Posted in Short Stories

Carousels and Nightmares (Part III)

Sheila stumbled backwards a couple steps. The detective caught her by the arm before she fell to the ground. But her eyes never left the corpse in the hole. The body was hers. It was her. How can that be? Without thinking she had taken baby steps toward the edge of the hole. Her breathing grew heavy. A hand touched her shoulder and she jumped. It was the detective.

“Ma’am, you ok?” asked the detective.

“I’m staring at myself in a makeshift grave in the backyard of my neighbor. Do you really need to know the answer to that question?” asked Sheila.

“Yeah. Never mind. Clearly this isn’t you. Although I can understand your reaction. She’s a dead ringer for you though.”

Sheila shot him a look.

“Sorry. Bad choice of words. Are you sure you don’t have a twin? Maybe the two of you were separated at birth and no one told you.”

“I’m positive. My birth certificate says I was a single birth.”

“Maybe they faked it.”

She had to admit he had a point. Maybe the lady in the hole is only a look a like. That’s happened before. She had to be sure. “Detective, I need to step away for a moment and make a phone call.”


Sheila walked over to the back porch of the house and placed a call from her cell phone to her mother. The other end rang several times. Just as she was about to end the call, the other end picked up.


“Mom…,” said Sheila then paused.

“Hey sweetie. What is it? You sound shaky.”

“Do I have a twin?”

“N-no. Why do you ask?”

“That wasn’t a very confident no,” said Sheila.

“Well…technically you don’t have a twin. But…”

“What do you mean technically?”

“OH!” her mother blurted out. “That damn carousel.”

“What carousel? What are you talking about?”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” replied her mother.

“I’m running out of patience, mother.”

“Sheila, honey, it’s going to take more than a phone call to explain things. I’ll be on the first flight out.”

Sheila ended the call and walked back over to the detective who threw her an expectant look.

“Well?” he asked.

“No. I don’t. And yes. My mother is flying in later to tell the rest.”



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