It’s that time of the week again! I find all of my inspiration on Tumblr – at this blog this week – and I’m starting to wonder if I have an unhealthy relationship forming with the website…
Prompt/Background: She had a dream in which a dentist was going to pull four of her teeth. Not front teeth, but on the upper jaw, on the side. The dentist’s plan was to replace them with someone else’s teeth. She wasn’t at all comfortable with the idea and couldn’t get answers that made any sense. so she told him No. His response was, “I’ve already done it. How could you have not noticed? Now, let me get these new ones in before it’s too late.” He put the new ones in and for a little while, they were fine, but then they started detaching.
When she woke up, she spent a long time trying to figure out what the dream meant. And then, suddenly, she knew.
The ticking of the clock is the first thing that she hears when she wakes. It is annoying and she cannot focus after she swings herself out of bed. Warm, golden skin glistens with sweat as she struggles to breathe. Fingers tap along the wall until she finds the switch to turn on the lights. Brown eyes filled with fear scan the bedroom only to see that her husband isn’t in bed. In fact, it would appear that he never came to bed at all.
Dream still fresh in her mind, and heart still pounding from her suspicions, the woman shakes herself and tries to start running. Unfortunately, her mind is inexplicably foggy and she slams her shoulder into the doorknob as she falls to her knees. If she is correct, she can’t scream so she bites down onto her lip to keep silent. The clamoring would be enough to draw in the attention of anyone else in the house – and she knows how dangerous her enemy can be if she is correct.
These things aren’t supposed to exist. Doppelgängers aren’t supposed to be real – nothing like that is supposed to be real! Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, mummies, fairies, leprechauns… if Doppelgängers are real then everything is real. But this is the fourth time that she’s had this dream and this time the dentist was operating on her teeth in her son’s bedroom. This time she saw something in the background of her dream that she’s never noticed before…
…she saw a man carrying her son through a window…
She had just watched a show that had doppelgängers and she had made a comment about her son over the last year. He was acting differently from himself, he was a completely different person. At the time she thought that it was just a joke, that it was a mother complaining about her child growing up and getting moody. Her husband made a comment that night, he said “You wouldn’t notice anyway so what would it matter?”
So many subtle hints! How could she not have known before? Now that she’s shimmying into the hallway she thinks to grab a weapon. She has no idea how to kill a doppelgänger but she will sure as hell try. They keep a gun in the office, that’s where they store their important document too. Sneaking in seems easy enough, just as is loading the gun with the bullets. As soon as she’s “locked and loaded” as all the action heroes like to say, she goes back into the hallway. Each step takes her closer to her sons room.
Unfortunately, his door has always creaked in a strange way. No matter her efforts to open the door quietly it draws in the attention of her husband whom is wrapping their son in a large burlap sack. When she goes to open her mouth another person steps out of the shadows. Immediately she recognizes him and she finds herself frightened to silence.
“I suppose there’s only one thing to do now,” Her husband laughs. His skin is glowing in such a way that almost makes him ghostly. His usually dark skin is tinted gray and his black eyes have a whitish film. It is a wonder to her that she even recognizes this man as her husband but she does and it makes her cry; “Do you know what you have to do, Melissa?”
Of course, Melissa does know what she must do. She lifts the gun and shoots at the dentist first. When the bullet meets his gut there’s a shrill laugh as he evaporates. Blinking nonstop, Melissa trembles as she repositions to point the barrel in her husband’s direction.
But she can’t shoot without answers; “Why!”
It’s not a question – it’s a demand.
“Why does anyone ever steal children?” Screeching amusement parts his lips. The sound of his happiness reverberates throughout the room until the very foundation of the home is shaking. Melissa can’t get her mind straight because there are several reasons that someone would want to steal a child. He must see that she can’t figure it out, so he suggests the truth in much plainer words; “We have needs. Children are just – tastier.”
Melissa doesn’t hesitate now as she sobs very audibly.
Pop! Pop! Pop!
Melissa hadn’t realized that she squeezed her eyes shut. It almost more painful to open them than it was to keep them closed to hard. When she opens them her husband is on the floor covered in blood, grinning with a bloody mouth from ear-to-ear. Part of her wants to help him, part of her wants to believe that she’s done something wrong.
But this man was a doppelgänger, and so was her son.
All she’s done is kill a monster.