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The Doppelgänger

-Twist of fate- A psychological Horror Story

By Lamar WigginsPublished 2 years ago Updated 10 months ago 15 min read
            The Doppelgänger
Photo by José León on Unsplash

The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window.

Marcus jumped over logs and ducked under branches as he ran through the moonlit forest. He needed to find his way out of this nightmarish trap. His thoughts of guilt tried to distract him from the task at hand. Only his determination to escape, superseded the freshly engraved images of terror circulating in his mind.

They say the choices we make creates our reality with each final decision. But what happens to the choices you decide against? Do these possibilities remain an avenue that will never be explored? Or do they take on a life of their own in some kind of twisted alternate reality? This is what Marcus wrestled with in his mind as the sweat incessantly poured out his glands and leaked into his eyes, creating a burning sensation from the concentrated salinity. He finally came to a clearing and paused for a minute until he realized that his surroundings gave him no clues as to where he was. He should have never bought into the uncertainty of curiosity and stuck with his gut feeling that he shouldn't step foot in that cabin. He begins running again...

Two Hours Earlier, Marcus looked inside the window of that cabin, this is where his ordeal began...

He was familiar with passing it on his daily run through the lush green forest and used it as a checkpoint of reference. He knew it was abandoned, everyone did. On this particular day, he planned to meet a friend at Kelsey's Sports bar but didn't want to drive because he might get carried away with the endless flow of beer, so he rode his bike through that same trail using it as a shortcut to his destination.

The tiring sun had just left him for the day, leaving the moon in its place to partially light the pathways. As he approached the long curve that passes the cabin, he looked to his left and saw a candle in its window. He whizzed by at a fair amount of speed, only slowing down to a halt so he could take a second look at it. Noone ever goes into that place, he thought. This was none of his business, so he biked on to the popular watering hole.

Seconds later he returned, he knew he was ahead of schedule for bro-time with his buddy and felt it would only take minute to look inside, what could it hurt? He left his silver and black mountain bike near the worn-down dirt trail and tiptoed his way to the cabin which was only 50 ft off the path up a small hill. When he peered inside, he couldn't believe what he was seeing, it was physically impossible for a measly 20x30 ft cabin to have so much interior space let alone completely furnished. He went around to the back of the rundown structure to confirm there weren't any extra rooms attached to it. Scratching his head, he became just a little bit more curious. He went to the withered front door, peeked inside and for the first time in his life he thought he was losing his mind. He was looking at the exact replica of the kitchen at his father's home in Chicago, which was hundreds of miles away from where he was in Oklahoma. In fact, his dad's entire house was encased in the miniscule dimensions of that cabin. How was this possible? As he carefully walked through the kitchen toward the living room, he felt a weird sense of DeJa'Vu from all the memories he had from being there. This scenario was some kind of lucid dream or hallucination — but the sudden sound of someone running down the second-floor steps didn't allow him to dwell on those thoughts. It was a half-naked young woman holding her shirt over her naked breasts as she bolted down the staircase right in view of him. Marcus was taken aback as he instantly recognized her as an ex-girlfriend of his from 4 years ago. She was breathing heavily while she stared at him, she then began shaking her head in disbelief and nervously spoke.

"How in the hell did you do that! You're upstairs right now passed out! I know you are because I watched as you slobbered your drunken self into a deep sleep, who are you? STAY AWAY FROM ME!"

He offered his hand to comfort her because he knew something was wrong but that only made her scream at the top of her lungs. Her shrieks were so loud and intense it could rupture your eardrums even if you wore protection.

Marcus was speechless...He wanted to interact with her but since this wasn't real, and she obviously wanted nothing to do with him he just watched as she ran toward the front door to begin working the lock. It was the only thing that stood between her and the freedom she so desperately sought. A few seconds later, the reason for her haunting cries came down the stairs after her. The calls of distress had awakened him. Angry with bloodshot eyes and clumsy in posture, it was MARCUS? Marcus saw this and covered his gaping mouth with his hand as he thought this was the wildest thing that he has ever happened to him. Marcus, the inebriated one was carrying a long ten-inch butcher knife and called out the woman's name as he made it to the bottom of the steps. She was his prisoner and was held in captivity for at least five days while his father was out of town.

He stumbled his way into the foyer where the wailing girl failed to open the intricately locked door intime. He grabbed her by the arm, threw her to the ground and got on top of her. He raised the stainless-steel blade high into the air and looked into her terror-stricken eyes, they reminded him of all the pain he endured that she was supposedly responsible for. His mind was made up, this was the only way to silence her — for good. He began violently stabbing her to death like an untamed beast releasing a bout of rage. Blood flew up to the ceiling and everywhere as he brought the sharp blade in and out of her again and again. It was a prime example of overkill, by a mile.

By Hassan Rafhaan on Unsplash

She suffered 42 stab wounds by the time the disturbed 25-year-old was done with piercing her body. The other Marcus was mortified as he watched. He wondered if he should have intervened, but this was a dream or an illusion, it wasn't real. He thought to himself that his ex was sometimes cold-hearted toward him, and they had their share of altercations, but he never thought about killing her. Why would his mind conjure such a grisly scene for him to see? His face was still locked in terror as he saw his exhausted double image slump over the dead woman's body. The drunken assailant began punching the floor beside her and calling her a stupid bitch over and over. He finally gets up, just to slip on the blood-soaked floor which brought him crashing back to it on his face. This fueled his anger even more. Expletives flew out of his mouth one after another until he finally met eyes with his living reflection standing in the doorway to the kitchen. The stare lasted an eternity like a duel between two gunmen from the days of the wild west. Marcus, the innocent one didn't understand the other Marcus' reaction to him. Dreams aren't supposed to feel this real. Marcus the guilty one eventually smiled at the sight of seeing himself. The initial shock had worn off. He began to speak,

"What are YOU doing here? You can't be here, this is impossible!"

If you could have seen the two men just a few feet apart, they were identical, right down to their voice and the tight curls of their golden-brown hair. The only difference being the clothes they wore and the bloody mess the guilty one was covered in. The innocent one replied,

"What are you talking about man, I'm not here, this isn't real. I'm gonna wake up or snap out of this any moment now!"

Guilty Marcus starts laughing contemptuously, "No no no, this is no dream. Go ahead, wake yourself up... You can't can you? NO YOU CAN'T, DUMB ASS! Look at this place! I just killed our girlfriend...She made me do it, you saw it!"

Innocent Marcus didn't get any of this and says,

"Wait, what do you mean this isn't a dream?"

"It's not a FUCKING DREAM I keep telling you. Your still here, right? I'm still here. Hallie is dead as a doorknob on the floor over there isn't she? No, my friend this is far from a dream. Do you remember when she broke up with us, what is it four years ago? And remember we thought about begging her to take us back, but you didn't want to go crawling back with your tail between your legs. You just cried yourself to sleep every night for a month until you got over it. Well, in my reality I did beg her, and she did take me back. Things were good for a while, until I stopped taking my medication. That's when we started getting into horrific physical fights where we would give each other blackeyes, bruises, scratches, you name it. We would make up every time because I would confess how wrong I was and how much we needed each other. She put up with me and my mood swings ever since I swore off the medicine, but a week ago she broke up with me for good. She said she no longer knew who I was and couldn't continue this pointless relationship. So, I kidnapped her and now look at what I've done. I'm a raving mad, piece-of-shit lunatic!"

Marcus had heard of alternate realities before but didn't think they were real, let alone face one of his. He rapidly blinked his eyes as he tried to process what he was hearing. He never stopped taking the medicine that was prescribed for his bi-polar disorder and lives a normal life as a result. He looked at the guilty one and says,

"If this is real like you say then... then give me some kind of proof, I need something!"

"Dammit Marcus! We don't have time for this! I'm sure someone already called the cops!" The guilty one replied with annoyance.

He looked at the long knife still in his right hand and dropped it into the hardwood floor of the foyer. It stood straight up, leaving blood splatter around it — gravity continued to bring the coagulating blood down the blade onto the floor as he walked closer to himself. He felt the need to convince the innocent one that this was no illusion. So, he answered the question,

"Okay... Alright, Today is Sunday... Sunday June 3rd, 2012. It's 9:38 PM. This is our father's house, God damn he's gonna kill me. We have two older brothers and a sister who is pregnant. Our parents got divorced in 2008... NO! it was 2009. We got arrested when we were 15 for shoplifting... and and Hallie has a birthmark on the right side of her neck. Is that enough...proof?"

Innocent Marcus' mouth dropped wide open as he continued to blink uncontrollably. The guilty one wasn't done talking.

"You should have never gone into that cabin bro. I don't know what kind of bizarre time warping shit it did. I just know it got into your head man; it brought you here... How do I know it was a cabin that you walked into you ask? It's because I can read your mind, dummy. You can read mine too, go ahead tell me what I'm thinking!"

Looking toward the ground, innocent Marcus began to concentrate to see if it was true and he could read the other one's mind. He began seeing disturbing imagery of the hostility, pain and torture that Hallie went through. They were all memories from the deranged version of himself that were now hard-wired into his own mind. Then he heard the sound of his train of thought say. You better leave now before I do and take your pathetic little perfect life, leaving you to deal with the fucked-up mess I caused tonight. Don't you love this little paradox we find ourselves in?

The innocent one quickly looked up into the deviant eyes of his twin and says, "You wouldn't dare!"

With that, the guilty one tried to shove his way pass the other one. They began to fight for the back door which led back to the forest where the cabin resides. The innocent one grabbed the other one by the hair and yanked him back far enough so he would be closer to the rear door again, he turned to run for it but the guilty one tripped him. This historic and pivotal scuffle went on for a few minutes and even continued when they began hearing police sirens getting close to their dad's house. They punched, kicked and tackled each other, inching their way toward the liberation of the back door. The cops had arrived and were now banging at the front door, threatening to force their way in. The identical men were now standing and tightly holding onto each other's arms. They paused to look at the triple locked entrance that would give in at any moment from the repeated bashing of the cops outside. Hallie's deceased body would be the first thing they see, her eyes were still open and expressed fear as the last emotion she experienced before succumbing to her fatal injuries. Somehow, the two men ended up in the same position with the innocent one closer to the back door, it was now only 5 feet away. In a last-ditch effort of despair, a literal twist of fate, the guilty one swung themselves around 180 degrees with force and let the innocent one go. He watched in slow motion as his counterpart wiggled his fingers trying to grab on to anything to regain his balance. The innocent one knew he had lost advantage of the brawl. He landed on his back with his eyes glued to the guilty one who turned his head one more time to glance at him before disappearing out the back door. The innocent one heard the front door give in and several police officers filled the place — one of them instantly hurled at the sight of the woman who was sliced to death. Marcus quickly got up determined to open the back door as the police yelled for him to stay on the ground. He ignored their commands and opened it. All he saw was his father's patio furniture and the large black tire hanging from the huge Oak tree that him and his siblings used to swing on. There was no sign of guilty Marcus or the forest. The portal or whatever it was had closed after one person returned through it. Innocent Marcus was devastated, he fell to his knees in realization that he wasn't going back to his life and that he killed that girl. He noticed he was now wearing the blood-soaked clothes of the guilty one. Reality had shifted against his favor. How do you explain your way out of this when everything right down to the fingerprints is hard evidence against you? The police threatened to tase him with a stun gun if he took another step. He closed his eyes, put his arms in the air and turned back toward the approaching officers who quickly put him under arrest.

Marcus the guilty one, jumped over logs and ducked under branches as he ran through the moonlit forest. He needed to find his way out of this nightmarish trap.

After running for almost 20 minutes, he came to a clearing. He saw what looked like the cabin from the back of a small wooden structure but wasn't sure. He walked around to the front and saw the shining flame of the candle. It was the same cabin he escaped from. Then he remembered his counterpart left a bike near the trail, he carefully looked for it but couldn't find it, reality shifted yet again. He began to run and run. He ran so fast and far he thought his lungs were going to implode. He stopped to catch his breath. Out the corner of his eye he saw the twinkling candle, AGAIN. It was just a couple hundred feet to the right of him. He was getting tired, confused and upset at the monotony but kept pressing on — this made no sense to him. No matter which direction he took, they all led back to the cabin. He sat there and wondered what this meant. Maybe he was wrong about being able to switch lives with his duplicate. The universe is a strange place with strange rules but nevertheless, these rules will be followed. Marcus the guilty one was faced with going back into the cabin where he would be instantly switched back or stay and die in that forest searching for a way out. In the latter situation the innocent one's new reality would become permanent. The guilty one was on the brink of admitting defeat, he walked back to the porch of the cabin contemplating his next move... but, he wasn't aware of the time limit the cabin gave him. Once the candle burns out, the opportunity to make a choice goes away with it.

By Serhii Tyaglovsky on Unsplash


About the Creator

Lamar Wiggins

Creative writer in the Northeast US who loves the paranormal, mystery, true crime, horror, humor, fantasy and poetry. Take a chance, you'll be thoroughly entertained.

"Life is Love Experienced" -LW


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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (6)

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  • Donna Fox (HKB)4 months ago

    Lamar this was such a mind bending, reality twisting piece! Great work!

  • good article

  • Roy Stevensabout a year ago

    This idea would make for a really interesting screenplay don't you think? There's lots of action and some seriously twisted identity transfers for the audience to enjoy. Anyway, I enjoyed it myself.

  • This blew my mind! Fantastic take on the challenge. Loved the story

  • Look forward to reading your other works as well.

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