By: Autumn R.

The Shade is a dark, crypt-like place without happiness. Every building, tree, and living thing is made of dark, swirling shadows.
The Shadows live in The Shade. The Shadows themselves, with their pale skin and wispy, dark hair that seems to have a mind of their own that floats around their heads. But their eyes, in hues of vermillion red, amaranthine purple, saffron yellow, and viridescent green, give you chills that make you want to crawl into a dark hole and never emerge again.
Daxon had mentioned The Shadows in one of our whispers during Lesson. Teacher had started us on the Battles of the 23rd Century, which included the unit on The Shade. I didn’t understand why Daxon was so excited, but he kept saying his dad had ‘caught one’, like a President when he wins the Selection.
After class, I kicked aside a leftover ration can that lay desolately in my hoverport.
“Hey, Sludge! Catch!”
I narrowly dodged a can filled to the brim with rotten Fourth rations coming at me though the air. I spun around, barely managing to avoid a second one.
“What’s the matter, Sludge? Scared to fight back?” The bully, Brot, crowed.
“No. I just know when not to, especially not in front of Officer Hope’s house.” I replied coolly, shifting my gaze to the Enforcer’s front door. That did the trick. Brot and his gang fled for the Wasteland Hills.
“Yeah! Run for it, ya big douches!” a voice in an old time accent called out, spurring the gang faster. My friend, Bresa, waved her baseball bat at the Quadrant terrors. “Where’s Dax, Esr?”
I shrugged, and then caught her jest. “Bresa, I told you to call me Dink.” I groaned, Bresa cackling evilly.
“Something came up in his dad’s job, so he was whisked away.” I dramatically waved my hands before swiping my keycard across my house pad.
Bresa frowned, her mouth all but nonexistent as she looked down to the seventh of 10 houses on my row. I slipped my keycard back into my Lesson uniform bottoms and headed inside. Bresa slammed the door behind me, I wincing as the expensive technological piece of equipment slid jarringly into place. “Careful, Bresa.”
She stuck her tongue out, jamming her finger down on the button that activated the stairs to the second floor.
“Dink, why do you think Dax had to leave? Maybe something to do with The Shade?” She suggested, mashing the button that activated the third floor stairs. My room, the Storage Attic, had a desk, bed, and hideaway closet.
Bresa placed her Subspace Cube, none too lightly, on my desk. I sighed, sitting on my bed with a thump. There it was again, mention of The Shade.
“Bresa, Dax did say something about The Shade during Third Lesson. He was excited, continuing to say ‘We got one, we got one’.” I explained. “Could that mean that they caught a Shadow?”

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