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Mother: A Doppelganger Novella (Part 8)


Part 8

The images that I had seen in the night, stayed with me all day. I kept seeing the hideous creatures and the tree in my mind, but what I was thinking about the most, were the doors where the tree’s roots led to. I could only guess at the nature of what lay beyond the doors based on the plaques attached. The plaques all had negative words engraved, what kind of nourishment can any living thing get from a place that’s labeled as “LIES” or “BETRAYAL”?

I must’ve looked tired, everyone at the office commented on it and asked if I was okay. I told them that I didn’t sleep well. Tammy, the woman who gave Sean my phone number, asked me if he and I had met in person, yet? I told her about our short dinner at the restaurant on the bay, but I really didn’t want to get into any more details.

Sean did call me a couple of days later. I was surprised, of course, after the whole kissing incident in the car. We made plans for a quick lunch over the weekend. Again, my only interest at the time was my travels through the worlds. I couldn’t wait to go back and meet with Kamarth. I had so many questions and I wanted to see what the world that Kamarth called “my world”, had in store for me. The last time I was there, I found that it had changed and was filled with things that I had dreamed of in my childhood. Maybe it will continue to grow and I wanted to be there, again.

The third time that I entered my world, things have changed yet again. I was there without my Kamarth for quiet a while and then I understood why. When I arrived in my world, the mermaids, one dimensional animals and cotton candy roses were there, but now there were children playing. Three children, two girls and one boy. I guessed their ages to be 7 for the girl that looked older, while the other girl and boy were about 4 and 5 years old. They all had dark brown hair and large brown eyes. The older girl, especially, resembled me.

I stood there watching the children play for a while before they noticed me. Then, the younger girl turned and saw me watching. I waved at her and smiled. She alerted the other two children to my presence and they ran towards me. They all hugged me at once and the older girl said, “Mommy, we were waiting for you!”. I was confused, but only for a minute. I realized who and what these children were. They were my children, the babies that I miscarried when I was married to my ex-husband.

I wanted to be a mother, so much more than I let on to other people. I have been pregnant more than three times. Could these children be the pregnancies that I’ve lost in later months? The ones that were formed more than the babies I had lost in earlier months of the pregnancies? They must be, I thought. They exist in my world, just like my childhood imaginings.

The boy took my hand and all four of us, sat on the grass as it changed colors from blue, to orange, to red and so many other colors. The children kept hugging me, it felt wonderful. I knew that my maternal instincts were awakened. I felt absolute love for the children, my children, my babies.

I didn’t have to wonder about the children’s names, I already knew them. Emily was my older daughter, Valerie, my younger daughter, and Ennis, my baby boy. We played with the one dimensional animals that were my childhood drawings. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a beautiful Victorian house standing. Valerie saw me look at the house and said, “That’s our home, Mommy, you made this for us.”, she touched my forehead as she spoke. My Valerie knew that I dreamed of this house and it became their home.

I always wanted to live in a Victorian house. I imagined a place like this, when I was in my early 20’s. I had worked as a nanny for two boys, they lived in a Victorian with their parents. The house had beautiful stained glass windows and the interior was rich, dark wood with a winding staircase. I dreamed of living in such a home with my children and husband, someday.

I was about to get up and go with the children to the Victorian house, when Kamarth showed up. I was happy to see him, still, I wished that he had let me be alone with the children longer. He told the children to go to the house and to “wait for your mama there, go and wait for mama.”. The children got up and walked towards the house, turning around often to wave at us. I realized that I had tears in my eyes and blinked them back.

Here, in this world that I, somehow, created, my unborn children are alive and well. They are beautiful, intelligent, and they know me as their mother. I wondered about what they could have done in my reality, if they had been born. Kamarth looked at me and said, “You’re happy in your world, your world makes you happy.”. I nodded and said, “yeah, it does. I want to stay here forever.”. Kamarth shook his head and I knew that I couldn’t stay. I just didn’t completely understand why I couldn’t.

Kamarth and I walked quietly to the line that divided my world from hers. Her world is a cruel place filled with monstrosities and atrocities. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing more of it, still, I needed to understand what and who she was. I broke the silence and said to Kamarth, “I know that we’ve met before, you and I, I just can’t remember where and when.”

“You’ll remember, think back to when you started creating this world. A child alone, a child sits and dreams. A child sits and dreams.”

I remembered spending many days, by myself. Being an only child, I was always alone and so I made friends that existed only in my imagination which became the world I was now walking in. One of my friends was a little boy that I called “Kiki”. Kiki was a little older than I was, but he was my only “human” friend. He didn’t speak much. That didn’t stop us from communicating. We communicated telepathically, there was no need for words. I knew, at that moment, that Kamarth was Kiki, my sweet imaginary friend that spent long hours with me. He kept me from feeling alone and isolated.

We were coming closer to the line in the ground that separated the two worlds. We had already passed the cannibal tree. The sharp. rusty needles that were supposed to be “grass” and the tree with the large hollow, could already be seen from where we were. Her world has changed a bit, too.

© 2021 Johanna Elattar