Fading Away (WEP)
Posted on October 15, 2018

"Why are you still ignoring me?"

Rebecca sits on my red barrel chair with her arms crossed, glaring up at me from under furrowed eyebrows. The colorful rainbow graphic on the front of her white shirt contrasts her angry demeanor.

"Susan, I'm talking to you!"

As I start to get ready for my engagement party tonight, I glance at Rebecca standing in the background of my reflection in the mirror. I look away and press my eyes shut and repeat my mantra: Rebecca isn't real. Rebecca doesn't exist. I'm in control.

"Stop ignoring me!" Rebecca's tone softens to a whimper. "Please Susan, you're my best friend, my sister. I love you."

Rebecca has been at my side through most of my life, good times and bad. She was the one who comforted me when Mom and Dad died in the car accident. She insisted I was a hidden beauty and urged me to be confident with boys in high school. And when my house was burned down to the ground, it was Rebecca who helped me put the pieces of my life back together. She's been my confidant, my best friend, for as long as I can remember.

But when I met Michael, Rebecca became jealous. Her envy physically manifested itself and got worse when Michael proposed. I finally sought after professional help with Dr. Lawrence who insists that complete and total rejection is the key to controlling Rebecca. I must reject all aspects of her existence, even the good parts, by any means necessary.

"Is this about my prank last week?" Rebecca throws herself down onto the red chair. An incredulous smirk appears on her face as she shrugs and rolls her eyes. "I already apologized, what more do you want?"

I close my eyes and take another deep breath. Rebecca isn't real. Rebecca doesn't exist. I'm in control.

When I open my eyes, I see her pursing her lips at me in the mirror. I shake my head and proceed to brush my hair.

"Fine." Rebecca raises her right hand as if taking an oath. "I promise not to smash any more dishes or toss any of Micheal's clothes. And I won't leave lipstick messages in the bathroom mirror for Michael to see. Although," she giggles, "his reaction when he read it last week was pretty funny."

I shoot her a glare, and she stops laughing.

"You're right. It wasn't funny. I'm sorry about that. I promise it won't happen again. No death threats or messages of any kind. I swear. He won't know I'm here." She chortles. "Scout's honor."

I narrow my eyes at her. You're not real. You don't exist. I'm in control.

"And I promise to leave you two alone in the bedroom, not that you need the privacy anyway." She scoffs and adjusts herself in her seat. "I mean, you guys are so puritanical. Waiting until your wedding night? Who does that?"

I shout back at her in the mirror, "You are the reason for waiting!"

Rebecca leans back in the red chair, lifts her eyebrows, and then rolls her eyes to the side.

"That's it. I'm done with you!"

I reach for the prescription bottle on my dresser and recall Dr. Lawrence's words. "Take these if nothing else works. You might feel drowsy, and it might make you nauseous, but you will control her. The drug might make her look distorted, or gory as if she died and is rotting away. Or, she might disappear. The effects of the drug are different for everyone, so be prepared."

I pop the top of the medicine bottle.

"No!" Rebecca jumps up to her feet. "I know what those are. Please don't take those. I'll… I'll be on my best behavior, I swear!"

I roll my eyes and shake my head. "I gave you enough chances."

"No, no, don't—"

After I toss the pills into my mouth and take a few sips from the water bottle on my dresser, Rebecca sobs. "Why are you doing this to me? I love you. Please. You have to forgive me. You're my best friend, my sister, my soul—"

I turn on the hair dryer to drown out Rebecca's pleas. She continues begging over the noise, but I can't hear a single word and continue drying my hair. If this new trial drug works and Rebecca disappears for good, I will be forever grateful to Dr. Lawrence, and to Micheal for sticking by my side. I imagine our wedding, our honeymoon, and waking up next to Michael every day for the rest of my life. Marrying him will be the best thing to ever happen to me. Everything will be perfect.

After several minutes, I yawn, stretch out my arms, and slowly sink to the floor. My mind spins out of control, and everything goes black.


~ * ~


Rebecca's chuckle awakens me. When I lift my head, I see her standing in front of my mirror wearing the black dress I bought for my engagement party. In the mirror's reflection, I see myself sitting on the red barrel chair wearing her white tee shirt with the rainbow graphic.

"Hi, sleepy head." Rebecca places her hands on her hips. "How do I look?"

"No." I shake my head, feeling nauseated. My skin is gray with rotting patches. "No."

"Yes," Rebecca says, nodding in the mirror.

"Dr. Lawrence… Michael… this can't be happening."

"Oh, I'm afraid it is." She dabs her scarlet lips in the mirror and flips her hair. "I must thank Dr. Lawrence for the prescription. I feel so alive!" She narrows her eyes at me. "Don't worry about Michael, I'll take good care of him."

"Please, no…"

The light around me dims. I can't lift my arms or legs. I feel myself fading.

"Susan isn't real. Susan no longer exists." Rebecca's voice drifts into the distance as my eyes close against my will. "I'm in control now."





This post is part of the
Write...Edit...Publish
October 2018 Challenge

Word Count: 996



51 comments:

  1. Oh what a twist of fate. I feel for Michael! But Dr. Lawrence, now him I don't trust at all. :)
    Another great entry for the WEP Challenge.
    Happy Halloween!

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  2. So creepy!!! Love the twist at then end. A great read!

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  3. Oh, what a horrible twist at the end. Poor Susan. It seems to me all three conspired against her: Rebecca, the doctor, and the fiance.

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    1. That is one way to read it... (wink wink)
      :-D

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  4. What a fantastic story!
    Makes me wonder, who is real - Rebecca or Susan? Or is it a case of Multiple Personality Disorder?
    Then again, what role does the doctor play in all of this? Loads of questions.

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    1. I love how one piece can be interpreted in so many ways. Could Rebecca have conspired with the doctor? Did she want Michael all to herself now that she’s the one living and no longer watching? So many possibilities.

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    2. Please link your flash fiction to the WEP+IWSG badge that’s pinned to the top, over at the IWSG Facebook page, so that others can read your lovely work.
      Thank you!

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  5. Oh wow. Identity theft has just been given a whole new dimension...

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  6. Twisted, lol. Never trust mirror people!!

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  7. Loved it Tanya. I wasn't at all sure how it was going to turn out, but certainly not the way it did. Poor rotting Susan. So HEA to Michael and Rebecca. Great entry for the WEP prompt!

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    Replies
    1. Not sure it’s a HEA for Michael. Rebecca’s nuts. LOL.

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  8. Oh my goodness! At first, I thought this was a multiple personality story, but you turned it into something much more ominous. Great job! Um, naturally, I sympathize with... Susan. :)

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    Replies
    1. Poor Susan. I hate killing characters. Not.

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  9. This was brilliant! I love the way the tables turned in the end, and I feel so bad for Susan and Michael. A cruel twist of fate indeed.

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  10. Rebecca is like an evil twin one would rather not know and can do without. Poor Susan!

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    Replies
    1. She's an evil something alright! Thanks for reading Adura!

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  11. A great story about the duality of people. Great job.

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  12. Thought she had a creepy second personality, sounds like a creepy not so imaginary friend. The Dr. must have been in on it. Great story indeed.

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    1. Maybe the doctor was in on it, maybe not. Who knows? Were there mirrors in his office? Hm...

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  13. Hi Tanya - this is so good ... loved reading - just hope it can never become real! Really clever ... and now every time I look in a mirror - I'll be wondering ... though thankfully I have no sister, nor twin - cheers Hilary

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  14. This was masterfully done, a great Halloween story! Brilliant imagery all through - I was totally with Susan and could 'see' the mirror and the red barrel chair and the reflection of the evil twin in it. Kudos.

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  15. Who's who
    the question I ask
    Now Susan is Rebecca
    at last
    the stronger will
    is now in control
    be careful what you ask for
    I've always been told

    Nice job for now one is the other.

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  16. As Nilanjana wrote that was masterfully done. You really lured the reader in and twisted expectations back on us! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Roland. I love when the twist catches the reader by surprise!

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  17. Very nice twist... Really enjoyed yours story!

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  18. Whoa! That was awesome. I loved that twist at the end. This is one of my favorites for this challenge. Thanks for sharing it.

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  19. Excellent writing, and a neat twist. Would love to read more from you.

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    1. Thanks Damyanti. Please feel free to check out my short stories and poetry tabs from the menu. A couple more twisty tales there too...

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  20. Mwah-ha-ha!! Well written and great ending.

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  21. Whoa--great ending! I saw it coming about 5 seconds before it hit :) That was really good.

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    1. Awe man... I wanted NO ONE to see it coming. I guess you can't get em all! Thanks for reading Rebecca!

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  22. This made me think of someone who suffered with schizophrenia and the doctor was trying to help her with the hallucinations but she sure had a bad reaction to that medication.

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    Replies
    1. Oh no! Someone you know in real life? I hope she didn't have THIS kind of reaction. Poor woman...

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  23. You kept the twisted tension going until the twist tightened and scared me more. What is real when you are being manipulated?

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  24. A simple twist of fate, and the roles are switched. Invisible friends or not, it appears there was definitely some voodoo or other forces at work. Or does she have multiple personalities? When the veil thins, anything is possible. Great take on the prompt.

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  25. Unexpected switch! Very nice. Always fun to wonder who the imaginary one is. Good job.

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  26. Another story that is making me question real and not real! After this challenge, I might never trust mirrors (or machines or apps) again!

    Good job.

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  27. Real? Not real?
    This is one heck of a story!

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