Weekly Short Story Contest–Doppelganger

I have one job. One. I walk the streets looking, watching, searching. Somewhere, I will find what I seek. Then my job can start. My searches lead me to many places and people. Despite this, I always know when I find it. Always.

My feet barely touched the stone underfoot as I strode through the small town. The sun was bright, but my form, as of yet, cast no shadow. I felt a prickle on my neck and I turned. My tarted was near.

I turned down another street, passing several storefronts until I came to a small, dark door. I was here. I grasped the handle. It must have been a common doorway as I felt many more presences on its cool, metal surface. No matter.

With a swift turn, I open the door to a hallway, a set of stairs before me. I closed my eyes and let my feet take me onward. I was so close, I didn’t need to steer. INstead, I focused on my target, close as I was, I could feel her.

I felt her form, I felt how she felt about her hair, her weight, her job. I took her mental image, now becoming clearer and clearer in mind as I grew nearer to her, and mapped it to my form. Matter flowed and when I opened my eyes, they were dark brown and saw door 412 before me. The door, though locked, opened in recognition to my touch. I smiled.

She started as I entered; they always do.

“What?!” she gasped, “Who are…”

Her dark brown eyes searched mine and she frowned, furrowing her brow, recognition downing on her face. She walked cautiously toward me and I came closer to her, matching her speed. She leaned to the right, looking at my face in disbelief. She reached her hand out toward me, reaching for my face. I allowed her to touch my skin, though her smooth flesh grated against my cool, faceted face. Mine hard as granite; hers soft as velvet. She recoiled shiftly, her hand coming sharply to her open mouth.

“What are you?”

“You,” my voice was not yet perfect, but I did not think it would matter. This would not take long.

“No,” she stated flatly, “There is only one me!” her voice was raspy and she seemed to be trying to convince herself it was true; that she was the only her. It was always difficult for them to refute their senses.

“Yes. One one… Only me… YOu just look like me…” she stammered, eyes wide and locked to my face.

Her face was already draining while mine was becoming stronger, more vivid. I had been right; this would not take long.

I moved closer again and began to speak, my voice gaining clarity, about her life as if it was mine. With every story, she shrank further into herself. With every sound I uttered, she became less and I more until, finally, I could see right through her.

With her last ounce of strength, she asked, “Why?”

“It is what he requires,” I said simply and sighed in pleasure as she faded completely, “Thank you for your life. It will be well received.”

I left the apartment empty and made my way back down the street, smiling at those who knew my shape, exchanging greetings and pleasantries. Though I never would know, I wondered how long it would take the town to know she was gone.

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