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Lyric's Lessons in Magic And Mayhem Part Two

by L R Croft 7 months ago in Fantasy · updated 7 months ago
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About That Video

When you contacted me, and sent me that video, I freaked out. I was not okay at all. For one thing, I try very hard to make my interventions untraceable. I don't want these things knowing who I am, or where to find me. For another thing, the fact that you made it out of there with that evidence shocked me. They tend to do a decent job with clean-up, if you know what I mean. It took me three days to decide I would respond, and several more to actually do so.

To understand that video, you need to know a few things first. You need to know that the man you see setting off the chain of events that causes this exposure is named Lance. You need to know that Lance is arguably the most amazing dude in town. And you need to know that Mayor Lance is NOT Lance at all. Lastly, you need the full back story so that you understand that this is real, did happen, and there is actually evidence beyond your video.

Lance was in my grade at school. He never played a sport. He wasn't excessively intelligent, but he was smart. He didn't join any of the clubs or play any instruments. None of that stopped him from being the most popular and well loved person in the entire school. He is charming, and was always kind to every person he met. Everyone in town thinks he should run for President, that's his charismatic power. He won't. He hates politics. Remember that.

He started a consulting firm and gets business from all over the world. He is the most in demand corporate consultant on the planet. He is embarrassingly wealthy, but you wouldn't know that to talk to him, or see his house, or the car he drives. Everything is always incredibly modest. Or, it was. Lance went on a business trip to somewhere in the Caribbean. When he came back, he bought the biggest house in town and a flashy sports car. Also, Lance was a total jerk.

This guy was my actual best friend for 15 years. When he got back, he acted like he didn't even know me. He completely ghosted his girlfriend and started dating someone else. He started going to exclusive restaurants, buying expensive dinners, and not tipping his waitstaff. That was not like him at all. Some people speculated that he caught some kind of parasite, and it messed him up. Everyone hated him. Then he flipped and suddenly was super nice again.

Everyone else seemed to just forget that whole year happened. Old Lance was back, that other guy was a hazy memory. Okay. That's great, right? Except no. He still insisted that he didn't know who I am, or that we were best friends. Also, and I know how this sounds, he smelled wrong. I didn't even have to get very close to him to realize that this man smells like what a rotting potato would smell like if it were pretending to be a person. Sour, and not human.

It dealt me a huge blow when I realized this because I was sure that Lance, my best friend, was dead. That thing out there, wearing his face, was actually a remnant. A creature that becomes corporeal and looks like you after it has caused damage to your life. People tend to call them dopplegangers, and have no idea what they are and how they exist. They just say, "I have a friend that looks exactly like you!" and think it's funny. If they cause your death, but no one can prove you are gone, they take over your life.

This only happens once in a while, with people that are hugely influential. Think, mega church pastors and self help gurus. Every single one is a remnant. Now, there is this funny loophole that if you are standing side by side with a remnant that looks like you, they will look so unlike you that people immediately dismiss that you ever looked the same. They cannot take on your appearance in your presence, so they suddenly look like a generic human. If they think they have successfully taken your life, and you come back, you get what happened in the video.

So, Lance was gone for a year. Remnant Lance became Mayor. He passed a few local measures that were hugely popular and suddenly decided to campaign for Governor. That's why you came, isn't it? You came to film his announcement? I figured as much. Well, remnant Lance was mayor for about a year and a half when I got a weird call from Lance. He said he was home but his house wasn't his house anymore and his girlfriend wouldn't talk to him. I told him to come over.

When he got here, he just walked right in. I knew this was actual Lance. He didn't ask directions. Only someone that has been here can find the house without help, and only if they have a valid invitation. I got him a drink and he sat on the sofa, and just fell apart. I have never seen this man so distraught. On his way through town, he saw the evidence of his remnant and what had been happening. I decided to tell him everything and damn the consequences.

That's when he told me that he was sailing in Barbados when something put a hole in is sailboat. He was castaway on an island that doesn't get many visitors. It apparently used to be a very popular tourist spot, but it was forgotten. The local people took him in, but they are a very off the grid village. They don't have phones or internet. There isn't cellular service there, and even if there had been, he lost his phone when he nearly drowned. It would not have mattered because he didn't even know who he was for a solid two years.

When his memory returned, he was able to broker passage back to Barbados. It took four or five months to sort out the fact that he truly was Lance Anderson, and no longer had any proof of this. Everyone was very confused because, he said, they had all wished him well and watched him board his plane home. Fingerprinting provided him with proof of identity. He was subjected to a battery of medical tests to ensure he was going to be okay since he had spent so long with no memory, and he was sent home.

When we saw the announcements that remnant Lance would be announcing something big on the day of the video, we made a plan. I knew what would happen because I had done it before. Don't ask. That story is actually far more tragic. When we got there, security was confused because they had seen the remnant enter earlier, but I told them he had stepped out for air. They let us in because he told them if they didn't, they would never work in this town again. Apparently a threat the remnant was fond of making.

We had hoped to be able to confront the imposter before anyone showed, but it was already packed in there, as you know. I didn't know there were news crews. If I had, I would have disguised my face. I knew the remnant would dissipate as soon as Lance confronted it, so I wasn't worried it would retaliate. I was not prepared for it to have friends. Chalk that up to arrogance and failure to do my due diligence. When I realized what they were, the girlfriend and the bodyguard, I did the thing you saw me do. That banishes them back to their realm.

As far as why no one remembers any of this happening? I did that as well. What I did was basically mend the timeline. The only remaining evidence is that video, and everyone that was there will remember it as a failed wedding proposal because his girlfriend didn't show. They are engaged now, by the way. They still live in that awful big house, but he sold off the flashy car. The only people that know the truth of the story are me, Lance, and now you.

Fantasy

About the author

L R Croft

The most boring nomad you will ever meet. The most exciting nomad you will ever meet. I am neither. I am both.

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