A beginning!

Monday, April 06, 2009



The alarm clock squeaked. Still sleepy, he dragged himself out of the bed reluctantly. With eyes still half closed, he would barely see his reflection in the bathroom mirror. His hand stretched out for toothbrush. Something felt different. What is it? He looked towards it, trying to force his eyes open. Two toothbrushes? I had one. When did I buy another one? And when did I put it here?

He had forgotten about it when he entered shower few minutes later. Breakfast, drive to office, meetings, chat-by-coffee-machine, a day like usual....

He would have gone about his life perfectly without ever remembering the little morning mystery if not for the near-empty milk cans he noticed in the fridge that evening. How could that be? Didn't I pour milk out of only can this morning? Am I losing grip? Has my memory started failing me?

It lingered over his mind a bit. He might have let it pass too, but perfectly identical cell-phone chargers on his computer desk meant that he could no longer ignore it. Tossing and turning in the bed late that night, he wondered: what is this? are these seemingly benign objects duplicating themselves? Oh, thats crazy. I watch too much science fiction. If this pattern continues, may be I will seek medical help!


The alarm clock squeaked again. Why did it sound louder?... He was shocked. Two identical alarm clocks buzzed from his desk in unison... Scared and barely in his senses, he hurried off to see his family doctor. As he recounted the peculiar events, the doctor nodded sympathetically and suggested couple of days off from work. “Rest a bit, and take these medicines, come back again next week”, he said, sliding prescription across the table. He could see that doctor did not believe his story. The medicines were perhaps just placebos, he thought.

He took those medicines nevertheless, but forced himself through another work day. Barring two identical staplers by his desk (Oh, I think I had two of them all along, he told himself), nothing stuck out.

He decided to hit the bed earlier than usual. No alarm tonight, I need rest, he told himself. Did he fall asleep? or was he awake all night? Seemed awfully long time but it was bright and sunny outside now. Feeling bit jaded, he tried waking up but felt something move on his left. He turned around. To his horror, a man exactly identical to him was waking up besides him... he let out a scream in terror...

"Heart Attack", the family doctor said shaking his head as the victim's neighbors gathered around the body. The doctor pulled stethoscope out from his ears and let it hang loosely around his neck. He was summoned by a panic-stricken neighbor who heard the horrible scream. They had to force the door open. It took a while, but even if they had key, it was too late anyway.

“I suspected hallucinations, but did not expect things to worsen to this end. Ambulance, must take body to hospital. But of course call police before that”, the doctor continued as he opened his briefcase to put stethoscope back.

To his horror, there was perfectly identical stethoscope inside.

Disclaimer: I do not take credit for the originality of this concept, but the treatment is solely mine. Heard this theme from a friend years ago. Would be glad to give credit for conceptualization if anybody points me to appropriate source. Would also pull out this entry if need be.


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