Friday, 21 October 2011

My Gothic Monster

The writing task for Textual Intervention this week was to create a Gothic monster based on the uncanny.

Some features of the uncanny are:
Deja Vu
The Familiar becoming the unfamiliar
An animal that behaves human
Things that come to life
Coming across the same number or date
Wishing something happens and then it does
When you think of someone that you haven't thought of for years and then they turn up in your life again
Someone with the devil eye
The undead and zombies or limbs still moving

My piece is based on the idea of a doppelgänger. However, my version can only take the form of a person for 24 hours. To stay as that form forever they have to 'absorb' the person within those 24 hours. So, once you see yourself you will be followed until your doppelgänger can get close enough to you to be able to 'absorb' you. Once they are you they will cause untold chaos in your life, destroying anything they can and making misery.

Gothic Monster 

Staring out of the window I can’t wait for this class to be over already. The teacher is droning on non-stop. It’s only five minutes until the end of school; he might as well let us go early, no one is paying attention, anyway. I can see some of the other kids leaving across the playground, a mess of untucked shirts and undone ties. A guy in my class cracks a joke and the teacher, unimpressed, makes us all stay for another half an hour. A cruel and unfair punishment. The bell goes and school is over officially now. I watch the rest of the kids leave school and head home. They are so lucky. It’s nearly four, our punishment is nearly over. I had been paying attention for the last twenty minutes but a shiver was creeping up my spine and I felt eyes on me. I looked around the class. Everyone else was either watching the teacher, whispering to their friends, or staring off absently. No one was looking at me. Unconsciously, my head turned towards the window once more. The playground was now empty and still. Yet, a flicker in the shade of the trees caught my attention. Out of the shadows stepped a boy; his head was bowed and he walked slowly until he was stood in the centre of the playground. He seems familiar, especially his hair. But who is he? Without warning his head snaps up and he’s staring directly at me. His eyes catch mine like lightning and a shock goes through my entire body. It’s a hundred yards across the playground and I’m on the third floor yet I know the boy is looking right into my eyes. But his eyes are my eyes. We have the same eyes. The same nose. The same lips. Same hair. Same body. Same everything. He is me. 

That’s me!

Accidently, I screamed the last bit out loud. Now everyone is staring at me as if I’m crazy, the teacher included. When I look back to the window and the playground the boy, me? Is gone. I hope I am crazy. A chill settles on my body and I don’t even care that the teacher just gave me detention for a week. 

Walking home I wish I was back at school. There were people there; here I am alone. The streets are deserted and yet I can’t shake the feeling that someone is watching me. At every step I glance around. Still no one here. Another step and another glance. Still nothing. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe I had imagined it. Of course I had. My mind had been bored in class, maybe I had fallen asleep, daydreamed? Another glance, just in case. Still nothing. I’m just being stupid now.

I haven’t seen a car the whole way home but I still check both ways before crossing the street. Just as I am about to step onto the road I get the creepy feeling again. I look up. He’s there. I’m there. Across the road is me. Him. It. It looks identical to me and yet there is something about him. A dark decay that seeps from his body. He doesn’t blink, just stares. I take a step back just as he takes a step forward. His shadow seems to stretch away from him and after me. I stumble further back and as he steps forward WOOSH! A car hurtles by, not even slowing down. I see me hit the bonnet, crash against the windscreen, fly over the top and hit the ground with a sickening crack. But when I blink it’s as if nothing happened. The car speeds off. There is no body. 

Just me. On my own. But I know there is someone watching me.

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