by BD Mitchell
Natural phenomena don't like being taken for granted. Dialogue only.
"Listen, Dave, we need to talk."
"What, again? Y'know, at a certain point, this just... isn't normal."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Well, for starters, you're always always always asking for stuff or complaining about stuff. It's a very one-sided relationship. Also – and I can't stress this enough – you're only a shadow."
"If that's some kind of crack about me being distant or something–"
"No, it's a crack about you literally being a natural phenomenon wherein a light source is blocked by an opaque, physical object."
"Oh, you would bring that up again, wouldn't you? Well, Dave, I just can't help that! I'm not constantly remarking on your... your... tangibility or whatever. Some things just are!"
"So you keep saying – and 'saying' is my point. I don't hear other people arguing with their shadows."
"Maybe that's 'cause they're all in mutually-respectful relationships – that's why!"
"I mean, I don't hear other shadows talking at all."
"Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you? If I was one of those obedient umbras who follow you around with my mouth shut? Is that what you want?"
"Well... when you say it like that...."
"And don't think it's been a lark for me, either! We've been together almost thirty years, and you're constantly holding us back. You never talk about yourself – I feel like I don't even know you. I don't like being kept in the dark, Dave!"
"... are you kidding? I can't tell if you're kidding."
"I feel stifled, Dave. I feel like nothing I do makes any impact – like you're always there, monopolizing the spotlight. I want my day in the sun! I mean, I've never even seen the sun, for Chrissakes!"
"Hey, that's that's not my fault. Blame the basic properties of electromagnetic radiation."
"Don't change the subject! This is about you, Dave, and your emotional impotence – the laws of physics have nothing to do with that."
"Okay, let me get this straight – you feel like I take you for granted, and you don't want to live life in my shadow."
"But you are my shadow, so... you don't want to... live in you?"
"Ugh, stop joking around!"
"Who's joking? I'm just trying to wrap my head around feuding with an optical effect! Human brains are only so flexible, you know...."
"So what are we going to do, Dave? How is this going to work?"
"Well... I guess there's no chance we can just try it like everyone else? Where I'm the person and you're the silhouette?"
"I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave."
"Yeah, I thought so. Okay – I'll work on it. No promises, but I'll work on it."
"Thank you, Dave. I appreciate that."
"So... what now?"
"I don't know – something? Yes! Let's go somewhere, Dave – let's do something!"
"I guess – oh! Apparently they're doing one of those Indonesian shadow-puppet shows downtown. You'd like that kind of thing, right? Shadow puppets?"
"Oh, Dave – you're such an ass!"