Something "Off"

Vial 277058

I saw you on a dark Saturday night. It was raining, but it wasn’t too heavy: more than a drizzle, less than a downpour. I was walking home from the pharmacy around the corner when you stepped out of an adjacent alley.

But I knew it wasn’t you. Your skin didn’t fit quite right. Your limbs seemed to struggle to hold together. There was something just…off. I was about to approach you, but then I saw your eyes – they were grey-green, not the brown I’m used to. That’s what did it for me.

I brushed past you instead, hoping you wouldn’t hold onto me with a misplaced hand, and hurried on home. I could hear sloshing footsteps behind me the entire time.

As soon as I turned the corner on my block, I sprinted till I came to my house, then ran even faster up the driveway and into the building that would protect me from this monstrous lookalike, slamming and locking the door behind me. With my back against the door and my heart in my throat, I crumpled to the ground, breathing much faster than usual.

‘Hello…’ You stood before me as I screamed.

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Art work by Rhea Mehta