A Case of Mistaken Identity, Part 7

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You can read part 6 here. Reading for the first time? You can find part 1 here.

For three days, I thought about how I would get away. My double had used magic to pass from his world into mine. Unfortunately, I would have to find another way.

The window would have been a fantastic choice, had it not been for the fact that it was on the second floor and that there was nothing for me to grab a hold of on the way down. Once, in a mad desire for instant freedom, I considered jumping. But after a careful survey of the ground below, the need for self-preservation overcame the impulse. Survival was paramount. In such a world as this, I would have to look out for myself.

Querying years of accumulated knowledge from TV, I thought in a fit of desperation that perhaps I could tie mirror-Eugene’s clothes and bed sheets together, forming a makeshift rope that I could climb down to freedom. But an hour spent trying to create secure knots in thick swaths of fabric proved futile, and I learned that perhaps TV didn’t possess all the answers after all.

The only way out, I concluded, was through the door. I would have snuck out a long time ago had it not been for the fact that my new mom always kept it locked, and that she only ever opened it to give me food or to let my brother in when he wanted to see me.

For three days, I wracked my brain, and for three days, I came up short. Despair was slowly turning sour, like milk left out in the sun. I began to brood. Hatred toward my double for trapping me in this God-forsaken place transformed into hatred toward new mom and brother, not just for what they had done to me, but for the fact that they looked so much like the ones I had left behind. Their very existence was a mockery, a cruel sadistic torture.

I began to entertain dark thoughts, much like those mirror-Eugene had told me about in the few weeks he’d visited me in my own room. I wanted to hurt them, to make them pay for how they’d treated me.

It was on the third day, during one of my many fantasies, that an idea struck like a bolt of lightening. My lips curled into a slow creeping smile as I lay there in the dark. I could kill two birds with one stone, I realized. I could hurt my new brother, and I could use his pain as an opportunity to escape.

I spent the rest of the night planning, resolved that this would be the last night I’d ever spend in that house.

Read part 8 here.

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Friday Freewrite

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The human mind is pregnant with ideas, tumbling and spinning, popping in and out of existence deep within the labyrinth of the subconscious, souls without bodies, dreaming of a day when they will finally be allowed to surface, granted new life through the power of articulation. Sadly, the conscious mind capable of freeing them from their dark and lonely prison is a frail and cumbersome thing, burdened by the often bulky and imprecise tedium of language; it’s an old man with arthritic joints, hunched at the shoulders, weak in the knees, capable of bearing to the surface but a handful of thoughts at a time. By the time a few of them have been released into the world, at last expressed in the full stature of their essence, a million more have winked into being, most of them doomed to an eternity in Hell, forever denied an audience with those who would otherwise know their secrets.

The blogs, short stories and books I write represent an infinitesimal fraction of those which come into being inside my head every day, some of them known to me and some of them not. In an effort to capture more of them before they’re lost forever, I’ve been practicing the art of freewriting.

What’s freewriting?

Ordinarily, sitting down to write is an active conscious experience, subject to the rules of spelling and syntax. The number of thoughts we can allow into our awareness in such a state is merely a trickle, thicker and slower than molasses. In the time it takes us to express those thoughts, thousands of others have come and gone, lost forever, cursed to drift in the empty space of the subconscious, eternally out of reach.

Grammar and structure are important, of course. They allow us to communicate in a concise and organized manner. But sometimes we need to bypass some of the many layers of the conscious mind, filters that prevent so many good ideas from ever surfacing.

Freewriting is setting down on paper whatever pops into our heads as soon as it pops into our heads, without a care for spelling or grammar. It’s a leap of faith. You don’t know what’s going to come out of you until it’s already there before your eyes, granted life in its rawest nascent form. It’s a mode of expression that heavily favors the wellspring of the subconscious. Ordinarily intended for private consumption, there’s no need for editing. It’s a seed, a literary embryo whose soul has been anchored to the world so that it can someday grow up to be a novel, short story or a blog.

Okay. And What’s Friday Freewrite?

Unfortunately, my time is limited. I have a full-time job, familial responsibilities and other duties that have nothing to do with my art. The time required to feed and water all these seeds is exorbitant, and far more than I can ever hope to afford.

I would like that to change someday. But until I win the lottery or post that magic blog that will make me go viral and sell a million books, I thought it would be fun to at least share some of these seeds. They may not be well structured, consistent or grammatically sound, but they’re the ideas from which my fiction is born in their crudest form. Like unrefined ore, they may not be as polished as smelted gold, but they nevertheless contain interesting concepts and images that deserve an audience, and I believe it’s better to share them imperfectly than not to share them at all.

Starting next week, I’ll post a selection from my freewriting every Friday. Some of them may blossom into more fully developed entities later. Many of them will not. But all of them will enjoy existence, however skeletal, because it would break my heart if they were to be lost.

Most of my freewriting is abstract and dreamlike, containing disjoint symbols, thoughts and sensations. Some of it, however, ponders more tangible and concrete ideas. I’ll try to curate an interesting mix of both.

I’ve already scheduled posts to automatically publish through the end of this year, and I’ll continue to add more to the queue, so expect regular content. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Stay tuned!

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A Case of Mistaken Identity: Revised Part 6

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As I mentioned in my last post, I was going back through previously written installments to fix inconsistencies and to improve the story. I’ve finished editing part 6, concluding this round of revision. Starting next week, I’ll continue the series with new material. Thank you very much for your patience, and I hope you’ve enjoyed A Case of Mistaken Identity so far!

Please note that this installment was significantly altered. You can read the revised part 6 here.

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