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The repetition of life in Umbra is both terrifying and comforting. Ombra passes through the gates when summoned, Looms through town, and suffers from a nagging sense of jealousy for the better part of his time.

Silhou is a heavy, whispered presence in Umbra. There are brief snippets of time where Ombra has the chance to see him, to ask him how She was. Silhou never says much.

“Your class won’t like you much,” Silhou says one day, standing in line by the gates. He’s about to be summoned, any minute now, and Ombra Looms nearby at the chance of seeing Her. “You’re supposed to be with the other Midlights.”

“I know,” Ombra says, and he always says that. He always knows and he never does, and that’s why he’s stupidly chasing something that won’t ever happen. A fool. He’s downright foolish.

He should have expected, then, that his only contact in the next week is from one of the Gloam.

“You aren’t welcome ‘round these parts,” is how it begins.

Penny is curvaceous, wispy. She’s the product of a mold, of a stereotype that’s founded upon a made-up sense of reality. To the others, Penny is absolutely nothing. To Ombra, she’s beautiful.

“I know,” Ombra says. “I’m trying to see the Sun set. Or rise,” he clarifies. “Nobody talks to me anymore.”

Penny Looms in the dark, sprawling area of the shadier parts of Umbra. She looks sad. “I’m talking to you,” she says, moving just close enough to make herself known. Ombra isn’t sure if she does that for him or for herself.

Penny could hate him. Penny could absolutely despise him simply for being a Midlight. It’s funny how that works, how easily Ombra would have traded places just to avoid the temptation.

“You can help me, if you want. Don’t you want to see Her too?”

She starts to Loom backwards, starts to pull in on herself because she must hate being imaginary to everyone but her own kind.

“Don’t we all want to see Her?” It’s a good point. It’s a really good point, and Ombra feels instantly guilty for bringing it up.

She turns, leaves him to his thoughts. It doesn’t take long for Ombra to realize how badly he wants her to join him.

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