Before I recount the horrors of recent events, my dear reader, you should know a little about me: your faithful narrator. I’m a well educated, upper middle class atheist who believes only in the supremacy of science and dismisses anything beyond it as superstitious delusions. Logic and rationality are the foundations on which I have built my life. I am also brutally honest; valuing my integrity above all other things. I have no taste for unnecessary padding or politeness that might detract from cold, hard reality. Now that I have established myself, let me begin.
It happened in the late evening of a summer day. Even with the sun almost entirely set, swells of heat were still visible on the horizon. I was walking back from the university down a sordid alley. A wash of dim light from flickering street lamps tinted the foot path a sickly yellow. All was silent but the echo of my own footsteps. Midges swarmed into a black halo around my crown. I swatted them away on occasion, but it was a futile struggle against the conviction of nature. I happened to glance up. As I did I beheld a strange vision; strange, but not necessarily unpleasant or noteworthy. The usual sparks of already dead stars had withdrawn their pretentious parade and there was nothing above me but darkness in the shape of sky.
As I turned a street corner I saw him. He stood about ten metres away, in the middle of the street, coloured red by the neon light of a nearby brothel. His eye lids were shut tightly and his chin tilted pensively down towards the tarmac. It was like staring into a fogged mirror and witnessing a stranger look back. He was me and yet he was not. I examined the shade of dark red in his shirt, and looked down to find it eerily mimicked by my own. I noticed the glint reflecting off his polished formal shoes and glanced down to find the same beam of light illuminating the edge of mine. I appeared to see the features of my face in his: the same high cheek bones above slightly concave cheeks, the same thick eye brows and strong nose, the same thin lips. Only his were lifted into a bemused half smile, as if to taunt me, and, since I was utterly aghast, I imagine mine were crumpled into a hard grimace. I would like to tell you at this point that my thoughts were calm and rational but I felt unnerved and afraid. However, it would be more accurate to say my thoughts were unnerved and afraid and I felt calm and rational. It did not last long.
Being the disbeliever that I am, I forcefully dismissed the disturbing resemblance as nothing more than a striking coincidence viewed by weary eyes. I began to unravel the threads of my irritating imagination and collect my wandering thoughts as they spilled out before me. My gaze shifted to the cracked pavement for less than a second and when I looked up again he was gone. It should not have bothered me. I should have simply composed an elaborate but stable explanation for his sudden disappearance. But it sent me into a mild panic. My eyes raced across the urban landscape in search of my coincidental twin. My heart jumped erratically inside my chest and my brow began to trickle with threads of falling sweat. Just then the street light above my head blew and showered me in a rain of broken glass. I ignored it and continued to look for him.
Before I could canvas the entire setting I felt a arm wrap around me from behind. I knew it was him. I felt it. He pushed his body firmly against mine. I tried to scream but a hand smothered my questing lips before my lungs could expel the necessary air. His skin was as cold as the wall of a freezer and I shuddered as we made contact. The sensation writhed through my entire body like electricity. I convulsed against him, almost erotically in a struggle to free myself.
Despite struggling and squirming against this dark reflection of myself I could not move an inch beneath its unfaltering grip. My heart pounded furiously against the walls of my mind as he titled my head to the side, exposing my throat. It was then that I realized what he was. It rose up to the forefront of my mind from some obscure bank of forgotten lore. I felt two sharp fangs break my skin and a painful flood of arterial blood pour from the virgin opening as he entered me.
I felt an elusive pulling sensation as he drank from me; filling himself with life and leaving me the dim reflection that I’d seen in him. His bony forefinger pressed into the concave of my cheek until I could feel the prick of his nail. My heart worked against me; its hastened beat quickened my undoing. Even as I willed myself to resist, I could feel the dark canals of every artery and vein in my body pulse in submission. Soon the pound of my treasonous heart began to slow. A state of lethargy and weakness came over me. I knew that I was dying. I felt in every last inch of my being; in every tattered thread of the soul I don't believe in.
Okay, truth be told, my dear reader, I’m actually a pathological liar with an affinity for over dramatizing. Here is what really happened:
I was walking down an alley after dark. I saw a man. He looked a bit like me in the dim light. I looked away for a couple of minutes. I had almost reached where he was standing before I looked up and realized he was gone. Shortly after someone strong grabbed me from behind and covered my mouth. I felt something sharp pierce my neck. It was painful and I could feel the blood dripping from me. I began to feel weak and faint. The next thing I remember is waking up in a cheap motel room…
… that I had never seen before. There was blood in my mouth and beneath the nail of my bony forefinger.
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