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Friday, September 16, 2005
Living Image

Copyright 2005 Jeff Vickers

In the darkness, footsteps on concrete slowly begin to march, then echo. Another set of footsteps add to the mix. More footsteps add, until a rush of movement fills the void. Suddenly, the void is annihilated with a bright light.

Monica, lying on a tiled floor, begins to stir. Her eyes squint tightly as she opens them. As her eyes adjust, the sound of the feet is married with a large volume of people, moving all in one direction past her. Monica sits upright, and gives her head a shake, and all her hair falls out of place into her face. Messily, she clears it from her eyes, and is compelled to look at her watch.

It read 8:30 AM. It hit her. Everything came into focus in one moment; her Master's thesis defence was in just a half hour. The sign on the wall on the other side of the hallway, "Metro" and an arrow pointing in the same direction as the pedestrians. Monica quickly rose to her feet, and hurried along with the other commuters.

Monica's rushed journey came to an abrupt halt as she just misses the train in Atwater station, the car's door sliding shut right in front of her. "Un autre train prochain a deux minutes." Two minutes isn't bad. Monica tried to tidy her hair in the reflection in the rushing windows, when she noticed something odd. There was a passenger, standing in the car, that looked to be nothing but a shadow.

"Strange" thought Monica, though she clutched her documents for her thesis, "Perceptual Effects of the Brain by Subjection to Extreme Environments and Conditions." Monica had been up for three nights preparing for her thesis defence. "It will be nice to get some rest tonight, FINALLY."

Monica caught the next train, a short trip from Atwater to McGill, and was able to tidy herself up before her thesis defence. Why she was lying on the Metro floor, she still was unsure, but her mind stayed true to her goal for the day. To successfully defend her thesis. The train stopped at McGill station, and Monica darted out with authority, knowing she couldn't stop if she was to be on time.

Monica reached the Department of Psychology, just in time. She took a moment to compose herself, took one deep breath, and strode forward. WHAM! Right into her Master's advisor, Dr. Jacob Roberts.

"That was a marvelous defence. I wouldn't be surprised if you get fully funded for your doctoral research."

Confused, Monica was speechless. Out of the corner of her eye, a figure, just a shadow, darted away from the auditorium where students do their defences, down a dark hallway. Inadvertently, Monica uttered a soft "thanks", and pursued the shadow down the hallway. Dr. Roberts shook his head for a moment, and made his way back to his office.

Monica ran after the shadowy figure, and noticed it went into the woman's lavoratory. Monica went right in after. Monica, once inside, froze in horror. She stood opposite a figure, the same size as a person, but with absolutely no features, just a big black shadow. The blackness grew out of the figure, and then Monica noticed something odd. Her reflection, without any background, appeared in the figures body. Monica became engulfed in darkness, and the last sound she heard was a strained voice scraping out the word "Doppelganger."

Months later, at McGill graduation ceremonies, Monica was called up to receive her Master's degree. Through the shadows, a dark figure made its way up the stairs, but on stage, Monica stood, in cap and gown, to pick up her degree. As she turned for family and friends to take pictures, nobody noticed the jet black eyes she had.
neolithic pondered at 11:27
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