Updated: Mar 9, 2021
Chapter 1 — A Normal Day
We begin our tale in a bedroom. Books neatly stacked side by side on a bookshelf. Trinkets and oddities displayed for the enjoyment of the people who share the space. One of them an inquisitive, knowledgeable scientist. The other a flamboyant, colourful, and eccentric character and a keen fan of music and idol Freddie Mercury. On the bedside table is a leather-bound book of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Lying in bed is our protagonist Clone Chris. Clone Chris is a tall, skinny gentleman with long brown hair and blue eyes. He sports a beard. Not the usual bushy type. It's well trimmed and maintained but sporting stubble. He rolls over and wakes up in a daze. Notices the time is nearly three in the afternoon. With a big sigh he slumps out of bed and finds his slippers and stripy dressing gown. Clone Chris then leaves the bedroom and goes to the bathroom just opposite. The door closes and the sound of peeing can just be heard, followed by a flush and a tap running. The tap running stops and out the toilet emerges Clone Chris. He waddles through to the kitchen. Clone Chris flicks the switch on the kettle, and it begins to boil. He gets out a Grey mug (his favourite) from the cupboard. Sitting down at the kitchen table is Chris, hard at work on one of his inventions.
“You're up late” said Christopher.
Clone Chris jumps out of his skin and drops the mug he was holding. The mug crashes to the ground, smashing and breaking into pieces.
“I didn't see you there, you scared the living daylight out of me!” Clone Chris replied.
He looks down at the broken mug on the ground.
“Oh man, my favourite mug!” cried Clone Chris.
“Oh well you can always get another one”.
“True but it was a great mug. We shared so many memories”.
“You get so emotional over the most trivial of matters Clone Chris. Sometimes it's better just to let it go and move on”.
“Showing emotion can be good. You should try it sometime”. Clone Chris begins clearing up the broken mug.
“I think I am good how I am thanks. What do you have planned for today?” Asked Christopher.
“Well luckily I have the day off work, so I plan to have some breakfast, have a shower then get dressed and head into town”. Clone Chris disposes of the broken mug and goes to sit down at the table.
“I see you're working on a new invention, what is it?” Clone Chris queried.
“It's a work in progress. I'm hoping to rewire this pocket watch to have the potential to time travel”. Christopher responded.
“Time travel? Sounds like fantasy.” Clone Chris teased.
“To everyone else it's a fantasy, but pretty soon, hopefully it will become a reality”. Clone Chris gets out a bowl and some cereal, pours some milk in, puts the carton back in the fridge and sits at the table. Clone Chris begins munching away and it is distracting Christopher.
“That's really annoying can't you go somewhere else I am trying to concentrate!” Christopher snapped.
“Alright moody”. Clone Chris gets up and leaves the room.
Chapter 2 — The Metamorphosis of Christopher Featherstone
Our journey really begins over a year ago. It is a dark and stormy night. Rain is thrown down with great force. Christopher is in a state of emotional overload. He enters the house. Soaking from the rain but not a care for what is going on around him. He enters his bedroom and removes his big, heavy military overcoat.
“My mind is a blaze with a rage I have not witnessed before. I can feel my soul shatter like delicate glass. As if someone has taken hold and within their grasp, broken it in their hands. I must, to preserve myself, withdraw from society and give myself time to repair the damage that has been done. But what of my financial situation? I must work so as not to starve. Therefore, it must be that someone should take that place. Another me perhaps? Could this be possible? Would the other me be exactly alike in thought and in character? And if so, what consequences could come of it? All in good time. First, I must calm this rage. I must find a way to repair myself.”
Christopher, with his mind racing like a speeding car down a busy highway. Begins his decent into madness. He reaches for a box underneath his bed. This box is filled with a medley of chemicals, potions, and vials with liquid. He opens the box and begins mixing different liquids together into a beaker. Christopher finishes his mixing and with a cheer he consumes the mixture from the beaker. Within no time Christopher begins to feel dizzy, sick and pain. He collapses to his knees.
“It is the nature of one's self to be strong and absolute. I feel neither. And in the hopes of myself being one again I shall split in two! THE DUALITY OF MAN AND THE MIND WILL BE APPARENT!” Christopher screamed.
He begins to spasm uncontrollably and then collapses fully to the ground. He wriggles around momentarily but then falls unconscious. From his body emerges a spirit. The spirit is an exact copy of Christopher. The spirit goes from transparent to opaque and is standing, watching over his creator.
When Christopher wakes, the storm has eased and a bright morning bursts into the room. Christopher wakes up and can hear the birds tweeting. He leaves the bedroom and can immediately smell sausages, bacon, and eggs cooking. He walks through to the kitchen to see an exact clone of himself cooking a full English. The clone turns around to see Christopher.
“Oh, you are awake. How was your sleep?” Asks the clone.
“I, I don't remember. What are you?” Christopher requests.
“I am you, or at least a version of you. Last night you had some kind of breakdown. Possibly due to stress, anxiety and depression all hitting you at once. You had become so overwhelmed that you needed to unleash that what was disturbing you. I am the product of what had happened. Would you like some breakfast?” inquired the other version.
“So, it worked? It really worked! But what thoughts do you possess? Are you exactly like me?” Replied Christopher.
“I possess all your thoughts, wants and desires. Your insecurities, pain, and sorrow. I know what you have been through and how you ended up being the man you are now. I know you are a man of Science and engineering. But what I cannot do is be you. We differ in the sense of our logical and emotional aspects. I am creative. I am colourful and have a certain view of life. Whereas you are more logical, cynical and have a black and white approach to life. It's not bad to be these things. It's perfectly fine.”
The other Chris dishes up the breakfast on plates.
“Come on, let's have breakfast”. Said the other Chris.
Chapter 3 — A Bright Future Beckons
Back in the present Clone Chris emerges from the bedroom in a pair of striped trousers, Queen T-Shirt. And a checked shirt over the top. He goes over to the shoe rack and gets a pair of Converse shoes and puts them on.
“Would I need a coat today? I should take one just in case."
Clone Chris goes through to the bedroom and pulls out from the wardrobe a military jacket. He puts it on and goes through to the kitchen. Christopher is still working on his watch.
“Right I'm off out. Did you need anything from the shop as I will be calling past it on the way back?” “I think we need some more milk as we are running a bit low. Could you possibly get me some Jaffa Cakes as well?”
“Righto I will let you know when I am on the way back”.
As Clone Chris is about to leave there is a knock at the front door. Clone Chris goes to answer and a delivery man holding a parcel is at the door.
“Package for a Christopher Hyde. Does he live here?” The delivery man requested.
“Yes, I'll just fetch him.”
Clone Chris goes through to the kitchen.
“Delivery for you.”
“Why couldn't you have signed for it?”
“Well he specifically asked for you, so I thought you'd want to sign for it.”
Christopher gets up and goes to sign for the package. The delivery driver is baffled for a moment.
“Was the other guy your twin?” Asked the delivery driver.
“You could say that, but you'd be wrong. Thank you.” Christopher takes the parcel and shuts the door.
Christopher goes back into the kitchen parcel in hand.
“What have you got there?” Asks Clone Chris.
“It's for my watch. Thought you were going out?”
“Yes, I am just about to leave. Just thought I'd say goodbye before I left.”
“See you later, be safe.” Christopher said abruptly. Clone Chris turns and walks out the kitchen.
Later that day when the clock strikes four in the afternoon. There is another knock at the door. Christopher gives a sigh of annoyance as he takes his goggles off and puts down his screwdriver.
“Who could that be now? I am at a critical stage of this invention!” Christopher gets up and goes to the front door. He opens and sees his old friend Amy on the doorstep.
“Hey Christopher, long time no see.”
“Yes, it's been quite a while when we last saw one another. Come in.” Christopher lets Amy go through to the kitchen. Christopher shuts the door and follows swiftly behind. “So how have you been?” Amy asked.
“I have had better days; I won't lie it was tough to begin with. My mind had been so warped and battered I couldn't think straight. But over time I feel I am getting better.” Reassured Christopher.
“You seem it. I can't imagine what you have been going through. You've had a tough time dealing with the fallout and all of that stress.” Amy sees Christopher's invention lying on the table.
“What are you working on? You were always coming up with new inventions!” Amy said.
“Oh this, this is just a work in progress. Nothing specific.” Christopher tries to draw attention to something else.
“Have you had a haircut; it looks different?”
“No although I am thinking of doing some work to it. Maybe go pink what do you do think?”
“I think go for it. You have always suited coloured hair. Even in our college days.” Chris replied. At that moment Clone Chris enters the house and goes through to the kitchen where Christopher and Amy are. Amy turns to look at Clone Chris and glares in bewilderment.
“There's two of you?!” Amy exclaimed.
“Ah yes, well I was going to get round to this at some point. This is Clone Chris. Clone Chris, this is my old college mate Amy.” Christopher replied in an uneven tone.
“But how did manage to make an identical copy of yourself? And why?”
“Well about a year ago I had a pretty bad mental breakdown. It was so bad that as a consequence I withdrew from society as a protective measure. I then made an elixir that transformed me. Split me in two separate people who although look similar, are completely different.” Christopher explained.
“Well I can understand that. You were never a colourful person and yet your copy is bursting with colour.” Amy said. She goes in for a closer inspection of Clone Chris. This makes Clone Chris extremely uncomfortable.
“Would you mind backing off a little I feel a bit uncomfortable right now.” Clone Chris asks.
“Identical in every sense. His speech, movement, and physicality. Is it right though? For someone to make an exact copy of oneself?” Amy asks.
“The duality of man has always been an internal struggle. I have merely reversed this and have applied it to two identical beings. One of them logical the other emotional. For it is not for Clone Chris I would have lost my mind and probably had become a babbling wreck.” Christopher replies.
“This is too much for me to handle. I can kind of understand your thinking but what I can't understand is why you didn't turn to your friends and family first. This just seems to be a very extreme reaction. Now I understand why we haven't spoken in so long. You've wanted to retreat to the only place you think you can recover. Well you're wrong Christopher. The best form of recovery is being around those you love not withdrawing and closing yourself off.” Amy grabs her coat and her handbag.
“We'll speak again when you have shaken free of this mentality. Goodbye, Christopher.” Amy leaves with a saddened look upon her face.
“Wow that was intense. You okay Christopher?” Clone Chris asks.
“I will be. Over time things will get better and I will learn to get better. It's a long road I have to go on, but I have to do it alone.” Clone Chris puts his hand on Christopher's back.
“You don't have to do anything alone. You've got me.” Clone Chris reassures Christopher.