Wednesday, August 19, 2020

WEP August Challenge - Long Shadow

Hello everyone! It's time for the August WEP Challenge! The theme for this one is Long Shadow.

I opted to write something light and simple this time around. 2020 has been hard for us all. I live in Iowa, and last week we had a derecho roll through. For those who don't know, a derecho is a strong thunderstorm with insane winds. This storm experienced winds of well over 100 mph in some places. My family got lucky. We only lost power for a few hours and lost a large branch in one of our trees. This storm absolutely devastated many communities near us, and I personally know many people who had significant property damage. The photos I've seen are nothing short of horrifying.

So, fortunate as I am, I still felt the need for something lighthearted. I think we could all use it.


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.

Word Count: 390

I hope you enjoyed it! Be sure to visit all the other participants!


  1. Rawrrr. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and have been there and done that. Thank you - you are so right that lightness is welcome at the moment.

  2. It is moving. Robust as Derecho. The facet of storytelling by a seven year old is fascinating and picturesque. Underneath lies the deeper truth of sun, the magnanimous light source, going down, and consequent creation of long shadows, even of, short objects or humans as young as seven year old and we love to make monster of them, we love to put them on boulders with pretention of placing them on top of high mountain. Great story.

  3. Love it!! Brings back memories of playing with the shadows in our yard!
    Glad you didn't have much damage!

  4. Will Laura be doing her monster act tomorrow? We could have a competition of whose monster is bigger/scarier.

  5. A moving and creative tale. The chosen perspective manages to capture the playful, and imaginative nature of childhood. Well done.

  6. Ah to be seven again and cast the biggest shadow on earth. Delightful.

  7. How charming. It made me smile. Thanks for this lighthearted post, Laura.

  8. Haha! The joy of making monster shadows - great job!

  9. Glad your family was okay through the derecho. Nice piece. Dixie Jarchow

  10. So sweet! It took me back to my childhood and the memories I have of creating stories for everything. The tree in the backyard a spaceship. The garage a mansion. Thank you!

  11. Even though my childhood was hard in many ways, sometimes I wish I could go back to it. There was hope and there were things that I really believed in. These days, I just hope that things don't get even worse.
    Naughty Netherworld Press

  12. Lovely. Reminds me of the games we played with shadows as children. Creating a story out of every little thing. My mom would often scold me for playing with my shadow. Some sort of a superstition back then. Your flash brought back all those memories.
    Sonia from

  13. Perfectly captured child's POV. And perfect for lightening this dreadful timetrap we are all in right now. So glad you were okay through the derecho.

  14. That is brilliant - a bit of light-hearted joy that we all need in our lives right now.

  15. Ah, the imagination of a child! Handled deftly with a light-hearted touch, so that we were all there, playing the monster for a moment.

  16. Through the eyes of a child, Laura. Beautifully written and a welcome respite from the heaviness of the times. That storm must have been terrifying. Glad you had little damage to your property.

  17. Hi,
    I did enjoy this lovely piece about the child and seeing herself through the eyes of her shadow.
    I am very happy to hear that nothing happened to you and your family. My writing coach lives in Iowa too and she lost only her electricity but many others in small communities were devastated and hurt badly with lots of damage by the storm.
    Take care.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

  18. So refreshing and simply delightful. I really enjoyed this. Thanks for bringing back a bit of my childhood.
    Glad to hear you made it safely through the storm.

  19. Delightful Laura. What a treat. So refreshing sometimes just to act as though we were still seven. Innocence well captured. Thank you. Have you read the series 44Scotland Street by Alexander Mc Call Smith ? About Bertie, who is longing to be seven ... eighteen to get away from the quirky constraints his mother burdens him with. Set in Edinburgh, charming. Similar and by the sam author, The Sunday Philosopher Club, Isabel Dalhousie series. Enjoy.

  20. The derecho sounds terrifying. Your entry for WEP was such a pleasure to read and captured the essence of an imaginative little girl enjoying playing with her shadow. I loved the sense of safety, innocence and playfulness.

  21. Cute! Took me back to my childhood. :)

  22. Hi Laura - yes we do need simple cheery stories - your tale here is delightful - and so true for many of us - the chance to imagine as the sun goes down and our shadow stretches out - certainly I could just see her and her antics ... delightful.

    So glad the Derecho didn't do you too much damage and sincerely hope the others in the neighbourhood can get themselves sorted soon. Those huge storms you get are frightening ...

    Just a delight reading this ... on a rainy cool south coast of England. Take care - Hilary

  23. life was fun
    those childhood dreams
    full of joy
    and cheerful screams

    life is gone
    in such a flash
    no shadows will
    we someday cast

    Thanks for taking me back to yesteryear.