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By Alex Davis

My troubled sleep ends with the harshness of a scream from the next room. Rising from the filthy bed, I wander towards the source of the sound. She lays upon the floor, playing the knife across her thighs. She smiles with a strange innocence as she plunges the blade into her entrance, which begins to bleed heavily. The scream comes again from her companion, unmoving bar its pained expression. The skin of its body is pure white, as though ivory, and the liquid that bursts from its crotch is a shade of darkened blue. I shake my head at her but she continues to smile, revelling in the shared pain. What pleasure do you get from these games, torturous of your pale doppelganger?

I have tried to forget the past, happy times and embrace this new way of being. Its presence, an unmoving mannequin, haunts me as a I move through the house. I do not even know how it came to be, only that it is now. Its albino eyes at times show a flash of emotion, a glint of happiness or a momentary pall of sadness. These are a reflection of what goes on in her day, tantalising clues towards her activities. Sometimes I move towards it, trying to gain some reaction, running a hand across its tacky flesh, but it remains immune to my actions, unable to feel without her sensation.

A memory wanders with me, a memory of making love, of enjoying the warm touch of her body. The carpeted floor holds us and the pleasure of our act shows in her every movement, her nails digging into my back. She lets out a cry of pleasure, moaning uninhibitedly, and I hear it echoed from behind me. This is from where she derives her pleasure, the synchronicity of an ecstasy doubled. She tries to pull me deeper into her but I resist these efforts, withdraw from her, disgusted by her duplicity. She looks up to me, frustrated and confused, but I turn away and go to the bedroom alone. As I leave the room I see a slick patch of wetness upon her frost-coloured double, dribbling from her between her legs to the crimson carpet.

I stand before this blank imitation, knife in hand Its white eyes filled with a transient shine of pleasure. I imagine your laughter, somewhere far away. I cannot stand this way of living any more, and I slash at the pallid statue. It does not flinch at my cuts, maintaining the same fixed stare. There is no blood, although the skin is broken, and I stop my desperate actions as I begin to cry. Looking up to this creature again, I can see something beneath the torn layer of its stomach. Leaning up, curious and afraid at once, I pull the flesh from its bleached stomach and to my shock out falls a tiny shape, curled into an elliptical form. It hits the floor soundlessly and it is only at this moment that I take in what it is.

It is a foetus, as ivory as its lifeless mother. The ashen shape is curled into itself, holding its impossibly thin legs close to its chest. It has all the appearance of any other child and this is the thing that disturbs me the most. Gradually its shape unfolds and it lays, its limbs spread freely. As it moves I retract away from it, uncertain of what will come next.

I cannot understand this, where this young fragment of a life has come from. Is she pregnant, has she kept this a secret from me? But why else would this snowy form hold such a hollow life within it? I look to this premature ashen child and it is a little older, a little larger, a little more developed. Its tiny limbs continue to twitch, shifting in shape and size.

Hours later she returns, striding through the door smiling. She wanders through the house for a few moments before coming into the bedroom. It is there I lay, hiding away from the abomination of that dark room. She leans down to me, runs a hand across the back of my head, my face buried into the stained pillow. Her touch is a false sensitive. Now she leaves the bedside, and I watch her lean down to the newly-formed shape. Its growth has continued, and now is complete. She leans to the near-human form, and shows me its face, a sallow reflection of my own.

And she smiles, delighted, sickening.

Copyright Alex Davis 2004

Alex Davis runs a new dark writers group in Derby (England)  The site for the group is www.geocities.com/sepulchrewriting/index.html


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