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Authors: Al K. Line

Hexad: The Ward (30 page)

BOOK: Hexad: The Ward
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"Amanda, you ready?" asked Dale, ignoring the other them and Hector and Laffer.

"Ready. And we're sorry, but you know how this goes, the craziness you're about to unleash. He gets a Hexad, then it's all over. Such terrible things, Amanda, I can't let it happen. You think it's been bad so far? It gets worse, a lot worse, and it never ends. This is the only way."

Realization dawned on their doppelgängers faces — she trusted herself, and Dale, accepted what was about to happen. "Okay, do it."

"What are you talking about? What's happening?"

Dale nodded to Amanda, and they both nodded to the versions of them that would be responsible for setting off the madness — them, in other words.

"Onto the rug," said Dale. "Set it for five seconds future. Ready?" Dale adjusted his Hexad, the other Dale nodded and did the same, knowing himself so well, knowing that if he said this was the answer then it was.

"No, Dale, you can't," screamed the other Amanda.

"We have no choice," he said. "It's us, we have to."

A Dale held Amanda's hand, and another Dale held another Amanda's hand. They smiled at their counterparts and slammed the domes into their chests. The two couples disappeared.




8 Years 5 Seconds Future


Five seconds of silence later, as Hector and Laffer stared open-mouthed at the empty spaces occupied by the people moments ago, a mass of twisted flesh appeared on the expensive zebra skin rug. It was impossible to make out what it was. Just a steaming mound of writhing meat.

Less than a second after it appeared it was gone, the paradox making the whole event a non-event — if Dale and Amanda had left a Hexad behind and escaped Hector's home as they had done in the past then it meant that in the future they jumped back and stopped themselves from doing it, meaning they had never escaped to be able to commit such an act.

Sometimes even the Universe just shrugs its shoulders, gives up and accepts defeat.

"Laffer not like that. Laffer want ice-cream."

"Hmm, eh, what? Oh, yes, ice-cream. Come on, Laffer, let's get you a treat."







Double Confusion

Present Day


Amanda woke in a panic, cold sweat all that remained of a dream already gone from her memory. The sheets were tangled about her legs and arms, wrapping her in a warm cotton straitjacket.

She turned to Dale for comfort from the nightmare, snuggled in tight and breathed his scent deeply. Her mind screamed at her as she recoiled in horror and her heart skipped a beat. "Who the hell are you?"

Dale woke with a start, staring about wildly as he focused on Amanda. Something was terribly wrong. He felt wrong, Amanda felt wrong, everything felt wrong. He rubbed his eyes to clear the sleep then felt nails claw at his face. "Ugh, get off me." He pulled back and stared in anger at Amanda. Amanda? Who was this? Something ripped inside of him, his reality torn apart. Nothing made sense. "Who are you? What have you done with Amanda?"

"What have you done with Dale?"

Two strangers stared at each other, both sure that the person next to them was not the person they should have woken up with, not the person they loved more than life itself.

Beneath the terror was the unshakable feeling that they were about to repeat something they had already been through countless times.

The door pushed open with a gentle squeak. A cat walked into the room with a swagger, stared at them in turn, then vanished.


The End


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BOOK: Hexad: The Ward
7.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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