Writer’s Digest Weekly Writing Prompt

Prompt: Ah, back home and time to relax. Long weeks are brutal. Is that the television you hear? Well you haven’t been home all day so you decide to check it out, thinking you left it on. As you enter the room you see the television is indeed on. And you’re already sitting there watching it. What’s going on here?

My heart flutters against my chest, beating an uneven staccato against my ribs.  Is that really me?  My mind races, attempting to figure out what to do.  Do I scream?  Do I confront this strange imposter?  It can’t really be me can it?

Just then the doppelganger-me turns and his eyes, the same pale green-brown that are staring back into his, widen in shock, surprise, anger.  I know what’s coming.  How could I not?  If it really is me, I know what I would do next.  I turn and run as the doppelganger-me dives for the revolver hidden in a drawer next to the chair.

What’s going on? I think as I dash through the halls, shoes bouncing off the tile like the pounding of a drum.  Behind me, I hear the scrape of wood announcing the drawer’s opening and then the thick, metallic cluck of the gun being ripped free.

My mind races, trying to figure out what to do.  If the doppelganger really is me, then he’d know what to do.  There can be no question now that he really is me.  He knew about the gun.  He was in my house.  Logic dictated that it was really me.  But it also screamed at me that it was impossible.

A bullet whizzes over my head, screaming its anger before thwacking into a wall in front of me.  I guess I’m not that good of a shot.  I’d need to work on that.  Focus!

I dash into the kitchen, feet scrambling on the polished wood.  Something unexpected.  I need to do something unexpected.  But what?  The kitchen door is unlocked and I contemplate going for it.  But that is too simple.  Too expected.  Instead I turn, running back down the hall and into the other room.  The other me races into the kitchen.  I hear the kitchen door creak open and he dashes out into the night.  Boy, sometimes I can be an idiot.

I stop and lean against a wall, my breath coming in great heaving gulps.  As my breathing slows I glance up at the camera hidden in one corner of the hall.  The Watchers have got to know something about this.  They saw it.  It’s the only explanation.  The little red light on the camera flickers to yellow and then back to red, a sign that I’ve come to recognize over the years that there is someone at the controls of the machine, someone distinctly watching.  My mind had been too caught up in shock to realize it, but that was the only rational explanation.

“What new hell is this?” I ask between breaths, though I know I’ll never get an answer.  They never respond.  Not with words anyway, only action.  And fresh surprises.

Pain blossoms in my chest a moment before I hear the retort of the gun being fired.  I gasp at breath, but my throat feels wet, full.  Drowning in my own fluids.  My vision fades.  As I fall into oblivion my last thought is a strange one.  Did I just commit suicide?

The camera light flickers from red to yellow and back again.  Watching.

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