You make a shadow by blocking the light.  Then it depends on the angles and proximity—what you see on walls and on the ground.  The light must exist for you to block it, but sometimes you forget that, following your shadow.  What you feel in them you can’t escape—you can’t escape your shadow—that’s true, but then you’re not facing the light if that’s all you see.  The past is a shadow, and Bridgette was facing it the day those twins were born.  You see her story wasn’t over, being the mother of Valerie, Bethany’s grandmother—her story with Francis Duvette, Papa Frenchie, her first husband, wasn’t over.

They’d both been married twice, Frenchie and Bridgette, but it was the third marriage, Frenchie’s third marriage—that’s the story that entangled them in a love interest again.  What happened that winter of 1948, during the time Bethany was birthing her twins and already considering divorce, maybe a conclusion to what happened after Frenchie’s botched second marriage to a woman in Port Arthur and Bridgette’s exploits with Warren Bloodwood, Sissy and Wishbone Walker, back when Bethany’s uncle was born, William, back when Bethany herself was born—all of it some fifty years after the time they were first married, Frenchie and Bridgette, when he first came to Sabine County out of Bayou La Batre, working as a barber.  You can’t escape your shadow, but you can change what it looks like if something else blocks the light with you, if someone else stands in your shadow, perhaps hidden, perhaps forming a different shape in the overlap, the overlap of angles and proximity.  It is your sleuth.  Your clues to the past.

It was a leap year.  1948 was a leap year.  Maybe that had something to do with it.  What happened that year in our world because it had an extra day.  Richard and Ben born on it, born on that extra day, only Ben Threnody surviving—David’s only son.  Shadows were at play that year.  The long shadows of David and Bethany’s past, this overlapping with Marie Toussaint’s help with answers, and Bridgette’s help as well, in the juxtaposition of an old love renewing and a new love dying.  David was thirty years old.  His birthday the day before the birth of his sons.  And maybe, just maybe, on that day David was thankful.  Thankful to the shadows.  And it didn’t matter if he was seeing them looking ahead or looking back.  Their existence at all said something.  It said he wasn’t in total darkness.  It said there was a wall for them to play upon.  There was a ground.  That the light, sometimes even translucent, existed…

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