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Me and My Shadow

Convincing Ray

Gerard ran a hand through his hair in frustration. He had no idea what to do. It was ten minutes now since his shadow had walked away leaving him alone in the park. Well, not quite alone, of course, Frankie was there but still lying in the grass, unconscious. He was growing ever more nervous as night fell, and he was sitting in a park in an area of town that he wouldn’t feel safe in even in broad daylight. With no money, no shadow and an unconscious fairy on his hands, he needed help fast. Digging into his pocket, he called Ray.

“Hi, Gee!” Came the sound of Ray’s cheery voice. “How was the interview? You’ve been gone a while, hope that means it’s good news!”

There was something about Ray that always made him feel reassured. He didn’t panic, he rarely got angry and he had such a sunny disposition, Gerard was frequently in awe of him. Ray was one of those people who could lift your spirits just by standing next to you. It was as if his happiness was both unlimited and contagious. It wasn’t that Ray was never sad, but when he was, it was positively heartbreaking because it was such a contrast to his usual self. To see Ray sad was the human equivalent of seeing someone kick puppies - it made you want to stop it immediately and make things right. The exact same way he would always do his best for others. Ray was a gentle, kind, good natured man and Gerard knew he was lucky to know him. Ray would know what to do.

“Ray,” Gerard began in a hurry, ignoring his question. “I need your help.”

Gerard's tone was urgent and even the slight tremor in his voice didn’t go unnoticed by Ray. He found himself frowning and already snatching up his keys.

“Where are you? What’s wrong?” He asked hurriedly.
“West Hudson Park,” Gerard replied quietly, as he saw two men dressed entirely in black walk into view and head down one of the wide paths toward the lake.
“What the hell are you doing there?” Ray almost shouted. Gerard knew it was dangerous and the thought crossed Ray’s mind that he hadn’t gone by choice.
“Are you okay, Gee? Are you hurt?”
“It's a long story,” Gerard sighed. “Can you pick me up? I'm near the entrance on Dukes Street.”
“Are you safe?” Ray asked, still very concerned.
“Um, so far, kinda,” Gerard responded, not sure what else to say.
“I’ll be there in five. Stay safe. I’ll call when I get there,” he continued as he headed for the door. “You don’t have to answer, just come straight to the car and we’ll get the hell out of there.”
“Thanks, Ray,” Gerard sighed with relief.

At the same time Ray released an exasperated sigh; he desperately hoped Gerard was okay, but if he was, he would have some serious questions to answer.

Slipping off his jacket, despite the bitter evening chill, Gerard folded and rested it on the grass and gently lifted Frank into the centre. Covering his body with a sleeve, he looked down silently, shivering lightly and hoping no one would find him as he hid behind the tree. Silently, he willed Frank to wake up, but yet at the same time, he was concerned that he might wake and start drawing attention to them. The thought had no sooner drifted through his mind than he was chastising himself for forgetting that no one else could see him. Definitely fewer than five minutes after he had put his phone back in his pocket, he felt it vibrate once more. Just to be sure, he plucked the phone from his pocket and checked. Yes, it was definitely Ray. The last thing he needed was to come out of his hiding place and find that Mikey had called and the safety of Ray’s car was nowhere in sight.

Gently picking up his jacket, Gerard ran for the entrance and seeing Ray’s car, bundled in, still cradling his jacket carefully in his arms.

“What’s that?”

Ray asked as he pulled away, relieved to see Gerard looking relatively unhurt, although he could now see a patch of blood-matted hair on the back of his head.

“Someone hit you, Gee?” He asked, reaching for Gerard's head.
“What?” Gerard asked pulling away, seemingly unaware of his blood-matted clump of hair.
“You’ve got a cut on the back of your head,” Ray explained, surprised at his friend’s lack of awareness. “And what’s with your jacket? You’re carrying it like it’s got something precious in it.”
“It’s Frankie, he’s hurt,” Gerard replied, forgetting once more that Ray wouldn’t be able to see him.
“Frankie?” Ray asked with a concerned tone. “What, you picked up a frog or something?”

Gerard stared momentarily at Ray with an expression of confusion until he realised that, of course, Ray couldn’t see him. This was going to be much harder to explain than he had thought possible.

“Can I explain when we get home?” He asked.
“Sure,” Ray replied with a shrug.

There was tiredness, insecurity and what sounded like either concern or fear in Gerard's tone which translated itself to Ray. Whatever was wrong with Gerard, it sounded serious. Had he witnessed something terrible? Had he received a blow to the head? Was he delirious? Who or what was Frankie? Ray pondered the possibility that he would shortly need to take Gerard to the hospital to get his head wound examined. It was, of course, possible - more than possible - that he was suffering from concussion. It would certainly explain his bizarre behaviour. Ray just wanted to get home, make some coffee and hear him out.


Relieved to finally be home, Gerard took a seat on the couch, his jacket nestling carefully in his lap. Ray had gone into the kitchen to make some coffee. Switching on and filling the coffee maker, Ray left it to create a pot of the dark nectar they both truly needed. Fetching a clean towel from the cupboard, Ray ran it under the faucet soaking it in tepid water before wringing it out.

“Here, let me look at the back of your head.”

Ray approached the still nervous Gerard. He was concerned, Gerard was rarely lively and upbeat these days, but he seems particularly introverted and worried this evening. He couldn’t help but wonder what had happened in the park and even what he was doing there in the first place. He would have to have got off the bus several stops before he needed to to get home.

“I’m okay,” Gerard mumbled, still staring at his jacket.
“Gee!” Ray cried, exasperated. “'What happened?”

Gerard looked up, a definite air of guilt and concern hung over him. Ray's expression softened as he looked at him - something had shaken him, but what?

“Turn around, I want to check your head,” he repeated gently.
“I’m okay, Ray, honestly.”
“At least let me clean it up,” he waved the towel. “Get the blood off.”

Despite Ray mentioning it earlier, it was as if Gerard had only just taken in the fact. Reaching up, he gingerly pressed his fingers to the now crusting blood caked to his hair. His face creased as it felt tender to the touch.

“Okay,” Gerard nodded. “I didn’t realise, sorry.”
“That’s okay, Gee,” Ray sighed sympathetically. “Are you going to tell me what happened?”

Gerard shifted on the couch so that Ray could easily reach his head, and cringed at the stinging of the towel pressing against the cut.

“How is it?” He asked quietly.
“It looked worse than it is, Gee, don’t worry,” Ray replied reassuringly. “It’s stopped bleeding anyway.”
“I’m sorry, Ray,” Gerard sighed.
“What for?” Ray asked as he folded the towel and placed it on the floor.

Gerard shifted back around so he could face Ray, who was staring at him expectantly.

“This is going to be hard to explain and even harder for you to believe.”
“Try me,” Ray smiled. “I’ll get the coffee first, it should be ready by now.”

Gerard looked down at the fairy still nestled in the folds of his jacket. He looked so peaceful, so still and calm with his wings folded down. For the first time, he noticed that whilst his wings were still pink, the sparkle had faded. Gently moving the hair out of the fairies eyes, Gerard stared hard looking for signs that he was okay, relieved when he saw his abdomen rise and fall.
Ray stared with concern as he spotted Gerard staring at his jacket once more; what was bothering him?

“Here,” Ray placed the mug on the side table next to the couch for Gerard and took a seat next to him with a sigh. “Now, what happened?”
“Well,” Gerard began nervously. “I’ve been hearing a voice lately.”
“Hearing voices?” Ray replied, concerned.
“Not voices,” Gerard corrected. “Just one voice.”
“Okay,” Ray nodded. “And do you recognise the voice?”
“Well no, not at first, but then I couldn't see him straight away and then today, after my interview, I finally saw him. This is the bit you're going to have difficulty with.”

Ray raised his eyebrows; hearing a voice wasn't the part he was going to have difficulty with?

“Go on,” Ray encouraged, realising by now that it was best to get the whole story without comment.
“Well,” Gerard licked his lips. “He turns out to be my fairy godfather.”

Gerard paused waiting for a reply, it seemed unnatural that Ray wouldn’t have some sort of comment to make on that statement. He waited a few moments before looking up with an inquisitive expression.

“You want me to comment on that?” Ray asked in a surprisingly non-judgmental tone.
“Well, even if you think I’m crazy, I figured you might have something to say about that.”
Ray smiled. “I don’t think you’re crazy, Gerard.”
“You don’t believe me though, do you?”
“Tell me the rest,” he suggested taking a sip of coffee. “I’m sure I’ll understand more then.”

Gerard frowned; Ray was humouring him, but at least he wasn’t calling the local psych ward.

“He told me that he wanted to help me, that my shadow was taking all my confidence. But when he tried, my shadow got away and attacked us both. I hurt my head,” he pointed as if to explain, “but Frankie was knocked out,” he added, indicating his jacket.
“So, Frankie’s in your jacket?” Ray asked tentatively.
“He’s, ah, he’s very small.”

Gerard sighed, even he realised how crazy it sounded.

“If it’s any consolation,” he added, “I thought I was crazy at first too.”

Gerard and Ray looked at each other for a few moments. Ray’s brow furrowed slightly and Gerard rubbed his eye.

“It doesn't help at all, does it?”
“I can't see him you know, Gee?”
“No, I know that,” he shrugged. “Only I can see him. It would be dangerous for him otherwise.”
“Okay, so what’s he doing?” Ray asked, trying hard to be supportive.
“He’s still unconscious,” Gerard explained with a worried frown.
“How long has he been like that?”
“Since just before I called you,” Gerard replied, taking a sip of coffee. “Thanks, Ray, this is perfect.”
Ray nodded as he looked at his watch. “So, not all that long then?”
“No,” Gerard agreed, now looking slightly more relaxed. “I guess it’s not been that long.”
“So, your shadow attacked you both?”
“I know what it sounds like, Ray,” Gerard frowned, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.

Gerard was about to continue, to protest his sanity, when a small sigh and a sudden sparkle of pink light drew his attention back to his jacket. Inside the hollow he had created, Frank was coming to; lifting a hand to his head, the small fairy grimaced as he felt the painful bump on his temple. Pushing himself up into a sitting position, Frank looked around at the folded cloth, before looking up to see Gerard’s smiling face looking down at him.

“Gerard!” Frank called happily, now beginning to recover enough to stand and unfold his wings. “You’re all right! Where are we?”
“At my place,” Gerard answered, almost forgetting that Ray couldn’t see the fairy. “Are you okay? I was really worried.”
“So, he’s awake now, is he?” Ray asked, startling Frank, who turned suddenly at the new voice, before losing his balance and falling back onto the jacket.

Gerard laughed, lowering a finger for Frank to hold onto to help him up.

“This is my friend, Ray.”

Frank tapped his lips with a finger as he considered how to respond.

“You know he can’t see me, don’t you, Gerard?” The fairy asked tentatively.
“Yeah, it’s a bit awkward,” Gerard shrugged. “I’d look an awful lot less crazy if he could see you.”
“Well,” Frank pursed his lips, “if it’s a dangerous situation, I mean, maybe I could show myself?”
“What do you mean?” Gerard asked, puzzled by the response.
“Remember I said I could protect you? Well, if this was a dangerous situation…”
“Oh, I don’t think…” Gerard interrupted only for Frank to cut in himself.
“It would have to be dangerous to you for me to reveal myself to anyone else, you see. Like I did in the park. There are all these rules, you see,” he explained nodding meaningfully.
“Oh, so… I see.” He nodded. “Ray, if I kept looking crazy to you, you’d probably get me locked up or something wouldn’t you?”
“Gee, what do you think I…” Ray began, shocked by the suggestion.
“Wouldn’t you!” Gerard kept nodding, his eyes wide and a determined expression on his face.
“Oh,” Ray understood the response he was expected to give, but not why. “Er, yeah, for your own good,” he agreed half-heartedly.

Frank smiled; he was breaking a lot of rules, or rather not quite breaking them. He could only hope that he would get away with it, given the circumstances. He fluttered his wings, rising slowly at first as if to test them after being thrown against the tree. Everything seemed to work fine. Flying over Ray’s head, he showered him with bright pink sparkles, some landing in his hair causing to briefly appear like glitter before fading almost as quickly as it had appeared. Swooping down, he performed some playful aerobatics before lining up in front of Ray’s face, his wings still glistening.

“Hello, Ray! I'm Frankie!” He introduced himself cheerfully.

Ray’s eyes widened and he glanced from Frank to Gerard and back again.

“Hi,” he replied quietly, dumbstruck.
“I’m Gerard’s fairy godfather,” he explained. “We’re going to need your help.”
“Well,” he gasped. “Er… yeah. I’m… Fuck!”
Frank beamed. “Drink your coffee, guys, you’re going to need it!”


Heya! Hope you're still enjoying this. Well, that's Ray convinced. Wonder how Mikey will react? :P
Next chapter will look at what Gerard's shadow's up to.
Feel like leaving a comment? Please do, I really appreciate hearing from you!!
Take care and hope you're well :)

Sas xx


Frank could turn into anything and I'd still love him!! :D Hehe, glad you're enjoying this. It's a bit of a departure for me and I'm way out of my comfort zone with it. I've nearly abandoned it twice. I have serious doubts about my writing ability and am easily convinced that I should stop, so this one's a struggle for me. But I'm staying with it :D

Thanks for the comment, I really appreciate it!
Sas xx

SaskiaK SaskiaK

Ayyyyy, followed you here from The Collector! I’m loving this one too! It’s really good, really funny! Cant wait to read more!

Oh and did you enjoy Frank? Not sure about down in London, but at the Newcastle show he didn’t turn into an eight foot demon. Or a unicorn.

Oh, sorry! I didn't realise. A combination of self-doubt and that I'm really so far out of my comfort zone with this story - it's nothing like the sort of thing I usually write, - I think I just assumed the worst.
I'm glad you're still enjoying it :)
Sas xx

SaskiaK SaskiaK

By bad I meant what shadow Gerard was doing!!

domebedward domebedward

Oh no. I'm worried about real Gerard and tiny Frankie

domebedward domebedward