The shadow was a monstrous blob in the corner of my bedroom, just above my nightlight. I lay still on my back and stared through the loose stitches of my crochet blanket. The shadow moved like rippling steam over a pot of boiling water. It seemed to breathe, growing and shrinking again with each inhale and exhale. 

I don’t know if I saw the shadows before the accident, but I know for certain that I saw them after. They scurried across the walls and floors of my bedroom, the kitchen, the living room. Large shadows of wolves and bears and cougars. Smaller shadows of rodents, insects, and birds. Everywhere I went, whether it was day or night, they were there. 

I glanced at the door, which was cut by the shadow of a tree branch—even though my curtains were closed—and I wanted to run. My body jerked, and my mind raced out of the room and across the hallway to my parents’ door. 

But I didn’t move. I didn’t run. I was too afraid, but not just of the shadows. I was too afraid to let them know I was still scared of the dark.