#1
Arthur was running away from home. Home didn't mean anything. And as he walked through the slow and unbearable night, along a long line of lamp posts, he noticed his dark shadow cast onto the amber sidewalk. The moment he passed one was when the shadow was the darkest; it slowly faded away as he approached the next lamp. It was just short of a miracle the way the laws of nature worked so seamlessly, but it wasn't a miracle. What other way could it be? His silhouette simply disappeared systematically and painlessly into the starless night, and it was soothing until, once he passed the next light source, it reappeared suddenly and bold. But it became a nuisance; as Arthur was trying to escape everything his shadow stayed. Wherever there was light, there would always be shadows. So he simply refused to think about it, and let his eyes wander elsewhere. He looked up and couldn't see anything. All of the lights in the world illuminated so much, but they made invisible the rest of the galaxy. His eyes only found their way to another shadow that lay directly behind him. As it turned out, as the shadow that lay before him disappeared, a shadow behind him gradually came into focus. He was doomed to cast shadows in this awful cycle. It was perfectly balanced. As one shrunk the other grew. It was inescapable. The only thing he could do was stand parallel to a lamp post and hide in its shadow, but Arthur knew that was stupid—he was trying to go somewhere. Then it hit him that he could escape by leaving the sidewalk, the street all together. It seemed the only solution: to walk away from the light, to walk in the undisturbed peace of earth, wherever that was. But he kept walking, walking and thinking about where to walk. Finally he realized that he was running from home, not the shadows, which, too, meant nothing. So he walked on, slower than the night, chained to those dark and empty shackles.