The Man With Two Faces

Reads: 445  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
When Michaels best friend Scott visits him after six months of no contact, he finds himself pleasantly surprised, until he learns the truth behind it.

Submitted: January 18, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 18, 2016

A A A

A A A


The Man With Two Faces

The repeated ringing of the doorbell finally persuaded me to climb out of bed and

grudgingly head towards the door. Through the glass door, I could barely make out the

horrible conditions outside. The rain was equivalent to somebody releasing bucket after

bucket of water upon us. The trees danced in the harsh wind, knocking into each other as

if they were in a fierce wrestling match. The sky was pitch black, the spasmodic lightning

being the only thing to provide any source of light whatsoever. Outside was a figure

drenched in water, their clothes hanging off of them, making them look as bony as a

skeleton. They continued to ring the doorbell until I reluctantly opened the door, taking a

step back in an effort to not get soaked with water.

“Thank God you’re here!” gasped Scott as he rammed past me and into my house. His

sopping wet matted hair stuck out in ten different directions and his eyes looked crazed.

He made a distinct sloshing sound as he moved, leaving a trail of water from the doorstep

to where he stood now.

I slowly shut the door, staring at Scott. “What are you doing here?”

He grinned like a maniac. “I got out.”

My eyes widened in disbelief. “No way! How’d you pull that off?”

He waved my question away, as if it were a swarm of gnats. “Nevermind that, we’ve got

some work to do.”

I inhaled sharply. “We? As in you and me?”

Scott’s eyes bore into mine as if I were insane. “I’m pretty sure that’s what we means.”

I shook my head so fast I feared it would come flying off. “No way, not after last time. I

nearly got sent to jail with you!”

He rolled his eyes. “Don’t worry, you don’t have to do much. Just a bit of research.” He

then placed a sheet of paper onto a nearby table as he pulled off his soggy sneakers.  On it

was a photo of a middle aged Japanese man. He wore tattered clothes, had an almost non-

existent hairline and a distraught look plastered onto his face. Underneath the picture was

a name written in Japanese characters.

I couldn’t help but feel the slightest bit of curiosity. “Who is this guy?”

“Daichi Akamine.”

“And why exactly do you have a picture of him?”

“He’s the guy you need to do a little bit of investigating on.” I was just about to open my

mouth to ask why I should do it but Scott shook his head. “I’ll explain later.”

I sigh. “Fine, what do you need to know?”

“It’s super simple. Just figure out his work and home address.”

I raise an eyebrow.“That’s all?” I honestly thought he expected me to pull off some sort of grand heist.

He nodded. I pull out my phone and tap in a couple of keywords when a voice startles me.

“Michael? Who are you talking to?” I glance up to see Max, my roommate, standing on

the staircase. He was rubbing his eyes with one hand, the other holding a sheet of paper.

“You remember Scott, right?” I inquire.

He made a face, as if he had unpleasant memories associated with that name, but didn’t

reply.

“Anyway, he just stopped by quickly, he’s going to leave anytime now.”

Scott glanced at me in surprise. “I am?”

“Yeah.” I respond, forcing an authoritative tone into my voice.

Scott only shrugged, not seeming too bothered about it.

I turn back to my roommate. “What are you doing up? It’s four in the morning.”

He nodded, breaking into a yawn as he did so. “I know, but I have a huge Psychology

exam at seven, and I need to cram for it if I don’t want to flunk it.” He stared at the page

so intensely I felt as if he would burn a hole through it. He then abruptly glanced up at me,

a spark of hope lighting up in his eyes. “Do you mind testing me on a few of these? Just

the top five ones.” He waved the page like a flag.

Scott made an exaggerated groan. “Seriously? We need to get going already.”

I scoff. “What makes you think I’m going with you?”

“Don’t you want to find out why I’m going there?”

My curiosity got the best of me and I hesitantly agree before bringing my attention back to Max.

He thrusted a sheet of paper with scrawled handwriting toward me.

I shrug. “Sure,” I reply to Max as I grab the sheet. “What’s Bipolar Disorder?”

“A mental disorder that causes unusual changes in mood or energy level. People

diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder tend to go through intense emotional states that happen

in distinct times called “mood episodes.” Bipolar Disorder tends to be genetic.”

“What’s Dimentus?”

“A type of multiple personality disorder where the patient sees and hears figments of their

imagination. Unless it’s physically impossible, such as the patient being on one side of the

room and the character being on the other, anything the character says or does is actually

done by the patient. When they are acting out what their character is doing, they are in a

state of dissociation.”

I smile and give him an encouraging nod. “Okay, what’s Narcolepsy?”

Scott interrupted, cutting Max off. “Not that I don’t love hearing Einstein ramble, but can

we get moving already?”

I nod, that was exactly what I was thinking. The two of us hung out so often it was like we

were the same person.

“Well, can you guys test me later?” requested Max.

“I’d rather light myself on fire.” Scott muttered.

I agree and shout goodbye over my shoulder as I grab my jacket and leave the house. I

show the man’s work address to Scott, who sets off at a hasty pace. In less than half an

hour, we had already reached the alley where the man’s store was.

I scan the alley, gingerly taking a step forward. The path had a rancid smell, as if we were

down in a sewer instead of a street. A cockroach even scuttled from one wall of the alley

to the other, going back and forth, over and over again, looking somewhat mental.  It was

as if it had no other purpose in life but the simpleminded task of running from one wall to

the other. Dust rose up in clouds whenever any of us took a step forward. I cough and

wave the grime away as we make our way towards the shop at the end of the street. I had

the eyesight of a bat as we headed to the store because of the heavy rain, giving me no

choice but to run my hand against the rough, rocky wall. When we got close enough, I

could barely make out the outline of the dumpster right outside of the shop to the left,

adding to the dreadful scent.

“Now will you tell me?” I shout to be heard over the elements.

Scott’s eyes were squinted because of the rain, but I could still see a touch of madness in

them. I felt a sudden dread grow in my stomach.

He grinned that madman smile of his. “I’m going to kill him.”

“You what? You just made me give you the address of some poor old man so you could

kill him?” I could feel the shock displayed on my face.

He stopped all of a sudden and crossed his arms. “I didn’t make you do anything.”

I grit my teeth in frustration. “You know what I mean. You can’t just kill some random

stranger!”

A look of hatred took place on his face. His eyes narrowed and his face looked a little

more angular, a little more bitter.

“He’s not just some random stranger Michael.” He spoke, resent suddenly filling his

voice. “He’s the one who got me in jail. He’s going to pay for what he did.”

I shook my head in disbelief. “You stole something Scott, that’s what happens when you

steal!” My voice was rising, hurting my own ears in the process. “Somebody did the right

thing by calling the cops, and now you’re going to kill him for it?”

Scott glared at me. “So you’re siding with him?”

I exhaled in frustration. “I’m not siding with anybody Scott.”

He clenched his hand into a fist so tightly his knuckles had turned to an ivory white. “It

sounds like you're glad I went to jail.”

I run my hand through my hair. “That’s not what I’m trying to say.”

“Are you sure Michael?”

I peered at him. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

He shrugged casually. “Nothing.” I watch as his hand crept over to his coat where he

pulled out a jet black pistol. “Nothing at all.”

I take a step back. “Okay, okay, calm down Scott. You can’t shoot the man, he didn’t do

anything wrong. Just put the gun down and think for a moment.”

He was admiring his weapon, gazing at it in an almost adoring fashion. He then cocked

the gun in one swift motion.

“Scott, you need to calm down.” I repeated.

He began to frown as he observed the gun before taking a gander at me. Right then, the

squeaky creak of a door turned Scott’s attention back to the store. It was the old man. He

was clutching a black garbage bag that he was hauling towards the dumpster. It seemed as

if he didn’t even notice we were there.

“Scott,” I started, warning creeping into my voice, “think this through.”

He flashed me a stare, looking surprisingly calm. “I already did.”

“Don’t!” I yell, a millisecond too late. The shot was fired. I turned my back on the lifeless

body immediately, hearing nothing but a soft ‘thud’.

“Scott?” I whisper. When I didn’t hear a reply I turn around, doing everything I can to

avoid looking at the body, and scoured the alley. But no matter how hard I looked, I

couldn’t find Scott.

From there I headed back home, feeling numb from both the bitter cold and the murder.

He actually did it. I never thought he would be heartless enough to actually kill somebody

for no reason.

I pull open the door to my house to find Max sitting at the dining table, rifling through his

notes. He acknowledged me with a wave and continued to review.

“Scott just shot somebody.” I blurt it out.

Max’s head snapped up, all his attention focused on me.

“Turns out, the reason he came here was for me to find the location of the man he just

killed. He was the same person who handed Scott over to the police two years ago.”

I stared at a thin scratch on the dining table. “I just can’t understand why Scott would do

that. He’s a good guy, he really is. He would never do something like this.”

Max bit his lip, a look of worry crossing over his face. “Michael, I need to tell you

something.” When I didn’t answer, he added, “It’s about Scott.”

I catch a glimpse of Max’s anxiety and meet his gaze. “Yeah?”

I watch as he tried to decide whether to tell me or not and waited until he came to a

resolution.  

“Michael, you have Dimentus.”

I furrow my eyebrows. “I… I don’t understand.”

Max stared straight into my eyes. “Michael, Scott’s not real.”

 


© Copyright 2019 Protima Chowdhury. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

More Flash Fiction Short Stories