Chapter 59

“Alright.” Andie’s shadow rolled her eyes at her ego, choosing to pointedly ignore the overly dramatic attempt at menacing her with a sword. “Just to make sure we’re on the same page, what you’re saying is this: If a shadow defeats their ego in combat and seals them away – as we had been planning to do with our egos -”
“As you had been planning.” Cedric narrowed his eyes and folded his arms. “I had no part in your harebrained schemes, and Dyllan’s shadow is just barely capable of speech – he couldn’t plot his way out of a soggy tissue paper wrapping.”
“Fine, whatever. Point is, if a shadow seals their ego…” Andie’s shadow took a few steps back from her ego, who was starting to put her sword a little too close to her face. “The shadow gets rewarded for their effort with constant pain and total insanity.” She waited for Cedric’s response, then heaved a sigh when he nodded. “Typical. I should have known… that…”
The sound of crunching concrete drew the two Andies’ attention toward four vicious metal talons dug into the edge of the rooftop. “Well, well, well… what do we have here?” The voice of Maddie’s former shadow echoed from below. “I should have known I’d find you up here, above it all.” The head of the Nightmare that haunted this mindscape rose up to loom over Andie, Dyllan, and Cedric – Maddie cockily resting atop it. “On top of the world, looking down on everyone else. It’s just like you fucking egos!” Her smile flinched with the hint of a grudge, each word leaving her mouth with the same pained effort of a coughing fit mixed with dry heaves. “Putting them down with words like ‘frivolous,’ ‘stupid,’ and ‘irresponsible!’ I just wanted some fun, dammit!
Maddie probably would have kept ranting for quite a bit longer, but she was cut off by Dyllan’s shadow leaping out of nowhere and tackling her. Within seconds, she and her Nightmare were sent tumbling down to the ground with a stream of expletives.
“Yeah…” Andie’s shadow briefly glanced over the edge of the building. “Hopefully Dyllan gets some of his, uh, his… that out of his system while he’s down there. It’s been a real bitch trying to hold him back for the past few months. No concept of planning ahead, that one.” She turned to her ego. “So, what now? Don’t tell me we have to work together…”
“That would be ideal. As far as I can tell, the same thing that happened to Maddie will happen to us if the ego falls, regardless of cause.” Cedric paused briefly, his usual gentle demeanor and tone returning to him. “…Though we should probably discuss that later, further away from the angry nightwalker.”


A note from the author ninja:

You cannot cage your dark side forever, for repressing it strengthens it – but weakens you.

You can try to train it, but to train it with a whip is like trying to train a lion with a whip: Effective only until the day the lion realizes how much you’ve let down your guard when you show it off like a toy – and violently ends the charade.

The best way to deal with a shadow is to tame it, to win its friendship. However, if you want something to love and trust you, you must strive to understand and empathize with it in turn.

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