The sun is going down soon. I look to the west and see the hints of orange and red on the horizon. A bird sings in a tree nearby. It’ll be going to bed soon. I don’t want to go to bed, but I don’t have a choice. I’m only seven.
I smile. I don’t need to go inside yet, though. I have a little more time. Turning my back to the sun, I gaze down at the ground. My shadow stretches out in front of me, taller than two of me stacked on top of each other would be. I push myself onto my tiptoes to make it grow a little more.
With a giggle, I hold my arms out over my head, curling my fingers so they look like menacing claws on the grass. I let out a vicious snarl. “Rawr!” I stomp my feet, hunching slightly so I look like a giant monster in an old movie.
Stomp. Stomp. “Rawr!”
My shadow keeps growing as the sun dips lower. The blades of grass become a forest of trees. An ant skitters past one of my shoes. I wave my clawed hands, and the shadow envelopes the tiny creature.
Run, little one, run! I think as I continue to claw at the air.
The ant disappears under a fallen twig, and I move on.
I’m large. I’m the biggest thing in the world. I pause at a boulder that sits on one corner of a flower bed. It isn’t a boulder today, though. No. It’s pointed top makes it a mountain. I stand beside it and consider the possibilities.
“Rawr!” It takes little effort to climb it, and I balance precariously on the tip. Raising my arms high over my head, I make my shadow spread across as much of the yard as possible. I am gigantic. Cicadas drone in the background as I savor my moment of triumph in the warm summer evening.
My mom’s voice tears me from the moment, and I scramble down from my perch. I can’t see her thanks to the hedge surrounding the patio, but I know she’s waiting there by the door.
“It’s time to come inside!” she calls.
“I’m coming!” I reply.
I turn to make my way back to the house, my shadow now invisible behind me.