The Post Fable

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The Post Fables Graphic by Greebo T. Cat


Drake stopped. He had seen it again. There, just outside his peripheral vision. The shadow slipped into his vision once more. He let himself peer into a shopfront window, trying to see the thing again.

It's shrouding every single step I take, everything I do. I'm not paranoid. There is something following me.

Drake set off down the road. He continually looked over his shoulder. Some people stopped and stared at him. Dogs turned on him, barking and growling. He ran some of the way, as a small terrier chased him for a block before its owner managed to get it under control. Drake listened to the mumbled apology, keeping his eye on the dog. When the dog and master had finished he nodded and set off again.

This shadow, it's got people pointing their fingers at me. Look darling, there goes one of those crazy people. I'm NOT crazy.

Drake continued to ignore the turning heads and careful eyes that confronted him on his way home. He let himself in the front door of his home, his hand forcing the key in the lock as it shook uncontrollably. Drake stood for a minute in the hall. He looked in the mirror on the wall there. The man looking back at him had tired eyes, haggard features. His hair receded enough to be noticeable. Drake saw a few grey streaks forcing themselves to the surface of his dirty brown mat. He bent down and undid his laces. The shoes were scuffed and worn, the leather cracking in places. He kicked them off and let his sock covered feet feel the soft carpet. He twisted his toes into the surface and felt better. Drake pushed the door to his bedroom wide open, letting light in. Shadows shrunk back from the light and Drake winced.

No shadows, tonight. Please

He took his shirt and trousers off and slunk in underneath the warm covers of his bed. Sleep wasn't easy. Nightmares clouded his dreams.


At breakfast, Drake sipped his coffee carefully. The paper had no trouble finding news today. MURDER stared cold and hard from the front page. He read through the story. Two bodies had been found, mutilated. He sighed. Drake wondered at society. He finished his coffee and rinsed the cup out. He then pulled his coat from the back of the chair and walked to the hall. Before he opened the door to leave, Drake saw the shadow again. He didn't just glimpse the thing. It stared at him as he checked in the mirror that he was decent before leaving. He pulled his eyes back to his own image and again, the black shape hung behind him. He screamed and smashed his fist full force into the mirror. Shards fell to the floor along with blood from his hand. The first thing he thought of was how hard it would be to get the stains out of the carpet. Then he ran to the bathroom, putting his hand under the tap. Red stained water swirled down the plughole. Drake saw a sharp piece of glass embedded behind his knuckle. He grasped at it and pulled it free. Blood pulsed out from the wound. He fumbled with the door on the cabinet, then looked into the mirror above the sink. The shape pushed itself into the reflection. Drake whirled,


He ran to his bedroom and pulled a handkerchief from his drawer to wrap around his bleeding fist. The shadow followed him, pushing into his vision as it loomed over his shoulder in the mirror on his dresser. Drake fell to the floor, pulled a sneaker from by his bed and flung it at the dresser. A resounding crash eased the beating of Drake's heart. He let himself lean against the side of his bed, his hand bleeding and staining the floor.

What is happening?

Drake rose and staggered into the kitchen. No mirrors there, so he patched up his hand, picking out the loose shards of glass. He pulled a clean hankie from his dresser drawer, crunching on the broken glass on the floor. Drake forced himself not to look at the fallen pieces of the mirror. He did not want to see the shadow. Drake left the house. Every step an effort, staring at the cracks in the footpath. He nearly bumped into several people, but then arrived at his destination. Drake smiled as he walked into the Cathedral.

I'll be safe from whatever it is in here. Mother Mary will listen to me, guide me and help me.

Drake lit a candle and knelt in between the wooden pews, his hands clasped together in prayer. Each time he closed his eyes, images invaded his head. Cutting, slashing, blood. Lifeless bodies on dark floors. Lifeless eyes staring at nothing. And the image of himself grinning, knife in hand. He forced himself to think only of the statue of the Lady Madonna before him, but still the pictures intruded. Blood, flailing limbs. Screams.

Then the faces.

Drake's eyes flicked open. The faces. He recognised the faces. He thought back. Kneeling in the church he saw the snapshots of the murdered girls in his head.

Helen Anne Felton, 22.

The face appeared, screaming. Begging hands.

Bridget Cook-Hyson, 26.

Dead eyes wide in horror and a bloody face.

What is happening? I'm not crazy. I'm not psychic. Why am I seeing this?

Drake fled from the church to the nearest Drive-Thru. He pulled a bottle of scotch from a shelf and hurriedly paid for it. He walked no more than a few paces, before tearing it from the bag and cracking open the top. He guzzled at the liquor, letting it spill from his mouth, then wiped quickly at his face. Drake made his way home. By the time he arrived, he was hardly able to hold himself upright. He pushed the front door shut by backing up against it. The doorknob pushed fiercely into his back, but he felt nothing. Taking a step, he tripped and collapsed. The scotch flew from his grasp and spilled on the carpet. Drake watched as the dregs drained away, mixing with the other stains. The blood. He felt his eyes close. Tears came from his eyes, but he knew nothing of it. Unconsciousness set in.

The next day, Drake forced himself outside. The alcohol brought some respite but, when he passed from drunken stupor to pure sleep, he was kept awake all night by the dreams. The pictures of dead girls swimming in his mind.

The sunlight hurt his eyes, but Drake needed the air. He passed by the newsagent's, and stopped. Maybe there was more on the murders. Drake stared at the newspaper. His face looked back up at him. Not a photo, but one of those identi-kit things. It was definitely him.

I'm a murderer? How? why? Why can't my life just start over?

He pulled the now ever-present hip-flask from his coat pocket and took a swig. He continued to walk. Down back streets, places he'd never been, but somehow had been. Before long he found himself at an empty warehouse. He pushed open the derelict door and slipped inside. His eyes adjusted to the different light. Dust mites hung in the air and he swished at them with his hand.

I've been here before. No, I've seen this place somewhere. Where?

Then he noticed the rags in the middle of the floor. He edged closer and the rags turned into a sleeping girl. He stepped toward her cautiously, Must be one of the homeless, he thought.

'Hey there.'

He squatted down and put his hand to her shoulder. He pushed gently and she rolled onto her back. Drake almost threw up as the corpses eyes stared through him. Flies flew from the blood around her mouth and maggots lay in a second opening at her neck. The dead skin moved and itched as worms and weevils crawled underneath it. Drake jumped away, turning his head. He failed in his fight and felt distant as he heard his lunch splash to the floor. Then he noticed the movement in the darkened corner to his left. He span to face the intruder and his eyes widened. He had not looked in a mirror for the past week, but the thing before him was his spitting image. It flickered in the slatted light that came through the warehouse windows. His voice shook,

'What are you?'

The creature moved towards him, then spoke,

'I am your creation. Your shadow-self. I am here to provide you with company. You never have to feel alone, knowing I am here. I listen. I tell you the right choices to make. Trust in me. I am you, and you are me.'

Drake looked to the unmoving bundle on the floor.

'What have you done? She's... she's dead.' Drake tried to control the bile that was rising in his throat again.

'I have done nothing.' The creature pointed at the dead form. 'You did this, through me. I am working to elevate you.'

'You've made me famous already. My face was in the paper. People think I'm a murderer.'

'You are. I am willing to help you.' Drake stood motionless, staring down at the girl. The creature mumbled to itself, 'Just enough to bring you down.'

Drake thought, Did I make this... thing? No, I couldn't. It's just been there, waiting. He spoke,

'If you're a part of me, then I control you.' The doppelganger, laughed. Drake recognised the laugh. It was his.

'You. You are a fool.'

'If you are me, then I know how you think.' The creature came closer.

'Do not believe that. I am more than you could ever understand.'

Drake looked the creature in the eye. He almost spat as he talked,

'And I am too! If I made you, you can't ever control me, like you want to!'

The thing screamed at him,

'I WILL find the centre in you! I WILL CHEW IT UP! Then leave you for DEAD!!'

Drake searched frantically for a weapon. The knife he knew the young girl had met her end on lay glistening foully on the bricks. He lunged for it and, surprised by his agility, came up brandishing it.

'Never! I don't know why this has happened, but I'm not letting you kill again!'

Drake moved closer to the doppelganger, holding the knife in front of him. The thing stepped away. Then it was suddenly holding a knife of its own. Drake gasped, That's this knife. It copies everything! Drake tested his theory by swishing wildly at the air. The doppelganger did the same. Drake circled with the creature, thinking wildly. Can it know my thoughts? I need a plan. Think, man, think!

The two of them circled each other, testing the air and each other's quickness of eye with short jabs and slashes. At least Drake did. The creature copied. Then Drake made his sudden move. He moved to the floor, squatting. He waited while the creature did the same, then moved to pounce, like a cat. He followed through far enough with the feint and the creature sprang from the floor and fell on the bricks where Drake was seconds before. He jumped on the doppelganger's back. It struggled around, facing him. Drake pinned its arms to the ground. He smashed the hand that held the knife and the blade fell from the creature's grip. The doppelganger tried to shift from under Drake's weight. Drake raised the knife. The thing stared up at him,

'You can't kill me. You will die.'

He plunged the knife into the creature's chest.


The two young police officers helped each other with the body. One pulled the harsh black plastic bag tight, while the other yanked the zipper closed.


'Who cares. Let homicide work it out.'


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