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Heyo! I’m Lauren, a high school sophomore who loves reading too many fantasy novel series, listening to music, and eating a probably unhealthy amount of ice cream.

Message to Readers

Is there anything I can revise or improve? Please let me know!

The Replacement

July 7, 2020


When Madeline opened her eyes that morning, she immediately sensed that something was wrong. Terribly wrong. 

There was an uncanny silence about the house. No birds, chirping noisily outside her annoying little brother careening down stairs...just silence. There was also a person sitting on the edge of her bed.

Not just any person, but someone who looked almost exactly like her. 

If you ignored the fact of how peculiar (and creepy, for that matter) it was to have your doppelganger appear suddenly on your bed, this new Madeline was very, very strange. She had the same shoulder-length black hair, the same wide blue eyes, the same bony shoulders--she was perfectly identical to the original Madeline except for the odd emptiness in her eyes and beneath her pajamas. It was if someone had taken Madeline's appearance and pasted it haphazardly on a wire frame with nothing else but gaps and empty spaces. 

Madeline clutched her duvet and opened her mouth to scream. 

"Shh, shh!" whispered the other Madeline suddenly, twisting her body with alien speed and clamping a hand over the original Madeline's mouth. 

Terrified, the original Madeline shut her mouth and tried to ignore the feeling of that cold, clammy hand, so uncannily similar to her own. 

"Will you be silent?" the other Madeline asked. 

Her voice sounded like Madeline's, but the words came awkwardly, haltingly, like they were the last granules of cocoa powder being squeezed through a sieve. 

Madeline clutched her duvet tighter and nodded rapidly. The strange imposter straightened robotically and removed her hand from Madeline's face. 

"My name is Madeline Olivia Hartman, and I'm your replacement," she said. "Will you please get out of my bed?"

The original Madeline was now even more terrified. At this point, she didn't know who she was anymore. Last night, she was Madeline Olivia Hartman, looking forward to a new day; and this morning, she was a nobody being kicked out of bed by the last person she expected to see. Herself, but scarily different. 

"Replacement? But I'm Madeline Olivia H-" began Madeline, sitting up against the pillows and glaring at the imposter on her bed. 

"No, I'm Madeline Olivia Hartman, and you're sitting in my bed," the other Madeline interrupted, frowning slightly. 

"B-b-but," sputtered Madeline. 

"Silence!" said the other Madeline, those strange eyes sparking furiously. "Now, get out of my bed."

Madeline gulped and hurried to do so. She scooted off her bed and onto the floor, and watched the other Madeline slide into her place, tuck the duvet up to that hollow chin. 

Standing on the cold floor, Madeline crossed her arms, a brave farce to make herself a little less afraid. 

"What are you?" she asked, voice tremoring despite herself.

The imposter, who was going off to sleep as if nothing had happened, ignored her. 

Madeline dug her fingernails into her skin and mustered her courage. 

"What are you?" she said a little louder, kicking the bed post with a half-hearted foot. 

The other Madeline opened her eyes, radiating annoyance like a 50-foot pyre of it. She looked less hollow now, as if she had further soaked into her persona. Her hair was less limp, her eyes brighter, her cheeks less pointed. 

"I'm Madeline," she said, sounding for all the world like the original Madeline standing beside the bed, "and you are disturbing my sleep."

With that, she closed her eyes and slipped a little deeper beneath the duvet. 

Madeline began to shuffle towards the bed, intent on tossing her imposter out of it. But her feet seemed glued to the floor. She paused and looked down, inhaling sharply.

Her feet had suddenly turned pasty pale, sinking onto the delicate bones, revealing spidery webs of translucent veins and capillaries. Madeline stumbled and sat hurriedly on the floor. She raised her hands to her face. Before her eyes, the healthy pink flush was vanishing, skin turning glass-like. A line of numbers had appeared on her right wrist--black, printed starkly. They were ticking rapidly down to zero--10, 9, 8, 7, 6... The jagged digits flipped and blurred. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.... The numbers began to rearrange themselves into skeleton-like letters: E...X..P...I...R...E....D. 

Madeline opened her mouth to scream for help, but her voice was gone, reduced to a painful, inaudible rasp. h e e  e l p, Madeline squeaked ineffectually. Helplessly, she watched as her pinky fingers vanished completely. Jerking her head down, she saw her ankles fade into nothingness. Her paper shins crumpled soundlessly, her knees wobbled and disappeared. Backwards, she fell soundlessly, disintegrating hair spilling out in ragged tatters on the floor. For a while, there was nothing but a dragged-out wheeze as her windpipe collapsed into empty space. 

As Madeline's face began to disintegrate, she watched her bedroom door open, her mom poke her head in.

"Maddie, sweet," she called, "Wake up, you have to go to school!"

The other Madeline yawned and stretched.

"Okay, mom, I'm coming," she murmured sleepily, swinging her feet off the bed and through the last translucent bits of Madeline's face. 
Woo, I love revising and revamping and renovating. Here I proudly present the second edition of The Replacement--a couple pillars knocked out, a couple more installed! I just cannot resist the thrill of writing scary stories in the middle of the year. :3


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