The Assembled Puzzle

Photo by: Al Forbes

Stewart had multiple personalities, six of them. Normally, this is a bad thing. In Stewart’s case it wasn’t. All the personalities knew about the others and they all got along swimmingly. No personality dominated the others. Whenever something needed to be done, they all talked it out in civilized fashion, much like Parliament or Congress. Except in Stewart’s case it was better. They actually arrived at a decision.

When people have multiple personalities, their demeanor and their carriage changes as personalities switch. They look different, but it’s still the same person. Stewart took this one step further. His face could physically take on a different shape. If people didn’t know this was entirely harmless, it usually creeped them out.

The last detail of Stewart’s condition is perhaps the strangest.

Stewart cast six shadows.

His changing face disturbed people enough, though the personalities could agree not to shift in the presence of others. But six shadows? People commonly ran from him in terror.

You might think Stewart was lonely. Not true. His personalities were very friendly and kind. They enjoyed brilliant discussions throughout each day. This sufficed for many years. Trouble was, even with all that companionship Stewart felt incomplete. Puzzles start as many pieces, but in the end they make up just one thing. Stewart felt like an un-assembled puzzle.

Stewart wanted to be an assembled puzzle.

Finding his puzzle pieces wasn’t easy. Being a social pariah meant he rarely got to know people. He dated, though his secrets could not stay hidden for long. Prospective girlfriends always found out. He spent many years missing the touch of a woman.

Then one day, Stewart sat in the park reading, his shadows arrayed before him like a fan. He noticed something strange in the corner of his eye. Seven shadows, forming another fan, intermingled with his shadows. Beside him, sat just one girl. Zoe’s eyes sparkled above her excited smile. Her face shifted several times, each one as lovely as the last. Stewart’s face shifted too and she squealed with delight. They began chatting animatedly and so did their shadows.

As the sun slipped low and their shadows grew tall, Stewart realized that he already loved Zoe. It all happened so fast, yet it felt so right. Both leaned forward, and they kissed. It was soft and warm and happy as though the kiss alone built a cozy house above them. It felt right. It was right.

As they stood together in the afternoon sun, two people cast only one shadow.

Stewart smiled.

At last, his puzzle was assembled.
Written for the weekly Sunday Photo Fiction writing challenge. This is my story, written with Al’s photo as inspiration. Look here to find the prompt page and a blue link to the wonderful stories other folks wrote:


About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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14 Responses to The Assembled Puzzle

  1. Joy Pixley says:

    Very creative take, and aw, what a sweet ending!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mandibelle16 says:

    Very cute story. And Joy is right, extremely creative. It would be interesting for different personalities to take on different face shapes, or at least cast different shadows. I’m glad he found Zoe though, so he and all their personalities, could truly be complete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Yeah, that would be freaky if someone’s face literally changed. Though, if people were in the right mood, it could be a fun party trick. πŸ˜‰ They definitely completed each other. Glad you liked this one. Thanks Mandibelle! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lyn says:

    Awww, that is so beautiful! What a great movie it would make — especially the ending. You’d have the audience in tears.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jademwong says:

    Awww oh my gosh, this is probably one of my favorite things that I’ve read on your blog. Wonderfully well written and sweet, and that take on the shadows and mixing it with multiple personalities. I don’t know how you continually come up with such creative and unique ideas for these prompts. Just fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I attribute it all to the very good quality booze I drink while I write. πŸ˜‰ So cool to hear this is one of your faves. I guess I did well this week. Once in a while, I’m feeling romantic and I write one of these. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks kindly, Jade! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. athling2001 says:

    Great story. I love the idea of casting six separate yet not shadows. Neat idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved this story, Eric. It was a bit different than your usual genre but well-written. πŸ™‚ — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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