Imagine you are someone’s shadow for one day. Whose shadow would you be
and why? What would you do?

Abelynn Llarenas

“Shadow, you have five minutes before the son enters King Pin’s room.” I’m on it,” I said patiently to Chief as I adjust my binoculars. I hurriedly removed my communication device from my ear, not wanting to be distracted by even the Chief’s breath when I pull the trigger.

I am not surprised that the Chief gave me this job, considering what I have achieved so far. I am confident that Chief would not have chosen anyone else to take King Pin down. Well, the cash is certainly good enough – hell, I might need to stash it somewhere else to avoid suspicion where I got that money. But with or without five million pesos, I will have King Pin’s blood.

I try to suppress the image of my young sister – sweet Amelia, rest in peace. You will be avenged in no time. Not wanting to be distracted again by that thought, I climbed higher, the thick branches and leaves of this tree providing me the cover I need.

Ten seconds and hands steady…I took a deep breath. Target is walking oh so conveniently in my line of sight. Three…Two…I pull the trigger…(but instead of) and feel a sharp pain in my chest as I hit the ground. I see Amelia clutching my hands soaked in blood before I drift into nothingness.

“Papa! Wake up! Come play with me outside! Papa! Hurry!”

I must have slept for a while, my head is throbbing and my back is feeling sore. I wonder what time it is. I hear a boy calling someone Papa. Where am I? That little critter’s gonna pay for waking me up with the noises he’s been making. I slowly open my eyes and shut them again – the sunlight shone directly into my eyes. Ugh! I moved to the side and got up. I swung my legs to the side of the bed. “Hey you little drummer boy, come here and give me a hug!”

I quickly turned around to see the other man in the room and froze – King Pin?! What’s he doing here? Wait – where am I? He should have been dead by now…What is happening?

I slap my face a couple of times and even punched my head – What. Is. Happening?

King Pin stood up and I stood up, too. He slumped forward and bend his knees a little as he reached for his son – and found myself hugging the little boy – wait, me – I’m hugging King Pin too. What is wrong with me?!

In that instant, everything came back to me – like a big dam of water that’s finally been opened up. The best moments of my life came gushing. As if drowning from that realization, I tried to steady myself but I can’t. King Pin is now leading us outside his room – his big room that I have been staking out for the past week. I found myself outside his house now nearing the pool – all the time doing every little movement that King Pin is doing.

I am, or was, certain that this world is full of crazy people and crazy things happen, but what is happening to me now is unfathomable. The last memory I had before waking up was pulling that trigger – that one hit that was meant to take King Pin down. But now, now what am I? How did this happen? Is it not enough that I was the one who was shot and probably rotting away in some unknown land? Why must I be reborn as King Pin’s shadow?

So death was not enough to punish me for the lives I took before. Now, I have to ‘live’ (ha! What a shame) as a shadow of the man I tried to kill. Is it because of my code name? That I was given the code name ‘Shadow’ was because of my expertise in becoming almost invisible in the missions I took part in before – what an irony. Apparently, I wasn’t that invisible at all as someone better than me was able to gun me down.

I study the father and son tandem as they play with the boy’s small drummer set. Hating every second that I am making the same movements he is doing.

I stole a quick glance over the wall to the tall tree where I once took my position before I tried to shoot King Pin – and then I froze. Up in that tree was the Chief – his hand gun almost invisible behind the thick branch covering him.

King Pin was in his direct line of sight. Any moment now…

I tried moving his hands, see if I could bring his son inside before he…Pang!

And then I see my sister Amelia…I hope this would be my last memory.