Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction
The Other Me By Grant Lee
A grotesque and disproportionate reproduction. How dare it model me in such imperfect fashion. Nebulous fog, thick and unrelenting surrounded me and my companions until I’d emerged - alone - into this cavern of mist. I stared at my dark reflection, projected on the clouds.
‘Eric! Sasha! Felix!’ No response.
The pale theatre in which I stood encircled the pinnacle of the mountain. Behind me a man whispered.
‘It’s me, James Hogg.’
‘What,’ I called out.
No one answered, ‘And yet who am I you say? I’m no Stevenson!’
‘Who are you?’
‘Filth. Abject filth. You appal me - you philistine!’
‘What? Who the fuck?’
‘Turn and face me!’
I turned, pirouetting in time with the fog, which circled me like a predator, until I had gone full circle. No-one. The projection was gone too.
‘Stop hiding. What the hell are you playing at?’
Just then I heard Felix - his voice muffled as if he were inside a building.
‘Stop, What are you doing?’
‘Felix?!’ I called back, running blindly, trying to retrace my steps, all the while being followed by this misty cage.
His words turned to cries - whimpering like a child.
‘I’m coming Felix!’
Almost as soon as his last gasp was uttered, screams sounded from behind. I turned again and ran but the screams came from all about me.
Now Eric joined the morbid cacophony.
‘I can’t see! I can’t fucking see!’
‘Eric! Sasha! Felix!’
‘Ed. Ed wake up’
‘You were calling their names again.’
‘Who? Who’s names baby? What’s wrong?’
‘Eric, Sasha and Felix. You need to stop reading those books before bed, its messing with your head honey.’
I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and got out of bed. Looked down at the bleeding knife in my hands.
She squirmed around. Red flowed from her, staining her silken night dress.
‘Ed, what have you done to me? Ed?’ She was crying, trying to scoop her innards back inside. ‘What is this? What is this!?’
I looked at the knife and back to her again. ‘What? What’s happening to me?’ I tried to say but no words came.
I was on the mountain again - knife still in my hand - still dripping with blood. Something glistened on the floor. I knelt to pick it up. Turned the eye to face me. The pupils twitched. It was warm. Fresh.
Screaming again but closer now. The mist had cleared. Eric knelt on the grass clutching his face. Blood streaming between fingers. Sasha crawled away leaving a trail of blood and intestines, still attached. Felix, crying, stood in the distance, pleading. He crouched and vomited then looked back up at me, snot and vomit trailed from his nose and lips.
‘Stop, just. Ed, why are you doing this?’
I smiled and began to walk towards him. Besides me walked a man, deformed somewhere, yet impossible to describe. Was it me?
'It might be possible, of course, that far from being one, we may posses two selves’.
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