Estimated reading time — 11 minutes
I am currently writing to you because I’m afraid that you are the last of my relatives who I believe will be willing to hear my story. You are the only one who will believe me, and right now, you are the only one who can help me. I must keep this story short, as I am working with borrowed time.
To begin, I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know where it came from, or what it wants, or why it looks exactly like me. All I know is that it is me, but somehow also not me, and often, I fear that I am it. I am writing this letter now because of this reason, and because I know I must dispose of this monster that looks like me. It is not of our world. I think that you can help me get rid of this parasite that has infected my life.
Let me explain. It all started about a week ago when I was walking home from school after an average day of copying french on a whiteboard into a notebook and sitting at a deserted table during lunch. I can not recount a whole lot from the walk home, but for some reason, I remember that my back hurt like hell from the weight of my school bag. It was late Fall, and the last of the orange and yellow leaves of the trees that were planted across my neighborhood had finally given way to the harsh cold winds of Winter and begun to scatter across the tattered, unpatched sidewalks of my neighborhood. I went about my way, distracting myself from the pain of my bag by listening to the rhythmic crunches of the leaves under my feet, imagining that I was performing some grand crunching melody for a nonexistent audience.
My neighborhood had been otherwise completely silent, the sound of my shoes on leaves and the chirping of soon-to-be-migrating birds were the only sounds to be heard for miles. High school clubs kept me late after school, and I was the only kid in my neighborhood who had club activities as late as five-thirty. It made for a lonely walk home, but it was also strangely calming after the usual daily bustle of school. At this time, the neighborhood adults were typically inside at five, cooking a big steak and pot of corn for their snot-nosed-brats, almost certainly regretting that they had ever bought into the sham of the alleged joy of a nuclear family.
I can recall looking down at my shoes, and suddenly, becoming keenly aware of the presence of somebody behind me. Now, this was strange, as for a few seconds ago I had been completely sure I was the only human outdoors for miles. I whipped my head around and met the eyes of an unfamiliar person. I had forgotten my glasses at home that day, and, for context, my vision is pretty bad without them. I couldn’t see the person’s face perfectly, but when I finally was able to take in his face a little, I couldn’t help but recoil with shock and horror. This person… from what I could make out, looked exactly like me. It wasn’t just that his face was similar to mine, it was a goddamn mirror picture. You could’ve mistaken him for my identical twin, no, you would’ve insisted he was my identical twin. His outfit was also the same as the one that I wore. Red flannel over scuffed blue jeans, and a heavy green bag resting across his narrow shoulders.
I didn’t know what to say. What could I say? We stood there, engaging in a silent stare-off for what had to have been at least a minute when he finally broke the silence.
“Who are you?” He interjected, and upon further inspection, I realized that he appeared just as shocked and scared at the sight of me as I must have looked at the sight of him.
However, something seemed almost… fake about his expression. His shock didn’t seem genuine, his terror could’ve been artificial.
I gathered myself. “Who are you?”
The question slid off my tongue with a certain hesitancy, the tone of my voice seeped with poorly concealed fear.
He looked at me with what had to have been false confusion. He asked me in a tone that could’ve been mocking, could’ve been genuine, “Why do you look just like me?”
I found myself almost offended by his question. His faked expressions and false gestures pissed me off. I had — have a very short temper. Finally, I countered, “Why do you?”
He simply stared at me then, through the blur of my near-sighted eyes I could almost make out a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.
It was at that point that I realized banter with this boy was meaningless. We could never come up with a meaningful conclusion as to the cause of our affliction. However, I was still unsure of whether this was because he didn’t want me to know, or because we were both too confused and lost to be able to come to a consensus.
This boy gave me the impression of somebody who thought everything was a joke. He was the type of boy to vote for Harambe in a national election, or have “your mom” put on his license plate. He was nothing like me. I’m the serious type, the down to Earth type. In other words, I’m the type to get annoyed by the class clown or stand there awkwardly at the family reunion when Great Grandpa makes an offensive joke instead of fake a laugh awkwardly like everybody else. I could tell we wouldn’t be getting on greatly.
“Do you… live in this neighborhood?” I asked, hoping that by some miracle he was just some kid who looked a lot like me and happened to wander into this neighborhood by chance.
If only it could have been that simple.
“Yes”, he replied, his playful tone suddenly shifting to one of annoyance. “In the house just a few garages ahead of us.”
I stared at him vacantly. That was my house. I can remember thinking at that time — this can’t be happening. To me, at that time, this was the sort of shit that happened in poorly written B movies and obscure online creepypastas. It wasn’t, well, real life.
I peeked a glance at his blurry face once again and realized that he was upset with me and wanted me gone as quickly as possible. Perhaps my silence had offended him. Maybe he had wanted me to struggle more, so he could’ve toyed with me longer. “I’m going to go now”, he said, and he began to walk ahead of me, acting as if I didn’t exist.
I could tell that he was making a beeline for my house with my poor unsuspecting mother and father inside it.
“Yes?” He had turned his head back towards me, and it was at that moment that I realized that this boy was not entirely human.
I could see him now, as he was only about two feet in front of me. The way he looked was… uncanny valley to say the least. He had my eyes, but no eyelids. I can only describe what was staring back at me in place of eyes like balls of putty that were plastered into the holes of his skull. He didn’t blink, or if he did, we must’ve been blinking in perfect synchronicity. His lips were impossibly thin, nonexistent one might say. His mouth was like a slit cut into his pale face, dry and straight. And when he opened his mouth, his teeth… they were the worst part of all. They were rotten. I can only describe them as a dentist’s worst nightmare. Yellow and brown, cracked and broken, overgrown and shattered. I can recount now that I had felt the urge to vomit, but miraculously held it in.
At last, I somehow gathered the courage to mutter three almost silent words of retaliation to his actions. “That’s where I live”.
I thought he would yell at me, perhaps get physically violent, but he didn’t. He stared at me blankly, without emotion for a few seconds, and it was during those seconds that I felt truly terrified of him. I mean, he was scary before, but it was upon staring into those soulless eyes of his that I knew nothing human could be capable of producing such a terrifyingly empty expression.
But, what happened next still sends shivers down my spine when I recount it, and writing it down fills me with a deep immeasurable sort of dread. He smiled. He smiled at me with those broken, yellow, rotting teeth, his lidless eyes crinkling into crescent moons. And he whispered in a tone of voice that was playful but somehow also cruel at the same time, just loud enough for me to hear him, “Not anymore”.
If I could articulate the shock and confusion I felt at that moment into words, believe me, I would. Alas, all I could do was watch with silent horror as he walked up to the front door of my house, and shake with rage as he knocked on the door separating himself from my parents thrice.
The only thoughts I could form during those dreadful seconds of waiting for somebody to answer the door were ones of how I might kill and dispose of this creature who surely planned to do horrible things to my innocent family. I was so filled with panic and rage that I failed to notice my front door swinging open, or the monster slowly entering my household, or the sound of the door slamming shut behind him.
The realization that the monster had entered my home came to me all at once. I didn’t need to see the closed door of my house to know that the creature was likely sitting at my dinner table, talking with my mother, and undressing in my room.
I simply stood on that paved pathway near my home, the soft chirping of a nearby finch my only comfort on that October afternoon.
I was scared of the creature to be completely honest. It was unpredictable, and it looked just like me. And, although I didn’t like to think about it… what if my parents couldn’t recognize the difference between the creature and I?
I pushed this thought into the deepest depths of my mind, and from the same depths somehow summoned the courage to walk up to my front door and knock on the wood slab separating myself and the monster twice. I waited with bated breath, a part of me fully expecting, fearing, that the creature that looked just like me would be staring right back at me when the door finally creaked open. However, when the door, at last, gave way, the face that met mine was not that of the creature but instead that of my Mother.
I choked back a sob. I was so grateful to see her face at that moment, that I’m sure now that I could have cried, if only it had not been for one thing. Behind my mother, sitting in a wooden chair at the dinner table where I had eaten with my Mother and Father for the past seventeen years, was the creature. It had poured itself some Froot loops and had this awful, crooked, shit-eating grin on its face as if it was the most hilarious thing ever that it had taken over and invaded my life like some kind of parasite.
My mom frowned at me, confusion over the present situation apparent in her eyes. After staring at me for a solid fifteen seconds, she finally opened her mouth to speak. “C-Collin?”
I nodded, my eyes desperately trying to convey to her that she needed to get out of our house, and away from the creature that was sitting only a couple of feet behind her as quickly as possible. Alas, eyes can not speak words, and it was all I could do but stand frozen, with a look of horror on my face as the creature began to rise from its seat at the table.
My Mom finally registered what was happening, and whipped her head around, but she was too late. The creature’s face was only inches away from hers, and its eyes glinted with gleeful malice.
“What is it Mother?”, the creature taunted, it now had a rotting hand placed delicately on her left shoulder, holding her firmly in place.
I took a couple of steps back, reaching for my Mother, trying to pull her away from the monster before her, but it was far stronger than I. It titled its head so that the bundles of clay that were glued inside its skull were now directed at me, and based on the constant twitching of the upper corners of its dry, thin lips I could tell that it was struggling not to laugh.
I felt utterly disgusted. What I felt towards the monster then, I can only describe now as pure and unadulterated hatred. I needed the monster gone. I needed it gone more than I had ever needed anything. The rage and disgust welling up inside me somehow manifested into courage, and I shocked myself with the clarity and strength in my voice. “You need to go”, I demanded, never letting go of my mother’s right shoulder as it clung onto her left.
The monster looked at me with mocking eyes, its grip tightening on my Mother’s shoulder. “But I live here,” it replied. Its tone was a falsetto of shock and confusion.
I looked from the creature to my Mother frantically, my courage evaporating. “But— MOM,” I half-shouted.
Finally, after seconds of silence, my mother spoke. Her voice was shaky, and I could detect rage hidden behind her words. “Who are you, and what do you want with my son?”
It took me a second to grasp what my mother had just said. Upon recognition, I looked back at the creature, a big smirk on my face.
I had won. Mom was on my side, and I and her would drive this doppelganger monster from our home together. We would push it aside, grab a phone, and dial the police. It would be taken to a cell where it would rot away with all its nasty creature pals. I was so caught up with fantasies of revenge and restored order that it hit me all the harder when I realized with sudden clarity that my Mother was not looking at the monster… but at me.
The monster was smirking, gleefully imitating the smirk that had been stretching my skin nearly seconds before. It knew that it was the true victor of this situation and that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I wanted to laugh, or cry, or maybe both. My mother was looking at me with utter and absolute disgust. Could it be that she believed that I was the monster and that this, this, creature was her son?
But — could she not see its contorted facial features? Could she not recognize that its eyes were barren of lids, that they were the farthest from a human I had ever seen on a creature? Was she not disgusted by its rotten, yellow teeth?
I was so shocked and confused; I released my grasp on my Mother. I began to run back down the street I came from, I needed to be anywhere but at my own home, with my Mother who believed me to be a monster. The look of disgust on her face had been too much. After running for at least a mile, I finally ran out of energy and stopped near a tall wooden oak in an abandoned park a couple of blocks from my home. It was almost dark out, and the sun had begun to set. I let myself collapse onto the oak, my back tired, so tired, and my face red and wet from running. I curled up into a ball on the muddy ground and began to cry, at the sheer horror, shock, and hopelessness of my situation.
I could try to get my Mom to believe me — that the creature was a doppelganger, but what if she called the police, and I was taken away? Or what if she invited me back in, would I have to live with the doppelganger and fear for my own life every night I went to sleep? The what-ifs were all too much, and I didn’t recognize it when sleep overtook me, and before I knew it, my reality faded into a soft, comforting, all-enveloping darkness.
When I awoke, mud-soaked, disheveled, and robbed of my favorite shirt, I decided the best course of action would be to crash at my friend’s place for a bit to think things through. Upon knocking on my friend’s door, however, I was greeted by somebody who was not my friend. The monster who greeted me was an eye-lidless, thin-lipped version of the boy who I once called my best friend. We made eye contact, and it grinned to reveal rotted teeth, and I slammed the door in its face.
I tried other friends, but to my despair discovered that all of the teens and children in my neighborhood had been replaced by lidless, lipless freaks.
It is for this reason that I am writing this story out now because I do not know what my next course of action should be. I could try to kill the freaks, but I am too afraid of what I might discover upon killing them. Often I question my sanity, and wonder why my mother recognized that monster as her son, but the potential hope of her having been somehow brainwashed by the monster is the only thing still keeping me going.
Please help. I have been able to write this letter by using a few sheets of scrap paper and an envelope that had been tucked away in my ragged old school bag. Due to lack of materials, I’m afraid that after I mail this letter out, I won’t be able to send another, so you must come and find me on your own. I am completely by myself and do not know what to do. Every night I sleep in the park by the oak and feed on the litter and garbage of pedestrians. I can’t sleep, and while I’m awake in the dead of night, I see shadows shifting behind trees – I hear twigs snapping behind play equipment. I think the monster is watching me, I think it’s plotting something. I’m terrified beyond words and spend every night and day in constant fear, and if that’s not enough… lately I’ve — I’ve noticed something strange.
Every time I look at puddles on the ground, my eyelids are gradually getting smaller, and my lips have been getting thinner. Please help Grandma, I’m so scared.
Credit : Chloe
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