You only die once, they say; Maddie proved that false, but she did confirm that you can’t take it with you, but you can certainly bring it back.
A young woman named Maddie Shorn, a talented graphic artist is headed out of town to start a new life; on her way to a new job in a large city, her future is filled with hope; hope that promptly ended when a cow who stepped out onto the road. Swerving to miss the cow, Maddie’s car flips over into a ditch, crushing the roof of the car, collapsing her lung, which causes her to stop breathing. Once dead, she was transported to a bland gray place where she caught the attention of several wandering spirits who were just blurry blobs intent on keeping her from walking into a lovely white light. Among the spirits she encountered was a strangely solid looking man who we will call Shadow Man. Shadow Man is in his late twenties or early thirties. He is not sure how long he has wandered in the gray place; in fact, he is not sure when he died, what his name is, or what he should be doing with the rest of his eternity. When Shadow Man sees Maddie’s, strangely colorful and solid looking body among the blurry gray forms he is used to encountering, he knows she does not belong in the gray place; she is destined to go back to the living world. From the moment Maddie looks directly at Shadow man and says “Who are you?”, he knows he has to follow her, this is his first contact with any entity besides a menacing dark mass since he has been here. Shadow Man avoids the dark mass as well as the bright white light he often sees here.
Shadow Man follows Maddie Shorn into the living world where she is being revived on the side of the road by two EMT’s and he can tell by her actions that she can still see him but is in no condition to speak to him.
Maddie, an enthusiastic believer in the supernatural- is quite excited about the prospect of making contact with a ghost-and finding out more about a place she remembers vaguely when she died. Both have memories of a dark, unpleasant mass in there who seems to have an intense interest in them. Shadow Man has asked for her help to find out who he was. He can give her little assistance in this task as he only has vague memories of his life and is not even quite sure when, or how, he died.
Armed only with a sketch made of a person only she can see, who looks as if he didn’t leave the world in a calm and peaceful way, Maddie begins the daunting task of answering the dead man’s questions. Shadow Man has made it clear to Maddie that he will not leave her until she gives him what he needs, closure. But, as the two unlikely companions begin to bond, Shadow Man finds that, in order to stay connected to the living world, he needs to draw energy from the things around him. Lamps, T.V’s, any other electrical device available in the area will do just fine, until Shadow Man makes a surprising discovery. Human bodies also have energy and give him the ability to feel alive again. It soon becomes apparent that Shadow Man is caught up in “borrowing flesh” and not so much how he left the world anymore. Maddie notices that he is different but doesn’t realize where he goes and what he does when he disappears. As she digs into his past, her original impression of Shadow Man begins to change; she learns there is far more to her friendly ghost than she first realized.