Preview of a short story that will appear in the upcoming Static Movement Anthology "The Shadow People"
By George Wilhite
I know you are there again.
Tormenting my every waking moment and hiding like the cowards you are, just out of reach.
Someday I will prove it. Maybe today.
My shrink doesn’t believe me when I tell him how long I’ve known about you. Says it’s impossible I could remember that far back.
“Like, you hypnotized me dude,” I want to say. “Now, you reject the truth because you can’t handle the result?”
But I do remember the first time I saw you. The first of your kind. In the mirror.
I was only ten months old when Mom held me up to the mirror. I am sure she thought it was a cute idea, an important part of one’s development and all that jazz. But unbeknownst to Mom, that was a moment of horror that changed my life, the moment I was either chosen, or chose myself, to see you.
When she raised me up before that pane of glass, we were reflected in the mirror not once but twice. There was the clear duplication of our images but also the more spectral one, behind us and to our right. And our shadow selves cast their smug and derisive smiles I have come to loathe. That first recognition of me, my mother, and both of our Others, was the birth of my condition the world has since labeled as insanity.
Doctor Wilkins sits on his throne, spouting off about Lacan, Freud, some undiscovered trauma of my youth, blah, blah, blah, and then he takes the State’s money and laughs all the way to the bank.
But nothing he says can change my mind.
I will not waver.
You have grown as I have grown. Every mirror I have looked in revealed twin images of myself, one the “real”, the other you, the ghostly double, grinning in triumph over me.