Shadow Of A Man
The slight tapping of feet were the only sounds in the dark, palace hallway. Mice scurried past the shadow of a man that walked silently, hardly breathing. The darkness was his friend; his home. It hid him from the others. It covered his imperfections and made him merely a phantom of the night.
The silence was broken when two boys came rushing down the dark corridor, one of them carrying a torch to light his way while he chased after the other. They laughed and taunted as they ran, unaware of the man a few feet in front of him.
The first boy, who appeared to be nearly ten, slipped by the man with ease, not noticing him, but the second bumped into the hard shadow. Startled by the realization that he was not alone, he jumped back, using the torch to light the face of the man.
Two dark eyes looked down at him. A scar ran across the right eye, covering the eyelid and running down to the chin. There were burn marks all across his cheek and a a few other various scars from knives across his face.
“I-I’m s-sorry!” the boy stuttered, stepping back so that the torch no longer showed the man’s face, “My brother and I were just playing. We didn’t mean t-to disturb anyone down here, r-really. My apologies, Sir.”
The boy bowed then quickly rushed down the corridor, in the same direction his friend had gone.
The man looked down at the dark ground, his face going back to its shadow state.
They always felt as if they must excuse themselves for having seen him. Did he appear to be that much of a monster that they feared not apologizing for their mere presence? Excusing themselves for being there?
The shadow stood still as a single tear fell from his face and slipped into the air, glistening like a diamond as it fell.