Posted in Short Stories

The Mine Shaft (Part IV)

People don’t just combine into one person. I have to be dreaming. Damn, this is so real. I continued staring at Derek who was now just one person and not two. Words failed me as I blinked once, then twice. He took steps toward me, and I backed up. He stopped, and I stopped with my hand raised in the stop position.

“D-don’t,” I stammered, “don’t come near me. I don’t know what just happened, but I want no part of it.”

“Daisy, it’s ok,” said Derek as he took one more step anyway.

“I said don’t…..come any closer.”

“It’s the mine. The mine did it.”

“Did what?” I asked.

“Spl–.” But noise from the opening of the mine shaft drew our attentions.

One by one the others in our group exited the mine shaft. Except…..instead of the five additional people who originally went down there to begin with, there were eleven. One of whom looked like me. Of the others, five of them were doppelgangers for the other five. They now stood in pairs of five. My double sauntered over and stood next to me.

“As I was trying to say, the mine shaft splits people into two,” explained Derek.

Everyone stared at me smiling, but I wasn’t smiling. I didn’t want to be two people. I didn’t like this at all. “So we just snap out fingers and everyone goes back to normal?”

“Well, yeah. That is, if you want to. There’s fun in being two,” said Derek’s best friend Todd. He looked around at everyone and said, “Ready guys?” The other ten people snapped their fingers in unison and they became five again.

My double refused to snap her fingers. She pursed her lips together and folded her arms across her chest. “I’m staying a double.”

“No,” I said.

“You don’t have a choice,” said the other me. “I don’t want to combine. I enjoy being a double.”

This was going to be more difficult than I thought, so I had to play along. But how does one get someone else to snap their fingers at the same time if that person knows the repercussions if they do? Then I had an idea.

“Hey,” I said to my double, “you know what happens if you don’t combine back?”

“Daisy, don’t,” said Derek. A worried expression playing across his face.

“Don’t stop me. She needs to know,” I said.

“Know what?” asked the other me, nervous eyes glancing from me to Derek and back.

I didn’t know what Derek’s game was, but maybe he knew I was making something up to get my double to go along and snap her fingers. Maybe he was playing along.

“It’s the mine ghost. He will come at midnight tonight and kill you if you don’t combine before then,” explained Derek.

“B-but I don’t want…..”

“Look,” I said, “it’s not like we can’t become two again. All I have to do is reenter the mine. It’s that simple,” I stated.

My double creased her brows and stared at the ground, deep in thought. She lifted her head and sighed in resignation. “Fine, let’s get this over with.”

My double and I stood next to each other and snapped our fingers in unison. I became one person once more. I breathed a sigh of relief as I gazed over the opening of the mine shaft. The opening disappeared as though it was never there.

My eyes went wide as I stared at Derek.

“Aren’t I sneaky?” snickered Derek.




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