Warning: Death. Serious death ahead. Present tense and actually pretty descriptive accidental death... let me know if I need to increase the rating...
CHAPTER ONE: Waking Nightmare
Elliot rolled over in his bed. The night was a blur. He'd been drinking... and possibly smoking, not just tobacco, not necessarily entirely legal. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes taking in a deep breath as he sat up. He'd never woke feeling this refreshed after a party night, especially one that included a pretty blunt and cold dumping. He didn't feel hung-over at all, nor did he feel entirely all that depressed. He blinked staring at the opposite wall. The last bits of the night was foggy. He wasn't sure how he got home... Vague memories of him crying in the bathroom came to mind. He shook his head.
That was a seriously messed up dream. There's no way he could have done that and be sitting in his bed feeling fine. Now that he thought about it, he wasn't even sure Rachel had dumped him at all. He stood, his sheet's falling around his ankles. Scratching his head he let out a large yawn. He had the day off, so he wasn't really in a rush to get moving. His body shivered as he realized he wasn't wearing any clothes. He shrugged rubbing his arm just slightly as he shook off the memory of his nightmare trying to resurface. Quickly grabbing some clothes he swiftly got dressed. He decided he'd go meet some friends for a movie and ask them how the night had gone. Grabbing his cell, he slipped out the door, making sure to lock up as he went.
"Oh man, am I glad to see you!" Elliot's good friend Fred said patting him on the back as they met up at the food court. "I was seriously worried man. The way you were acting last night. I almost went home with you!"
"We both thought we needed to do a suicide watch on you." Cary said, brushing back her fuzzy red hair. "You looked absolutely devastated when Rachel dumped you."
Elliot felt a frown take over his features. "Oh, so I guess that did happen..."
"Don't let it get you down man!" Fred said.
"She was a bitch anyway." Cary offered. "You two seriously were just a fling. Because there's no way that anyone serious would dump a catch like you. You'll find someone better. No doubt."
Eliot sighed. It was kind of irritating the way Cary said that but he understood what she was trying to say. "Thanks, guys." He didn't know why but he felt that maybe they were right. It was a good thing he passed out when he got home... no telling if they'd be having this conversation right now if he hadn't. He stared at his hands as he flexed them, his mind slipping to the nightmare. The pocket knife in his hand. The tub... even intoxicated it was hard to believe he'd seriously considered taking his own life. He laughed shaking his head. What a stupid thing that would have been.
"So we going to go see that movie or what?" Fred asked.
"Yeah." Elliot pauses as the wind shifts and a shiver runs up and down his spine. He glances up as his gut clenches. The feeling that he was having at the moment was strange. He suddenly wanted to walk, walk in the opposite direction. He glanced back but saw nothing. The feeling faded almost as soon as it had arose. Sighing he decided to follow his friends.
Three hours and forty-five minutes later they were back on the streets. "Man, it's like every year the movies get less and less creative." Fred whined.
"What are you talking about?" Cary asked. "Those action scenes were phenomenal."
"Maybe- but it wasn't anything we haven't seen before."
"Well, how many ways do you think you can mash up a fighting sequence?" Elliot asked.
"Me? Not many." Fred said with a shrug then grinned mischievously at Cary. "How about you Cary? Wanna show those Hollywood film producers how it's done?"
"Oh, shut up!" She shoved him lightly in responce.
Elliot laughed. "Okay. That was a blast, but I really have to get back now. Tomorrow we're starting that new project at work... and I'm a little behind."
"No problem. We'll catch you later."
Elliot stepped into his studiou apartment and frowned. There was an ominous feeling in his home. Something in the air. It smelt like something was rotting. He was uneasy as he walked into the small kitchen. Looking into the sink, there wasn't anything obvious there. Nothing was out. Scratching his head he pulled out his and cell phone and wallet setting them on the counter next to his keys. He figured he might as well take a shower.
Humming he walked up to the bathroom and as he pulled the door open he froze. The blood draining from his face. His throat went tight as he stared at the body lying limp in his tub. His first instinct was to scream but his throat was so tight he could hardly breathe. On the ankle that was haning on the rim of the tub, he noticed a distinguishing mark. A tattoo he'd gotten a year prior of a Celtic wolf. He glanced down at his own leg, pulling at the fabric of his jeans. Seeing the same wolf grinning up at him. Stumbling backward he collapsed against the front door.
He couldn't wrap his mind around what was happening. White noise rushed through his head. 'I'm dead.' was the first coherent thought to cross his mind, and that thought brought with it a hundred contradictions. He was still breathing, he interacted with his friends. His hands were shaking his heart was about to burst from fear. These were things that dead people didn't experience. He swallowed.
His eyes falling to the tattoo. 'What about the tattoo?' His mind sat on that for a moment as he stared. 'Clone?' Was he cloned? Like in that one movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He swallowed. It was the only thing that was even remotely making sense to him. The scary thing was, he was beginning to wonder if he was the clone. He shook. The situation made no sense. Even if someone could make a clone of him, they wouldn't just leave the original or fake lying around dead for him or anyone else to find. There wouldn't be any sense in it. He shuttered recalling the moment that he slit his wrist the feeling of his life fading away. The realization and fear that he'd just done something really stupid. There was no reason for him to be remembering these things! He stood a sudden anger in him, his limbs burning with adrenalin.
"No! No! NO!" He yelled as he took large stomping steps forward and slammed the door to the bathroom shut. "This isn't real! This isn't really happening!" He stared at his hands held firm against the door. He took a step back dragging his hand through his hair. He glanced at the handle of the door. Slowly he pulled it open again only to slam it back shut.
Taking a breath he decided he couldn't just let his body rot in there. He swallowed. He glanced at his cell phone sitting next to his wallet on the counter. Wondering if he should call someone. Wondering if he should just run.
It wasn't like anyone would believe that the dead guy in the bathroom and he were the same person. That was impossible. If anything this was a dream. He laughed tears burning in his eyes. As ludicrous as it was he somehow knew that this was no dream.
His mind went to his father. He jumped for the phone before his mind caught up to his body and he stared at the small illuminated screen. His contact list showing up. He closed his eyes tightly as he looked away from Rachel's name.
He suddenly felt really shitty. Really, really shitty. Nauseous even.
His mind went blank with the noise of emotion and thought colliding. He was fighting the desire to blame this all on Rachel. If she hadn't broken up with him- it wasn't like he done her wrong. He stared at the side of the counter finding himself kneeling on the floor, his breath bouncing back into his face warm off the wood. He was busy a lot. He tended to get into fights with her more often than not... he should have seen it coming. All of this just sucked. More than sucked. This was… a scenario he could have never imagined.
He took a deep breath blocking off the thoughts and the emotions. Blocking off the fear. For a long while, he sat staring at his refrigerator. Unable to function- frozen. When his body suddenly shocked him back to the present as his lungs forced air into his chest.
He stood. Action. He needed to do something. He opened the counter under the sink and pulled out a trash bag. He stared at it for a long moment. "No that's stupid!" Tossing the plastic on the ground he rushed into the bathroom. He stopped dead, his blood rushing again as he stared down at his lifeless form. Shaking his head he moved back and forth his body and mind trying to connect. Finally, he decided on a course of action.
Shoving the body the rest of the way into the shower he pulled the curtain and turned on the water. Grimly he thought it was lucky he'd killed himself in a drained tub- otherwise, his body might have bloated during the day like in that one episode of CSI... and he swallowed a small bit of vomit back down. No- he had to stop thinking about it!
A couple hours later he had his dead doppelgänger dressed up in a hoody and was dragging himself down the stairs as if caring one of his drunk and passed out friends down to the car. He gritted his teeth pretending to chastise his "friend."
"Dude, did you seriously pass out on me? You way a ton." He noted to himself that he might want to get to the gym every once in a while. Only to gawk at himself as he realized he was thinking of such a thing while he was dragging his very own body into his car. "Sleep it off, you drunkard." He said loudly, as he slammed the car door shut, maybe a little too hard. He sighed, slipping into the front seat, hoping that anyone who may have been watching would just assume that he was helping out a drunk friend.
He found himself staring blankly at his body. Shaking himself he set the vehicle in motion. He drove by the bridge wondering if that would be a good place to dump the body. He shook his head imagining the frigid waters and his body getting tossed, only to get discovered in a disgusting pile of trash a couple miles down. He kept going. He drove around for nearly three hours writing off spots. It would be too easy to find the body. It was just impossible to get rid of. He pulled to a stop at a red light at about two in the morning resting his head on the steering wheel. Unable to decide what to do next when he felt a strange pull. His head snapped up as he looked around. He felt a strong desire to move east. When the light turned green he turned the car around and drove.
As he moved toward the mountains he noticed a ravine to the right side of the road. The body sitting next to him was more than beginning to smell. If there was anywhere to lose the body… a deep, deep, cannon would be one of the better choices. His thoughts were so distracted he hardly saw the red light, his foot slammed onto his brake but the car was going too fast.
The tires squealed and he stared wide-eyed as a semi truck barreled toward him and his car. The sound of screeching rubber filled the air, as the larger vehicle tried to stop. Metal met metal and he gasped as his car rolled. Grunting with a nauseated feeling of dread as his corpse flopped around the cab next to him.
He realized numbly that if he hadn't buckled himself and/or his corpse in there would probably be two Elliot's doing an improvised tango. Any morbid thoughts about his situation slammed to a halt as his car collided with the guardrail. The truck had done it's best to stop and had turned its trajectory enough to pull away from shoving his car over the railing but the larger vehicles load of lumber tugged at the straps holding it down and Elliot let out a breath he didn't know he was holding when it all settled back down.
With a feeling of unease, he pushed his dead body's head off of his shoulder and tried to figure out what to do next. It would be really hard to explain what had happened… though he was sure what had distracted him had a lot to do with the other him crumpled next to him. Dead hazle eyes watching him blankly, the shades lost somewhere in the chaos.
Before he could even consider pulling out his cell phone and calling the police or getting out to check on the other driver there was a scraping rumbling sound. Elliot gasped looking up to see that their crash had caused a rock slide.
The borders falling down the face of the mountain were quickly picking up speed and by the time his brain left "freeze mode" he could tell there was little more he could do but brace himself. Ducking his head instinctually as the rocks collided with the logs of the truck beside him. The noise settled and Elliot chanced a glance up as one large stone hit the settling mound and bounced landing on his hood with a resounding "CLANG!"
"Oh my god." He gasped. Just as the strain on the straps holding the logs snapped and all that mess came rushing at him again. Internally he found himself wondering when the nightmare would end as the roof of his car began to crunch down around him. He sunk into his seat whimpering.
His mind went to his apartment and how the tub still was covered in blood. Everything was so messed up. He laughed as he thought about how confused everyone would be to find two dead Elliot's under this clusterfuck. Whatever he had been trying to do with his double seemed even more contrived now. As he heard the sound of metal giving way and felt his world begin to tip he knew he was going down and when all his dead weight slammed into his living weight as the car rammed through the rail and slipped over the side of the cliff and began to roll he knew he was dead. So when the car came to a stop and he found himself staring up at the sky as a log slowly rolled out of the gap in the railing and fell long ways toward him he only felt a flash of relief. "This'll be quick." He thought as it smashed through his windshield and right into him covering his senses in one fatal smash.
Elliot gasped as his eyes snapped open to see the familiar popcorn ceiling of his apartment. Shaking he sat up slowly. Sitting naked on his bed he looked to his bathroom door wearily. The early morning sun was shining through his window and he could already see the strewn mess of his panic earlier. Drawers open and clothes thrown about half hazardously from his frantic rush to dress his corpse.
Standing on shaky legs he peered into the bathroom and saw the blood on the tub. Swallowing he glanced out his window and could see that his car was gone. There was no real way for him to pretend that what he'd just experienced had been nothing but a dream. So…
"My car is at the bottom of a mountain… I died…" He fell to the floor as his knees gave out. "I've died." He corrected himself numbly. "Twice. Why? How?"
His hands shook and his fingers twitched. He needed to call someone. This was too much for him to handle. He shivered and realized he was sitting on the floor stark naked. Groaning he realized that his phone and wallet were with his car. "What am I gonna do!?" He moaned into his hands.
Dodge rolled his shoulder as he walked up to the Balto statue in Central Park. The sun was low in the sky. There were a couple of kid's walking with an older woman. He frowned as he looked up to the sculpture. His blond hair rippling in front of his brown eyes. "Seeing something familiar?" A voice asked.
Dodge grunted slightly as a man walked up to him. The man ruffled his hair and laughed leaning against the statue. Dodge swatted his hand away. "Come on lighten up Dodge, it's not like you to be so gloomy."
"Leave it Samson." Dodge snapped. "I'm not in the mood."
"What happened?" Samson asked standing straighter all of his joking lost.
Dodge shrugged. "Doesn't matter. I'll get over it." He sniffed the air. "Lewi's here."
"Yes, he is." Lewi said with an exasperated sigh as he stepped up to the statue. "Where's Enid?"
"Who's Enid?" Dodge asked looking confused.
"Norian." Lewi said with an exasperated sigh.
Dodge's confusion shifted to annoyance. "Why would I know? I'm not her keeper."
"You were the last person to have seen her. I just figured since we were coming to the same place that you'd come together."
"Why would you think that?" Doge asked crossing his arms. "She's an independent woman-
"Oh, I see." Lewi said. "She killed you didn't she?"
Dodge gritted his teeth and looked away whining. "I told her to give me a day." He whined back waving his hands in exasperation. "You know she's cold-blooded right?"
"You asked for one more day three times." Norian said as she walked up brushing her black dyed hair back. "I was doing you a favor, otherwise you'd be sitting here barely able to communicate with us."
"I communicate just fine as a dog."
"You could have at least ran me over away from the house!"
"They are better off thinking you're dead! You were just mooching off of them anyway. It's not like you actually cared about that stupid family."
Dodge was glaring at Norian when Samson stepped up. "Okay…" He held up his hands. "I don't think we were called here to fight like this."
"I don't care what you do." Lewi said pulling out a cigarette. "As long as you stay here and don't kill each other. It'll probably be a while before the other's get here, and Kean won't be here for a couple hours."
Dodge's shoulders were tight. "Fine, I'm going on a walk then."
"Watch out for car's." Norian quipped. Dodge just showed her the finger as he walked away.
This chapter was a little bit darker than I remember it being when I wrote it... Sorry about that.
Please remember, no matter what, you are loved. I hope you are enjoying this story and let me know what you think!