When the front door opened suddenly, he was sitting in his living room. Without any noise, a figure made entirely of shadow stuff walked in and sat down in the other arm chair. It had done nothing threatening, yet he was terrified.
“Who are you?” He tried to keep his voice steady, with only partial success.
The figure did not respond.
“What are you doing here?”
Still the figure said nothing.
“If you don’t leave right now, I’m going to call the police.” The threat was empty. The police would do nothing. They might even ridicule him.
The figure had still not reacted, so he tried to ignore it. If it wouldn’t leave, he resolved not give it any attention. Perhaps it would go away on its own.
For days, he acted as though it wasn’t there. It followed him everywhere, always sitting in the room where he was. It accompanied him when he left the house and returned when he did. At night, it slept in his bed next to him. Though it never tried to communicate, it was always present.
When he thought he could no longer take it, he began screaming at it. Once, he thrust a sharp knife into it. It changed nothing, except the figure seemed to get a little bigger. Every time he got angry at it, the figure grew just a little more.
Whenever he went out of the house, no one said anything about the figure. Perhaps they were politely ignoring it, pretending as if it weren’t there. Even so, he became more and more self-conscious of it, and eventually stopped going out at all. Life itself had lost all joy, and still the figure said nothing.
Feeling as though he had nothing left to lose, he finally sat down facing the figure.
“I have tried ignoring you. I have tried threatening you. I have tried screaming at you. I am out of ideas. So now I will listen to you. Just tell me, what is it you want?”
The shadowy figure that had come to look just like him said but one word. “Acceptance.”