Duplicity

When I woke up, I saw my reflection, twice.

When I woke up, I saw my reflection, twice, in a pair of perfectly black, perfectly shiny sunglasses. Framed below a glossy white helmet and above dry, thoughtful lips, the double me tipped slightly, then loomed close as the policeman who wore them reached down to take my hands and lift me off the sand.

It was early morning and the beach was still very cold, and soggy. The great flood that had brought him had been swallowed by the sea.

His motorcycle was parked on the sand farther back from the water. He brought a sandwich and a thermos of coffee out of its storage compartment and offered me half the sandwich. I accepted it, of course. I am almost always hungry.

He didn’t ask me who I was, but he couldn’t know. I can barely remember, myself.

As the sun broke through the clouds to warm the sand around us, I took a bite of the sandwich, and when I did I remembered whole new things. I recognized him now. I laughed and knocked my knuckles on his helmet, right on its shiny sun emblem. Then I took his sunglasses off his face, and his dark eyes hardened with confused irritation. Quickly, I grabbed hold of his arm and pulled him into the waves.

Off balance and stiff in his clothes still very wet from the flood, it was easier than I expected to draw him into the water. When it was just to our knees, I turned to face him again, holding his arms and his gaze. He gasped and took a step back. I was right! We were now knee-deep in a little woodland pool and I laughed again for joy.

At the moment, his back is to me as he sits on a small granite outcrop to take off his soggy shoes and to try and regain his bearings. He doesn’t yet know this is another world, or that I have stolen his pretty emblem.

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About penina

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