Short Story: The Doppelgänger

Genre: fantasy

She met her doppelgänger in the market at the fruit stall. For a few moments, she could only stare at this person who looked identical to her, down to the lock of hair that could never stay out of her eye.

Then her doppelgänger grabbed a fruit and dashed.

“Thief!”

She ran too, not wanting to be mistaken as the thief by a well-meaning helper. In fact, to protect her innocence, she would catch the thief herself.

Her doppelgänger slipped through the crowd like an eel, but she was a hound on a scent. They ran past stall after stall until they left the crowded market for the quiet neighbourhood to the empty field. With a burst of speed, she closed the distance between them and grabbed her doppelgänger by the arm.

“Caught you,” she said.

“Finally,” the doppelgänger said and changed into her new intimidating teacher. She released his arm with a startled jump. Her teacher twisted to catch her arm instead.

“You have been asleep for long enough. Wake up.”

She opened her eyes to a familiar ceiling and worried faces crowded around her bed.

Her memories rushed back and she remembered her plan to take a ‘quick look’ at her newly discovered dreamwalking ability. Needless to say, she had been gone longer than she planned.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“Never do that again.”

They smothered her with desperate hugs, and she wondered why she never noticed how insubstantial the dreaming world had been. There had been other warning signs too, but it was only now that she was awake that the alarm bells started to ring. For the first time, dreamwalking wasn’t just fun and games.

So when her teacher instructed her not to dreamwalk unsupervised until he deemed her ready, she was determined to do exactly that, but what if she dreamwalked without realising it?

“Then I will find you and bring you back. That is my promise to you as your teacher. Now put dreamwalking aside and continue with your day. I have moved our first lesson forward to tonight.”

Knowing she wouldn’t dream alone chased away her lingering fear.

“Yes, Teacher.”

~End~

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