The Shadow by Edith Nesbit


“– but if I turned round, it seemed as if the thing drooped and melted into my shadow.”

I can’t believe it is the first time I have read this truly horrific ghost story. Told to young ladies and thus to us by a previously reticent and stern housekeeper within a very strong ‘frame’ story of these young ladies staying at night after a country house ball. A ‘frame’ story so strong that one of the young ladies happens to feature in the story told! As reasonless and for-its-own-sake as the ‘frame’ storyteller claims, the told inner story features a newly married couple, to both of whom the housekeeper was a friend, and their new house and the wife’s giving of birth to a baby girl, events swaddled in the fear of a shadow haunting your own shadow, so strongly haunting that it actually becomes tangible in the room where you the reader read about it!
For its own sake, did I say? Who framed us, I ask, if not our own precarious birth into babyhood, a chance in an infinite number of chances that darkness ever strives to prevent? Please factor this question into the previous story. CONTEXT here:

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