A Shadow in the Night by Colleen M. Farrelly


A dew had fallen on the outskirts of town while I wandered the forest, pondering my predicament and hugging my coat close in the midnight chill. The air was still. Few critters stirred as I disturbed the underbrush; those awoken scuttled into the shrubbery abutting the footpath.

Fog veiled the valley and its villages, a soft blanket on a cold night. Shrouded in mist, a shadow perched atop a hill, nestled among the oaks, moaning and groaning in the night. Did the shadow share my sorrow?

I pass her cottage on the outskirts of town—silent now, save the snore of a half-drunken stupor. Her fender still has the dents from her last bender, the blood still kissing the cracked windshield—his blood. I wonder if he suffered.

a broken window
and a knife—
a banshee in the night


(previously published in Night to Dawn 38)


Colleen M. Farrelly is a mathematician who enjoys midnight walks under a veiled full moon. She is also an avid swimmer and lover of things that go bump in the water. She’ll admit to a few sailing mishaps in her earlier life.

She’s also passionate about algorithms and enjoys volunteering her time mentoring graduate students and young data scientists in Africa. Post-COVID, she hopes to be a nomad again (probably somewhere tropical with plenty of jungle to explore) and continue writing math books.

Published 10/28/21

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