Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Being in Two Minds By Tim Hayes

I was besides myself with excitement. Literally. There was another me standing next to myself and I was in a scared and excited state. I had no idea how this had come about. I turned to myself and asked, ‘Do you know what’s going on? How can there be two of us standing here side by side?’

‘I’ve no idea,’ I replied, ‘although it might have something to do with that phial of green liquid that you are holding in your right hand.’

I looked down at my hand and saw that I was holding a small bottle containing an opalescent green liquor. Cautiously I lifted it to my face and sniffed, a pungent odour assaulted my nostrils and I became aware of a sour taste in my mouth, I suspected the two were related.

‘I think you may be right.’ I said to my other self.

‘What do we do next?’ I asked in reply.

We both looked around, taking in our surroundings. We seemed to be in an old-fashioned doctor’s surgery. There was a knock at the door. It slowly opened inwards revealing a tall gentleman wearing a top hat and heavy overcoat. He entered the room and walked towards the two of us, looking us both up and down.

‘It’s a shame I was called away. I would have loved to have witnessed your transformation.’

We both looked at him blankly.

I spoke first, ‘I must apologise, neither myself or my…’ I hesitated, ‘my twin… have any recollection of who you are or what we are doing here and, most puzzling of all, how come there are two of us.’

‘Let me explain, my name is Dr Jekyll and you, having read of my work, approached me to explore your other self.’

He continued to recount his own tale of how he had developed a serum that released the other self. And how, after some initial “difficulties” he had tamed his alter ego and now live a quiet contented life trying to help others. He had to confess confusion when faced with the apparent duplication of myself. Although he had been two people, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, it had been at separate times. Jekyll was at a loss to explain how, once I’d drunk the serum, I’d split into two seemingly identical separate entities.

Both of me were feeling very self conscious, fearful and vulnerable, wondering what each other was thinking. Fortunately we appeared to be of a single mind, albeit one split between two bodies. We both wanted things to go back to the way that they had been, back to being a single entity.

Dr Jekyll sensed our uneasiness and started busying himself mixing together various chemicals in a flask. ‘Don’t worry,’ he said, ‘I hope to return you to your former state with a further dose of the serum. Drink this’

He handed me the flask. We both took a sip and I became one, feeling twice the man I’d been before.

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