Shades of Real
I am in that place of bonded service to the shadows. Strong brick and stone, tarnished by long years of miasma, are my walls. There are rough chinks. Sometimes sunlight shines through in bright bits of warming rays. I have no memory of seeing outside, though faint hazy echoes of sunny airy landscape seems to have familiarity I can't quite apprehend.
There is disturbance. I am called to a shadow chamber, given mission to carry a message between worlds. I am outfitted to detract notice, given instructions, missive, and coin of the realm to which I will travel. Before I fully reach my destination, I am overcome with not unexpected fatigue. I find a shelter among a cluster of wild brush and rusting trash to await clarity.
Awakening to a bed of eider down and an array of concerned faces, I am drawn to my target.
"The shadow commands you." I say, simply, directly, without inflection, as I have been trained. No one else notices.
Satisfied with my task completed, I am allowed to sleep, dreaming of that other place. The shadow releases me from bondage.
Walking carefree in the sunshine, I smile to see elongating shadows. Soon balance will be restored, one world not of service and bondage, but reciprocity.
I don't know where this thought has come from, perhaps words of a popular song.