The door knocked at an odd hour. Lucas’s parents worked in the same office which falls to the eastern side of the province; hence they reached home by late evenings. He was alone but he had tones of experiences of unwanted hawkers and newcomers of town who stops by to ask directions just in case their Google maps don’t work. Lucas was upstairs at that time, so by hearing the knock he came down sliding his butt on the smooth staircase bars. He wondered how weird it was that someone decided to sell their insurance plans at 4 o’ clock and how weirder it was that he choosed to knock whereas there was a fancy doorbell at his right. Lucas sneaked through the curtain sideways, to his notice he saw a stud figure, standing stone cold and was seem to be of his same age. He then opened the door and asked if he needed any help. Firstly he said his name was Luke.
“Wow cool!”, Lucas replied. “How can I help you?”, he asked again shrugging his shoulder as if he want to purge away Luke's existence and continue what he was doing upstairs.
He started sobbing. Lucas was shocked at this unexpected reaction and asked him, “Hey bud! Are you okay? Why are you crying? Is there anything I can do for you?”, he asked in a placid manner to make him feel ease.
After Lucas put his hands right above his shoulder blades as a gesture of friendliness, his eyes glowed as he looked back at him. It felt like he knew him from before, and the eyes filled with water tells Lucas that he was something familiar about but couldn’t fathom out at that particular moment that what it was. Luke seemed to be docile and after that short interaction with a stranger such as Lucas, he hugged him. Lucas was surprised! He asked again,
“Hey Luke! You look like you are in trouble. What’s wrong pal?”
Luke gently stood back and asked sorry for his cringe behavior. Lucas reassured that it was completely fine. Suddenly, Lucas noticed an amulet hanging down his shirt and thought he had seen one like before. Before he could say anything, Luke left without saying a word. Lucas was standing dumbstruck near the door trying to picture out about the whole thing that happened a few minutes ago. He came back to what he was doing, and gradually decided not to tell his parents anything about it. Lucas didn’t wanted this to be an issue of discussion with his parents, as he knew this sounds so erratic. But he was curious about that amulet he saw with the outfit of Luke. It was days passed, but he was still unable to figure out from his memory about that amulet.
After some months, the incident no longer lingered in his mind. Lucas was now attending his classes and holding on to a tight schedule after his cozy vacations. Lucas’s parents were NRI and he had trouble making friends here except some of his close compeers. Rajveer was the wittiest of all, so they used to hang out most of the time together. They were like the two extra straws of the same cocktail, except better. Once, Lucas was out to the nearby store on his BMX to purchase stationeries until he met Rajveer heading to the same destination. It was an uncanny fate of their friendship that like when Lucas goes out, he meets Rajveer most of the time. This time was lucky too as he had a companion to converse on their way back home. As they were crossing through many stores, Lucas saw what caught his attention altogether. It was the exact same amulet hanging at display at an Archie’s gift shop. Rajveer interrupted his attention saying,
“Dude that’s the amulet of Anubis, a franchise of Doctor Fate that we were a fan of in our childhoods. It is rare now! I am sure that’s an exclusive piece what say?”
“It was the same amulet I saw in Luke’s chest!”, Lucas thought to himself.
Rajveer gave Lucas a shake which disrupted the sync. “Flashbacks right? It was the exact same one you use to wear and flex in your tiny tot days! I remember that quite well”, he added.
It was like that flashback scene created an epiphany in Lucas’s mind. He said to Rajveer that , “Bro I remember I had some leftover stuffs back at home, gotta reach before it’s too late! See ya!” and left leaving a sign of awkward interrogative remark on Rajveer’s face. When he reached home, he rushed towards his room in a hope that amulet is still present somewhere. He scorched in the drawers, went through the cupboards and every possible corners in his room. He dragged down a trunk in which he kept his old toys well preserved but still failed. After a while of the house inspection for the amulet quest still ongoing the door knocks! Lucas went through the hallway to the door and opens it. To his surprise it was Luke!
He had a small wooden chest in his hand and said pleasantly,
“Are you searching your amulet brother? Well, here it is, you probably have forgotten that you buried it in this box when you were a child. I exhumed it for you! Here it is. You loved it so much that you decided to treasure it.” After that he pointed his finger upon the site where pebbles were crumbled as if someone dug it with a shovel.
Lucas was flabbergasted. Before he could start interrogating him, Lucas’s mom shouted from the kitchen, “Who is it Lucas?”.
He pretended to not cause havoc and replied, “It’s my classmate Prateek mom!”. He shouted back again saying, “I am going for a walk with him. Will be soon before the lunch!”, banged the door and left. Walking past his home he was unable to decide which question should be asked first.
“How did he know about the amulet of my childhood?How come he had the same one? Why does he look strikingly identical like me? Like a doppelganger?Why is he calling me his brother?”, these questions staggered rapidly onto Lucas and a lot more. Before he could succeed asking him one, Luke said,
“I know what are your thoughts brother…. I know all of those questions huddling over and over.” He paused for a while. Lucas grasped back his breathe and inquired, “Who are you? And what is exactly going on?”
Luke peddled a few steps away and said, “I am your younger brother Lucas.”
“From whose side exactly?”, Lucas questions.
“I am your own brother Lucas.. that lady you shouted back is my mother too. It was so nice to get to hear her voice again”, he smiled.
“Woah! Hold one! Is this suppose to be prank? If it is then I must say you have choosen the wrong person pal!” Lucas said in utter vexation.
“I am your brother who was never brought into this earth.. you never had me in this dimension but I had you in mine!” Luke answered.
For Lucas that sentence flew off above his cognition. He said, “ Pardon? What earth dimension shits you are talking about?”. Lucas was losing his temper now.
“I came from the other parallel dimension Lucas. In my world, I was born as your younger brother Luke. My world was technologically superior than yours and our scientists had developed the reality breaking loop two decades ago”, Luke said.
TV shows and YouTube channels taught Lucas a lot about the concept of time travelling and mirror worlds. Though he was skeptical he didn’t refrained him from explaining and asked, “So why are you here? What do you need?”
Luke said, “In my world you loved me very much Lucas. Like really very much, but umm.. you were too good then me. Academically better, the most hotshot one, mom dad loved you more than me and they were always rebuking me to be like you. I was an outcaste in my own family, ran overed like an old carpet, nobody appreciated me but on the other hand they did to you and I cried a lot. None understood me but yes you did Lucas, I won’t lie… you made me understood that if no one then you will be there for me. But I was still unhappy with you because if you were not there, I guess I would have lived more happily. So in the mist of that chaos and to fulfill my thirst for avenge. I had to kill you. I was sad for that but I was happier. Mom intervened the scene when I stabbed you so I had to kill her too….”
This created a panic in Lucas and he asked, “But...but you were never born here then how???”. “Wait!”, Luke said. “Do you remember the day mom and dad went to hospital and you were kept in the hands of a baby sitter? After they came back you constantly asked why they went in the first place?”
“I remember yes! Mom had something related to appendix or so. It was a critical word to pronounce for me back then. Yes I do remember!”, Lucas said. Luke breaks into a hysterical laughter and continues, “ No you dumdum! I was in her womb but for the matter of miscarriage I died inside her. They didn’t tell you about this as you were too young. You were lucky brother.” Now the words seem like intimidating Lucas with terror and he asked with chills running down his spine, “Why are you here then?What do you want from me?”
Luke said with a smile, “Though I envied you to your death. I still miss your company sometimes, the things you taught me and the encouragements you once gave me. I miss all of them. Thank you so much brother. So I thought revisiting you breaking a reality in the cost. Remember the amulet dad gifted both of us in the time of New Year. You were so fond of preserving things that you treasured it beneath the ground to look back at it as a fragment of precious memory when you grow old. Such cute! But on the other hand I wore it in any places I go because that was one of few things I had to showoff to others that it was gifted by my father or my family.”
“Don’t worry! I won’t kill you here. It’s a farrago feeling that I miss you but still have a desire to have killed you more bitterly then by just merely piercing your abdomen deeper with a kitchen knife! But you will see more of such here brother….”, Luke continued.
Lucas though partially understanding the scenario he was terrorized with the sadistic talks of Luke and tried to run away uttering, “You are insane!!". Luke holds his hands impeding his escape and blindfolds his eyes with his hands, overpowering him and says ,“Are you not ready to see them brother? ARE YOU NOT??” Lucas was struggling to let go off himself from his grip but he couldn’t. He struggled hard until his vision is blurred with psychedelic images and when he opened his eyes he saw his room. He stood up with a sweaty pillow under his head realizing that it was only a dream or perhaps a nightmare! It was still 4 o’ clock, his parents were out and someone is down there knocking at the door. Lucas was really sweating his pants to go down. He took a cricket bat with him as a defensive tool and went through the hallway. After the continuous knocks at the door, he opens the door and it was just a guy trying to sell an insurance policy! Lucas sighed in relief and said annoyingly to the guy, “Couldn’t you see the doorbell on your right??”
“My apologies sir! I didn’t see… are you interested in??”, before he could add any details, Lucas shuts the door with a bang asking him to leave. He then went upstairs to the bathroom to wash his face. After the did so, he thought to himself that what an absurd and frightening dream it was! He wondered maybe he should stop binging sci-fi horrors at night! It has been putting tremendous side effects at his sleeping cycles.
Later that day, Lucas was sitting looking away to his garden from his window. He suddenly remembers the amulet thing and quickly manages to draw a shovel from the backyard storeroom in a quest to see if the wooden chest still resides inside the earth. He digs at the exact same spot he saw in the dream. After some digging off, the shovel hits a hard object and it was the chest!He was surprised to see it was still there. He opens it quickly and was happy to see his childhood memory. But astonishingly there was also a piece of paper stucked in the amulet. Lucas unfolds it and it reads,
‘With lots of love, Luke!’