Shadowed 01

“Honey, come out here… quick!” I shouted while opening the door to the house, the fervor of shock engulfing my every act and emotion.

I had pulled into the driveway just minutes before. I was very tired from a long day at work. It was raining lightly, almost sleet like. Exiting the car, I looked down the driveway, normally to see a few leaves or the neighbor’s trashy pine tree debris scattered about. But tonight, it was the image on the driveway that immediately caught my attention.

My initial reaction was disgust. Who the fuck would do that? Spray paint some type of black outline of a death mask on someone else’s property. Must be some sort of gang initiation. Those fuckers always wanting to tag a clean surface with one of their symbols to get noticed, report back to their leader to gain admission into a group of others who have nothing else better to do than worry about their status and their exploits of property defiling.

As I began to sleuth various pieces of the crime, various scenarios consumed my thought process: When did this take place? It had to be in the daylight or early dusk. And before the rain/sleet started so it had time to dry. Which lead me to my next conclusion… no one must have been home at either my house or the neighbors, who are a fence away.

As I entered the house, the rage inside my head increased as I went from room to room looking for my wife. I wanted so bad to find out who did this and when it happened [and why] to our driveway. I found her and told her she needed to come out and see what happened. I didn’t try to explain what had happened because I didn’t really know of a way to explain it. Actually, it was more likely due to the fact that I liked the element of surprise.

Finally entering the back room downstairs, I walked up to her. “You need to come outside to see what happened to the driveway.” Her first response was, “what happened?” I tried to imagine what her reaction would be when she viewed the vandal’s creation.

“Just come out and see… it easier than trying to explain it.”

Coming out of the house in a hurried pace, we made it towards the end of the driveway. Starring at the supposed gang symbol for a few moments, my wife calmly turns to me.

“Um, dear… look up.”

Shadowed 02

I let out a sigh that was equal parts of embarrassment and relief.


In my quest of becoming a creative fictional writer, I toyed with the idea of taking something that happened to me in real life and adding a more dramatic twist to it. This short story was originally submitted to Thrice Fiction, but at the suggestion of Dave2, it was decided that it would be more suited as a post here on this blog.

The photos were originally submitted for week 2 of KevinIL’s Photo Scavenger Hunt contest he held last year. Reusing photos is a good thing, especially when it unleashes one’s creative writing skills.