at hand. Diagonal beams towered over head connecting the entire structure together.

Before I knew it the cavern was a light with the glow of a massive bridge and I could see an opening in the side of a cliff at the other side of the chasm. I could hardly imagine how the spider managed to build such a fascinating structure and as I marvelled over its grandeur I saw the spider jump down to the middle of the bridge and walk casually towards me, a grin still upon its face.

"I always love doing that." It explained as it brushed its front arms together, "The emotions that come from visitors as they watch is always thrilling and they make my work all the more worth while."

"I... it is magnificent." I said in awe, my jaw probably hanging near my knees.

"I model my works after images in your own mind." It explained simply, "So I own you to this structure. You do not think simple now do you." It laughed then gestured across the bridge, "If you would follow me we will be on our way."

I hurried across the bridge, excited to be able to witness such wonders, "You really are something. What is your name by the way?" I finally asked, feeling ashamed that I had not inquired of its name before.

"People just call me ‘The Guardian' and nothing more." It stated, "I do not mind and it has a ring of prestige, do you not think?"

I nodded, "It is a very grand and suitable name." I smiled up at the creature.

"I have a favour to ask of you." The spider asked politely, glancing down at me.

"Anything, just name it." I stated, more then happy to help my new friend.

"You know of that Dr. Jakes fellow. I need you to give him something." It stated, I could almost hear the fear in the spiders voice, "He threatens everything this place represents and all those who have escaped from his reality. If he is left to his own devices then he will endangering your friend and niece, mayhaps us all."

I nodded, "Alright."

"Take this." The spider handled out a small skeleton key on a silver chain to me "Give this to him for me now would you?"

"Uhhh... sure..." I took the key and stared at it. It shone with the same soft blue light as the webs.

"When you do tell him to use it on any door and it will take him where he wants." The spider explained.

I eyed the spider carefully, "What will it really do?" I inquired curiously.

"That is a surprise for you to see." The spider grinned at me then pointed to the far end of the bridge, "You will have to face the Hall of Mirrors if you are going to escape this place. It is a place where you must decide what you want in life."

"Thanks you." I bowed to the spider, "It has been a pleasure having tea with you."

The spider bowed as best a spider could, "The pleasure was mine. I look forward to your return."

"I shall." I promised and turned to face the new cave before me.

The spider set an arm upon my shoulder and leaned close to my ear, "Focus on what you truly want in this world and it will draw you to it."

"I... I'll try..." I said, nervously staring into the depths of the dark cave that stood before me. Taking a deep breath I took a step forward and allowed the darkness to swallow me.

"Have faith in yourself and you will be fine." The spider called out behind me, its voice echoing off the walls around me, "I'll see you soon."

"Later." I replied, even though in my heart I was not sure if I would be able to return, never mind escape this world.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 14

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams

Chapter Fourteen

So that brings us to where I began. Soon after entering that cave I found myself in a strange maze with even odder mirrors hanging upon blue wallpapered walls and no ceiling above me, only a dark void of nothingness. Each mirror was of a different size and shape to the point where some were weird zigzag shapes. And each showed me some kind of image from my past and even images that I think are the future that will never be, all of them acting like some messed up peek show into my life. Some showed me things I'd really not like to have seen. I now understand why my father shot himself and part of me is glad he did so because if he didn't I think I would kill him myself. One of the mirrors showed him in my room late at night when I was very young and he was doing things to me that I would rather not repeat. I'm not really sure if these mirrors show the truth or not, but after staring in a few of them I could feel my will to live being drained from my body. Now I lay here upon the cold marble floor with a strange icy fog drifting over me.

To think I worked my way through this dream world only to die in this insane hall of mirrors. I wish the Guardian was here to help me on my way. It would know which way to go, but I can't even find the entrance that I'd only recently come through. Corner after corner I'm faced with more halls covered in these annoying mirrors. Finally I gave up on searching and decided to just lay here. It is so frustrating to think of the Doctor sitting in his office, going on with life, while I, myself, die here without being about to return to my life. It just isn't fair. I want to be with Liz. I want to curl up with her and never let her go, but I guess that will never be. I guess I was always destine to live miserably and to die alone.

I hope someone finds this journal and it helps them in some way for it did not help me in one bit. Maybe my tale will find its way back to Liz and she will understand that I did not leave her. That she was right about my choice in life, that it did lead me to a horrible end. Please Liz find someone who makes you happy and live a wonderful and fulfilling life. I love you...


I must have lay there on that floor for hours because I know I fell sleep for a time. It is strange what despair will do to one's heart. To think I believed I would not ever escape that place. As I lay there allowing my self pity to pull me into the marble floor I had an unexpected visitor.

"What are you doing laying there?" I glanced up to find Beth staring down at me with a rather disappointed look upon her face.

"Beth!!!" I jumped to my feet and stared at the woman before me, "How did you get here? Am I dreaming?"

Beth shook her head, "I came to see how you were doing." Beth explained as she crossed her arms in disapproval, "What happened to the charmer who never gave up on anyone?"

I lowered my head in shame, "I couldn't do it Beth. I couldn't find my way out of here." I stated miserably, "I'm not as strong as you thought. It was all an act. I'm just a child, inside and out. I'm worthless and I couldn't even save you when I really wanted too."

Beth let out a deep sigh, "That is because you keep trying to hard and you don't see what is right in front of you." She pointed at the moon pendent that dangled around my neck, "Why haven't you tried that yet?" She inquired.

I took the necklace in hand and stared at it. There was still a tiny glow of moonlight within its crystal surface, "The necklace? How is that going to help." I looked up to find Beth no longer with me, a ghost image from my own insane mind more then likely. I glanced back to the necklace and thought to myself. If Beth was an image from my own mind then maybe there was something to what she was saying, but how did I get it to work.

I removed the necklace from around my neck and held it before me, the heart shaped key still dangled from its ribbon as the pendent swayed to and fro. I took the key in hand and stared at it. Maybe the answer was not just the crystal, but a combination of things. Unsure if what I was planning would work I prayed to any spirit that might listen in hopes that they might guild me along my way. Holding the pendent tightly between both of my hands I concentrated upon the face of Liz.

"Please show me the way back to the one I love." I muttered softly, "I want to be with her more then anything else in this world and I would be so grateful if you could show me the way." When I opened my hand the crystal was glowing with the blue light of the moon. A beam of light suddenly shot froth from the crystal, bouncing off several mirrors and around a corner. Quickly I raced after the light, skidding around the corner I tried to keep up with it. Finally the light stopped bouncing from mirror to mirror and caused one of the mirrors to glow ever so slightly. I must have passed this one mirror several times in the past, but until now I never considered it as anything but another strange mirror, just like all the others.

I rushed to the mirror and stared at it's surface. Before me was the image of an empty room, what appeared to be a washroom as far as I could tell. It looked like no washroom I had ever been in before. Then the door to the room opened and Liz walked in.

"LIZ!!!" I pounded at the mirror frantically, "Liz, It is me!!!" I cried out in an attempt to get her attention, however it appeared that my words did not reach her. I punched the mirror one more time in a vain attempt to reach out to her, "Please see me."

Liz turned to face the mirror and approached it. Instantly I could tell that she had got no sleep over the past while. Dark circles filled under her usually cheery eyes and she looked miserable. She wiped at her eyes as she turned on the water at the sink and filled her hands. I watched as she splashed water upon her face and glanced up at me. I knew she could not see me and it was her own reflection that she was actually staring at, but seeing those eyes again made my heart jump. I placed a hand upon the mirror as I tried to reach out and caress her cheek.

"Where are you Brenda, Beth?" Liz mumbled to the mirror, "What happened to the two of you?" She tears began to build up in the corners of her eyes and she wiped out that frantically, "Come back to me Brenda, I need you. Please come back."

"I'm right here." I cried out as I pounded at the wall next to the mirror, "I'm right here!!!!" I watched as Liz turned away from the mirror and left the room, "No, Don't leave... I'm... I'm right here..." I could feel all the strength in my voice begin to give and I started to sob uncontrollably.

I glanced down at the crystal in my hand and the tiny heart shaped key. My eyes moved back to the mirror in a vain attempt to find some way to escape this nightmare. The mirror was framed by an old metal frame with elegant designs around its surface. I traced the entire frame of the mirror with the tips of my fingers, inspecting it closely, in search of any way to move it. That was when I found it. A small section of the mirror, in the middle of the lefthand side, slide opened to reveal a small key hole, just the size of the key that I held in my very hands.

Shakily I raised the key to the hole and found I needed to use both hands to get it into the lock. With I deep breath I turned the key until I heard that wonderful clicking sound of a lock sliding out of the lock and I pulled upon the key. The frame opened like a strange door and instead of a mirror I found a hole in the wall that lead to Liz's bedroom. Cautiously I placed my hand against what I was expecting to be yet another mirror only to find my hand passed through thin air and I touched a bottle of hand soap that sat near the edge of the mirror. I was so happy and excited that tears streamed down my face. I was really going to escape this nightmare and be with Liz again after all. I grabbed the frame of the opening and was about to pull myself through when I heard the sound of something howling.

Glancing up I saw several shadowy creatures descending towards me at a rapid rate. They did not appear to like the idea of me leaving their nightmare realm, but I had no inclination on staying in that world any longer. Tossing my journal upon the counter I hauled myself through the mirror and scrambled over the counter. As I stood up again I could see the mirror was still open and the howling was growing all the louder. I pulled the mirror shut only to find it did not stay closed.

Suddenly something slammed against the mirror and a set of bone white claws snaked their way through the crack around the edge of the mirror. I glanced around the mirror in search of some way to keep it closed when I spotted the key, now on this side of the mirror. Grasping the key between my fingers and pulling the mirror closed with all my might I twisted the key until I heard the lock click closed and pulled the key free of the lock. The moment it came free the key hole disappeared and I found myself staring at an ordinary bathroom mirror.

I staggered backwards in exhaustion. The mirror reflected that I had returned to my originally age, however hospital gown was covered in muds and dirt and there was more across my face and hands. Uncaring about my appearance I picked up my journal while pocketing the key and pendent, to find the key the spider gave me was still there too, then left the washroom.

The hall was dark, but I could see the flicking light of a television at the ends of the hall. I stepped forward to find my leg did not want to work. Glancing down I noticed that my leg was again in a cast. Using the wall for balance I worked my way down the hall until I reached a small living room where I found Liz sitting on a sofa with her back to me. I stood in the hall entrance as I watched her sitting there. I could hear the occasionally sob emit from the woman and a small smile crossed my face.

"You sound like someone died." I said.

Liz jumped and spun around. Her eyes grew wide as saucers as they realized who they were looking at, "B... Brenda?!?" She stammered.

"I'm back..." I smiled at the woman as I watched her get up from the couch and move towards me.

"H... how..." She glanced from me to the front door at the other end of the room, "How did you get in here?" She inquired nervously. She reached out and touched my face, "My god you are not a dream are you?"

I pulled her into my arms and held her tight, "This is no dream." I assured her then pulled back and looked her in the eyes, "Do you still want me in your life?" I inquired worriedly.

Liz nodded as tears spilled from her eyes, "Yes... Always..."

"Me too." I leaned forward and lightly placed my lips upon her. We kissed ever so lightly at first, but soon it turned into something much deeper. I could feel her warms fill me and I decided at that moment that this was where I belonged. This was where I wanted to stay.


To be continued


Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

Chapter 15

Title: epilogue

A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams


"And that is what happened." I informed Dr. Jakes as I sat once again in a wheel chair, this time with Liz at my side. I'd already filled her in on my adventures and explained that I needed to return to Dr. Jakes as I promised the spider I would. She did not believe most of what I had to say, but she did not wish to allow me to face this man again alone.

The man laced his fingers together as I finished my tale. I told him everything I thought he needed to hear, leaving out a few bits here and there, "Is that so?" He mused, turning the silver key in his hand, it still held a faint glow to it and the sight of which brought a strange grin to the man's face.

I nodded slowly, "That key will take you where you wish to go." I informed him again, "It should work on any door at all."

He got up from his seat and moved around his desk, "Would it work on this door?" He inquired as he circled around us to the entrance to his office.

I shrugged, "I supposed it will." I wheeled myself in a circle to face the door as the doctor approached it.

"This had better not be some kind of trick." The doctor warned, "I could have you put away for a long time after that story you just told me." He stated as he tapped the key upon his hand.

"I'm sure you could." I felt Liz's hand upon my shoulder and her lightly squeeze it, "But you will find I'm not a harm to myself or anyone else, so it will be a short stay."

The doctor glared at me, "You think you are so clever, but you did give me this key after all, so maybe you are not as smart as you think." He placed the key near the door and a large key hole appeared under the knob, the exact same shape and size as the key, "That is very interesting." He smiled as he placed the key in the lock and turned it. When he opened the door the hospital hall had been replaced by an earthen hall with a long glowing blue carpet.

"My lord!!!"Liz exclaimed, her hands moving to her mouth.

"My lord indeed." The doctor remarked as he turned to face me, his face filled with delight, "I knew you were the key to this puzzle. I knew you would come through for me. You've done well, Bre-" Suddenly the spider's arm came through the door and grabbed the good doctor around the waist.

"May I have a word with you dear doctor?" The spider's voice drifted out of the opening.

The doctor turned to find several huge eyes staring through the door at him, "Oh My God!!!" He screamed. The two orderlies rushed around the room in aid of their leader only to suddenly be tangled up in webbing and pulled through the door, followed closely by the doctor.

The spider grinned at me, "Thank you Brenda. You should not have to worry about this man bothering you any longer." It turned to Liz and nodded, "Please to meet you Liz. I hope my appearance did not frighten you. Brenda did explain to you about me did she not?"

Liz slowly nodded, not really in control of herself.

"Good good." The spider smiled, "Then I'll see the two of you for tea sometime. You will find the key I gave you will bring you right to my home."

"Sure thing." I promised, "First I'm moving into Liz's so maybe next month?" I suggested.

"Sounds good to me." The spider waved an arm out of the door, "Have a good day ladies." It closed the door behind itself. Leaving us alone in the empty room.

Liz continued to stare at the door in bewilderment, "D... d.... did that s... spider invite us for tea?" She stammered.

I nodded, "I hope you don't mind." I said lightly, "We don't have to go if you don't want to."

"No.... no, that is alright." Liz slowly turned to look down at me, "Are there any more strange friends I need to meet?" She inquired nervously.

I simply shrugged, "I don't know, but it is possible."

Liz let out a tired sigh, "You are one interesting person, Brenda."

I glanced up at her nervously, "Do you still want to live with me?"

She gave me a perplexed look, "Of course I do. I love you." She looked up at the door again, "I just don't know how my family will handle the wedding." She let out a laugh that I joined in on. A real laugh that came from deep within. One of many that I would have with Liz and the many friends I would acquire from beyond that door.

So that is my tale. I don't know if you will believe it or not, but that is how I'm telling it. If one of you happens upon the Guardian spider in your dreams tell him I said hello, alright? And beware of the things that linger in shadows, for the may be after your very soul.

The end.

Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.

This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at

Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at

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