Mirrors

Everyone has a doppelgänger right?

But what if you kept seeing your face over and over again through history. What if every time you travelled you would catch your face peering back in surprise through curtains, on the other side of shop windows.

Surface resemblances have nothing to do with genetics you tell yourself. But how could my features be replicated so often in so many places.

I am not insane.

Other people have noticed. I’ve been chased down down the street hearing another’s name. When caught I turn my face to meet their eyes, expecting the pursuer to realize they do not know me.

Instead of excuse me, they continue to babble about things I know nothing about.

I have even shown my passport to strangers to convince them I am not their friend playing a prank or avoiding them.

Their expressions are always a mix of astonishment and confusion.

I am not a clone.

I have parents, friends and a childhood memories. I look like my parents and grandparents but not EXACTLY like them (in case you are trying to help me piece this mystery together). As far as I can tell, my doppelgängers have rich and verifiable histories. They did not just show up on this earth fully formed organ factories. We are all alike.

Statisticians say the likelihood of one random non related genetic twin pair is infinitesimal that it nearly a zero probability. Of course, you do not have to be genetically identical to bear a striking resemblance to another.

I am not an Android.

Scientists and inventors could create hundreds of models of a single human and program memories. Maybe this is all an illusion? But this theory falls flat. I bleed. And besides, I am terrible with technology. And in case you would think that perhaps I am the original and my doppelgängers are copies, I must tell you that is not likely. I have no attributes that would make me worthy of such mimicry.

—–

A quick vignette inspired by today’s daily prompt, identical.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/identical/”>Identical</a&gt;

Perhaps it will become the start of something longer.

George and his sudden success

The poetry world was abuzz. Out of nowhere George was thrust into the public stage. They said he was a quiet man who lived in a small farmhouse in Maine. (Or was it Vermont? Does it matter?)

They say his word choice is exquisite and the effects of the precise order and pacing of his pieces are almost alchemical.

They say his poetry emerges fully formed while milking cows or tending to his fields or some other farm-like task.

(He lives in a colonial in an affluent suburb just outside of Boston.)

He simply comes into his cottage, cheeks rosy from the cold and pulls up a chair next to his wife, Grace, who is usually kneading bread.

“Honey” he says. “Guess what I was thinking.”

Usually she lets out a shriek.

“Not another word George!” She cries and she brushes the flour off her hands. Bits cover her cotton apron but she knows he’s going to say something monumental so she puts vanity aside.

She pulls the shopping list from their icebox and grabs a pencil. She looks intently at him.

“Now George. I’m ready”

And words flow from his mouth in their finished state. Grace embraces him with joy, tucks the scrap of poetry away and then makes him a cup of coffee.

(After his morning stroll, George passes Grace on her way to the office. They embrace briefly. He then makes a coffee and settles into his office for a few hours before heading off to his job. He choses each word carefully, sometimes thumbing through an dog-eared thesaurus that he kept from his undergraduate days. He considered rewrites to be the key to a tight, well-crafted piece. Generally he only shares his work with his editor but occasionally he will read aloud the final drafts to Grace over a glass of wine. Her feedback is disappointing to say the least. Quite honestly, she doesn’t know what to say. Poetry is not really her thing.)

They say Grace collected the scraps of poetry in a coupon envelope and drove their old pick up to New York to meet with the publisher of a prestigious magazine. The editors thought it would be a fun diversion to see the work she held in her chapped, calloused hands. She trembled slightly when she walked up to the polished conference room table. Her voice was clear and true as she read George poetry. The editor wept silently. They published his work in the next issue.

(George has submitted his work consistently for nearly a decade. He attended workshops, networked, and most importantly honed his skills. He looked at each piece with a critical eye. He was systematic in his approach. He never let the rejections get him down. He felt each no brought him closer to his first yes. Then one day, the yes finally arrived. A prestigious magazine was going to publish him in their next issue.)

George was an instant success.

———

Thinking about hard work and inspired by the daily prompt, suddenly.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/suddenly/”>Suddenly</a&gt;

Messy

The conference room was glorious. One wall of windows looked onto the bay. White sails sparked on the brilliant blue water. A pastel patchwork of houses adorned the hills. From here the city looked pristine.

Of course, she knew that appearances can be deceiving. People love to believe in the smooth glossy perfection.

She gave them what they wanted. Curls tamed into a smooth professional spunky bob. That horrible hand drawn tattoo on her collarbone expertly concealed with scar hiding make up.

She chose a cream suit, the only concession to the artfulness of her page existence was an on trend silk blouse. Gone were the layers of jewelry that brought music to every gesture. Gone were the long auburn curls and the brightly layered scarves, blouses and skirts.

The bird of paradise was now a appeared to be a dove.

Oh who was she kidding. She was never a bird of paradise, she was a raptor. A soaring raptor who caught the up drafts and soared high over the golden headlands seeking pray in the fog cooled earth below.

—–

Today’s prompt inspired me to rewrite the opening of a longer piece.

a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/messy/”>Messy</a&gt;

The sacrificial rituals of early 21st America

Their gods needed a sacrifice for the women had become two bold. The audacity! With hashtags #MeToo #TimesUp and #withher feminists were stirring up trouble.

The #maga oracle had predicated that there was a new battle for our civilization. These anti-patriarch feminists were going to set civilization back ten thousand years. The oracle swigged the ancient scotch, the vessels swelled and his visage glowed blood red. He roared a battle cry. “The gods INSIST.” He bellowed.

He whispered to the king. “But Hillary.”

The oracle’s image flickered blue in the homes of the faithful. They rose from their recliners and gathered in the new Public square.

The CEOs wore their power suits and flashed their extra cash around. The ministers carried their holy books and read passages written by the sacred early misogynists that promise hell fire for the disobedient. Members of the NRA paraded in camouflage carrying their rapid fire armaments. College boys bore tiki torches, their khaki legs marching in lock step while they chanted “lock her up, lock her up”

“Hang the treasonous bitch” a lone voice called. The mob was filled with bloodlust and the chanting climbed louder.

“Not the flesh.” The oracle cried. “Not the flesh. We do not need a martyr to fan the feminist fires!” But his voice slurred and few could make out his words.

The crowd parted for the #maga sisterhood. They flowed past their men in their ceremonial stilettos. They smiled through painted lips. They were hungrier than the men for they had to demonstrate their loyalty. They carried the pantsuited effigy to the foot of the king’s golden throne.

“Her emails” they chanted.

Then the maga sisters tore the effigy to shreds before dousing it with lighter fluid. The most bleached moved her arms in rhythm to the chants. She flashed her sparklers like pom-pom’s and then tossed it onto the effigy.

A roaring fire rose and brought a feverish blush to the apples of her cheeks.

“So hot.” The king mumbled then tweeted.

“Women love me. Long live the king.”

——-

Inspired by Bannon’s comments about anti-patriarchy, trump’s obsession with Hillary and the daily prompt: insist.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/insist/”>Insist</a&gt;

I did not sign up for this

It was a little thing but truly isn’t that exactly why the saying is “the straw that broke the camels back?” I mean if the big things broke our spirit, it would be the skyscraper that broke the camels back.

I stood up and grabbed by bag and headed over to the registrar’s office. Oh how my feelings had changed from my first day when they calmly signed me up and showed me the enormous computer that would make sure everything was going to be okay.

I stomped past the clerks with their patient smiles. Yes stomped because I am done playing mrs nice gal. I stomped and banged on the door. Yes banged. Come on you know the drill.

Bang bang bang.

The registrar opened the door calmly and gave me a smile.

“Hey registrar! I did not sign up for this.” I purposely dragged out “registrar” and added a contemptuous inflection. Everyone does that these days and I mean business.

God she was patient. So patient. Angels are like that. It’s infuriating.

“Let’s pull up your enrollment file. Mistakes are rare but I would never want to say they are impossible.”

She gestured into the air and typed my name and birthdate in.

Soft lights surrounded us like fireflies as the computer analyzed my enrollment record. Soft bells and chimes filled the room as she printed out my file.

Damn why did everything have to be so soothing and pleasant in this place. I could feel my anger slipping away.

She pulled a chair close.

“There we go.” She said and she pointed to a class. “See, this is exactly what you signed up for”.

_______

Inspired by the daily prompt: enroll

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/enroll/”>Enroll</a&gt;

Permit approved

Just this morning, the mailman gingerly crossed our ice covered walkway to deliver the mail. I peeked from behind the blinds and saw the frown in his face as he shook his head and moved aside the junk mail. Not sure of the last time I pried open our mailbox but I suspected that this piece of mail would be worth opening up the door and feeling the cold blast of frigid air.

I waited hunched low for fear that he would see my shape on the other side of the window and remind me, as he has in the past, that if I do not remove the old mail, he will have to notify the postmaster general. The first time he told me this, I sobbed uncontrollable and pulled at his carrier bag until my neighbor’s mail tumbled down into a mud puddle. That’s it he said and sure enough I knew no sobbing or pulling was going to change my fate.

It was a different season then. I was a different woman then. In those days I was afraid of authority figures but I have been cured of that affliction. In part because these days you don’t need to be very qualified to be an authority figure.  But the larger reason why  was due to my encounter with the postmaster general who turned out to be a lovely grey haired woman who listened to my plight and even followed me home to assist with a once over clean up of my mail box. I promised her I could keep up with it from here on in and pressed a little left over bag of Halloween candy into her hands as my thank you.

I wish I could say that I was able to keep my promises.

Once it was safe to do so, I opened the door. There resting on top of the pile of pizza coupons, grocery flyers and unopened bills was a letter with the city seal. Part of me knew that I could carry all the mail in but fate placed this dear envelope on the top. Who argues with fate?

I pulled the single envelope off and ignored the marketing materials that fell into the snow and shrubbery. I think I had read that paper makes excellent mulch. Spring will be upon us before we know it!

Sealed within my envelope my destiny awaits. My heart pounded at the thought and I got a giddy excitement. I often feel fortunate that after all these years I have retained a childlike joy and wonder. This is a moment to share.

I cleared last nights dishes from the table. Such beautiful wood! I placed the envelope on the table. Too lonely and stark! I quickly whipped up a cappuccino and created a perfect heart from the foam. Better, the white cup plays off well against the white of the envelope. And berries on the Italian pottery saucer. Wait. Too staged. The chipped one will be just write.

I held the camera high above for that perfect selfie angle.

Open Facebook.

Post last photo!

“Envelope in hand. Permit approved? Feeling Hopeful!!”

————-

Inspired by the daily prompt Permit

Awakening

Curled up small, the creature began to sense its surroundings. All senses were engaged. Was it warm or cold? Skin pressed against a hard surface sensed cold and wet.

A limb tentatively reached from its warmer center, pushing outwards. Roughness turned sharp and a sting caused the limb to retract quickly.

The creature discovered its breath and pulled in long gulps of salty air. The breath had a rhythm.

In pause out pause.

The creature curled into its warm belly.

In pause out pause.

In pause out pause.

Focus on the sounds, the creature thought. With thought, came awareness.

The creature held the breath in its core and noticed the rhythmic sound continued.

I know this sound, the creature thought.

It let the word ‘I’ sit in its brain and turned it around, inspecting the word and considering.

I.

Neurons fired. Images formed in the darkness of her closed eyes. Pupils constricted and the breath sped up as adrenaline flushed through her body.

She remembered.

Inspired by the daily prompt: creature

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/creature/”>Creature</a&gt;