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Romance Science Fiction Thriller

   Helene had no irises. She had discovered that this morning in the mirror. Sunglasses were her new best friend.

   Helene didn’t usually go to the mall by herself. There were too many creeps. She didn’t feel safe. Especially now that she looked like a freak. 

  “That will come to 17.49.”

   “Debit.” She paid, then turned and speed-walked out. All she wanted was to get out of here, back to her car, back home. The parking lot beckoned her to run.

   “Oof!” She collided with someone— and went down to the pavement on top of him. “I am so sorry…” she mumbled, untangling herself, when she realized the world was much brighter. “Oh— oh no. Where are my sunglasses?” She crouched back to the asphalt, shoving aside the scattered contents of her purse in her haste to find those glasses. She could not let this guy see—

   “You mean these?” He held them up.

   “Yup, those are the ones. Thanks.” Helene reached out to take them, avoiding eye contact, but he pulled away. Startled, she looked up. He was grinning mischievously and holding the glasses above her head. “Hey! What are you—“ 

   “Wait a minute.” 

   “Yes, I know my eyes are freaky. Give me back my glasses!” 

   “No, wait.” His smile died while he slowly took off his own sunglasses. 

   Helene stared. He had looked so normal— wavy brown hair, white tee, blue jeans— but now, his eyes glared out of place. They were a pale, milky white. “Your— your eyes,” she managed.

   He nodded. “Just like yours.”

   “Yeah… do you know what’s going on?”

   “I have my theories.” He knelt and helped her pick up the pens and lipstick that had been distributed over the pavement. 

   “Thank you.”

   He jumped to his feet and offered her a hand up. She reached out tentatively and took it, feeling like she was in a Brontë novel. 

   “May I know your name?”

   “Uh— it’s Helene.”

   “I am Jonas.”

   “It— it’s nice to meet you, I suppose.”

   The silence became awkward. Helene blushed and withdrew her hand. 

   “Um, you said you had theories? About our eyes?”

   “Yes, I do.” He handed back her glasses and put his own back on. “Have you noticed anything else strange today?”

   “Not really… Like what?”

   He grinned— a naughty grin it was. “You must be really distracted.”

   “Why?”

   “Think about it. Try picking up one of your tubes of lipstick again.”

   Helene frowned, but did as she was told. This time, as she reached for the zipper pull of her purse, it reached back and clicked to her finger. She unzipped her purse with one finger, then reached in. The first lipstick tube clicked onto her finger and she drew it out. It clung on her fingertip. “Why are my fingers magnetic?”

   “I don’t know. But doesn’t that strike you as strange?”

   “Oh, no more strange than the uncanny ability I have to see despite the lack of irises.”

   “There’s no need to be sarcastic. Have you noticed anything else?”

   “Actually, yeah, I have—“

   A car honked, reminding them that they were still in the middle of a parking lot. 

   “Maybe we should move,” Jonas suggested. “There’s a McDonalds right over there, if you want.”

   “Yeah.” They began to walk towards it. “Creepy mysteries should always be handled with French fries and milkshakes.”

   He halted. “Wait. You’re not one of those who eats them together, are you?”

   “Oh, goodness no! That’s gross. I order the fries and eat them first, hot, then get the milkshake.” 

   “Okay. Good. Here I thought we were going to have to part ways, even if we both have freaky eyes.”

   Helene laughed. “You would take that as grounds for breaking a friendship?”

   Jonas arched an eyebrow. “Is that what we are?” 

   “Fine. You would take that as grounds for breaking a partnership in investigation?”

   He just laughed and held the door open for her as they went in. They ordered their food and found a corner booth.

   “All these people are looking at us weird for wearing our sunglasses inside.”

   “Would you rather take them off?”

   “Of course not. Now, theories.” 

   Jonas leaned over the table, his burger forgotten. “What I think is that we were kidnapped and experimented on.”

   “And this was all done overnight.” She couldn’t hide the incredulousness in her voice as she stuffed her face with the fries. 

   “If they were prepared, I don’t see why not. I’m going to bet that your parents are out of town.”

   “They’re in Mexico, for the next week. They left yesterday. Why?”

   “Mine are gone for a while too. How old are you?”

   “Personal much?”

   “Oh, come on. I’m trying to prove a point.”

   “Fine. I’m nineteen.”

   “As am I. And you had an unexpected day off of work today?”

   “Yes.”

   “Again, me too. And we are both of average height, are pretty fit, and healthy—“ he looked down at the fast food between them. “Mostly healthy.” 

   “Okay, so we are very alike. Point?” 

   “This was planned.”

   Helene sat back in her seat. She took a deep breath. “All right, so we were kidnapped and experimented on. What now?”

   “I feel like we’re going to be called on some sort of mission, like all those vigilante movies.”

   “And be at someone else’s beck and call, after being so… so violated?”

   “Yeah. That’s where it gets less cool.”

   “Less cool, yeah. I have a job and a family. I can’t just run off and be a super hero.”

   “Oh come on. Wouldn’t it be fun?”

   “If I was in control, maybe.”

   His grin splayed across his face again. “My second point. If they knew us so well and were able to execute this so quickly, they must be close by.”

   “Or they have helicopters.”

   “Man, do you always play devil’s advocate?”

   “Oh, Jonas, ’tis one of my many talents.”

   He chuckled, remembered his burger, and took a bite. Helene finished her fries and stood up. Her hair fell into her face and she swiped it behind her ear. Suddenly, she was seeing something else. She dropped back into her seat. 

   Jonas’ concerned face came into focus. “What’s the matter?”

   “I, um, I seen a laboratory. And doctors. And you, in the next room, I think.”

   “Wow, really?”

   “Yeah…” Helene carefully reached her hand to just behind her ear. The magnet pressing on the nerve there triggered another flashback. “And I can see the road they used, I know that road, let’s get our milkshakes to go!” 

   “I don’t want one, you go ahead.” Jonas reached for his ear as well. “This is sick!”

   They decided to take his car, since he was obviously the more reckless driver.

   “Whoa! Dude, if you go too far over the speed limit, you will get pulled over.”

   “So? We’re almost there, aren’t we?”

   “Well, yes, but—“ the wailing of a siren breached her ears. “Oh, great. This is so embarrassing.”

   “He hasn’t gotten us yet.”

   “You are not going to race! Not with an officer of the law!”

   “I don’t have to.” He pulled the car into an alley. “Get out.”

   Helene did, and they raced off, around the corner. She could see the flashing lights reaching the brick walls on each side. They ran faster.

   “A dead end—“

   “Don’t stop. Jump!”

   The fence loomed closer and closer, and every bodily reflex told her to stop. She pulled a master override and pushed faster, then bounded onto a nearby crate, bounced off the brick wall, and launched herself over the fence. Jonas grabbed her hand and whisked her around the corner, then down to the ground. They waited there, trying to stifle their breathing, as they heard a few officers investigate the other side of the fence. 

   The clomping footsteps eventually died away, and their panting turned into hysterical giggles. 

   “I— I can’t believe im saying this—“ Helene wiped away a tear and tried to catch her breath. “But Jonas, that was fun!” 

   His grin turned devilish. “It was, wasn’t it?” 

   She rolled her eyes and elbowed him, getting up. “What are we going to do when we get there?”

   “I don’t know, actually. We could always start off all nice and sweet and pliable, and learn all we can; then if they want to take advantage of us, we can fight them off.”

   “You’re awfully confident in our fighting abilities.”

   “We did just jump a fence. And now that you think about it, haven’t you had more energy all day long?”

   “Yeah, I guess so. But I think— this sounds weird, but my senses are all more alive too. Like, I can still smell that Mc Donalds. You didn’t take the burger with you, did you?”

   “Naw, I finished it.”

   “Oh, and I left my milkshake in the car! But it’s really weird. When you said to jump the fence, I could almost see the exact angles and the force I would have to hit them with to get myself over it.” She leaned back against the wall. Those weren’t the only senses that had been heightened. There was no way she was saying it out loud, but the closeness of his body to hers was causing her heart to beat a lot faster than it should have. She ran a hand through her hair that had lost its ponytail, trying to dispel the heat on her face. “Man, I can’t believe that this is real. It shouldn’t be possible.”

   “So what? It obviously is, so now we’ve got to deal with it.”

   “Maybe we’re dreaming. Pinch me.”

   “Would you want to wake up?”

   The question put a halt to her train of thought. 

   “Helene, if this were a dream, wouldn’t you rather enjoy it than cut it short?”

   “Yeah, I guess so.”

   “Then what are we waiting for? Let’s find the lab and figure this out.”

   They walked down a few more streets, keeping an eye out for officers.

   “Jonas, isn’t it weird that my— hidden memory, I guess— showed me exactly what your theory was? Maybe it was just a vivid imagination.”

   “Maybe; or they want us to find them.”

   “I am not feeling good about this.”

   “Well, they obviously can do whatever they want to us. We might as well know what is going on, and put up a fight. Hold my hand.”

   “Um, excuse me?”

   “So I don’t walk into anything. I’m going to see if I remember anything else.” Jonas thrust one hand in front of her and placed the other one behind his ear. 

   “We’re here.” They took in the ware-house style building. “Are we going around the back, or using a window?” she asked, using all her vast detective knowledge. 

   “No. They’ve got all of those secured, I seen. Only the front door is open.” He walked to the door. There was no handle, but he reached for a flat pad beside the door, which slid open as soon as he touched it. “Magnetic sensors.” 

   The inside was spotless. Everything was white and silver, polished to a gleam. Helene automatically glanced down at her runners, which were depositing a woeful amount of road grime on the floor. Jonas motioned onwards. Rooms with glass walls were filled with strange equipment; large, small, sharp, round. There were racks of neatly arranged, packaged needles. Shelves were lined with bottles that had every label positioned perfectly straight forwards, reading long, unintelligible names. Everything was eerily clean and silent. 

   Helene felt her arm moving to wrap around Jonas, to assure herself of his presence.

   “The scientists must be sleeping, if they do their work by night,” he whispered. 



   The boy could not have been more wrong. Doctor Rimmelzwann allowed a smirk to cross his thin lips as he watched the monitor. This pair was quick, much quicker than the last several. Hopefully these would last longer. Yes, there they went, down the hall, and his favourite part— the sleeping room. Both the boy and girl stopped in shock, removed their sunglasses, and walked towards the pillars slowly. 

   In each of these floated their bodies— their real bodies, engulfed in a lovely purple liquid. He waited… and waited… there it was. The look of horror and realization that dawned on their faces, the beautiful, empty eyes widening. They had figured it out. The girl released her hold on the boy and touched the glass as if in a dream.

   “Oh, Jonas. Does this mean…” she whispered, lips barely moving.

   His tanned skin had turned pale. “I think so.”

   “Then we are… fakes?”

   “Clones.” 

   One of the pair always pulled through with an amazing determination. This time it was the girl.

   “Can we get— us— out of there?”

   But the other one always disagreed.

   “What for? We’re right here.”

   The determined one always realized.

   “You’re right. And even if we escaped, the double would always have to live in hiding.” 

   The doctor waited for them to decide to leave. He readied his hands over the array of switches and buttons, but did not touch them, not yet. Something different was happening. 

   The boy spoke. “What if— they— get out? After years. What would happen then? They probably wouldn’t believe us. We could be tried and put in prison for identity theft.”

   Doctor Rimmelzwann gently tipped a little lever. 

   “And worse…” he turned to the girl. “We would be separated.”

   Magnetic pulses to the hormones always yielded such gratifying results. 

   “Oh, Jonas. Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing after all.” The girl’s voice lowered. Their faces moved closer together. “How do we do it?”

   The doctor watched as they each found a heavy implement and readied themselves, counted to three, then smashed the glass pillars. The liquid spilled everywhere, and they ran. 

   Laughing; no; giggling, the pair dashed out of the room. The boy slammed the door and pulled the girl in for a kiss. 

   The sweet little things. Little did they know what was in store for them.


January 18, 2020 04:20

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4 comments

William Webster
14:49 Jan 23, 2020

I like the writing style - the dialogue was fast paced and kept the story moving. Very creative.

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Keri Dyck
03:47 Feb 06, 2020

Thank you! I am not used to writing this style, so I am glad you liked it.

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Nivedita Shori
01:46 Jan 21, 2020

Very gripping story, Keri. Romance, fun, adventure, twists — and I really like the grappling ending. In the very beginning, I felt that there could have been more shock at the fact that she didn't have irises (what a cool thing to think of by the way!). It seemed a bit too simplistic that she just puts sunglasses on and everything's fine. But I guess, when you genre-blend, anything is plausible! ;) Very interesting read!

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Keri Dyck
14:22 Jan 21, 2020

You’re right, I could have improved the beginning. I am glad you enjoyed the ending though… I had so much fun writing it. Thanks for the feedback!

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