He looked in the mirror, glaring at the reflection staring back at him. As he stood there nude, still dripping wet from the shower he’d just finished, he couldn’t help but wonder…..
He leaned over the bathroom sink, closer to the mirror. His dark, curly hair soaked and his worn eyes red from his state of exhaustion. He turned the faucet on, ran the water hot and cupped his hands into it. Then, splashed the water on his face, pulling his hands downward to the end of his chin’s unkempt whiskers.
“Get it together, man! What the hell have you done?” He pleaded his reflection.
Nothing replied. He gritted his teeth, overwhelmed by a sudden wave of disgust.
“Ugghhhhh!!!” He bellowed, pounding his fists into his head like a deranged lunatic.
“Why?!?!” The withered man cried out as memories of the previous night flashed before him like a snuff film waiting to be discovered.
Horrible visions of crimson all over the place… the walls… the bed…. the floor…. splattered everywhere like some sort of murder scene. Then, the screams that continued to echo in his head causing his insanity to intensify all the more, pulsating his brain like a blister waiting to pop.
Raged, frightened and confused, his own screams began to fill the air. He thrashed his self around trying to make sense of it all. And then…… the tiny bathroom went quiet, absolute silence emerged like a switch had abruptly been flipped.
Suddenly, a psychotic laughter was heard, shattering this lone man’s isolation. In the midst of the moment, he realized that it was he who laughed so maniacally.
His reflection’s eyes glazed over, yet continued to stare back, searing deep into his soul. Even though he knew it was him, he knew it was not.
The sinister grin stretched across his reflection’s face, dripping with drool as he began to speak.
“There he is…. looking all pathetic and crying, ‘why me?’ While I stay trapped inside like a caged animal begging to get out!”
The disillusioned retaliated, “Who the hell are you?”
The reflection mocked him callously then returned with the same question, “Who the hell are you? You’re me, I’m you….. we’re one in the same!”
“No!” The man screamed, “How’s that even possible? You’re a monster, I’m not!”
“You’re not?!” The reflection laughed heinously, “Really?! You seemed like you were enjoying yourself just a few short hours ago.”
“Huh?” Confusion swept over the man’s face.
“Oh, c’mon now…. you can’t tell me you honestly don’t remember.” The reflection jeered with a glimmer of confidence in his eyes.
Then, flashes of the man’s memory rushed his head like an explosion of fireworks on the Forth of July. He stammered back, almost losing his balance. He fell against the wall, collapsing to the floor. The reflection’s voice continued to taunt him, “Ahhhh….. he does remember. Do you remember how it made you smile as you traced her sternum between her breasts with the blade that you stole from the kitchen where you work? The same place where your coworkers think you’re sane and have no idea of the evil beast that you are. The monstrosities that you’re capable of…. well, except for that cute, little waitress that sadly adored you. What was her name? Lydia? Lisa? Nevermind, it doesn’t matter. She’s dead now. All thanks to you!”
“No! No…. nooo…..” The feeble man cried, whining like a small child on the cold, tile floor.
“Oh, yes, my friend, she’s definitely dead.” The reflection happily added, “Have a look for yourself. Go on…. her mangled corpse is still lying across the bed in this God forsaken, cheap hotel room that YOU brought her to.”
“You’re lying! This is all a bad dream!” Moaned the man.
“A bad dream, seriously?!” This is more like a dream come true for you ’cause this is something you’ve been itching to do your whole life.” The reflection proudly confessed from the mirror above the bathroom sink as he looked down, tsking at the human lump that laid before him.
“No! That wasn’t me. There’s no way I could’ve done that to her. She was always so sweet to me.” The man agonized as he reminisced the young woman’s kind, characteristic ways.
His reflection continued, “Yeah, I remember you kept saying that as you tasted her sweet blood on the blade right after you first stabbed her. The look of utter disbelief and fear in her eyes….. priceless! Oh!” The reflection laughed wickedly, “And how she kept begging for you to stop! But that seemed to have only fueled you even more because you kept jabbing her and stabbing her, going deeper and deeper with each cut! It was one of the most artistic expressions I’ve seen in years! It was great! Such a beautiful masterpiece! I couldn’t be any more proud of you than I am now! You’ve finally emerged! Never be afraid to unleash the darkness that frees you. I’ve been imprisoned for far too long. It’s time to embrace who we both are. Rise with me and let go of your fear. Be strong and awaken your true self with me!”
“I can’t!” The fallen man quietly replied.
“Yes, you can. I’ll be here to help you like I’ve always been. You’ve just kept me suppressed, locked away like an embarrassing secret for all these years. You know I’m right. All those times I begged you to release me, but you denied me every single time. Why? Are you ashamed of me?” The reflection wanted to know.
“What are you talking about? I know nothing of you!” The man argued.
“Oh…..” His reflection laughed, “You know everything about me, about us. About who we truly are. Let me help you unleash the thoughts, the urges, you’ve tried to ignore.”
And that’s when the flood gates of his mind opened. Visions in gruesome detail rushed the man’s head, however, this time he wasn’t shocked. No, instead, this time he watched them curiously. Making mental affirmations of what his evil reflection was saying.
Slowly, the man was finally beginning to see things more clearly as he realized the truth behind his madness. His reflection looking over him, waited patiently for his response. The man sat up with his back against the wall, collecting his posture, he rose to his feet.
Looking himself in the mirror, his reflection proudly asked. “Are we good now?”
“Good?” The man grinned nefariously, “That depends on interpretation.”
And just like that his reflection nodded in approval. The man winked and said with conviction, “Let’s do this!”
The above short story was inspired by a topic that my husband and I recently discussed referred to as chimera which is: “A genetic chimerism or chimera (/kɪˈmɪərə/ky-MEER-ə or /kaɪˈmɪərə/kə-MEER-ə, also chimaera (chimæra) is a single organism composed of cells with distinct genotypes. In animals, this means an individual derived from two or more zygotes, which can include possessing blood cells of different blood types, subtle variations in form (phenotype) and, if the zygotes were of differing sexes, then even the possession of both female and male sex organs (this is just one of many different phenomena that may result in intersexuality). Animal chimeras are produced by the merger of multiple fertilized eggs. In plant chimeras, however, the distinct types of tissue may originate from the same zygote, and the difference is often due to mutationduring ordinary cell division. Normally, genetic chimerism is not visible on casual inspection; however, it has been detected in the course of proving parentage.” ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(genetics)
Examples of chimerism are as follows:
- The Dutch sprinter Foekje Dillema was expelled from the 1950 national team after she refused a mandatory sex test in July 1950; later investigations revealed a Y-chromosome in her body cells, and the analysis showed that she probably was a 46,XX/46,XY mosaic female.
- In 1953 a human chimera was reported in the British Medical Journal. A woman was found to have blood containing two different blood types. Apparently this resulted from her twin brother’s cells living in her body. A 1996 study found that such blood group chimerism is not rare.
- Another report of a human chimera was published in 1998, where a male human had some partially developed female organs due to chimerism. He had been conceived by in-vitro fertilization.
- In 2002, Lydia Fairchild was denied public assistance in Washington state when DNA evidence showed that she was not related to her children. A lawyer for the prosecution heard of a human chimera in New England, Karen Keegan, and suggested the possibility to the defense, who were able to show that Fairchild, too, was a chimera with two sets of DNA, and that one of those sets could have been the mother of the children.
- In 2017, a human-pig chimera was reported to have been created, the chimera was also reported to have 0.001% human cells, with the balance being pig.
Source for the above information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(genetics)
I had heard of the topic before, but just wasn’t aware of what it was called. So, after my husband and I discussed it, I was rather quite intrigued. So much so, that it became my muse for my latest writing. Hope you enjoyed reading my short story, The Chimeric Twin.
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