Fiction Suspense Mystery

My brother and I were hanging out at our favorite bar on Wednesday like we’d done for years. We loved sports and Wednesdays were our days to watch all sports being broadcast. My days of betting were long behind me, but I enjoyed following my brother’s bets and sharing in his success.

We always sat at the bar so we could view the four screens behind and above the bar. I was drinking a top shelf bourbon with a beer and my brother was drinking a tequila like we always did, when he stood and shouted, “I won! Holy shit, I won!”

“What? What did you win?” I responded while wiping part of my beer I had spilled from the front of my shirt.

“I can’t believe they covered – it was such a high-risk bet. I just won fifty thousand dollars. Shit!”

 “Dang, bro. Let’s celebrate.”

“Yeah, let’s. Drinks on me,” he yelled to everyone, including the bartender.

People began piling around to find out what he’d bet on and why he’d made such a high-risk bet. My brother was quite popular – at that moment – and explained his thought process to the crowd while I sat quietly waiting for my next drink.

He was standing with his back to the bar when I noticed him peering over my head. He pointed and leaned into my ear and said, “Dude, that guy’s your doppelganger.”

“Which guy?”

“Right over there, to your right and sitting at the end of the bar.”

I turned to look and noticed a man about ten years my elder. “Nah,” I said.

“Nah, shit. That’s you…hair, beard, and all. Just a little older,” my brother reaffirmed.

“Okay, maybe kinda. You don’t have to call attention to it.”

“Dude, I’m calling him over.”

“What the hell are you doing? Don’t…”

“We’re celebrating. No harm including him, eh?”

“I suppose not.”

With that, my brother waved him over and the guy obliged. He sauntered over and took the open seat between me and my brother. We introduced ourselves and ordered more drinks. He had the same name as me. I mean, what were the odds?

Naturally, my brother couldn’t let that one alone.

So, while he went on and on about our similarities, I did notice the guy did have some of the same demeanor as me and did seem to be similar in appearance. I just couldn’t help feeling he was at least ten years older than me.

In no time, my brother had the whole crowd staring us up and down. Eventually, the general consensus was that we were twins. I felt everyone’s judgment was off – just a tick – due to the alcohol.

Within ten minutes, the next set of sports events came on and the crowd had returned to their tables. My brother had taken up his new home in the back corner with a rather large crowd – leaving me and my “doppelganger” at the bar.

After an awkward silence, I started a conversation, “We come here every week and I’ve never seen you here before. You new here?”

“Yes,” he offered.

“You know, I find it a little unsettling that we look similar with similar demeanor and the same name.”

“It’s no coincidence,” he returned.

“How do you mean?”

“What I’m about to tell you will be difficult for you to digest.”

“Okay, man, what the hell is going on here?”

“I’m from an alternate reality – a parallel universe if you will.”

“One of us has clearly had too much to drink.”

“No chance, I don’t drink.”

“I see, go on,” I said rolling my right hand in a circular motion.

“I’m you in an alternate reality – only I’m about ten years older.”

“You do realize this sounds ludicrous, right?”

“Perhaps, but I implore you to listen to what I have to say.”

“Another bourbon here?” I pointed to my glass with the bartender’s attention. “…and keep ‘em coming.”

“Well, you know how you have stories about Genies that can grant three wishes?”

“Yeah…so, you’re a Genie?”

“Not exactly. I’m not a Genie and there are no wishes. I’m here to help save you.”

“Save me?”

“Yes. Actually, I’ve been here two times before today. I’ve been given three chances to save you.”

“Save me?”



“Because your future – and my future – depends on it. Let me ask you a question.”


“Why don’t you gamble anymore?”

“That’s a bit personal, but I’ll play along. I nearly gambled my life away if it weren’t for some stranger who convinced me to not place a bet.”

“Do tell.”

“I almost placed a high risk bet when a stranger convinced me not to. If not for that person, I’d have lost everything.”

“That was me, the first time I visited.”

“I don’t remember.”

“I’m not surprised.”

“And the second time?”

“Well, you don’t smoke anymore, correct?”

“Right…okay you’re freaking me out.”

“You probably don’t remember that either, but I’m the someone who convinced you to quit smoking.”

“You’re right, I don’t remember.”

“But you did quit.”

“I did, yes.”

“Consider yourself lucky.”

“How so?”

“Not all of us are able to hook up with our alternate reality mates. Sometimes we never meet. Sometimes we meet once. Sometimes we meet twice. However, it’s rare we meet three times. This is our third time.”

“So why the third time, may I ask?”

“The threads of our alternate realities are weaved together and – no matter the outcome – one reality affects the other. My duty is to keep the threads intact that will most greatly impact the future for both of us – and the rest of us.”

“The rest of us?”

“Yes, the rest of us,” as he pointed to both him and me and upward.

“How many of ‘us’ are there?”

“Many – and many different ages. I’m the elder. You’re far too inebriated to understand.”

“Okay, so, why are you here this time?”

The other me raised his glass and placed his fingertips around the bottom so the glass was in full view. He turned the glass from side to side with his wrist while resting his elbow on the bar. He looked at the glass and looked at me and then looked at the glass and then to me again. And then repeated the process again while tapping the side of his glass three times with the fingernail of his index finger.

I sat mesmerized as he uttered, “Cheers my friend. Cheers.”

May 03, 2023 19:32

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Diamond Keener
19:37 May 04, 2023

I loved the set up for this story! Very fun, and I really like the idea of having the double be not so much older. Ten years can seem like a lifetime or just a blip so I thought it was a really unique and interesting choice.


Douglas W. Carr
20:05 May 04, 2023

Thank you kindly for your comments. Indeed, the older you become the less age difference matters. I had fun writing it. Thank you for your support.


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Marty B
05:13 May 06, 2023

So lucky to have a future version of you - save you from yourself. Though of course we all know the evils of gambling smoking and drinking, so the present version of ourselves should be able to save us, but of course- it does not work like that does it ;)


Douglas W. Carr
22:42 May 06, 2023

It does not, no.


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