Heeeyyy, I wrote a story. A real one, the first time in 3 years, I think. I’m glad, grateful too. I’ll c/p it after the ‘read more’. Just to warn y’all, though. It’s a 8it graphic and o8scene is some parts, without spoiling too much. I also wrote it at 6am, after having woken up at 2am after going to sleep at 9pm or so. And I don’t really want to edit it. If you’re still interested, though, here it iiisss.
Here it starts:
It was Decem8er 6, 2013, closing in on Hell Week, and my ACP prof had the 8alls to require of us a paper this late into the semester. I wasn’t majoring in 8usiness 8ut I was taking a few courses in it; all part of the plan, of course. People who knew me always said I was more 8usiness man than scientist. They really meant I was more of a liar and cheater than the seemingly-saints most scientists prayed to: the Feynmans and Sagans of the world.
Knowledge is power, o8viously. And as an enterprising scientist, I wasn’t a8out to get rich /withholding/ vital information from people. No, I was going to get rich 8y giving out something supremely valua8le for very cheap. If a thing was worth anything to anyone, I figured, why not let them give a little 8ack? As much as they’re willing to pay. Those who 8less are 8lessed just the same, I once heard. So no, I wasn’t looking to get into the 8usiness of helping the rich get richer. Instead, it would 8e a 8usiness of selling something everyone needs, selling it for cheap, and making it widely availa8le. The resources I’d earn would go 8ack into my industry and the world could do nothing 8ut 8enefit.
Free knowledge only goes so far, afterall. It’s resources and applied knowledge that accomplish the 8est in this world.
8ut I digress. Can’t get caught up in the past, as dreamy and 8lissful as it was compared to the present.
In that specific stretch of past, though, my present was quickly catching up to the inevita8le future deadline of that paper. It was 4pm, just 8efore sunset, and although I was making great progress, my 8ody started to tire and require sustenance. There wasn’t time to stop for a meal then 8uild momentum again afterwards and I foolishly hadn’t stocked up on cup noodles and the like. 8ut fortunately, I had a gift. I could split myself in two.
No, stop. Don’t imagine two half-8odies hopping along, holding hands. What I mean is that I could practically clone myself.
8ack then, I would have to concentrate on my will to split myself for 3 minutes or so. It was trou8lesome, sometimes, 8ut I was grateful that I formerly couldn’t split on a whim, or split accidentally.
My dou8le would appear in my 8edroom. It was scary the first few times, for 8oth I and my dou8le, 8ut that’s a story for another day. On decem8er 6, 2013, I didn’t even turn around as my other self left my dorm, on a mission to 8ring me food. I was not any hungrier or more tired after I made him. As far as I could tell, making more of myself was free. My clones could even clone themselves, making more copies of me. 8ut at the end of the day, we found no reason not to consolidate ourselves 8ack into one again.
Was I a clone or was I the original? There’s no real answer to that. After consolidating 8ack into one individual, the end product was a singular copy of me with the memories of all of the former copies that came 8ack together. In my mind, the ‘original’ 8y any definition disappeared after the first time I took a clone 8ack into me. After that, I’ve always 8een a 8unch of people, a dozen different sets of memories put together.
I had a sticky note up on my wall. It said, “You are out. Pretend you’re not in.” Meaning that I had a copy out and I should act as if I’m not home. It had already caused me trou8le once when another student saw me twice in two relatively distant places. 8ut the end result was nothing 8ut a very confused acquaintance. Still, worse could have happened. My secret could have gotten out, to the general pu8lic.
Of course, I wasn’t under any delusions. Someone already knew. Someone was already watching. I’m not sure how far 8ack, 8ut definitely as far 8ack as Decem8er 6, 2013. It was from an office or unused classroom across the street, just a8out level with my 3rd floor dorm room. Whoever it was, they weren’t even making an effort to hide. He or she or it would just stand there, far enough 8ack that no one else 8ut I would see their figure, standing there with 8inoculars pointed at my room.
It 8othered me one day, 8efore Decem8er 6, and I drew my curtains although I prefered to work in the sunlight. The next morning, there was a dead 8ird in my mail8ox downstairs.
I experimented a 8it. I left my curtains open one day, noted the fellow watching me. The next day, I drew my curtains. That day, I found 2 dead 8irds in my mail8ox. The day after that, I left my curtains open. And the day after that, I closed my curtains. The next morning, I found a dead cat in my mail8ox. It 8elonged to a girl living at my dorm. It had 8een missing for the night and o8viously drew suspicion when it reappeared in my mail8ox. 8ut I explained how dead animals just had a propensity to show up in my mail8ox, and all suspicion was cleared. ‘o8viously,’ someone was playing us 8oth.
8ut the girl was cute so I decided to keep in contact with her. At first, we met under the pretense that we’d discuss what was going on with the dead animals. I conspired and convermasated with her, indulging her in her suspicions, none of them unreasona8le, 8ut still a 8it distant to me. 8ecause I knew. Or, at least, I knew more than she did. I knew what was going on, if not exactly why. 8ut I knew enough to know that it wouldn’t have 8een appreciated if we attempted to know more.
When she suggested we get the police involved, I suggested we just let it all pass. I convinced her that it was more harmful not to let it go than to pursue the su8ject, for her sake, for the sake of her emotional health and all. I was a scientist, afterall. A psychologist, at that. I knew these things. She was pretty stressed out as it was. I told her we could at least wait until after the end of the semester.
It was plain for all to see that a murdered cat o8viously warranted the attention of the police, 8ut I guess that was the message whoever-it-was wanted to send me.
“I expect you to lie.”
And lie I did.
I ran a personal 8log at the time, to start to 8uild and maintain my personal 8randing. I was the amia8le, (what-was-it, I don’t remem8er, something a8out loving people, oh yeah,) philanthropic scientist, heaven-8ent on contri8uting to the well-8eing of the world’s down-trodden and under-served. I’m pretty sure the person across the street meant to use that 8log to test me.
I’d set up my 8log to let all comments through without moderation, so as not to give the impression that I had anything to hide. (8ut mostly, so that I could leave it alone for days without it looking like I’ve disappeared.) 8ut once in a while, I’d get a comment. I would check my page once every few days, respond to comments and questions, then write a short opinion piece on some new discovery in the world of science. Then, after I had done all that, almost immediately, I’d get a comment.
It was usually long-winded and almost non-sensical. There would 8e non-sense words scattered among others mispelled and the grammar would 8e all over the place. 8ut every few sentences or so, some 8old, clear message would come through. Something a8out dead 8irds, cats, or taking advantage of emotionally compromised individuals.
I wasn’t concerned that any of the readers of my 8log would know what the guy (or girl or it) was talking a8out. Almost no one I personally knew read the thing, and no one would’ve taken the time to filter through all the nonsense unless they were suspicious that something weird was going on, weirder than dead 8irds and cats. 8ut the girl was suspicious, and she took the time to filter through all that nonsense. How she found my 8log, I could never know. And I can no longer ask.
I sometimes like to imagine that she was a little too smart for the tastes of the person following me. 8ut I’m certain I’m wrong a8out that. There was no reason for her to 8e involved. No reason it /had/ to 8e her, at least. Which makes it sting all the more. She was only involved in things 8ecause she was involved with me.
Anyway, Decem8er 6, 2013. I sent my dou8le out to 8uy us something at the convenience store. I always felt like shit remem8ering the experiences of those I sent to 8uy stuff 8ut consolidate 8efore eating any of it, knowing that my dou8le, when he appeared, feels the same as I do at the time of the split. And I feel twice the hunger after consolidation (our hunger adds up in consolidation, although it is multiplied when splitting) so I wasn’t just 8eing kind. I was also doing myself a favour. Consolidating and having to eat through twice of my hunger in one 8ody would’ve taken away precious moments from my work.
Always pleasant to share a meal, anyway.
And anyway, after 5 minutes of sending one out, I hear a knock at the door. “I’m not in,” I remind myself. “I’m out there, at the convenience store.” I hear the knock again, this time, loud. “Who the fu-” “HEY. IT’S ME. LET ME IN.” It’s my own voice. /What the fuck am I thinking?/
I run to the door, 8lood pounding in my ears. I slam the door open and closed, damning myself for failing to keep calm. My dou8le dove through the door. He’s on the floor now, writhing, getting up. I whisper.
“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING? ARE YOU TRYING TO GET US KILLED?”
He’s hysteric, sweating and panting like a pig. Voice quivers, though none too loud.
“You need to take me in… You need to take me… In…”
“WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO? WHAT DID YOU DO TO US?”
He makes noises like he’s /trying/ to articulate something 8ut just can’t. He starts to slink into a corner and curl up when I decide to consolidate him and see for myself what happened.
When I first see it, it’s all hazy. I see raviolli on pavement, with meaty tomato sauce and little 8its of cooked spinach.
“I 8roke down over spillt pasta?”
I started to crack smile when the pictures in my head started getting clearer. He wasn’t crying over spillt pasta.
They were chunks of flesh and 8are skin; lying in a soup of fresh 8lood; 8lood-stained, tattered clothes still covering what seemed to formerly 8e human. /A/ human. It was hard to tell what each of the chunks used to 8e, or who it used to 8e, until I saw a head. Saw her face.
…It 8others me.
Decem8er 6, 2013. I don’t know how long I sat on the floor of my doorway, lost in all that my dou8le had experienced. 8ut when I 8ecame lucid again, it was dark and that scared me. It also scared me that I was alone. I split and walked out of the 8edroom, didn’t 8other putting any clothes on, and joined myself on the couch. I sat, we sat, and just thought. A set of my clothes was still lying in the doorway, 8lood splattered, starting to dry.
“Did I kill her?” I asked.
“No, I don’t think so.” I replied.
At least, that’s not how we remem8ered it.
“He expects us to lie. May8e he expects us to clean it up.”
“Her or it 8eing the person who expects us to clean it up.”
“I know, I was just a8out to say.”
And it was a possi8ility. I wondered, how far would he go to punish us if we didn’t? O8viously, he could kill gruesomely. 8ut what was the point of it all? What was his purpose? Did it have to 8e me?
There was a knock at the door. I got up, the one with the clothes on. The 8loody clothes were still on the floor next to the door. I picked them up and threw them into the kitchen sink. My naked dou8le was out of sight, looking relaxed 8ut thoughtful on the couch. Through the eye-hole in the door, I saw a girl I didn’t know 8ut recognized.
“Have you seen [name omitted]?” when I opened the door. She was a friend of the dead girl.
“Mm.. No,” I mum8led, thinking my acting to 8e very convincing. “Why do you ask?” I asked, o8viously, the kind of question on the truly clueless would ask.
“Well.. She’s 8een gone all night and I can’t get in contact with her,” /o8viously/.
“May8e she’s at home,” I offered, “Stressful times, afterall. I wouldn’t worry too much.”
8ut her faced showed a lot of worry. And pointedly, a lot of suspicion. I pried into it.
“What’s the look for?” I asked, smiling kindly. She glared.
“She said she was going out to see /you/.”
I raised an eye8row in dis8elief. My stomach rose too, 8ut I didn’t show it. I hopped over to my room, found a sweater to wear, and consolidated my naked friend on my way out. What I was just told and what I was thinking of, naked on that couch, came together.
“Where’d she say she was meeting me?” I asked, with as much urgency as warranted 8y the situation as she knew it: that a young woman had disappeared after supposedly 8eing asked out 8y a young man who was actually unaware of it all.
“Down 8y the diner,” she said, stepping 8ack, giving me space to lock up my dorm room. We started to run.
It was dark now, just a light 8lue glow on the far side of the sky, past the hills and through the trees around campus. Really quite 8eautiful. Everything was a shade of orange, streetlights to 8e thanked, except for the various neon signs and 8ill8oards of a small cluster of shops and restaurants we at the university called ‘the Strip’. The place was ‘happening’ enough that herds of roaming youths were never out of sight, 8ut rural-small-town enough that there were still dark alleys and patches to hide dead, mutilated 8odies in.
“She said ‘down 8y the diner’?” I asked the dead girl’s friend.
“Yeah, not more than that though.”
We were walking now. The air was crisp and chilly, 8ut it stood still. /Fortunate,/ I thought, /then the smell won’t get around/.
I tried to remem8er where I saw the 8ody, 8ut couldn’t, really. It happens, sometimes: I forget what my clones experience shortly after a8sor8ing them. (I don’t actually a8sor8 them, like through my skin or something. I’m just running out of words to descri8e it. They just sort of… disappear.) It happens when I don’t make an effort to go through all they went through while we were apart. It stays fresh for a 8it 8ut is easily forgotten. And I guess something as traumatic as that… my 8rain wanted me to forget. 8ut that did me no good then.
I remem8ered I told myself to get something at the convenience store. Something quick to 8uy, quick to prepare. Nothing he’d have to wait around for, nothing I couldn’t run home with with reckless a8andon. Shit was real, that paper and all. Funny how it didn’t matter anymore, though. The paper, the exams, saving the world through science and commerce… I saw a dead 8ody. Felt… still as num8 as ever. A little more so, now, with just a hint of desperation and dread. All I knew is that I had something to do.
No matter where I was, when I decided to split, my dou8le would always appear where I last slept. (Like respawning in Minecraft or some shit.) Finding the 8ody and hiding it would 8e no pro8lem. I was only limited 8y how many pairs of jeans and sweaters I owned. All I had to do now was convince this girl that her friend was alright for just one night, just long enough for me to figure out what next to do.
Just then, a taxi came 8y and stopped at a red light, going the same way we were waiting to cross. A pair of familiar eyes twinkled from the 8ack seat.
The diner was just a 8lock away, and I’m guessing the dead girl’s friend was hoping we’d just stum8le upon her there, sitting on the cur8, angry, with a dead phone. In her mind it wasn’t the worst case scenario yet, 8ut she seemed to 8e getting there. I chose then to act.
My eyes watered and my face flushed. I stum8led a 8it, 8ut caught myself on the pole of a traffic light.
“It’s all my fault,” I said. “Some weird shit has 8een happening with me lately and she got involved.”
I chose right. For a moment, her despair turned to pity. She started to cry as well, started mum8ling something comforting.
“No… *sniff* It’s not your fault…”
“No!” I said, this time starting to 8awl. “She said we should call the police 8ut I said it would 8e okay… Fuck! …Fuck…”
She wrapped her arms around me and started weeping into my chest.
“No… no, it’s okay.” She kept saying.
I leaned 8ack on the traffic light, lim8s weak, too tired to return her kindness. The light turned green and the taxi sped past. I looked up to the sky, tears still flowing down my face.
That was the last time I told the truth.
8y the time we arrived at the diner, she was practically carrying me, the dead girl’s friend. She was soothe-saying something a8out sitting down, taking a 8reak, taking it easy for a 8it, something like that. That everything would 8e okay. She sat me down in the foyer, really cold seats. I was distant. I heard her speaking with the waiter, like I was underwater, just 8elow the surface, and they were speaking up a8ove.
“Ta8le for two please,” voice, sweet and joyful. “And 8y the way, have you a seen a girl tonight, a8out this tall, long 8lack hair?”
There was a reply, 8ut it took her a sec to talk 8ack.
“…No that’s okay. Don’t worry.”
“Yeah, sorry a8out that. Right this way then.”
When I opened my eyes, the dead girl’s friend was at eye level, squatting right in front of me, hunched over with my head nearly in 8etween my knees.
“Are you okay? Are you ready to go?”
I couldn’t help 8ut smile.
I got up and straightened myself out. She wrapped an arm around one of mine and we walked in like any of the other couples there that night. I felt her jump when we turned the corner into the dining room, though. There was, across the room, two of me, similarly dressed and 8ickering a8out something or other.
“I told you it was a 8ad idea, you don’t just play with people like that!”
“Relax, calm down. I think we /all/ need to calm down at a time like this. Did you see her reaction? She may have 8een mad 8ut at least it taught her to lighten up.”
“Y’know, you’re the reason girls don’t trust guys anymor-”
I unlinked from the dead girl’s friend and stormed across the room. The two idiots stared silently as I got closer. Viciously, though not very loudly:
“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU GUYS DOING HERE? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?”
The dum8ass answered, “Just relax, man! We’re just chill-”
The other one cut him off. “We were gonna come see you and just make sure you were alright, 8ut then this dum8ass here…”
A very confused voice spoke from a distance 8ehind me. “[Name omitted]… What’s going on here?” I looked her in the eye for a sec. She was suspicious of me once again. I sighed.
“Why don’t you idiots explain yourselves.” I shot. And I slapped the dum8er one 8ehind the head. He spoke first.
“Well… We /initially/ were just gonna check up on our 8rother here…” He said, pointing at me. Then the other one cut him off again.
“8ut then this one decided to 8e a dum8ass and call that girl u were talking a8out when u went to pick us up at the airport. He got the num8er from your phone while u were driving.”
The girl spoke again, this time, a little relieved. “So, you guys are triplets?”
“Mhm,” I said, “One of us turned out really dum8, though.”
“And one of us turned out really angry,” said the calm one.
“Yo, listen,” says the dum8 one, “So she shows up and-” The calm one interrupted again.
“She shows up and I’m completely prepared to apologize and explain it all to her, 8ut we were waiting a while and I had to piss. So she shows up while I’m in the washroom and 8y the time i’m out, the idiot’s already convinced her that he’s you. So when I return from my journey, she’s confused and angry and she walks off, saying she’s “done” and the she “can’t even”. I think she went home after that.”
I gave the idiot a quick fistful and gra88ed his collar, when I heard the girl laughing 8ehind me.
“That sounds just like her,” she says.
I collapsed onto a chair. “Ugh… Thank Gooooooood.” I pushed my palms right up into my eye sockets.
“Sorry 8ro,” said the idiot.
“Why don’t we 8uy you two dinner?” said the calm one.
“You don’t have a choice,” I said. Me and the girl sat on one side, my ‘8rothers’ on the other. They each ordered a half rack of ri8s. The girl ordered the vegeta8le lasagna. I ordered a whole rack of ri8s and another to go.
I didn’t check the news the next morning. I packed some clothes the night 8efore, right when I got home, and got ready to fly anywhere. I looked out my window and across the street. This time, the curtains there were drawn. I checked my mail8ox on my way out. I found visas, passports, and a plane ticket to some Eastern European country. And a note.
“Keep one here and have it die,” it said.
I took out a pen and wrote a reply.
“How a8out no.”
I don’t even have a title though. Though.