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The Unwatched

No one expected the Shadows to rebel.

Hell, no one even knew that there was anything even inside them – they were just shallow silhouettes, right? There with the sun, gone with the night. Dark mirrors there just to prove our concreteness. Insubstantial.

But we thought the Earth was flat, too, once.

When scientists discovered what they really were – living, breathing, aware, chained to every one of us against their wills – social foundations split apart. Fringe extremist groups popped up almost immediately. Groups like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Shadows (P.E.T.S because, of course, that wasn’t fucking confusing) picketed and staked out government buildings and decried public figures in blistering vlogs. Then the anti-Shadow Humans First organization that poured money into politicians and streamed an impassioned feed asking us to keep Shadows in our place for the good ourselves and the safety of our children. Everyone else started to drift to one side or another – pro-Shadows, anti-Shadows, pro-Shadows-as-long-as-I-don’t-have-to-see-them-walking-around-because-they-creep-me-out.

No one actually asked the Shadows what they wanted.

A Midwest senator was making a speech on the presidential campaign trail, talking about getting back to the traditional roots of our great country, when his own Shadow killed him. Split him apart from the inside. On national television.

The rest of the Shadows rebelled. Sometimes by killing. Sometimes by just leaving.

We lost 43% of the world’s population before things settled down. The rest of us stay low. Watch what we say. Who we talk to. What we watch. We’ve learned to sleep with all the lights on.

No one expected the Shadows to rebel.

No one was even watching them.

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