A Case of Mistaken Identity, Part 6

You can read part 5 here.

The sky outside my cell is lightening. I can feel Death approaching, hastening his footsteps. It won’t be long now. If I’m going to finish my story, I’d best get on with it…

Needless to say, my childhood in that house was miserable. My true mother never did come to rescue me. Neither did mirror-Eugene return to tell me it had all been a cruel joke. I held onto this foolish hope for at least seven days, staying up late into the night, staring at the inside of my new closet with the door wide open, waiting for the door on the other side to reappear.

A week later, I’d resigned myself to my fate, realizing that I would never see my home again.

I often wondered in those early years what my double was up to, if he was enjoying the stable loving home that I had taken for granted in my previous life. I missed my mom so much my chest ached. I can’t begin to describe the despair that wracked my psyche when I realized she was lost to me forever.

My new mom was just as bad as mirror-Eugene had described and worse. Every morning, I donned my torn and weathered hand-me-down clothes, ate a bare-bones breakfast under her watchful glare, walked the three miles that separated my new home from school, returned to my room as soon as I got back and didn’t come out again except to eat a meager dinner that did little to nourish my listless body.

My brother was an imp. He would find me in my room each night before I went to bed, the corners of his wicked grin catching broken shards of light in the dark. He would squeeze my neck in his arms like a vice until I became light headed, or hit various parts of my body until I bruised, or call me all manner of unspeakable things that I dare not repeat even now, for fear of raising very painful memories that I’ve barely managed to suppress.

I would cry out to my new mom in desperation, and each time, she would come to my room in a huff, behold her eldest, who beamed up at her, face adorned with an immaculate smile, then turn to me, dripping venom, demand that I keep my goddamn mouth shut and slam the door.

I endured my family’s abuse at home. I endured my peers’ abuse at school. The weight on my soul’s shoulders was too much for me to bear. It crushed me on the inside, so that I could hardly speak, eat or sleep. My new mother never asked if I was all right. If anything, she seemed relieved that I’d at last discovered the virtue of silence.

I put up with this for almost a year. It wasn’t until a particularly brutal fraternal beating that left blood spurting from my nose and my right eye swollen shut that I at last resolved to do something about it. I lay on my back that night, aged nine or ten (it’s so difficult to remember exactly, like trying to trace the thread-like afterimage of a distant dream) and came to a decision.

I was going to escape.

Continued next week…


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

A Case of Mistaken Identity, Part 5

You can read part 4 here.

Panic seized my chest. I grew short of breath. I clawed and scratched and pounded at the wall that had only recently been a door, begging mirror-Eugene to let me back through to the other side.

I don’t know how long I’d been banging and shouting, but at some point I heard the door to the room sail open, and I turned just in time to watch the knob smash into the wall.

“Eugene! What’s gotten into you? Stop that banging now.”

Mom!

Mom had come to rescue me. Somehow, she’d learned about my double (or perhaps she’d known all along, a superpower that all mothers seem to have in common.)

“Mom!” I cried, basking in the familiar shape of her face. I ran to her, ready to grab hold of her and to never let go again.

“Eugene,” she snapped. She stared down at me as I attached myself to her leg. “Get off. Eugene, what kind of game are you playing? This isn’t funny.”

The frosty contemptuous tone in her voice stopped me short. I pulled away and examined her face more closely. Suddenly, I felt hopelessly and desperately disoriented. It was like gazing at my mom through a fun-house mirror. Some of the features were the same, but there were extreme differences. Whereas the mom I remembered had long brown hair that ran down the sides of her face in curls, this one had short bright red hair that stuck up in uneven bunches. Whereas the mom I remembered possessed flawless alabaster skin, this one had skin that reminded me of the surface of the moon, full of pocks, divots and craters. She was an aberration, a twisted half-truth that wrenched my stomach and made me feel like throwing up.

“Mom?” Once again, my chest tightened and it was difficult to breathe. “Take me home. Please.”

She glared at me, drilled into my skull with her eyes. I beheld nothing but malice in her features, and something inside me withered, a part of my soul that’s remained lifeless ever since.

Her face flushed, and before I knew what was happening her right hand flashed before me and I was knocked backward through the air. I peeled myself off the floor a moment later, head swimming, and looked up dazedly to find her standing before me.

This wasn’t how my mom would treat me. I remembered what mirror-Eugene had told me about his own mom, how she locked him in his room every day after school and wouldn’t let him out except to eat. But I couldn’t believe this was that woman. Despite the differences, she still looked so much like my own mom that I refused to believe she could be anyone else.

God, I want to go home.

Would I ever find my way back home again? With a ferocity I couldn’t possibly articulate, I wanted my mom to reach out to me, to tell me that she loved me, that she would rescue me from this terrible place and take me home. I wanted her to tell me that everything would be okay. More than anything, I just wanted her to tell me everything would be okay.

I cried.

“Oh, stop it with the waterworks, Eugene. It won’t work. Not any more.”

“Mom?” called a sleepy voice from the doorway. It seemed vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place it. “What’s going on?”

I watched through blurred vision as a shape emerged behind her.

“It’s your brother,” she spat. “He’s acting up again.”

The shape behind her moved closer, and as it came into focus my breath caught inside my throat. He looked older, and his voice was deeper, but I recognized my deceased brother despite the difference in years.

“Tom,” I whispered, half in awe, half in disbelief. “But, you’re dead. How did you –” I stopped. Vertigo engulfed me, and it was all I could do just to stand.

He looked down at me, seemingly impassive, but there was a sparkle in his eyes that sent a chill down my spine. “What are you talking about?”

“It’s another one of his games,” she said, pointing to me as if I were a venomous snake.

“Are you playing games?” asked my brother, stepping up to my hands, which were spread out on the floor. He pressed down on them with his left shoe until I cried out in protest. “Careful,” he warned, smiling. “Play too many games and someone might get hurt.”

He gazed down at me a moment longer, as if he might have more to say, then suddenly wheeled around and headed back the way he’d come.

“Goodnight, Tom,” said the woman before me, looking back at him beatifically, as if he were the only thing right in her whole world. Then she turned back to me and her smile vanished. “As for you,” she said, following in her older son’s footsteps, “I don’t want to hear another peep. You hear me? Go to sleep. Now. Don’t make me come back here.” Then she too left the room, slamming the door behind her.

But I didn’t go to sleep, and I didn’t sleep again for a long time.

Read Part 6 here.


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

“The Others,” Coming to an E-Bookstore Near You

I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled programming to update you regarding the publication of my soon-to-be-released middle grade fantasy, The Others. A Case of Mistaken Identity will resume next week.

As I mentioned back in April, I’ve been working on this book since 2013. Here’s a working (and very rough) synopsis, to give you an idea of what the story’s about:

Jason is your average eleven year-old boy. He likes TV. He has a babysitter he could do without. His little sister Janie is his archnemesis. He also happens to have a passion for magic.

Not real magic, of course. Jason has devoted himself to the study of illusion and sleight-of-hand since the age of five, when his dad showed him his first magic trick. But everything Jason thinks he knows about the world and how it works is suddenly called into question the day he runs off after a fight with his little sister. He visits a small magic shop that’s recently opened near his house and meets the owner, an older man named Hruby. In response to Jason’s skeptical attitude regarding the authenticity of true magic, he offers Jason a very special item, a wand that he says has the power to make things disappear.

Jason is doubtful of its abilities. But when he abruptly makes his sister disappear after a heated argument, he quickly learns that there’s more to the world than its rational, well-understood surface, and in a panic, he races back to the store, hoping to enlist the aid of the only person who will believe him.

But Janie’s lost in a very dangerous place, and she isn’t alone…

It’s been a long and winding road, filled with copious revisions, all of which resulted from the input I received from my writing group and intrepid alpha readers. Now, a year later, I’m finally preparing The Others for publication.

I just received a heavily marked-up copy of the manuscript from my developmental editor, and will be spending the next three months revising per her feedback. When that’s complete, I’ll send it off to beta readers for more feedback, revise again, submit the manuscript for line and copy editing, complete any outstanding revisions and finally release it to the world sometime between April and June, 2015.

Just to whet your appetite, here’s a partial cover reveal:

The Others, Front Cover

“The Others” Front Cover

Golly, that sounds swell! Where can I get more information?

I’m glad you asked! I send out regular monthly updates to my mailing list. It’s the best way I have to connect one-on-one with my friends and fans. If you’d like to be a part of the fun, you can join by clicking here. As usual, you’ll receive a free copy of my short story, The Sign. And if you sign up between now and December 31, 2014, I’ll also send you a free copy of The Others as soon as it’s released in the format of your choice.


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

A Case of Mistaken Identity, Part 4

You can read part 3 here.

I can show you how. My double’s words reverberated inside my head.

He’d said he could show me another world. Suddenly, my room, the house, the world, even the stars in the sky, paled when held up to the blinding light of a cosmos much richer than I could ever have imagined.

I wanted to explore. I would often pretend that I was an astronaut or an adventurer; I’d had access to a host of secret worlds whose only keys lay within the confines of my imagination. Now, the adventure would be real.

“What do I have to do?” I asked, heart jackhammering inside my chest.

The jack-o-lantern smile that adorned his face should have been a red flag, one in a great ocean of red flags. But I was too eager, too excited, and that excitement made me stupid.

“Not much,” he assured me. “I’ll do all the work.”

But that wasn’t good enough for me. I had to know more. “How does it work?”

My double eyed the closet door, fidgeting with his hands and shuffling his feet. He seemed irritable. Another red flag that waved in the moonlit night undetected.

“I told you, it’s hard to explain,” he snapped.

“Tell me.” I wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

He sighed, closed his eyes, sucked in a massive gulp of air. “It’s like” He paused and walked back toward my bed. He sat down, looked up at me with a hawk’s predatory eyes. “There are other worlds.” He extended his hands. “Lots of them. Mostly they’re the same, but there are differences.”

“Like your mom,” I said, the intellectual pieces to a massive jigsaw puzzle slowly coalescing. “Yours is mean, mine is nice.”

“RIght,” my double said. “Usually, we’re stuck in just one world. But with some help, you can get unstuck.”

“What does that mean?” My eyes had grown to the size of ceramic plates. I was lapping up every word. The world of reality and the world of dreams had abruptly swapped places.

“Do I have to explain everything?” My mirror-twin leapt from the bed and faced me head-on, staring directly into my eyes. “Do you want to go or not?”

“Yes,” I said, taken aback. Where was the brother I’d been getting to know for the past few weeks? For a second, mirror-Eugene had transformed, transfigured into a bully, intent on imposing his will over mine at all costs.

Then time did a jumpshot, and in an instant the threat I’d perceived was gone.

“Come on,” he said, and walked to the other side of the room, gesturing for me to follow.

We stopped in front of my closet, which was closed. “In there?” I asked, pointing to the door.

“Yes,” he said, his back turned to me. He gazed up at the wooden structure, focused and intent. “This is where I came from. The world here is still soft. It’s easier to bend.”

I stood dumbfounded as my double gazed up at the door. I queried him a couple more times for additional information, but each time he held up his right hand to shush me and said, “Hold on. I’m trying to concentrate.”

I wondered what was happening, if he just needed time to think or if he was actually doing something I couldn’t see. A few weeks ago, I would have told you that magic outside the imagination was impossible. Now, it was as ordinary as breathing air.

After a while, his face slackened, and a few moments later he turned back to face me, weary but triumphant. “There, it’s done.”

“What’s done?”

“Open the door,” said mirror-Eugene, and his mouth spread into a smug smile. He seemed pleased with himself.

I sidled up to the door, examining it with a thoughtful eye. The last time I’d checked the closet, there’d been nothing there, just a bunch of clothes and old junk. And yet my double had somehow passed through it from his own world into mine, and had continued to do so every night for the past few weeks.

My forehead throbbed with blood, and my hands broke out into a sweat. I reached for the knob. Turned it. Opened the door.

I gasped.

Beyond the variously colored t-shirts and jeans that hung from wire hooks was a much wider space, one that could not have possibly fit within the confines of a simple closet. The visage was incomplete, a kaleidoscope of broken shapes and textures only partially glimpsed behind the clothes, but it was enough for me to realize I was peering into another world. Mirror Eugene’s world.

“Awesome,” I whispered.

“Go on.”

I took a moment to catch my breath before going forward. I glanced back at my double, who urged me on, then took one hesitant step forward before turning again.

“Are you coming with me?”

“I have to stay here to keep it open.”

“Oh.” I was scared to go alone, but it wasn’t long before excitement overcame the cautious side of my nature. I brushed past shirts and pants, casting them aside like they were broad hanging leaves in a tropical jungle. A moment later, I passed through a second doorway and found myself in mirror-Eugene’s room.

Mostly, it was the same. But despite the dark I could see that there were differences. For one, the room was mostly empty, save for a tiny single bed propped up against the wall with nothing but a bare mattress and a flat pillow. There were no pictures on the walls. The floor was wood instead of carpet.

I head my double speak suddenly from beyond the closet. “Sorry.”

“What?” I turned around just in time to see the door on the other side swing shut.

“Eugene?” I called. I lunged for the closet, hoping to make it through before the door had closed completely, but by the time I got there there it had slammed and there was nothing left but a thick plaster wall.

“No,” I breathed. “Eugene! Come back!”

Nothing.

I banged and clawed at the wall, desperation driving me further down the road of hopeless futility.

An unexpected voice spoke up from somewhere else in the house. “What’s that racket?” It sounded like my mom. A moment later, I heard footsteps.

Read Part 5 here.


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

A Case of Mistaken Identity, Part 3

You can read part 2 here.

For the next few weeks, my double visited me in my room at night. He was the identical twin brother I never had. We hung around in the dark until the small hours of the morning, talking about random things.

We often swapped stories of our families. I was fascinated to learn that he had an older brother. I too once had an older brother, three years my senior. Unfortunately, he’d died in a car crash along with my dad when I was five. I wondered if my brother had looked the same as his, if perhaps his own mirror double would have visited in the middle of the night like mine.

In so many ways we were the same. His name was also Eugene.  We laughed at the same jokes. We shared an interest in sports, though he was rarely allowed outside.

But the reflection was distorted, imperfect.

My otherworldly counterpart had a dark side. For example, during our geneological tales, I learned that whereas I loved my mom and trusted her completely, my twin loathed his own. He would dream up scenarios in which she burned to death in a fire or fell out of his family’s second story window. His eyes would burn with opalescent fire whenever he told such stories, and I would always be struck by the sudden urge to draw the duvet tighter around my shoulders.

But despite this disturbing trait, we became fast friends. He was the brother I’d always wanted, the brother I thought I’d lost all those years ago. I should have known better than to trust him.

“What’s it like?” I asked on the last night I would spend in my own bed. “Going from your world to mine. Is it hard?”

My double had been rolling a red ball back and forth between his hands, but as soon as I’d asked my question he stopped, letting it roll unattended to the opposite corner of the room.

He stared at me, eyes narrowed. Finally he replied, “No, it’s easy. You just have to know what you’re doing.”

“I wish I could see your world,” I continued, dreaming of a universe that was a warped reflection of my own. “That would be so cool.”

My double grew quiet and still. He cast his gaze briefly about the room, as if unsure of something (later I would think that maybe he’d been conflicted, that perhaps he’d felt a pang of guilt over what he was about to do.)

“You can,” he said, “If you want to.”

“Really?”

“Yes,” he whispered, suddenly grinning. “I can show you how.”

Read Part 4 here.


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

A Case of Mistaken Identity, Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

My mirror double stared down at me, and once again I wondered if this was all a dream. I thought that if only I kept calm, if I could give myself time to wake up, the strange apparition would disappear. But that alter ego of mine never wavered.

“Don’t scream. If you do, you’ll be sorry.”

I struggled against the hand on my mouth and it pressed down tighter. In that moment, I was certain monsters were real.

I kicked and thrashed to the point of exhaustion, flexing every muscle in my body. It was a losing battle, and it wasn’t long before I could feel the will to fight slip away like a wet fish. Waves of despair were rising above my head when the boy finally loosed his grip. He gazed down at me, as if considering something, then said, “I’m not going to hurt you. Just stay quiet.”

I stared up into my double’s eyes, dumbfounded, too stunned and too exhausted to scream even had I been able.

The boy was silent for a while, and regarded me with a curious expression. Eventually, he took a seat at the side of my bed. I recoiled, seeking the protection that only my duvet could provide.

“You can’t tell anyone about me. Promise you’ll keep me a secret.”

I didn’t reply. I was too busy trying to hold the pieces of what had once been a rational world together, afraid that if I let my attention wander it would all unravel like a loose ball of yarn.

“Hey, I’m talking to you.”

“What” I breathed, then stopped. I drilled deep into the inner layers of my mind, mining for the tiniest scrap of common everyday experience that would help me to explain the unexplainable. “Who” I cut off again. A pause. Then, “Are you my twin?”

My double’s eyes suddenly sparkled, glittering in the moonlight like stars. “No. Not your twin. I’m you. Or, at least another you.”

“But” Another pause. “I’m me. You can’t be me, too.”

And just like that, the rational world I had known for so long crumpled and collapsed. You could have told me you’d captured a mountain in an eyedropper and I would have believed you.

I fumbled with the fingers of one hand, lifted them before my eyes, and in a sleepy stupor I began to repeatedly count off the number two. “How can both of us be me at the same time?”

My double shrugged his shoulders and only answered, “I don’t know. That’s just the way it is, I guess.”

Silence from my end.

He kept shooting furtive glances in my direction, as if waiting for me to make a very obvious connection. After a while, he cleared his throat and said, “I ran away from home because I’m tired of my parents. I wanted to see what else was out there, wanted to meet others like me.”

“But,” I argued, the rusty unoiled gears inside my head grinding and squealing from too much work, “I didn’t run away from home. I’m in bed. And you’re me. So you should be in bed too.”

The boy let out an exasperated sigh. “You dodo! I’m not actually you. Or at least not the same you. I’m sorry I scared you, but I had to sneak away at night, because it’s the only time my parents aren’t paying attention.”

“Why did you want to run away? Are your parents mean? My mom is nice. She tucks me in at night and sings me songs. Isn’t your mom nice, too?”

The boy’s features became strained. “No, my mom isn’t nice. She locks me in my room as soon as I get home from school, and I’m not allowed out again until dinner. I only get to eat the leftovers, and when I’m done she sends me back to bed alone.”

“Why?”

But the boy wouldn’t answer. Instead, he stared out the window, as if contemplating the darkness on the outside.

“Your mom doesn’t sound like mine. Does she look the same?”

“I dunno. Probably.”

Another thought occurred to me. The closet. I’d always assumed until that day that beyond its door was nothing of interest, had accepted as an article of faith (no matter how tenuous at times) my mother’s adamant assertions that there was nothing in there that could hurt me. Now I knew the truth, that at night it must obviously undergo some kind of radical transformation, from a storage vessel containing clothes and neglected toys to an otherworldly gateway that granted access to dangerous creatures.

I threw the covers aside and launched toward the closet door, overcome by a curiosity that burned so white-hot that for a moment I had forgotten the boy from another world. I grabbed hold of the knob, certain I would at last expose the cosmic mystery that had eluded me for so long, that I would confirm every child’s worst fear. But when the door swung open and smacked into the wall, I was distraught to discover that there was nothing there, just the same old items that had been there during the day.

I scoured the space for hidden doorways, holes and passages, convinced that I had to have overlooked something.

“Looking for something?”

I jumped, spun to see my mirror double standing before me. I wanted to run, but once again fear had reached up from the floor like creeping vines to bind my legs and feet. I stared at him, eyes wide.

“How” I swallowed. “How did you get here?”

He turned to me, face pale in the faint white light from outside. “Magic. Duh.” When I asked him to explain, he only shrugged his shoulders and said it was complicated.

My mind burned with questions, but in that moment there was only one other that seemed to matter the most. “What do you want?”

He smiled. “I want to play.”

Read Part 3 here.


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

A Case of Mistaken Identity, Part 1

By the time you read this, I’ll be dead.

After 27 long and painful years, I can hardly believe I’ve reached the end. You always think you’ll live forever, that no matter what happens, something will save you from your own personal end of days. But death catches us all by surprise, especially those of us who expect it the most.

Sometimes, I can hardly believe my life at all. It’s been so strange, so surreal, that I’ll often wake up on the cold stone floor after a restless slumber, whimpering in the dark, and in that eternally present moment suspended between sleep and consciousness, I’ll wonder which of those two universes I’m about to enter.

I don’t belong here. I’m not referring to the prison (though I don’t belong there either) but this place, this world.

My mom used to tell me when I was little that there was nothing in my room that could hurt me, that I would always be safe tucked into my bed at night. She would bend down to kiss my forehead and whisper that she loved me, that she would always protect me.

I believed her lie. I’m sure she believed it herself. But in the end, promises weren’t enough to save me.


He came when I was eight, or maybe it was nine. It’s so hard to remember. All the years preceding my abduction are a hazy blur, an unintelligible smear of colors, textures and sounds. My former life is so far removed from who I am today that it’s barely a shadow of a memory, like an old movie you might have watched years ago, only you weren’t paying attention, and you find when you try to recall the details that you might as well have never watched it at all.

But the abduction itself, that I recall in vivid detail, though I’ve tried very hard to forget. For years, I attempted to convince myself it was a delusion, that in the heat of boyhood fancies and dreams I’d imagined it. But in the end I can’t deny it, whatever I would prefer to believe, and when the eyes inside my head aren’t catching reruns, the eyes inside my dreams are preparing to watch it again in the private theater of my subconscious.

I have to tell my story, if only to come to terms with it myself. Perhaps if I possess a written account of what I experienced, indelibly marked in jet black ink, if I can at last snatch it up from the ether in my head, if I can make it tangible and concrete, then at last I’ll be able to embrace it as the truth. Or not. Either way, tomorrow I’ll be dead.

Where should I begin? I’m not very good at this sort of thing. Writing was never a strength of mine, and I never did have much of an imagination. My abduction. I’ll start with that, since it’s as far back as I can remember anyway.

My name if Eugene Peter Carver. This is my story.


I was laying in bed, burrowed beneath a billowing white duvet. My eyes were closed. I was hovering just above the periphery of sleep, ready to penetrate its somnolent shell, when there was a crash and a clatter inside my closet.

Monster. There’s a monster in my closet.

My eyes popped open. My heart skipped. My chest compressed. I clutched the covers with white-knuckled hands, like a wild animal who’d been cornered in the dark by an unseen predator. I waited, a moment that could have either been a thousand years or a second.

When the sound didn’t repeat, when either minutes or hours had passed and I was forced to conclude that I was alone, I decided it must’ve been a dream. I relaxed. Closed my eyes. Drifted. Sleep returned.

Thud.

I jerked to life once more. It was true. There was a monster in my closet. Convinced by the logic of childhood that the covers represented an impenetrable boundary, I dove beneath the duvet, certain that if I only lay there long enough, whatever was in my room would eventually go away.

Thud.

Then the sound of something pounding on the floor.

Fear paralyzed me. I waited in the dark, rooted to the mattress like the trunk of an ancient tree. Through a crack in the covers, I bore witness to sinister shapes on the walls cast by moonbeams and shadows. That was when the knob on my closet door began to turn.

A swarm of wild locusts vibrated inside my chest. I wanted to scream, but my vocal cords refused to obey.

I lay in the dark, helpless as the knob rotated. As the crack between the door and the threshold began to widen. As a searing white light burst out from the inside. As a man poked his head through the door, trailing sinister shadows like a cloak woven in black. Turned his head. Locked eyes with me from across the room. Padded silently across the floor, a beast in search of prey.

The paralysis that bound me evaporated. I opened my mouth to wail, to produce a tone so shrill and piercing that my mom would be there in seconds. But just as the sound began to bubble up from beneath my lips, a hand flashed in the moonlight and clamped down over my mouth so that I couldn’t breathe.

“Shh…” whispered the man with a finger to his lips. He was smiling.

A cloud outside scudded across the sky. Shadow yielded to the light, and at last, hovering above me, I could see his face fully. I gasped. He wasn’t a man at all, but a boy.

A boy who looked like me.

Read Part 2 here.


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.