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Calm and collected was right out the window for Jay, at this point. We'd moved right on to blind, screaming terror. Well, without any actual screaming on his part, but that was likely going to be coming soon, if this kept up much longer.
I found myself wishing he would scream. Not that it would have done any good, or I would be screaming my own lungs bare. And the feeling was more than tempting. All it would accomplish, if anyone even paid attention to it, would be to bring more bodies in here, and that would just up the dead, by the time my doppleganger was through. If no one came running immediately, the cops might be called, and they'd find me in the center of a conflict, and may be able to trace me back to the Dunkin' Donuts, especially with Jay in the midst of freaking out.
The odds of trying to summon help, and help actually coming that would be able to actually touch this thing was slim to none. So slim, it may as well have been none. I suppose there may be someone out there on the planet that could mystically have the ability to do that monster harm, but I highly doubted it.
Jay's mouth quivered and shook, as his eyes darted around. The panic had set in quite deeply at this point, and his face was contorted into an eerie spectre of its former self, barely anything recognizable of himself in it. I wondered if maybe he actually was trying to scream, to force air out of his lungs and cry for help, but the frozen ice seeping into his skin from the doppleganger's grip, locking his throat, and chilling the very air he needed to do so.
He was gasping, trying futiley to get any semblence of noise to move past his lips. All that came out was short breaths, or squeaks of noises as he struggled to speak, perhaps to scream.
Throughout all of this, the doppleganger never moved, beyond grabbing Jay and yanking him forward. Only a few seconds passed for his throat to freeze, or so I assumed that was happening, remembering all too well how cold that touch was. I rubbed my wrists with barely any realization I was doing it at just the thought of it.
Finally, I suppose the creature had had its fill of Jay's squirming and gasping, and reached with it's other arm, stretching it partly over its own head, and grabbed the top of Jay's, his brown, shaggy hair which I'd often joked had never seen a comb poked out from between the doppleganger's fingers, ragged brown grass, creeping out between the cracks where it could.
Jay's eyes immediately focused, and looked upwards, rolling up in his sockets, trying to see what the creature was doing, and likely feeling the icy touch now enveloping his head from both sides, top and bottom. His mouth had stopped twitching. Instead, it just hung open limply in disbelief at everything.
The look on Jay's face was burned into my mind in those final moments before his head was twisted sharply, the doppleganger yanking Jay sharply forward one last time as it twisted, and with a loud cracking snap, Jay's eyes lolled in his head, and the light went out of them.
My doppleganger casually released Jay's lifeless body, rapidly growing ever so paler in the light cast by the lamps scattered around, and fell to the ground with a thud.
Chapter Five - Reflections on the Run.
"I kept my word, my twin." It said this as if it was proud of the fact, and expected me to treat it like a good puppy which had just successfully completed a trick, leaping up, tail wagging, and wanting a pat on the head for a job well done.
"He died a quick, clean death. If he had been more like you, remaining to the sidelines and doing little more than watching, and listening, he may have actually survived the night. I already took one of your friends tonight, and had no intention of taking another." The thing actually sounded as if it was depressed it had to kill Jay tonight, instead of drawing out our pain and suffering as long as possible.
It looked down at her feet, at the body laying there, out of my view behind the couch. The doppleganger regarded him with a cold detachment, like someone who had just swatted a fly off their arm. That's all we were to this thing, insects to be toyed with and thrown away.
"If he hadn't attacked, I may have let him be for now. Instead, another death is on your head, and done by my hands. It still serves my purposes, just sooner than I wished. He had begun to annoy me. But he was worthy of our respect, and being in our presence. He may have actually presented a challenge to me in the time ahead of us."
A challenge? How could any of us present a challenge to this creature? We were clearly outclassed, this thing was untouchable unless it wanted to be touched. What possible challenge could Jay possibly have been? Mentally? Surely that couldn't be it. This thing was smart, but playing dueling mind games with people was surely not much of a challenge to any sort of creature who can just appear and snap your neck at will. It enjoyed the game, but it wasn't above going around whatever rules it seemed to be following.
I craned my neck, trying to look over the back of my couch, and see where Jay had fallen. His body was going to have to be dealt with, and I had no idea how I was going to do that. I had no explanation, and this was only going to make Heather's demise look even more suspicious. The questions the cops would have after this were piling up in my head, and I wasn't exactly seeing any sort of easy way out, as everything was beginning to look very bad for me.
Leaning forward, I tried not to let the doppleganger see what I was doing, trying to be inconspicuous about it, while trying not to let it out of my site, lest I offended it as well, and it decided the game was over, and my time had come as well, time for it to take over my life. Right now, I'd almost let it have it, and let the creature deal with the bloody trail it had caused, taking care of its own problems.
It was no good. Jay had fallen in such a way that he was completely obscured by the couch. I had to see him with my own eyes, be sure of what happened, even if I knew deep down that there was no way he survived what the doppleganger had done. Somehow, if he had managed to survive the twist of his neck, I was sure the phantasm would finish the job until it was certain he was dead.
My attempts to not be noticed, and keep my curiosity hidden from my dark twin had failed, and the creature spoke, "If you wish to see your friend, you may. Come around and have a good look for yourself. I have no desire to hurt you.
The thing that sickened me the most was how cordial she was to me now. It was polite, nice, and had dropped all hint of menace from its voice, outright threats aside. It put me off guard to have it acting that way. It was like my twin sister had stopped by for a chat, and oops! accidentally killed someone, following that up with asking how the weather was.
It truly did have no intention of killing me, at least not tongiht. Of course, that was also the plan for Jay, so at least U had some assurance that I wasn't in any immediate danger. However, the creature could just as easily tire of me and snap my neck too, dropping my body on top of Jay's like a stack of human cord wood.
All this monster had planned for tonight was tormenting me, and Jay, until things went south. It had acheived its goals so far, and moved another one further up the timetable, so why not be a little polite?
Why not leave, really. That was all I wanted from this thing now.
I slowly moved around the couch, taking one cautious step after the other, each foot firmly planted on the floor before I dared to lift the other one up and continue around. My eyes remained fixated on my duplicate as I moved, still thinking this could be another ruse, another bit of theatrics to lull me into a false sense of security.
As I continued my slow, deliberate trek around the couch, coming around the side and finally able to see all along the rear of it, the doppleganger stepped back, surprising me. I kept my surprise hidden, and didn't even flinch, staying steady in my pace and never shifting my gaze or even changing my expression.
I stared at my twin for a few seconds, then glanced quickly down at the prone body laying behind my couch. Finally, I took a longer look down at the floor, hesitant to take my eyes off the creature standing and watching. There lay Jay's lifeless body, fallen into a clump, looking every bit as much like a rag doll as Heather did in the women's restroom earlier. His legs were crumpled half underneath him, and twisted around themselves, and his arms had fallen on top of him, the back of his head laying on the carpet underneath him. The way his arms had landed, and his hands twisted up, it looked like he had crossed his arms, and was trying to flash some sort of sign, in an emulation of rappers and hip hop singers trying to look cool.
Leaning over, sparing a quick look at the doppleganger, which had actually stepped back even further, almost showing me and my dead friend respect, in a very creepy way. It was looking down at the floor, head bowed, no longer paying much attention to me, or so it looked.
I wasn't about to take the chance and startle it, or try and stop it like Jay had. Its guard may appear to be down, but I was sure at the slightest movement, it would leap to attention and deal with it. The doppleganger had its own sort of calm, cold effeciency of movement I had seen in Jay, but it was more refined, and a lot more creepy.
I kneeld down, and reached out towards Jay's neck with a shaking hand. I could see bones sticking out, poking jaggedly at the flesh. It was clear the condition Jay was in, but I still had to check. Without a pool of blood around him to stop me, the only thing coming close was some drool that had fallen from his mouth, I had to check for myself, and with a shaking hand, I touched the side of his neck, seeking a pulse while trying to not touch the bone. As his head rolled lazily back and forth from my probing his neck, I jerked my hand backwards and decided it wasn't worth being that certain, and would take the evidence of my eyes for now.