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Valley of Shadows

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The Shadow Creature

"...The shadow of a Blackbird, traced in shadow as it flew out of sight." -Wallace Stevens

Some "thing" may be stalking the streets of contemporary Sandpoint. Dark shadows of things not of this earth, or at least, not the earth we’re familiar with.

While wishing to remain anonymous, my source was eager to relate his experiences of a few years ago.

The first time he saw... whatever, was on the evening of the 4th of July, 2003.

It was only about fifteen minutes until midnight. The official celebrations were over, the private displays had petered out to a distant few and occasional zips of one last bottle-rocket or firecracker. The smell of gunpowder still hanging heavy in the still warm summer night air. The town now though was rather forlorn.

Taking his garbage out to the street, he stuffed the 13 gallon trash-bag into the larger can as something to his right caught his attention about 100 feet away under the streetlight of the nearby intersection.

Some type of motion. At first he dismissed it as a dog or cat trotting along the edge of the streetlight’s glow and started up the walk to his front door. For some reason though, he continued eying the intersection and this time he did see something zip through the cone of light. It was no animal; it didn’t even register as real to his eyes. It was a shadow, but without something of substance throwing it.

In that brief two seconds, he could tell that it was three dimensional. The only correlation that came to his mind was a hyena or lizard with three foot long stalk legs that moved with unearthly speed.

Hurrying inside, he dismissed the experience as fatigue from the long day of holiday activities, but several months later, after all but forgetting the experience, something else happened, this time inside his own home.

My source, who is single and lives alone, had been in bed on that early October evening for better than an hour unable to sleep. Something was bothering him and he couldn’t put a finger on it. Restless, he tossed and turned. He tried the radio, but it spewed a late night talk show dwelling on the supernatural world and quickly turned it off. His imagination was already over stimulated.

Finally, he got up, downed an over-the-counter sleeping pill with a swig of milk, then walked around the house, glancing out a couple of windows as if expecting to see someone coming. Finally heading back to his bedroom, he walked the hall in the dark. Turning into his bedroom he was just in time to hear a noise. The sound of his clothes on the rod of his open, built-in closet being slid aside, then a slight thump. In the dim light coming from the night light in the bathroom across the hall, a man-size form moved quickly out of the closet and to his open bedroom window, the curtains slid aside and the screen was pushed out and flung into the nigh. Then, silence.

Standing in utter amazement and shock, my source reached his hand to the wall light switch. Blinking in the sudden illumination, he saw a dozen articles of clothing had been lifted off the rod with their hangers and flung on the floor. At the window, the curtain was askew. Going to the window, he looked down from his second story bedroom to see the screen in the dim illumination from a three quarters moon laying fifteen feet off to the left as if it had been thrown there by someone.

The next morning, he examined the ground below the window, but saw no indication of disturbance in the dirt of a narrow flower bed. The screen though needed replacing. The center of it appeared as if a fist had bowed it outward.

Since that night, no phantom of shadows has bothered him, but could whatever it or they were, be waiting for some new window to open again between our dimension and a mysterious realm?

Until May when I’ll see you with a mountain biker’s tale from the: "Valley of Shadows".

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Author info

Lawrence Fury Lawrence Fury is an inveterate letter-to-the-editor writer, and a conservative conscience for this area of North Idaho. He's also an expert on local ghost stories, and is compiling a group of them for future book publication. You can read more about him in a Love Notes feature for the River Journal

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