I was in my happy place and I was barking like a fox. I was whining like a cur; I was snapping like a bad-tempered poodle. I was snarling like a jackal fighting over a piece of offal. Jack Spratt, I said. I’m Jack Spratt. I’m Jack Spratt. I’m Jack Spratt. I’m Jack Spratt. I’m in my happy place, I said. In my happy place, in my happy place. I’m in my happy place. I shout and roar and bellow like a bull. I glower at everyone who passes; I give them nasty looks. I mutter and hiss and perform a little spiteful dance. I am in my happy place.
May I invite you to join me for a while as I walk through the Shadows, I enquire politely, but no one hears me. They’re all too caught up in their own thoughts, their own suffocating emotions. Walk with me a while, I say, tarry with me a while in the shadow worlds. Walk with me a while, walk with me a while, walk with me a while. People are afraid of the icy chill that settles into your bones in the shadow realm. It settles as if it’s never going to leave. When that chill takes up residence in your bones you know it’s never going to leave. You’ll carry it around with you forever, even if you do make it back up into the world of light again.
I was in my happy place and I was spitting like a cobra. I was driving like an eel caught on a fishing line. I was hopping around abound like a crazed kangaroo rat. I was doing my little dance. The Sky Rabbits were clambering up over the horizon in a great tumult of chaotic shapes. There were boiling up over the horizon like milk in a saucepan, their fingers reaching up into the frigid cold dome of the winter sky. Do Sky Rabbits have fingers? Maybe it was their ears – it was hard to tell what was happening in that great flurry of chaotic shapes. The sense of evil that emanated from them was immense, incalculable.
I’m all on my own in the Shadow Realm. The cold is gnawing on my bones. As I walk I catch sight of strange mishappen creatures watching me from behind the hedgerows. They would like to harm me, if they could. Their eyes are adapted to the darkness, as are mine. I too am a creature of the shadow worlds. I, like them, am trapped down here. I can never leave. If I saw the light it would terrify me. I can’t imagine anything worse than the sun’s pitiless rays falling upon me, exposing me to anyone who might happen to be looking. What greater fear can there be than the fear of exposure, the fear of being seen for what one truly is? Here in the Shadow Realm the Darkness covers everyone equally in its thick velvet cloak. I look up – the Sky Rabbits have entirely covered the icy dome of the sky now – no one saw it happening, and now it’s too late…