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I told them I’d die if they sent me away. I screamed it at Mum before slamming the door to my room the second night after they told me. I regret raising as much hell as I did in the week before they sent me away. I regret every action leading up to being enrolled at Granham Boarding School. But, when I screamed, I didn’t ever believe I would actually die here in these walls.
Now I am no longer sure.
Before I go on, I want you to know something. I am not crazy. I may be a troubled youth with family problems…but I am not crazy. I need you to believe me. Nobody else will and if you agree with them, you are as useless as everybody else is. I need a person to tell my tale to without being judged or scoffed at.
Last month, I had a dream. In my dream, I was staring my self in the face. It was my face, my body; every little detail was perfect…except for my eyes. They were sunken in and shadowy. And, now as I recall the image, my mouth was drawn into a sinister smile. I was not looking into a mirror or a reflective surface. It was no illusion. Not ten feet in front of me was myself. I was so fixed on the copy that I cannot even recall my surroundings. But what disturbing was not the sinister face the other wore or the fact the dream felt too real. What haunted me then and still haunts me now as I think of it is what the other was doing. As he scowled at me with his twisted eyes, he beheld a stick. A pointed and sharp, yet crude and outdated spear. He stood still for what seemed to be forever to me, then pulled back and launched his weapon at my chest. As soon as the spear reached the apex of its path, I awoke to my dark room, drenched in sweat. I was unable to fall back to sleep that night. The dream simply repeated over and over in my mind. As the sun rose and I began to ready myself for classes, I pushed the dream away as a simple nightmare. But every second I found myself idle, the sequence crept into my mind. The deadly projectile flying straight for my heart and the sinister visage my double had worn.
A night terror is nothing to worry about. Nor is it cause to label a person as insane. My dream was only a shadow of the hell my life became as days passed. The night after, I had the same dream, but the weapon this time was a succession of large stones. The next night was a crudely crafted bow. Each night, the same dream. Each night, a new and better weapon in His hands. And each time, He began to look angrier and more determined. I stopped sleeping. The thought of Him getting nearer to me was all I needed to fend off sleep. Soon, bags formed under my eyes. I was failing classes faster than before. I figure I must have slept some during the week where I tried to avoid it. I have faint snippets from parts of the dreams that must have transpired when I lost the constant battle against sleep. I know this because I vividly recall how angry He was that I was skipping on our nightly meetings. That week I also spent anytime I could looking for similar reports on the web and in book. That is when I discovered what He was.
He was my doppelganger.
A doppelganger lives only to find and kill the person it is a copy of. Stories of doppelgangers in real life were scarce. Also, there was no information on the vast web telling me how to stop my doppelganger. I did take solace in knowing my double lived only in my dreams. Not once did I find a case where a doppelganger was seen in a person’s dreams. I believed I had a chance. I felt victorious the night I learned this. I developed new resolve.
I slept that night, determined to try to strike back at my doppelganger.
I fell asleep before my head touched my pillow. I didn’t dream that night. I don’t remember a thing. When I awoke, I was overjoyed. It was the happiest I had been in years. I figured I had bested my dream doppelganger. I took a very hot and very long shower when I awoke. I figured I owed it to my exhausted body and myself. I noticed no steam or humidity in the air. Without the hot water to push away the cold, I began to shiver. The cold sank straight past my flesh and blood and struck out at my bones. The unnatural cold forced me to throw open my shower curtain to find my towel to cover myself. What I beheld nearly gave me a heart attack. In the mirror, fully clothed was me, hunched over the sink and washing my face. Behind me stood myself, naked and pale with fright. The clothed me looked up and his sunken eyes and twisted smile mocked me.
It was my doppelganger.
He stood up and stared at me through the mirror’s surface. His malice was palpable. He was so perturbed from me not showing up for his nightly torment he had taken his game into his own hands. In the background I saw myself quake with fear. He mocked me. He was doing this to herald his departure from my dreams. Then, he was gone. Nothing in the mirror but a shaking boy, grasping to a shower bar to keep from falling. I ran from the room and back into my own dorm. I barely spent time drying off before pulling on clothing hastily and crawling back into my bed. I still don’t know why I would return to my bed. I had feared it for so long. The rest of that day is hazy. I fell back asleep shortly after my encounter in the bathroom. My body was still not fully recovered from its lack of rest and the recent scare had drained all my energy.
I do remember the dream I had that time.
I was in the same room as when I first encountered my doppelganger. This time, he was absent. The room appeared to be a part of the School. The mason work was remarkably similar to the rest of the building. But the room had not been touched in years. The cement holding the bricks together had begun to crack and fall out of place. The furnishings in the room had decayed and gathered dust for many years. What appeared to be a table laid slanted with two rotten legs holding it up and no sign of the missing two. A mirror stood in the corner of the room. It had cracks spider webbing all over the surface and a thick layer of dust stopped any reflection it could have given. A dresser lay face up next to the mirror with a wardrobe of moth-eaten and decayed clothing. The room lacked windows and doors, and an artificial light source spread a shadowy illumination across the room. I could not find the source of the light despite how much I looked.
When I awoke…I found myself face-to-face with the mirror across from my bed. Sitting next to me was a very smug looking doppelganger, sharpening a blade. He stared right at me and when he noticed my open eyes; he turned to my reflection and began to swing the knife at its throat. Seconds before the point met the skin, he was gone. I remember the event much too vividly to be a waking nightmare.
From that point on, every mirror I looked into displayed two reflections of me. Each time, one reflection was a very pale-faced and terrified me, with deep bags beneath my eyes from my paranoia and lack of sleep. Each time, one reflection was a mocking image of me, poised to strike with a new blade or weapon. Even when I looked into a mirror with other people around, He would be there. And when I’d ask whoever else was looking if they saw Him, they would say no. It began to spread that I was crazy. Kids gave me odd looks in the classes I attended and teachers whispered my name in passing. I started skipping more classes and wandering the passages of the school. I’d return to my dorm late with excuses and lies. I tried to avoid mirrors, but every time I knew one was around, I felt an extra set of eyes on me. He was no longer angry. He was taking great pleasure in seeing me so alienated and distraught. I knew He was.
I had begun to lose more than just my friends and family because of this school. I was starting to lose my acquaintances and my mind.
Soon, it wasn’t just mirrors I saw Him in. As I wandered the school, I would see my shoes walking down corridors ahead of me. I saw my torso climbing steps ahead of me. I heard the pitter-patter of two pair’s of feet on the stones ahead of me. I heard the stairs grown under my weight and His. I tried to find out where He was going. I tried to catch up to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. But I never found anybody who I could have mistaken as my doppelganger. Why I tried to pursue Him I’ll never know. I should have ran. But I didn’t.
Soon, my teachers began to try to stop me in the halls. They tried to find me during the day. I hid. I snuck out of the building even. I knew they thought of me as a problem child because of my parents and my files. I knew they already figured I was crazy. I didn’t want them to judge me…or confine me. I showed up just enough to let them know I was alive, but made sure to stay out of their path. Granham is a huge school with a tiny administration. They have trouble tracking down one student.
My doppelganger grew bolder. He grew closer.
I even tried to tell my dorm mates what I kept seeing. They laughed at me. They told me I was a liar. Then they went and told everyone else. Everybody believed I was insane. The entire student body tried to avoid me. And when I tried to approach them, I was shut out. Soon, I started to see my face in crowds. I saw Him stalking me from afar. He was very close to me. I had little time.
That started this week.
Today, I tried to attend the first track meet of the year. I took my camera along in hopes of taking photos for the newspaper. I wanted to convince people I wasn’t crazy. I wanted to look normal. The javelin throw was first. I put my camera up to my eye, and through the hole, I saw not the athlete who was up, but myself grasping the pointed stick, smiling at me. The crowd seemed to simply stop making noise. I began to shake. He started running straight for me. I started to rapidly snap pictures. With each shutter, he was closer. I couldn’t run. I was all but fixed by fear. The spear took flight, and came straight for me. It was the first dream all over again. But this time I wouldn’t be able to wake up and be saved. The stick landed less than a foot from where I stood. I put the camera down and there He stood. He smiled at me. Then he was gone and the crowd was roaring once more.
It was clear next time he wouldn’t miss.
I ran back to the dorm. I didn’t wait to be asked if I was okay and why I didn’t move. I didn’t wait for an explanation. I just looked at the photos. They show me, throwing a javelin. He has finally entered my world fully.
Do you believe me, reader? I swear to you I tell the truth. I am not crazy. I am not just imagining things. I am not lying. I am not crazy. I am being stalked by a being that looks like me. He will kill me soon. I cannot stop him. Reader, I need you to believe me, because nobody else will. I need you. I have no idea when he will strike. Please reader, make him stop! If you find this before they find my body, please try to stop him. And if you can’t, please make sure you tell everyone I wasn’t crazy. You do believe me, right? This month of living in constant fear has made me desperate. And if you can’t even make them believe I wasn’t crazy…please don’t even begin to disbelieve me. You are all I have left, and I don’t even know you.
I’m not crazy.