All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Fallon screamed again, though her throat had already started burning. Thanks to the ignorance of her younger brother her parents were at her throat. Dad was pacing across the kitchen, one hand on his cleanly shaven jaw. In the other room her mother sobbed loudly. She’d been going on and on about what a “failure of a guardian” she was. Fallon didn’t feel remorseful- not in the slightest. Just entirely too annoyed, this situation was purely her younger brother’s fault. She was going to let him know it, once she was released from the captivity of the kitchen table where her father had stuck her.
Jason had found her pack of cigarettes she’d hidden so carefully under his abandoned toy chest. At twelve years old, she had never expected the almost-teenager to be poking around the box of plastic toys. What confused and frustrated her further was that he had handed over the package so easily, without saying a word to his “big sissy”. Normally he’d bring any questions to her first, before consulting the adults. Fallon had taught him this to prevent a situation like this one. Fallon wouldn’t punish him like Mommy and Daddy did. Fallon was so much nicer than their parents.
But now she was in very deep trouble and there was no way she could lie to evade this mistake. Just the week before Dad had stumbled across her “friend’s” plastic baggy of fun pills. The little package of multi-colored capsules that she’d swallow whenever she needed a kick. Though her lies had been smooth and complete, it was overly obvious that what she had told her father was not the truth.
Sneaking away silently while her father’s back was turned, she charged up the stairs and darted into her bed room. Slamming the door behind her she launched herself on to her bed. Posing like a flying squirrel for the moment she hung in the air above her bed, she hit the mattress with a muffled thud. Fallon curled up on her bed with a sigh. Resting her head on a dirty pillow, the cloth covering was stained with mascara. Though marks were scars of equally rough nights that she refused to wash away and forget. The curtains were drawn tightly and the room was filled with thick warm darkness. The stale air felt like warm syrup, and all her bed sheets lay in a crumpled pile on the floor. Slipping her hand into a rip in her cotton stuffed pillow Fallon pulled out two small teal pills. After swallowing them dry her head began so swim and her body swayed in a invisible ocean. The plush of her mattress became waves caressing her body; this was enough to push her into slumber.
The sun was creeping through the dusty curtains when she awoke from the drug induced slumber. Her body felt strangely well rested; normally after a night spent high she awoke covered in sweat or drool. Some mornings her muscles would ache and the pain in her head was splitting. The early morning’s light spilled across the wooden floor boards and extended only a few feet darkened into the room. Yesterday’s issues seemed irrelevant, and the air seemed less tense. Fallon stretched under the covers, and then paused.
How did those get back up onto the bed? She thought frantically.
Fallon thought of the days when mom and dad would tuck her in at night; check for the monsters that’d hide in the shadowy corners or under her bed. When she got a little older, the nightly “check-ins” were to be expected. Some mornings she’d wake up with the blankets perfectly folded around her sleeping form. She fought against the blankets again, trying to break free. It felt as if the fabric was constricting her and she imagined a thick snake wiped around her body.
Sitting straight up Fallon found that the sheets were wrapped around her several times. She struggled to wiggle out of the tight cocoon, making little motions like a caterpillar.
Then she heard a laugh from across the room. The voice was so familiar… as familiar as her own mother’s voice would be. When the laugh became a snort that melted into awkward half-giggles she knew exactly who the owner of the voice was. She was hearing her own laugh being projected across the room. The sound was too alive to be some type of recording. There was no possible way that it could just be her younger brother teasing her.
Fallon opened her mouth to gasp, but the air pulled past her lips without a sound. She attempted to clear her throat and still there was only silence. Fallon's breath was becoming ragged. The short quick breaths made no sound as the air rushed out of her mouth.
Suddenly, there was the sound of her voice again. Fallon jerked her head around; the noise was flowing from one of the darkened corners towards the center of the room. A small sigh leaked from the shadows and Fallon's body tensed. Who could be imitating her so perfectly? She watched the shadows carefully, waiting for a monster to come and devour her insides.
Though what did step out from the shadows was far more horrifying. A small delicate hand slips carefully from the darkness. The figure's slim pinky finger is the first thing to break into the panel of light. Next is the other hand, then elbows and shoulders. The crouched figure slowly makes its appearance from the shadows. As the figures face broke into the panel of light that streamed in from the window, Fallon began to silently cry. The face that started back at her was her own.
The girl from the corner slowly made her way into the panel of light, while staring deeply into Fallon's terrified eyes. Fallon moved quickly to the farthest corner of her bed. The Other-Fallon sat calmly in the square of light, her face was plain and bored. The Other watched the fearful girl struggle within the bed sheets, fighting to find some escape.
I’m dreaming. I have to be dreaming! Fallon thought suddenly and her muscles relaxed as she was able to accept the situation as unreal.
Another one of Fallon’s laughs escaped the lips of her imposter, “You aren’t dreamin’. This is real life, honey.”
Fallon turned to the girl, absolutely positive her own thoughts hadn’t been spoken aloud.
Facing the other girl, she opened her mouth to speak and no sound came up. Fallon’s hand went to her throat and she tried to force the noise up. She coughed attempting to clear her throat, and even that was completely silent.
“My name’s Carmen,” the other girl laughed, and toyed with her long dark hair that was the same color as Fallon’s short cropped style. “I’m your voice. “
Fallon gawked at Carmen- the girl who’d stolen her voice.
“I didn’t steal your voice Fallon.”
Her skin prickled as the Other called her by name.
“I am your voice.” Carmen laughed again and smiled the same as Fallon had seen herself do a thousand times before.
The long haired girl pulled her knees to her chest as she sat poised on the cool wooden floor. “I was your twin Fallon. I became your voice.” Carmen’s eyes met her sisters as they began to flood with tears.
This is too much, Fallon’s head was beginning to hurt. None of this made sense. Fallon slid off her bed and stood on the floor beside her ‘sister’. She refused to believe any of this madness.
With a sudden burst of courage Fallon marched past the doppelganger crouched on the floor, pushed open her bedroom door and headed straight for the stairs.
“Wait!” Carmen yelled from the bedroom. “I need to explain something to you first!”
Shut up! Fallon’s thoughts hissed back. I’ve finally lost it... I need help.
Fallon ran down the stairs searching for her mother. She needed to find someone to save her. Dashing around the corner into their kitchen Fallon saw her father standing before the large glass windows. She grasped the back of her father’s shirt and pulled roughly. Tears had already began streaming out of her eyes and she blinked them away as best she could.
Father turned to glance at her with a slight smile that he always wore. Once he noticed her tears though, his smile faded and a more true expression smoothed over his face. The sadness in his eyes matched his daughter’s. “What’s wrong Fallie-girl? “
Fallon’s heart grew heavier as she recognized her childhood nickname. She hugged her father and cried harder, silent sobs shook her frame. Fallon clutched to her father's torso until the tears stopped streaming down her cheeks.
"Growing up is hard." he said gently and placed his hand on Fallon's shoulder. then suddenly changed the subject, "Where's your sister?"
Then all at once Fallon's world came crashing down on top of her. Carmen was real, and here in this world that Fallon had suddenly awoken to, Carmen spoke and she did not. This word was strange and foreign. In the universe she'd fallen asleep in her words held the power hurt the people closest to her or to set them ablaze with love.
"I'm here." Fallon's voice slipped into the kitchen from the stairway, though it was Carmen who’d spoken the
Stay away. Fallon's thoughts surged towards Carmen. You are a thief. Fallon bit her lip, and pushed the short strands of hair from her face. I want to go home, this place isn't my home.
Carmen entered and shot Fallon a pitiful look. Though here, in the light that poured through the large picture windows, Fallon was able to see Carmen completely for the first time. “Twin” was the perfect word. Carmen's body matched Fallon's exactly, excluding her ridiculously long, chestnut brown hair.
"Sissy has been very upset today." Carmen said to Fallon's father.
“Well cheer up Fallie!” Her father laughed loudly and reached out with both hands to ruffle his daughters’ hair.
Fallon and Carmen both swatted his hands away and slid their fingers through their hair in union. Carmen giggled and silent laughs rolled through Fallon’s body as they watched each other's movements as if looking into a mirror.
Why is he so happy? Fallon projected the thought towards her sister. Yesterday he’d been furious at me...
Carmen took her sister’ hand and led her from the room, giving a little wave to their father. Pulling Fallon up the stairs quickly, Carmen’s hair blew back into Fallon’s face. The feeling was strangely comforting, and almost familiar. It reminded Fallon of long ago before all the struggling, when her mother was still a free spirit. Mother had worn her hair long and never tied in the tight ribbon as she’d done lately. That was all before Fallon had found out what a strange and exciting feeling the drugs would give her, that was back when Fallon had been pure.
In Fallon’s room, Carmen guided her to the square of light on the floor and had her sit comfortably in the warmth. They sat close together in the small panel of light. Carmen took her sister’s hand and squeezed.
“You don’t feel it here do you?” Carmen asked.
Fallon looked at her quizzically, raising one thin eyebrow.
“There’s no pull here. No urge to do something...” Carmen’s voice trailed off.
Harmful? Fallon’s thought’s chimed in as she slowly understood what Carmen meant.
Here in this new place there was no overpowering need to swallow more pills or smoke.
No addiction. Fallon’s eyes widened as she realized her freedom.
“This place can be a new start.” Carmen offered the idea. “Or... you could go back to your old home.” Her expression darkened and Carmen bit her lip. “Please know I’d miss you.”
Fallon smiled, she was beginning to enjoy the company of her sister. This new world was so easy for her, the old struggles were no longer restraining her. Fallon didn't have to fight her, she’d already won the battle against the addiction.
“Please stay here.” Carmen pleaded, tightening the grip on her sister’s hand.
For a moment Fallon considered this option- his easy way out. It was a new beginning... Now Fallon knew what was best for her and she pulled her sister into her arms.
I’m not staying here. I’m stronger than this.
Carmen struggled to escape her twins grasp. “No!” she screamed and fought to be freed from the embrace, “Stay here! Stay here!”
Fallon’s face connected to the wooden floor with a smack!
“Owww...” she moaned and sat up against her bed and rubbed her face with her palm. She’d fallen out of bed again and -of course- missed the soft pile of blankets that still littered the ground. Fallon rubbed her tired eyes and yawned, glancing around the room.
Once her line of sight touched the square panel of light that poured in from the window, she’d made her decision. Fallon stood up quickly and marched over to her bedside table, yanked open the drawer and reached into the father back corners, producing a handful of lighters and plastic bags. She closed her fist around the items and took a deep breath for heading for the stairs.
In the kitchen she found her mother standing before the large picture windows.
“I’m ready,” Fallon said slamming her hand down onto the counter.
Her mother turned to Fallon with tears in her cloudy green eyes.
Fallon opened her fist and let the objects fall onto the stone.
“I’m ready,” she repeated, “For a new start.”