I Think I’m a Clone Now

Ah, back home and time to relax. Long weeks are brutal. Is that the television you hear? Well you haven’t been home all day so you decide to check it out, thinking you left it on. As you enter the room you see the television is indeed on. And you’re already sitting there watching it. What’s going on here?

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594 thoughts on “I Think I’m a Clone Now

  1. doctorwhogirl10

    One and The Same

    God, I’m never going to be able to smell anything again, I think as I walk out of my nine to five crap job, the smell of ink and old printers sticking to me like glue. After a few years working as an editor, my nasal passage has become obsolete. I pull into my apartment complex and get out of my car, climbing out into the stormy day. The sky is full of grey, and it has started to sprinkle ever so slightly. I muse about the rain on my way up to the twelfth floor, the endless barrage of elevator music fueling my dull mind.

    The ding of the elevator causes me to jump, making the middle-aged doctor who lives across from me jump as well, since he was waiting for the elevator.

    I recover and speak clearly, “Dr. Redfield. I’m sorry I caused you so much fright,” I say in my usual overly polite manner.

    The man gives a smile which crinkles his eyes kindly, “That’s quite alright Ms. Marian. I’m all nerves tonight.”

    I tear my gaze away from his inviting face and notice his attire, “A date?” I say.
    He smiles again, bashfully this time, “Yes.”

    He moves to enter the old elevator, and I push myself to the side.

    He gives me a look like he’s forgotten something, then lifts his finger in an ‘aha’ motion, “I wanted to ask,” he says with an odd look, “Do you have a twin?”

    I try not to seem to shocked, and manage to mask my surprise with curiousness, “Why do you ask?”

    “A woman came by, went into your room. She looked just like you, except she was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and I know you abhor those clothes.”

    I bob my head absent-mindedly, mumbling, “Good luck, then.”

    My thoughts are trapped and jumbled. ‘I don’t have a twin. I don’t have a twin.’ As if I was automated, my key finds its way to the door, which I unlock and open slowly.

    As I open the door, I see myself in the kitchen, surrounded by pastries and dishes, the apartment smelling better than it had in months. I shut the door softly, but the… other me hears. She turns, and when she sees me, her face lights up.

    “Come in! Come in! How are you? I bet you had a long day!” The doppleganger says to me, coming around to take my coat and things.

    I scramble to collect myself, and eventually do. I speak softly, “Who are you?”

    The woman’s hands still, her smile fades. She speaks in a humorous voice that is sad rather than happy, “Don’t you know?”

    I shake my head just as she turns to me.

    A smile that doesn’t reach her eyes takes over her face, so much like mine, “I’m your opposite, of course.”

    This time I’m prepared for the surprise at her answer. My gaze turns stony as I ask, “My what?”

    “Your opposite, silly!” She says will a laugh and a rapid change in mood. She has returned to the land of unicorns and rainbows.

    “Okay… let’s just say I go along with this, for now,” I say sternly as I follow the woman to my kitchen, “What are you, exactly?”

    “I’m you, just the parts of you that were shut off. Think of who you are, and utter opposite is me.”

    I close my eyes, thinking of my traits and their complete opposites. I realize that this woman is everything I hate. My brain is nearly overloaded, but I’m coherent enough for another question, “Why are you here?”

    My clone stops stirring the pasta she’s making and sets down the spoon. Her shoulders tense, and instantly mine do, too. She speaks with a voice that is almost not ours, “Let’s just say that the powers that be are a little upset with us.”

    “How upset? What powers?” I ask, worried.

    She turns to me, her face weepy. “I’m sorry, but it has to be done.” She gives a small smile, “We’re destined for so much greater things, Alison. One of us has to do it.”

    I stand utterly puzzled, confused by what my ‘opposite’ is saying. Why is she talking like this? What’s going on? The answer becomes all to clear to me. “Wait, please, don’t take me away. Whatever it is they want, I’ll do it.”

    She sighs and looks away, “That’s exactly why they need us to switch. You can’t listen to everyone else all the time.” She looks back to me, her eyes sorrowful, “I am sorry.”

    Then everything was black.

    1. NormanH

      I am new to the website. Have written a poem based on this idea. Here goes

      Alter Ego

      the priest he was a gentle man
      pious kind and loving
      he gave his all this gentle man
      to teaching preaching praying
      he had no stain of lust or greed
      no lurking sin or wicked thought
      because he was a gentle priest
      and such a saintly man.

      at nine o’clock one stormy night
      he came home tired and weary
      fighting hard the noble fight
      and teaching preaching praying
      he was the Lord’s that was enough
      all sin and filth eschewing
      days were often long and rough
      for such a gentle man

      ah to relax to sit and read St Paul
      but Father God who the hell is that
      watching telly in my hall?
      with whisky, dope and cigarette
      whose smelly smoke ascends in curls
      leering at films of naked girls
      ‘glory be I must not see
      I’m such a gentle man’

      he turned and goodness what a shock
      the light was dim but he observed
      the person sitting there was him
      not in his dog collar pure and white
      but filthy with a stubbly chin
      in dirty mac over grubby shirt
      oh not a gentle man

      and all at once there was a flash
      and he was sitting there
      leering coughing boozing lusting
      and loving every minute
      he heard the door and turned around
      and saw a gentle cleric
      ‘holy shit’ cried he
      ‘I do believe this gentle priest
      is ME’ Norman 9.10.14

  2. Augie

    Da Pathetic Era

    Over 2-million years ago, just after the Paleolithic period, these rare cave-mobsters started the Pathetic period.

    The God father slams his fist on the stone slab, “Stupid’s did ya collect da dinosaur tusk?”

    Mo moves his beard out of the way, “Do you live in a cave?”

    Tony whacks Mo with a giant bone, ‘Stupid, dat’s a metaphor!”

    Mo slams Tony with his club, “ Stupid, we wacked that freakin dinosaur yesterday!”

    The boss holds his head. “How is it, you two stupid’s can’t die?”

    Another cave-mobster rushes in.

    “Boss, dares a Chicken-annosaurus to da north. It wacked da boys at the stash cave!”

    The godfather rubs his fist.

    ‘hmmmm.’

    “Grab your spears and clubs, I got’s a mission for you two.”

    2 million years later…

    The godfather slams his hand on the desk, “stupid’s! You blew up my yacht, burnt down my mansion, why cant you do anything right? And why can’t you die?”

    Mo chuckles, “ well… boss. Ya gotta admit we did a good job blowing up yer stuff.”

    The boss holds his head, these two mobsters cant do anything right!

    Another mobster runs into the office, “excuse godfather. I jus got news from Jimmy up North.

    Apparently a bunch of freakin grizzly bears broke inta da stash cave en wacked da entire crew.”

    ’ The godfather rubs his fist, ‘hmmmm.’

    “Men, I got’s a mission for you two.”

    They walk into the cave………

    Tony hits Mo with his bone, “Stupid, what da heck is a Chicken-annosaurus?”

    Mo laughs, “ Boss said it is a tiny bird.”

    ……

    Tony smacks Mo in the back of the head, “ Stupid, how many Kola bears did da boss say?”

    Mo laughs, “ Who cares, lets blast em!”

    ….

    The cave-mobsters stand in shock as the giant chicken charges them.

    ‘Baaak BAAAAK ba ba ba ba BAAAAAK”

    Tony and Mo scream. “Ahhhhhhh—Ahhhhhhhh!”

    With one swift move, the chicken-annosaurus swallows the mobsters and burps. The prehistoric poultry bird gets dizzy as rosemary, garlic, and tomato paste coats its stomach. It shifts stomachs, and burps.

    …….

    ROAAAAAR, huh huh huh huh ROARRRRRR!

    Tony and Mo run deep in the cave.

    “Ahhhhhhh—Ahhhhhhh!”

    They hide behind two giant eggs.

    “Hey, Mo, what was dat?”

    The eggs shake, “Don’t know, but its freaking cold in here!”

    In unison they ask: “What?”-“What?”-“What?”-“What?”

    In unison they scream: “Ahhh!”-“Ahhh!”-“Ahhh!”“Ahhh!”

    The Grizzly slaps the two giant eggs out of the way, sending them rolling out the cave.

    “Ouch-ouch-ouch-OUCH!”—-“Ouch-ouch-ouch-OUCH!”

    The eggs crash below………

    4 days later….

    The godfather, convinced that the two idiots are dead, pours a glass of scotch and turns on the news.

    NEWS FLASH, Previously Filmed footage of a Grizzly attack, and how these men survived!”

    The godfather spits out his scotch seeing the reporter interview Mo.

    “Can you tell us how you and your long distant cousins survived the attack?”

    Mo chuckles, “ Ya see, we didn’t know dat our cousins were hiding in da eggs. We wacked dat Kola bear ta-gether!”

    Tony chuckles, “ Seems like nuttin can kill us.”

    The godfather jumps out of his chair, “NOOOOO!!”

    Footsteps enter his office…

    “Hello Boss”—“Hello Boss”—-“Hello Boss”—-“Hello Boss.”

  3. originalalchemist

    I remember the first time it occurred. It was deeply unsettling. At the surface it seemed like a home invasion. Now I wish it had been. At least at some point the invaders leave, and they certainly don’t come and go as they please afterwards. I sat idly on my couch binge watching a season of television on Netflix. It was almost five in the afternoon. I hadn’t showered, put on pants, or even brushed my teeth. My right hand was absent mindedly rummaging inside a ravaged box of Cheez-its. My left was tucked deeply in the waist band of my underwear. A can of Dr. Pepper, nearly empty, rested not far from my reach on the coffee table. I had been musing about the idea of ordering a pizza when I heard my deadbolt turning over in my door. The metallic clink clank sent my heart sputtering. I watched as the knob turned and the door began to swing inwards. Panic thoughts of what I should do flooded my brain. My gun wasn’t even in the same room as I, but could I run to it in time? My cell phone was on the kitchen table. If only I had ordered the pizza it would be in my hand to call 911 with.
    The figure that appeared struck me and I was still. He was a man that was well dressed for business. He wore a tailored blue suit and an impressively patterned tie. His fine Italian leather shoes nearly glowed in the doorway light. When he set down his briefcase an impressive Breitling watch flashed the air, but he looked weary and gave off the immediate impression of exhaustion with his face.
    His face…His face…it was mine. There were obvious differences, but they were small. I mean it had a five o’clock shadow, but you could tell it had been clean shaved in the past day or so. My face was cloaked in a play-off beard. The corners of the eyes had crow’s feet and they framed dark circles beneath the same brown eyes I possessed. Our eyes met as he began to close the door. Then after surveying the condition of the home he sighed and spoke.
    “My god, you’re worthless.” Oh good my delusion of my successful self was back to break my lazy delusional balls.
    “Ouch.” I retorted.
    “Have you even eaten an actual meal?”
    “I was just about to handle that before you scared the shit outta me!” I shouted to myself.
    His/my eyes didn’t waver as he strolled closer to me and kicked our feet off the couch. He/I wiped the seat before smoothing our suit jacket to sit. Mid motion we stop and look at me.
    “Have you masturbated on this side of the couch today?” we ask me curtly. My shameful silence answers, and better me looks at us with disgust. Then with a flick of the arm clears a place to sit on the coffee table across from me. Trash tumbles across the living room floor.
    “Look,” better I begins. “I am working my ass off to make something of myself. If I keep this up I will be partner at the firm by the end of the year. It kills me to come home and see you sitting on this damn couch not doing a damn thing but wasting away. Look at you. Look at us! We’re completely depressed. You can’t even put pants on. We sit here and watch shitty reality TV all day and rub one out to the real housewives of wherever the hell. Don’t you want more than this? Don’t we want some kind of purpose and drive?”
    For some strange reason our first line of defense is point out just how hot some of those housewives on TV actually are. Then before I say it we chastise us and quickly I move on. I can’t really defend my position at the moment. I am depressed and I am lacking purpose. I exhale deeply as other me mirrors my actions.
    “I just don’t want to be stressed out like you. Sure you’re dressed nice but you obviously have a lot of city miles on us. You’re wearing us out. I don’t want to be like that. Don’t you see?”
    “We do. Believe us we do. We’re exhausted. This has kinda been rough,” we reply empathetically. “But hey we can’t live like this either…This place and you are a complete shit hole. We’re better than this for Chris sakes.”
    I can’t argue with us when we’re like this. I survey the area around me and the me in front of us. I get up off the couch and head into the kitchen. We eye me with hopeful eyes as I move. I stretch and reach the fridge. My eyes are on me quizzically as I open the door lean in. I then reappear with a beer in my hand. I crack the ice cold thing open and start chugging.
    “Oh what the hell?” I hear us lament across the room.
    “What? We needed to relax after such a hard day.” He looks down and sees the empty beer in his hand. Then he smiles and wipes our mouth. We’ve come to a mutually delusional compromise. The door to the bedroom opens and we both watch with curiosity as I walk out dressed for school. We begin to fade as I pick up my school bag and walk out the door.

    1. Observer Tim

      This sounds like the worst kind of hell, originalalchemist. Invasion of the Potentials (you have such potential; if only you would change your life in this arbitrary way you would be a success – no luck involved whasoever).

      You captured the sense and voice of the nagging incredibly well in your dialogue, and the MC’s response is very realistic.

  4. Dennis

    Hi Everyone. Sorry I have not been present on the prompts lately but will work hard to start in again this week. I think I’m forgetting how to write :( I’ve been trying to skim them when I have had a chance but no time for comments let alone writing one myself. I’ll probably have to start writing them on the weekend. See you all soon.

  5. derrdevil

    This one’s a little too long, dark and vulgar. Sorry in advance, guys. Though, hope you all enjoy.

    Mark Vs. Mark

    The door slammed shut with a harsh thud as Mark entered his lonely apartment. He didn’t bother to lock it – even though the lowliest scum of the earth inhabited every inch if the derelict building. He was tired, fatigued to the point of not giving a shit. He threw the keys into the kitchen sink and slung his coat over the back of the only chair in the bare kitchen, along with his holstered .45, and darted toward the fridge. He knew there was one last beer in there. But when he opened it, it too was like his kitchen – bare. All that remained was the empty six-pack plastic holder.

    He was quiet, as he thought, unable to remember if he finished the beers the night before or not. He had been drinking a lot recently. Whiskey his preferred poison, although downing a few six-packs still got him the buzz he desired.

    It started a year ago, when his old lady cleaned him out and ran away with that cunt of a con artist. How his life had turned to shit since then. Even his own family hated him. They had turned on him like he was a rabid dog, blaming him for the ever-loving Sarah’s departure. He had lost his job in the force after he couldn’t keep his shit together. Now there wasn’t even a beer left for Mark. There was nothing left for Mark. Nothing but silence, in an old decrepit apartment that still had the stink of it’s previous infested inhabitants clinging to the ratty walls. This apartment is so fucking apt, he thought. It reflected his life so perfectly. On the inside and the out.

    The silence would have crept up on him by now, if not for the TV buzzing in the background.

    What the f —, Mark thought. He could swear he switched that thing off. He walked toward the living room. But when he entered through the archway he saw a man, sat in his favourite chair, in the dark of the room, with only the light of the TV highlighting his outline, clutching a beer in his hand, watching the sport news.

    Mark was stunned. He wasn’t expecting anyone over. He knew he had locked the door before he left the place earlier in the day. And no one else had keys to his apartment. But there was no sign of forced entry. None the less, there was only one answer. This was an intruder.

    The intruder was unaware that Mark was there, so he quietly stepped back into the kitchen, slipped out his .45 from the holster and readied himself for confrontation. He returned to the living room, lining up the gun in the direction of the seated man.

    “Alright motherfucker, stop whatever the hell you’re doing and get the hell out of my house before I shoot you.”

    “Oh, hey there. Didn’t hear you come in,” the man said, standing up and placing the beer on top of the TV. Mark felt an eeriness wash over him as he watched the man tap the TV before he placed it down, as he himself had done so many times before. “Was watching the highlight’s to the 49er’s game. Epic! What an –”

    “Shut the hell up and get out of my apartment. I don’t care about your fucking game.”

    “Okay, relax. Don’t do anything stupid. Look, look at my face.” The intruder stepped closer, towards the light.

    “Get the fuck back!” he screamed with intensity. “Keep your distance. I swear I’ll fucking shoot.”

    “Okay, okay,” the intruder said, stopping on his heels, raising his arms in defence.

    “You’ve picked the wrong day to mess with me, fucker.” Mark said.

    “That’s actually why I’m here, Mark,” he said, leaning toward the afternoon light creeping in through the window.

    “Shut up, you crazy crackhead! Just get the fuck out!” Mark paused a moment then continued, “Wait! How the hell do you know my name?” Confusion beggining to set in, dissolving his panic.

    “I know more than that Mark. A whole lot more. You see, I’m–”

    Mark yelped as the man moved into the light, finally revealing his face. “What the fuck is going on?”

    “Relax! It’s me. It’s you. I’m hear to help you.”

    “Help me?” Mark asked. “What the fuck! How are you going to help me? Who the fuck– What the fuck are you?” The raised gun dropped a slight, his mind rattled, distracted by all the new information to process.

    “I know what you’re about to do. I’ve done it before. And I’m hear to tell you that it’s a path that you don’t want to go down, Mark. Your wife isn’t coming back. No matter what you do. So what if she ran away with that piece of shit? What you’re about to do is going to make things a hell of a lot worse. You’re a good man, Mark. You’ve just been handed a real shitty deal. Do what we all do. Make do with what you’ve got.

    “I’ve lived a long, hard life, Mark. I paid for my sins – our sins. And I’m still paying for it. The same sins that you’re about to make. You don’t get a second chance. Not for actions like this. But I’ve learnt, a little too late mind you, that we need to live through the hard stuff if we’re going to see it through to the other end still in one piece. Mind, body and soul.” Tears began to well up in Mark’s eyes at that point, the gun too heavy in his hands. “So you can’t kill him, Mark. You’re going to be in a whole new world of pain if you pull that trigger on him. Believe me. I know.”

    “Really? You’re from — me from — the future?” he asked, confused, calm, but completely frazzled.

    “Yes. And I know what I’m talking about.”

    “Maybe you do. Suppose it’s true. Then maybe it’s better if I pull this trigger on myself.”

    “No, Mark. Don’t! That’s not going to solve anything. I’ve been there too. Plenty times.”

    “It is. It will solve everything. It will make things easier on everyone. It’s the only answer. It has to be.”

    “You’re wrong, Mark.”

    “You don’t see. All this time, I thought he was the monster. Coming into my life like that, and ripping it apart. Taking Sarah from me. She was my whole life. My dreams, my hopes, my life. I blamed him for breaking that.” Now it was future Mark’s turn to weep as the memories flooded through him. “He wasn’t the monster. I was!” Mark asserted, his voice raised a pitch. “I killed it a long time ago. Killed it for her. For me. My short temper! My dumb actions! Always blaming her for every little fuck up in my life. It was me! I’m the monster, Mark! I pushed her away!” His anger began to flare up again. “This would be a better world if I wasn’t in it.”

    “Don’t, Mark. It’s not the right way.”

    “It’s the only way!” He lifted the gun to his head. “You see, it’s too late.”

    Future Mark’s face dropped thinking the worst. “Too late?”

    “You’re too late. I already killed him.”

    “No, Mark…”

    “Too late!” Mark inserted the tip of the .45 into his mouth.

    “NO, MARK!!!”

  6. Augie

    He sneaks across you screen; the feeling of being watched is overwhelming….

    tippie——toe——-tippie——–toe———-

    “hello, hello? Is dare any body out dare?”

    tippie——–toe————tippie———toe

    He ducks under the ad and taps on the screen, ‘clunk-clunk-clunk’

    “Anyone out dare?”

    tippie———-toe——-tippie——-toe

    “Huh, what’s dis? He looks at the left side of the screen…

    566 tippie—–toe Responses to tippie—-toe Think I’m a

    Clone tippie—–toe Now

    The screen shakes violently, Mo falls to the bottom of the screen. The giant 6 hits him in the head….

    The screen shakes more “shunk-shunk- ting “

    tippie-toe-tippie-toe-tippie-toe-tippie-toe-tippie-toe

    “Ahhh! He looks at the change… 567

    tippie-toe-tippie-toe……………..

    “Hello?”

    Hey, gotta laugh at dat!

  7. donnajg

    Please excuse structure. This is my first submission ever. Comments appreciated.

    She glanced at her watch as she unlocked the front door. “1:11. Huh? Funny. So…all in all about… “, she calculated quickly, “85 hours since Monday, only 85 hours to do the so-called impossible. One senator left and she would have convinced enough for the bill to be passed. Probably”, she grinned, “definitely her finest job yet. Finally one for the working man!”
    With a self-satisfied smile she threw her briefcase and keys onto the landing as she continued down the hall to the kitchen for a well-deserved nightcap. Lost in her congratulatory musings, it took a few moments before she realize she was hearing voices. “What the”, as she stopped. Light from her living room. She moved in that direction. “T.V.” “How the?”, “last time I watched”, “ crap wasn’t even home last night” “waste of freakin’ hydro” fired through her thoughts.
    She actually screamed. Loud. She half turned to run.
    “What the Fuck” she whispered, frozen. The person sitting there was her. She stared at her own face staring at her.
    “Hmm, not quite the eloquence I’m known for but, all in all, articulated quite effectively” the other she said in her own voice and manner. She rose and stepped forward extending her hand. “Evelyn Rotus, I presume?”
    Without a thought her own hand rose to shake “yes and you are”
    “Why you of course, well so to speak,” –
    “All-in-all, I presume, so to speak” Damn was she really that bad with clichés? “No duh?” She quipped, cringing inwardly, trying to pull her hand back, but the other would not let go.
    She continued, “Yes, well, to keep things moving, no I’m not your long lost twin, yes I’m a clone. Yes it’s possible, at least in 2067, yes I’m from the future, yes time travel is possible. You have been deemed dangerous to the Co-operative Collective as per DHS directive 6875439 in regards to interior terrorists. I have been created to extinguish your existence.”
    She pulled her off balance, reaching for the strange device the other was aiming towards her. They fell, knocking over the side table, grappling for the device, rolling several times across the room. A sudden glare of blue light.
    She lay back, panting. Alone.

  8. k.spicer

    One more quick scene on this prompt before they change it.

    “So you don’t want me to go with you tonight Butch?”

    “No Herald, it’s too dangerous. If someone sees me I need to be able to escape as quickly as I can. The last thing I need is to have you straggling behind. You couldn’t keep up, and if you got caught you’d spill the beans about everything…I know you.”

    “I wouldn’t tell anyone Butch, honest.”

    “I can’t take that chance Herald. This isn’t going to be like the others times. There’s going to be a lot of people around and I’ll have to be at my best to pull it off.”

    “I don’t like it Butch.”

    “I don’t care if you don’t like it Herald. That’s the way it’s going to be.”

    “Well, what am I supposed to do while you’re gone?”

    “Read a book, watch TV, I don’t care…just stay out of sight till I get back.”

    “I hate you Butch.”

    “Yea well, you’re not my first choice for a partner either, but for now we’re stuck with each other. Besides, you need me; you know how the Boss feels about you.”

    “I hate the Boss too.”

    “I’ve got to leave now, but as soon as I get back I’ll be sure to tell her you said that, Herald.”

    When the door shut behind me I went straight to the car and drove to the nearby college dorm where I parked several blocks away and waited. I checked my watch; she should be coming along any minute now .

    I look into the rearview mirror and comb the one patch of long hair that I have left over my bald spot; I want to look my best. The Boss constantly makes fun of my hair but Sally doesn’t seem to mind. Sally has always been friendly to me; and it’s not just because I’m her instructor either, I can see it in her eyes. I’m glad I didn’t bring that wimpy Herald along, he’d just mess things up for me.

    I see a familiar figure walking up the sidewalk and I step out of the car and head towards the darkened walkway. As I near her I smile and wave. “Sally, what a surprise, what are you doing out here after dark by yourself? You know school policy.”

    “Professor Strangely, what are you doing here?”

    “I had a tutoring session and was just walking to clear my head. Where are you going?”

    “Back to the dorm, I’ve got a lot of studying to do.”

    “How about I walk you back? You really shouldn’t be out at night by yourself.”

    “I always walk home after work…I’ll be fine.”

    “Nonsense, I’ll walk you back.”

    “Okay.” She agreed.

    When I returned home after a couple hours, my wife was sitting on the sofa watching the nightly news. I walked over and smiled at her. “How were your shows tonight dear?”

    “Same as always Herald…but if you were ever home you’d know that.”

    “Yes dear.”

    “And stop calling me dear! You know I hate that. Sit down over there and be quiet while I watch the news. They said another college girl was killed tonight. That’s the third one this month.”

    “Yes dear.”

    “I told you to stop calling me dear! Now don’t make me hurt you Herald…I told you before, if you have to call me anything call me Boss!”

    “Yes dear…I mean, yes Boss!”

    “That’s better, now sit over there and keep your mouth shut.”

    Walking across the room I stop. Herald who was waiting for me to return home was staring at me like some kind of scared child.

    “They said that someone butchered that poor girl.” I heard my wife say.

    Staring at Herald, I winked and smiled. “Yes Boss.”

    “Sit down for crying out loud.” My wife said. “And stop staring at yourself in that mirror…your giving me the creeps!”

    1. Reaper

      wonderful The spook and creep level on this one was off the chart. I wasn’t sure where you were going with it but you did this very slow reveal that kept me in the loop and made me feel brilliant for keeping just a sentence or two ahead. That is an art form it usually takes a lifetime to master. Great story.

  9. Augie

    Birds of a Feather

    Ever since the old bird moved in, his relationship with his wife has suffered overwhelming damage. The old bird sits on the couch all day smoking cigars, drinking cheap wine, watching mindless talk shows.

    Each day, Tom Hudson returns from work, the old bird hen pecks and nags him. His wife giggles at her mother’s insults and tells Tom, “Don’t take it personally.”

    No longer does he share a bed with his wife, the old bird might hear and give him shit for not being able to afford a child.

    That night in his army cot in the basement, he makes a wish.

    The next morning he walks upstairs, hearing his mother-in-law argue with herself.

    “You old hag, what do you know about chicken and dumplings!”

    “How dare you insult me, granny!”

    “Granny? That worthless son-in-law hasn’t produced a grandchild yet!”

    “Good thing at that! Imagine what a moron his kid would be!”

    Tom walks into the living room, his legs begin to tremble. There stands not one, but two mother-in-laws arguing, slugging down a bottle of wine.

    They turn facing him, and shout in unison, “What are you looking at you worthless piece of crap?”

    Tom backs up in horror, “But there’s two of you! How is this possible?”

    Both old birds put their hands on their hips facing Tom.

    “Well if there were two of you, maybe the rent would be paid on time!”

    “Yes, and my poor dear daughter might be able to move out of this dump you call a home!”

    ………

    The lead detective looks across the table at the man locked in restraints.

    “But Mr. Hudson, there was only one body, sir.”

    Tom raised his head, “I remember during my rage, someone running out of the house as I smashed the wine bottle over the first old bird’s head. Not sure if it was my wife or the other old bag.”

    The detective stares at Tom, “What did you wish for that night?”

    “My wish? HA! I wished the old bag would meet someone she could love. Then hopefully she would move out!”

    9 months later….

    The prison guard escorts Mr. Hudson to the visitor booth.

    Staring at him with raging eyes through the safety glass is the old bird.

    “Nice try, you idiot!”

    1. MCKEVIN

      Chapter 2
      Tom hands Killer his cellmate the old bird’s address and promises payment within three days of her death.
      “So we have a deal?” Tom asked
      “The old bird is as good as plucked as we speak.” Killer laughed and answered not noticing the old bird talking to the Warden nearby.
      “Yes Warden I’d like to press charges against them both Today! Idiots!”

      Good job Augie…Lol.

    2. Observer Tim

      Hey, I just noticed: There was some improvement in the old bird! She actually gave the MC a compliment, albeit a left-handed one. Maybe she’s starting to warm up to him – like a branding iron.

      And that’s why you have to be careful with wishes…

  10. Observer Tim

    This one needs a bit of a sensuality warning. I took my cue from McKevin. It’s still fit to show on TV, assuming the director is clever with the camera angles…

    BEYOND THE GLASS

    The aloe aroma of the fog surrounds and fills me, wrapping me in its warm cocoon of moist comfort. I know I should shower with the bathroom door open; after all, it’s only me in the apartment and the vent fan doesn’t work, but sometimes that fog is a blessing. The mirror is a sheet of white vapour and my reflection doesn’t stare back at me pityingly.

    I pull the door open and the chill air of my room wafts in. I stop; something is very wrong. The lights are off and the old laptop I use for a TV is on. And somebody is sitting on my sofa bed staring at it.

    Panic strikes. I’m dripping from head to foot and the towel is on the sofa. I want to slam the bathroom door. I want to jump for the towel. I want to curl up and whimper. Instead I just stare as she turns her head.

    I start hyperventilating. The face I see is mine. She stares at me with wide eyes and a slack jaw; her chest is pumping rapidly with each tiny breath. Her hair is slicked down against her head and tiny beads of water trickle slowly down her face.

    My hand fumbles and finds the bathroom light switch. Darkness envelops me in its velvety comfort. She’s still there, but it’s much harder for her to see me. I hope.

    “Selena?” Her voice is soft and tentative.

    I fight down the urge to turn and hug the wall. “Who are you?”

    “I’m you Selena, from the other side.”

    “You’re… dead?”

    “No. I’m the one who looks back at you every morning.”

    The shadowy form walks toward me, holding something bulky in her hand. I shrink back, but she holds it forward and it touches my arm. I sense the prickly soft tingle of terrycloth against my skin as she brushes the towel against me. She starts stroking my skin with it in a soft kneading motion. The feel of it causes me to relax just a tiny bit.

    “You’re my reflection, aren’t you? From the mirror?”

    “Uh-huh. I got out.” She sounds as nervous as I feel as she rubs the towel across my back. I feel her back and it’s drying as she dries me. Her skin is warm and soft.

    “B-but that’s im-impossible.”

    “No it’s not. It’s just very difficult. Like looking into your eyes every morning and not being able to hold you.”

    The towel drops and her hands caress my lower back. Nobody’s ever done that before and it sends a shiver of raw anticipation through me. My breathing gets shallow and ragged again, but this time it’s not entirely fear.
    _

    I wake up lying on the carpet in the apartment’s chill morning air. It was all a dream. Figures.

    A whisper kisses my ear. “Good morning, Selena.” She snuggles in tighter and her warm hand touching my stomach makes me gasp.

    1. MCKEVIN

      Getting in touch with your inner you huh OT? And you should how else do you begin to fill those empty spaces? I have found digging deep inside myself through writing helps me understand other people, the world and my outrageous expectations for them to fulfill me. Eventually, I’ll learn my happiness starts and ends with me. Period! Good story.

  11. cmariee

    I’m holding the same Aztec patterned pillow on my lap that I often balanced plates on, but this time there is a remote on it. The X-box controller is to my left for easy Netflix access. A bottled water is tucked between the pillow and arm of the sofa. My laptop is closed for the moment and is on the coffee table within reach to appease any moment of weakness.

    I’m thinking I’m a little taller now than I am here. And a little bit more over-weight now too. I look sad. Maybe it’s just what I’m watching. I don’t remember this day, but I remember moments of this place, this time period. But time is like a flowing river and I see the day wash away into another. Am I dreaming?

    I step through the water and there I am. I’m on the sofa. Same view. I’m laying on my side asleep. Cartoons are playing in a loop. My daughter has her favorite snuggle bunny and ice cream pajamas. She lays next to me. The Aztec pillow are thrown on the floor. My laptop on the coffee table still, but I don’t know where the remote is and I don’t look like I care. I look happy exhausted and so comfortable.

    I don’t even think I showered yet that morning and that hair style can not be well-thought out. I’m staring from the kitchen into the living room addition trying to take it all in before the moment leaves. What day was this, I wonder? It looks like a favorite weekend. I wish I was awake to see this. But time is like a flowing river and I see the day wash away into another. Am I dreaming? I am asleep.

    I see myself. I look directly into the past and the future all at once. I reflect into the living room awkwardly like a flowing river. And I notice, I don’t see my accomplishments, or business dress, or stresses, or the holidays. My thoughts revisit those too much anyway and they are narrowing my memory. I see myself at home and not work. Relaxed. Allowing my day to be without a schedule, without a worry about dinner plans. Am I dreaming or could it be a memory? A stream of days taken for granted as if they were not good enough or a part of me.

    I look away for just a moment and my vision becomes hazy. It seems I’ve forgotten how to look for me, how to appreciate the quiet days that are in fact reality.

    1. Reaper

      This is lovely. The repeated phrases that can be distracting worked for you in this case to create the idea of how normal it is for people to have this reaction to looking at their lives and to focus in on the repetition of decisions. Very artistic. This is at once beautiful, heart warming, heart rending, hope filled and desperately sad. Amazing writing.

      1. cmariee

        Reaper, Thank you for that. Even after completion I still wasn’t sure… It is quite a different style. But I was hoping it captured how we look at our experiences with a narrow lens and often wish we could remember more. I’m glad it had that all over result for you. That certainly makes me feel more pleased with it.

  12. Icabu

    Opening the door, Jerry knew the week had been as long as it felt. He’d left the TV on and didn’t even remember watching it that morning. Catching a glimpse of someone on the couch watching it brought a brief smile – Tamera must have come in. No doubt wondering where he’d been all week.

    But it wasn’t Tamera.

    “What are you doing here?” Jerry asked, his own face turning toward him.

    “You should know, dear twin, that there isn’t a prison made that can hold me.”

    Authorities hadn’t notified Jerry that his twin brother Gerry had escaped. Again.

    “What have you done now?” Jerry asked, keeping a cautious distance from his brother. He doubted any identical twins could be more different than he and his brother.

    “Nothing to worry yourself about.”

    The grin his brother bared unnerved Jerry. As did the fact that Gerry was wearing Jerry’s own clothes and apparently making himself right at home. In the home that Jerry had inherited after Gerry had brutally murdered their parents a dozen years ago.

    “I don’t know what you’re planning, but it won’t work,” Jerry said, slowly pulling his phone out of his pocket, already pressing the ‘911’ button.

    Knowing Jerry’s call would be recorded by 911, Gerry put his foolproof plan into action.

    “You can’t come into my home!” Gerry screamed, leaping from the couch. “You belong in prison forever!”

    “What?” Jerry mumbled, caught off guard.

    The brief scuffle with the knife would play well in court, Gerry thought, standing over Jerry’s body. Working quickly, Gerry grabbed his brother’s wallet and other personal items. When the police arrived, they found a very distraught ‘Jerry’ bemoaning the fact that he had to kill his escaped evil twin. For good effect, Gerry had carved a couple of ‘defensive’ wounds on his hands.

    As the police were finishing up, a soft knock came at the door. ‘Jerry’ smiled. “Tamera,” he rasped out. “I’m so glad you came.”

    Finally finished, Tamera informed the police that ‘Jerry’ would be staying at her apartment. “It’s too painful here,” she told them. Everyone agreed.

    Entering Tamera’s apartment, she turned and leaped into ‘Jerry’s’ arms. “Are you positive this will work?”

    “Foolproof,” ‘Jerry’ replied.

    1. Reaper

      That was seriously twisted and well done. Wasn’t expecting that at the end. The confusion caused by Jerry and Gerry played well into your lead in to the identity switch and how easy the mistake would be to make. Also I found it believable that anyone saddled with parents that would name twins like that would lead at least one of them to committing homicide on them.

    2. Observer Tim

      A lovely and wicked take with a creepy twist at the end. I was wondering why Gerry was contacting Tamera; I had visions of a grisly end for her. Of course things might not go smoothly once the police start really investigating. Identical twins have different fingerprints and different signatures, and the authorities will be especially alert for changes of personality especially where there’s a psychopath/sociopath involved.

      This would make an excellent episode of a police procedural…

  13. rle

    I hope this is better than my last few posts. Lately, I don’t feel as though I’ve been putting forth my best effort. I’ve been under a bit of stress and the last two or three have felt forced. I feel a little better about this one, I guess I’ll let you guys decide.

    ————————————————————-

    After a long hot week on an asphalt crew, Friday afternoon had finally arrived. I was growing too old for this. This job was a young mans game and although I felt every muscle in my body, I also felt a certain measure of pride that a man of fifty could still keep up the pace with young strong bucks half my age.

    As I slowly sauntered toward a row of drab solid doors ahead of me, I fished in my front pocket for the keys that would grant me access to the paradise that was the Sleep Tight Motel. It certainly wasn’t my two story, quiet suburban house, but, in the last seven weeks, it had become my home.

    As I turned the key in the lock, I heard a noise from inside, it was the TV. Apparently I’d forgotten to turn it off that morning before leaving for work. There had been so much on my mind lately, it was a wonder I was able to remember my own name. If my foreman knew how fragile an instrument my mind had become in the past few weeks, he would have had second thoughts about letting me operate heavy equipment. Fortunately, I’d learned to be quite the master at masking my distraction.

    When I stepped inside, I was caught completely off guard. Sitting there in the chair I normally relaxed in was a complete stranger. I tossed the greasy bag that contained my gourmet dinner onto the bed then reached for my waistband where I’d been carrying a little snub nose .32 that my father had given me. When I wrapped my hand around it’s handle, I noticed something was askew with the stranger; he hadn’t even flinched when I walked in. Then I realized this was no stranger at all, it was me.

    I slowly released my hold on the little handgun and sat down on the foot of the bed, trying to wrap my head around what was going on. Little by little, things began to come into focus. I remembered how I came to be here in this rat hole motel. I remembered how I had sacrificed everything; my nice home, my nice family, my nice life, and for what? A few nights of passion with a sultry redhead young enough to be my daughter? I tried to justify it by thinking of how she had made me feel; young, strong, important. Nothing at all like the old pathetic soul who sat in my chair watching MASH reruns.

    How long had I been here watching the antics of Hawkeye, Klinger, and Radar? Had I just dreamed I’d gone to work while sitting here? Was I dreaming now? Was I dying, or was I already dead?

    Suddenly, I had an overwhelming sense of urgency in the pit of my gut. I knew what I had to do. Actually I’d known all along, but I knew I had to act fast before I lost my nerve.

    I slowly rose from the bed. I pulled out the .32 and folded my fingers around it’s tiny grip. I leveled the barrel at the back of my head, exhaled and pulled the trigger.

    1. Reaper

      I for one love this. There is a quiet sense of desperation and regret to it. It is well told and achingly sad. A true tragedy in the Shakespearean sense of the word. More than that it has a special place for me because it is so classical. In the sense of you have written a true antihero in how that term was meant originally rather than how we use it now. That is very difficult to do and keep a story interesting but you pulled it off like a master.

    2. Augie

      rie, normally I give people short responses because I don’t want to sound like I know what I am talking about (being a new writer). I do want to let you know though how I feel about your stories from a reader’s perspective. Pick any sentence from your story. It is action packed, full of description, and not a single wasted word. You make reading easy and that is a gift. Great plot, power sentences, good job…

    3. k.spicer

      Rie, this was another great scene. I’ve liked all of your posts that I’ve read and I hope you keep putting them out. I’m a gluten for a good story. Thanks Rie.

      1. k.spicer

        Can you believe I used the word gluten rather than “GLUTTON”? I guess I’m going to have to send my responses to my editor before I post them. Sorry for the brain fart. Oh well, what’s one more mistake?

    4. Observer Tim

      A dark and depressing tale, rle. You poured the despair in with a double-helping and it really felt like the natural option. A more admirable man would have started rebuilding his life (or reclaiming it if he could), but the MC is more human than that.

      1. Reaper

        Haha. I had to test if the link was showing up since it doesn’t on the old posts. Since a number of people have asked to know when my book is up I linked my “author page” now that it is. Unfortunate side effect being people will now know my real name. :)

        1. Augie

          well, what ever your name is, I think we all know you. Your reaper. I m excited to read it and congratulations on your promotion to blue. (ha! I had to get that dig in!)

          1. Reaper

            I feel like a staffer on Blizzard’s site now! Yes, recovering WoW addict so it’s not as bad as it sounds that I know that. I can’t wait for you to read it either and am glad we will get along. :) I have a friend who just bought it and her daughter, who wants to be an author when she grows up, was apparently jealous and wanted it on her Kindle too. My friend said she said no and was a mean mom. I told her she was a good mom keeping my book from a child that young.

          1. Reaper

            Thank you Bilbo. I appreciate that. I love that hat! But it is getting old and needs to be replaced. Well I have a lot of friends like me that don’t have an ereader (I was surprised you can buy for all of them off that site) or don’t read books electronically. That’s why I made the physical copy available, thought it is more expensive because of the production costs. Thinking of trying to find a reader to do the audio book option too.

            Anyway. I will say I have warned friends to keep their young kids away from my writing but you sir are of an age and more importantly a maturity level that I hope we raise our children to be able to handle things at. And honestly it is on Amazon so we know it can’t be too bad. With all of that said, hide it under the bed with the… other questionable materials you don’t want your parents to find. I’m assuming you have a TV under there somewhere. 😉

            Thank you again Bilbo, it means a lot.

  14. Bilbo Baggins

    ROCK OF PETER, STIGMA OF CAIN

    “Father, please help me!”

    I could hear the wavering distress in his voice, the pitiful sob of someone in deep remorse—tremors from the chains of hell. He held his head against the wall, huddled in a flowing coat, arms shaking with savage instability. I fingered my rosary. I’d never seen a case like this.

    “What have you done that terrifies you so?”
    He struggled to collect himself, a choking gasp coming from his throat.

    “My heart…it’s desperately wicked! I have drenched myself in evil—“
    His voice cut off again. Moved with compassion, I leaned closer to the grille, saw him trembling.

    “Don’t worry. You can tell me everything.”
    He seemed to calm down, chest still heaving.

    “Everything?”
    I managed a sad smile. “Yes, God will take care of it.”

    He pulled his face up, looking at me with startlingly dark pupils. He began to laugh, a low sound that made my faith disappear.
    ________________________________________________________

    I lived in a small apartment on 3rd and Washington, five floors up with two rooms and loud neighbors. Fumbling with my keys, the custodian dragged his bucket behind me, slopping water onto the cheap carpet.
    I wrenched open the door and its three deadlocks. Work had worn me down, and the mysterious man’s gaze gnawed at me through my opposition.

    The darkness of my room greeted me, a dull glow from the blinds the only light, the kitchen counter and couches black forms. I flicked on the light. The fridge was nearly empty, but I had a Coke left, the fizz tickling my throat. Swallowing, I gazed at the far wall and froze. The crucifix on the wall was upside-down.

    Someone had been here. I walked over, put it back in place, wondered why only that was touched. The tiny metal figurine would give no answers, only hung limp on the decorative wood, icy to the touch.

    The AC shut off, the room descending to a still silence. I could hear a television on, an advertisement blaring. It reminded me how meaningless it all was now, how even religion seemed temporary, red sins washing over its supposed cure. But there was something else, too—it was coming from my bedroom.

    I whirled around from the wall, saw no one. At the door, I listened through. Creaking it open, I found the room empty. It was only when I’d turned off the TV that I heard a voice behind me.

    “Nice to see you could help that man.”

    I slowly turned to face myself, holding a large kitchen knife. His eyes were completely black, and my mouth quivered.
    “Who are you?” I asked, although the answer was clear.

    “All those things you try to carry on your own.”

    “This is just my imagination,” I muttered.
    He stroked the gleaming knife with a broad grin.

    Suddenly he was lunging over the chair with animal strength. I fled out the door, saw my keys on the counter, picked them up. His arm grabbed my shoulder, thrust me to the floor.

    “Tell Satan I said hello. I have done my duty!”

    He stabbed down three times. I managed to roll and avoid the cold metal, my shirt sliced into strips. I recoiled at his touch in panic. Hobbling to my feet, a sucking pain started, like my chest was being ripped apart by a vacuum, so severe I almost collapsed. Looking down, the keys were stained sticky red.
    I’ve been cut, I thought, my adrenaline pushing me closer to unconsciousness.

    When I reached the door I fell to my knees, hands grasping for the handle, the keys rattling. My vision was cloudy, the intensity of the wound leaving me breathless. His feet thundered behind me, and he started dragging me back like a lion’s fresh prey. I coughed, liquid spattering. My lungs were filling, asphyxiation taking over. I struggled as my throat clenched up, deprived of oxygen, legs refusing to move. Sleep neared, the inevitable ripping apart of the body and soul.

    My spirit fell to the lowest plane of darkness, accompanied by thousands of white shadows, who tossed me between them, fire singing us all black. I screamed, but no voice was left, only echoes of things past.

    Meanwhile, the door to apartment 14B opened with a yawn, and the other man slipped out, the cursed stigma of Cain visible on his palm. He had priests to visit, he thought with relish. And lots of them…

    1. Reaper

      This is pure genious. The last line of your opening made me shudder. It was the perfect description of the laugh and set a hook that was already planted deeper. Amazing from start to finish. If I were to offer any suggestion it would be at the end you say sleep neared. I would suggest a change of the word sleep to unconsciousness if you’re going for a clinical real interpretation or rest if you want more of the religious and accepting feel for the voice. Just a thought though because it works well as it is.

    2. Observer Tim

      I’m not sure what kind of laugh would cause a crisis of faith in a priest, especially in a confessional.

      That said, this is a wonderfully dark and atmospheric piece, Bilbo. It reads like the opening chapter of a murder mystery. I find myself awaiting the arrival of the detective, who will uncover not only the person/creature that is killing priests, but also provide visceral details of the sins they’ve been killed for.

  15. VooDoo

    I don’t remember this wall. But it’s old as if it’s been here for years. It’s tall, at least half as tall as the nearest skyscraper and was made of some sort of metal that was slowly beginning to show it’s age. Perhaps I took a wrong turn? Or maybe I am on the wrong street all together? I step back from the wall and and look around, trying to get my barrings. To my left at a cross roads is an old, rusted street sign, bent and slowly decaying like the wall in front of me. But this can’t be right, that sign was almost new just yesterday. Still, old or new, this street sign was indicating that I was indeed on the correct street. And this wall was cutting straight threw it My job, my career, my life was on the other side of that massive wall.
    As I backed away I had become aware of my surroundings. Just yesterday the sun was bright in the sky, and the city was packed with people all going about their lives like a hive of bees. Today there was no sun, today it’s cold and damp with small little bits of snow attempting to fall. And where were the busy little bee’s that crowded the streets? What stood before me now was an empty shell of a city. With empty cars, buses, and trash littered all of there street. But no people, no busy little bees.
    I suddenly felt myself begin to panic. I had to get home. I had to get home to Tom, Tom would know what to do. He always knew exactly what to do. With out wasting another second I began to trot down the empty sidewalk dodging debris, and listening to the lonely sound of my heels echo against the empty building.
    I was only the second street down when I had stopped dead in my tracks and almost doubled over. The memory hit me like a tsunami, cold, harsh, and with out forgiveness. Why was I trying to return to Tom? Why would I think he would have any answers for me? How could I have forgotten that I was divorced? How could I forget the night I caught him in our bed sleeping with that drag queen from down the hall? What is happening to me?
    As tears begin to slip down my cheeks I continue to walk. This time more slowly as I try to put the pieces of my scrambled mind together. I couldn’t find my mother, she had passed away when I was twenty. My sister Dawn lived in Texas, and my brother Shawn lived three hours away from here. I didn’t have my purse on me, so that meant I also didn’t have my cell phone. I would call my father from my house phone, maybe he could tell me what the hell was going on. And I needed to feed my turtles anyway.
    Chills swept down my spine the further I walked. My surroundings made me feel like I was inside some sort of horror movie. And that any moment some sort of flesh eating monster was going to jump out and rip my throat out. But even with the fear flowing through my veins I couldn’t shake the confusion that surrounded me. What was happening to me? Why couldn’t I remember this happening to my home? How could I forget that I divorced that cheating swine? Why did it take me so long to remember that my mother was dead? How could I forget about my beloved turtles?
    A strong gust of wind slammed into my body and I quickened my pace. Only about a block from my apartment one of the heels snapped on my shoe so I was forced to walk barefoot through the streets. Since trash was already everywhere I felt no need to bring them along with me.
    When I finally did reach my apartment building I smiled widely at the sight of a soft glow from the window in my living room. Maybe it was dad? Maybe it was my sister, or brother. Hell, at the moment I would even settle for that swine bag Tom. There was no door greeter to let me in so as quickly as I could I pressed the button and allowed myself inside. The elevator was blocked off so I was forced to take the stairs. But the closer I got to my floor the more weary I became. What if it wasn’t a family member? What if it was someone up there waiting to hurt me? The rest of the city seemed dead, why would I assume someone friendly had found their way into my apartment?
    I couldn’t go back. Not now, I had nothing to turn back to. Nothing but a wall that seemed to surround the entire city. Nothing but a skeleton of what looked to be the shells of a fallen human civilization. I had to face whatever was up there. I had to find out the truth. Find out why yesterday the sun was shining and the city was filled with life, but today everything seemed dead. I didn’t know if my questions would be answered, but damn it I was still going to ask them.
    When I reached my floor I noticed Mrs. Tillers door was wide open and in shambles. Same with Mr. And Mrs. Blake. Even the drag queens door was wide open and exposed. That was a door I couldn’t help but peek into. Just by the off chance Tom may be inside, but sadly I found nothing but dead plants, and dust. After closing that door in particular I slowly turned towards my apartment. The bright light shown from under my closed door and I felt my heart race like never before. I had no phone to call the police, and frankly I wasn’t even sure if the police were still around. I was tiny. A five foot zero skinny little nothing. And the closest I had ever come to a self defense class was a kick boxing game on the Nintendo Wii. But still, I had to know. Who exactly was it behind my door.
    Taking a deep breath I reached my small hand out to the door knob. I had no keys on me so I had to hope that the door was unlocked since I had decided knocking was out of the question. I wasn’t going to wait for someone to answer. I didn’t want to know that badly.
    As I turned the knob the door made a familiar click and I pushed it open. Everything was as it was and the TV was going. Playing a movie I had on DVD. And then as I looked over to the couch that was when I saw her. Or should I say that was when I saw me. She glanced up at me and smiled with that huge toothy grin of hers, her green eyes dazzled and her simple brown hair fell perfectly into place. And before I could run for my life she spoke.
    “It’s so good to see you Harlee. Now tell me, is your memory better than the others? Or do we have to go back to the drawing board?”

  16. RainyDays

    The relief I felt at leaving the airport was immense. I’ve always despised planes, as they’ve given me the worst migraines of my life, yet tonight I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. Even as I stepped into the taxi I’d barely managed to hail, a cold shiver ran down my back, and I could have sworn someone was watching me, and had been the whole night.

    As the cab pulled onto the highway, I took a moment to calm myself down. Whatever that feeling I’d had was, whatever had caused it, was still in the city, and I was on my way out. Feeling a bit less paranoid, I dug around in my purse until my hand felt the cold metal of my phone. I called my mother with the expectation that she would pick up, she always picked up. Yet this time, maybe for the first, I got her voice mail. I disregarded that moment, and left a message telling her not to worry about going to my apartment the next morning to feed Charlie, a big tabby cat, because I came home a day early.

    By the time The cabbie dropped me off and I lugged my bags up 10 flights of stairs I was ready to crash. I threw my bags down the moment I got through the door only to hear that the tv was on in my bedroom. The cat had probably sat on the remote was my assumption, but then I heard a giggle. I fiercely familiar giggle. It sounded exactly like me.

    As groggy as I’d felt a second before my veins now felt like electric currents were zipping through them instead of blood. I stumbled into my room to find that someone was in my house, and that someone was me.

    I let out a small gasp, maybe even a wheeze, it’s hard for me to truly know. What I do know is that I made some sort of minute sound, but it was audible enough that whoever was on my bed heard me. She whipped around to look at me, and when she did, her face echoed the horror I knew she could see on mine.

    “What’s your name?”

    I couldn’t answer her, I just stared and made little choking noises.

    She leaned forward with an intense look of serious desperation etched across her face, “Please. You need to tell me your name. I got your mother out of here, and you’re lucky I did that. I’ve been waiting for days. What is your name?”

    I cleared my throat and in a hoarse whisper I managed to say one word, “Mary”.

    Her eyes filled with fear and finality and when she spoke, her words, though few, hit me like a brick wall, “So everything they told me was true. I’m dead, and you should be too.”

    I didn’t know what to do, my mind was spinning out of control, and I couldn’t breathe so I ran blindly out of my apartment, out of the building and straight into someone.

    “Sorry, sorry, I- I just..”

    “You look just like her,” a pained voice came from the man I’d hit and my mind broke into sudden clarity. The same feeling I’d felt in the airport was back. The same shiver of cold running down my spine, and I knew that this was him. He’d been the one watching me.

    “You. You’ve been following me.”

    “I should’ve killed you. I was supposed to. I am supposed to but- you look like her. I can’t kill her, not again. I can’t kill you, even if they kill me for that.”

    “What? Kill me? Who are you and who are they? And who the hell do I look like?”

    “Don’t you know? You look like Mary.”

  17. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

    Gloomy Sunday

    Sunday is gloomy
    My hours are slumberless
    Dearest the Shadows
    I live with are numberless
    Little white flowers
    Will never waken you
    Not where the black coach of
    Sorrow has taken you
    Angels have no thought
    Of ever returning you
    Would they be angry
    If I thought of joining you?

    The ocean plunges the early Sunday hours into a soot-covered gloomy morning. Fog, languid and soft, dances along the driveway as I pull into it just as I had done for many a morning before. I press the button attached to my visor and it emits a soft click. The garage door ahead of me opens, and the moment I see the tread of those tires, my heart slows to the sullen beat of lost love.

    Before I know it, I’m in my house, staring at my clone who sits upon the recliner, laughing joyfully at a television show of which I can’t seem to remember the name. On the couch, nestled next to the other me, is the woman I adore, Angela. She laughs along with me, concerned only with the moment and nothing more. My future wife and that man, lovers until death do they part.

    I pass from the living room to the kitchen, but find myself standing behind my clone, who’s wearing a black suit with a white flower peeking from his pocket. Beyond him is Angela. She’s wearing the dress I bought her but the one she chose. A lovely white gown majestic and royal, subtle and stunning. It spoke of her without words, just as her smile and actions had always done long before.

    I watch my clone scratch his head nervously as the holy man standing between them speaks words of virtue and love. In silence, I watch their mouths utter vows forever binding them together, a dream come true for some. I can’t watch too long, the pain too great, so I leave the ceremony in hope of finding myself drunk at the reception bar.

    Instead, there is no reception. I’m standing next to a bed. A soft repetitive song plays from a machine connected to Angela’s heart. My clone stands next to the bed, his hand holding Angela’s weak but somehow strong grip. Her lips are dry, eyes sunk and slightly purple. Yet, she smiles, a tiny glint of water hanging at the edge of her eye, the same that paints the walls of my clones pink cheeks.

    “You’ll beat this.” My clone says, “You’ll be okay.”

    Hollow promises.

    I close my eyes, they sting. When I open them, I’m sitting where my clone sat in front of the television, but no laughter echoes through the room. The couch remains mostly empty, nothing to keep it company but my wife’s blanket, the one she used on those cold nights to keep herself warm.

    I look down at the heavy revolver in my left hand. I don’t remember retrieving it from the closet, nor do I remember how long I sat in that chair. Time seemed to cease, my nights slumberless and cold. I look to the heavens as tears blur my sight, though my vision is all too clear.

    “Can you forgive me?” I ask the angels. “Must death part us?”

    I feel the cold metal poke my chin, a soft click its only conversation to me, an answer not of the angels but of the human world. As I squeeze the hilt, I can hear horses whinny outside my home.

    Has the black coach come to take me to my sweet sweet Angela? I wonder, and suddenly blackness.

    Gloomy is Sunday,
    With shadows I spend it all
    My heart and I
    Have decided to end it all
    Soon there’ll be candles
    And prayers that are said I know
    Let them not weep
    Let them know that I’m glad to go
    Death is no dream
    For in death I’m caressing you
    With the last breath of my soul
    I’ll be blessing you.

    1. k.spicer

      Jay, this was moving and ghostly well written. The story is modern but has a medieval feel to it. It has great rhythm and the poetry was touching and perfectly matched to the body of the scene. This is a part of Jay I’m not used to seeing (stepping away from the dark side I mean) because this was more of a tragedy. Kudos to you my friend, your words are as always well received.

      1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

        Thanks for your kind words, Spicer. Sometimes I just need to step away and do something a little different! :)

        The poetry is actually lyrics based on “Szomorú vasárnap”, as covered by Billie Holiday in her version called “Gloomy Sunday”. 😀

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