As the rooster outside her window crowed for the second time, Samantha’s eyes shot open. She quietly slid out of her single bed and stared out of the small window in her cell at Abbaye Notre-Dame de Bonne-Espérance, the Nineteenth century French monastery she had been calling home for the last six weeks. Just like everyone other morning she woke up in this small dorm room, she couldn’t help but wonder what one of these women could’ve possibly done to end up on her radar. “Your job isn’t to understand, Sam,” she reminded herself as she stared at the sun rising over the French countryside, “Your job is simply to execute.” When she wasn’t pretending to be a nun in order to accomplish her mission, Samantha was a member of a clandestine organization she knew simply as The Syndicate. In the six years she had been in their employ since graduating from Columbia with her Master’s Degree in International Affairs, she had become one of The Syndicate’s best agents.
It was just a normal Sunday when the doorbell rang, waking her from her nap. She flung open the door and locked eyes with the devil himself. He stared into the windows to her soul for what seemed like an eternity, then with a charming smile on his face, he asked if he could come in. Before she could answer, he pushed past her and entered her home. “Come on in,” she said under her breath as she closed the door. She followed him into the living room and watched in amazement as he snapped his fingers and the room was magically cleaned.
He was tired of hearing how different he was. He just wanted to be normal. He was tired of how everyone in his small hometown stared at him. He could almost feel their eyes burning into him. And when he looked in their direction, they scrambled to not make eye contact. He felt like a carnival freak most days. “I can’t wait to get the hell out of here.” He dreamed of moving to the big city where he could be just another person walking down the street, not the object of everyone’s stares and whispers. He looked down at his hands. The golden glow around them hinted at the power and destruction he was capable of. “I’ve got to learn to control it.”
They had arrived earlier that day. I had just dropped my daughter off at school and was on my way to work when I hit an unexpected patch of traffic. I thought nothing of it until I finally realized that the cars in front of me were empty. I quickly turned off the engine and hopped out to see what was going on. A crowd had begun to form in the intersection. They were all staring straight up into what I thought was clear blue Tuesday morning sky. I tapped one guy on his shoulder and asked what he was looking at. He didn’t respond, he just pointed upwards. I turned my gaze in the direction his hand indicated and that’s when I saw it. Waves of fear and confusion crashed onto the shores of my consciousness as I tried to wrap my mind around what my eyes were taking in. I quickly rushed back to my car. I didn’t really have a plan, I just knew I had to get to family.
It had been 20 years since they’d seen each other, and neither knew what to say. David and David Junior, or DJ as his family affectionately called him sat and stared at each other. Each intensely studying the features that they had only seen in the mirror up until this point. They both seemed to be astonished by how much they resemble the other. The younger man had been trying kid this his whole life, but did his best to dismiss it. Even when presented with pictures to prove it, he still shrugged off the comparisons like a running back breaking a tackle. But now, face to face, he couldn’t deny the fact that he was basically staring into a mirror. The older man had spent the last 2 decades in Jefferson City Correctional Facility for manslaughter. And while the crime was committed in self defense, his public defender still pushed him to take a plea deal. “It’s better than the life sentence I would’ve caught for the weight in my trunk.” That’s the way he justified it at the time, and that same thought had brought him a sense of peace over the past 7,254 days. But here he was, just a few months shy of parole, staring at his doppelganger across a steel table.
He smiled at her. She smiled back. He caught her as she began to fall. “We really gotta stop meeting like this,” he said with a chuckle as he helped her back to her feet. She let out a loud giggle in return, you know the kind that comes with being totally drunk.