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Age: 32
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August 09, 2020


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10/20/2020 07:11 PM 

Destiny's Child

Destiny’s Child
 
Duality /1639562
The peaks and spires of the familiar skyline could be recognized by just about anyone. Well over 150 years prior had General Sherman burned this town to the ground. The rebuilding over the years had led to something absolutely remarkable. Atlanta, Georgia was now considered by some to be the New York of the South. The CNN Tower, the Coca Cola Museum and MARTA were all must sees when making your way through all the high points of the city on your vacation time. Zoo Atlanta was definitely a must see when bringing your children to this historical place when you made your way here.

The blaring siren and the lights flashed as an ambulance made its way through the city with a patient in dire need of a miracle strapped to a gurney in the back. The paramedic tending to the child was a man with full shaggy hair and sea green hues. He had a look of determination etched in his handsome features. “Come on sweetheart. Stay with me.” He muttered doing everything he could to keep the little girl alive. He lifted his head to the driver, how much longer?”

“Two minutes.” The driver called back knowing the urgency of the moment. The paramedic tending to the girl focusing on her completely. The child with golden blonde hair with curled eyelashes over closed eyes, looked almost like one of those porcelain dolls hid sister used to put in the cabinet in her room. Tom Avery never worked so hard in all his life to save anyone like he did that little girl.

The ambulance finally arrived at the hospital. The driver got out of the squad first. The doors were thrown open while the driver and some firemen who had come along with them on the ride were helping to get the stretcher out of the back of the squad. Immediately they ran inside while pushing the stretcher. Tom continued staying with the girl keeping her alive as the emergency room personnel met them. Together they ran into a trauma bay.

Tom turned over the care of the child once they were surrounded by the nurses and doctors in the trauma room. He backed up heading toward the nurses station. There was a hand on his shoulder. It was the ambulance driver. “You did all you could, Tom. You saved her life.”

Tom watched as the doctors and nurses all poured into the trauma bay. It wasn’t easy to do his job, but it was something he had to do. He had always wanted to help people. He could have been a doctor but to him, he needed more. That’s when he started to take his paramedic classes. He’d even gotten his sister to help him study so he could excel at what he did. Ellie was younger than he was, but she’d been his best friend growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta. He told her things that no one else knew.

After a few more lingering moments, he reluctantly left with his friend because his shift was over. They walked out passing by several people. He paid no attention to one woman who was staring just a little too long. After he passed her on the way out, she pulled out her phone and sent a text.

Doppleganger found. No sign of Travelers anywhere. Waiting on what to do next.

~*~

After a long day, Tom always found the familiar sight of his small house a welcome change from the constant influx of people around him. A cleansing shower to soothe aching muscles led to him to wearing an old concert tee shirt and old worn out jeans. A towel around his shoulders and bare feet completed the comfort aspect of a night to himself and welcoming quiet. He reached into the refrigerator and pulled out a beer.

He unscrewed the lid and tossed it into the garbage can. Taking a nice long swig of his beer, he lowered the bottle when his cellphone sounded. He picked it up raising it to his ear. “Hello?”

On the other end was a nurse back at the hospital. “Hey Tom. Wanted you to know… That girl that you brought in, she didn’t make it.”

His stomach dropped to his feet. “Damn.” He mumbled. Every time one of his patients didn’t make it, it took out a little piece of his heart. Losing this little girl didn’t take out a piece of his heart, it took out his heart as a whole. He ended up sitting on his sofa setting his beer on a table. The nurse on the other end of the line heard the sound of items crashing. He turned off his cell and dropped it to the ground.

He looked over to where there was now a pile of rubble in the floor. It was some little ornamental piece that an ex-girlfriend had given him. Now it lay in shards in the floor. Folded hands were pressed against his lips. A child was dead. He tried so hard to save her when all his efforts were in vain. The sweet little doll was now an angel.

It just wasn’t fair. Tom buried his head in his hands letting sorrow consume him. He didn’t know the girl even existed yesterday, but today she had her life snuffed out like a candle. Silent sobs wracked his body. Tom Avery, a mere human man was helpless to keep one small child from losing her life. No, it wasn’t fair. None of it was fair. Miracles happened every day.

Today was not that day.




 
"Not all those who wander are lost." - Tolkien
credit: james kriet

10/17/2020 12:46 AM 

Lion Among Lambs

Lion Among Lambs
 
Duality /1639562
Living life as a non person was pitiful. Tom Avery shoved his hands into his pockets as he approached a homeless shelter. He had no where else he could go. The people back at the Armory told him that everyone thought he was dead. They even brought him back from the dead because he was something they called a doppleganger. None of it made any sense to him. The more he thought about it, the more his head hurt.

The young lady behind the desk at the shelter smiled warmly at him. “How can I help you Sir?” She asked. Mercy on a strange man in a strange place made him cling to one glimmer of hope. Maybe he could rebuild his life, but at what cost?

“I have no place to go.” He managed to say. “I have no money, but I’m a trained paramedic. I can help out in the clinic or infirmary if you have one?” He had a week’s worth of stubble on his chin and he didn’t remember the last time he’d showered.

The girl behind the desk smiled. “We never turn anyone away from here. I promise. Just wait right here. I’ll be right back.” The girl seemed eager to help and genuine in her emotion and concern.

Tom nodded. He saw coffee and donuts off to the side. The Armory called him a doppleganger, but dopplegangers had to eat too. When the girl stepped into one of the offices, he moved over to where the coffee and donuts were. He took a stryofoam cup and poured some of the coffee into it. Some creamer sat nearby as did sugar. He could remember many late night runs in Atlanta that took him into the wee hours of the morning. That pot of coffee at the nurses station in the ER was a lifesaver. As for a donut, he went simple with a glazed one. When you were hungry, the last thing you cared about was cream filling.

The former paramedic started to take in his surroundings. It was a modest dwelling with a closed in lobby and a simple glass door in the front. There were several books and magazines there with highly Christian themes, especially the several copies of the New Testament sitting on a table that was labeled FREE TAKE ONE. Tom decided to pick up a copy and slide it into his pocket. Nothing like a little reading material right?. His parents did raise him in a good Southern Baptist Home. What would they say if they knew he had been plucked from the afterlife with no real meaning and by magical means. He shrugged his shoulders and walked around a bit more.

Down another corridor came a varying degree of smells that made his stomach rumble more. This particular homeless shelter had a soup kitchen in it. Oh sure, they served more than just soup, but that was just a generalized term. Tom was sure he could pick out a few distinct smells like something with chicken, buy right now he definitely wasn’t the least bit picky.

There was a man across the room who was trying not to blatantly stare at him. Tom could tell that the man was looking at him like he’d seen a ghost. It was a bit unnerving to say the least. He leaned against the wall trying to avoid the man’s gaze. Unfortunately the innate curiosity of the man got the better of him. “Stefan? Is that you?” The man asked as he got into closer range.

Tom ground his teeth and practically bit the coffee cup that was raised by his hands to his lips. He put on a pained smile and turned around. “I’m sorry. My name is Tom.”

The confused man could see that he’d annoyed the other. “Sorry. My mistake.” He backed away slowly feeling more than a little confused.

Maybe trying to stay in Mystic Falls was a truly bad idea. If one person thought he was Stefan Salvatore, another was likely to pop up. He had just finished his coffee when a friendly woman with snow white hair, almond shaped eyes and high cheekbones came toward him. She was almost the perfect image of what a grandma should look like. “My granddaughter tells me you’re a paramedic by trade. It’s like God Himself sent you here. We definitely need your help.” She extended her hand to him.

Tom took her hand and shook it. He smiled warmly at her grateful he had not run away. “I told your granddaughter that I have no place to go and I’d be glad to help out in your infirmary if you have one.”

The grandmother was absolutely delighted that he was here. She believed firmly in divine providence. Having him here was an answer to prayer. “Come with me. What was your name?”

“Tom Avery. I was employed by Metro General in Atlanta about ten years ago.” He knew he was likely going to have to be checked out of course. He wasn’t a doctor but he could treat less serious cases and if something happened, then he could stabilize someone until medical help arrived. “I’m sure you have a doctor that comes in from time to time.” He added as he followed her down the hall.

She turned toward the left and the simple room inside. “This is our infirmary, Tom. And you’re right, we do have a doctor that comes in when she can donating her time for the good of the community.” The grandma was happy to have him here. She just had a good feeling about him.

Tom felt at ease in the room. It looked almost like a throwback to the rooms of the 1980s and the neighborhood doctors office. He was looking around when the granddaughter came back with a few clothing items. She laid them on the bed for the patients in the room. “Thought you might want a fresh change of clothes and a shower.” The girl responded.

Tom was so relieved that he almost cried. “Thank you. Thank you for everything.” He spoke with a soft voice.



 
"Not all those who wander are lost." - Tolkien
credit: james kriet

09/07/2020 07:46 PM 

And the Story Continues...

And the Story Continues…
 
Duality /1639562
features; Ardent

The room was dark. The room temperature was exactly the same as it was deep within that tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Instead of the carvings on the wall, the room was painted in various symbols from various burial chambers that had been excavated over the centuries that were both well known and some that were unknown. In the direct center of the room, was a body covered by a simple sheet.

One man dressed in priestly garb from Ancient Egypt moved into the room followed by six more men and women wearing traditional priestly attire. The leader stood at the head of the table while the other six paired off by two at either side and at the foot of this poor soul. One on each side of the table, uncovered the deceased to show that he was a man. The sheet was unrolled to the man’s waist uncovering the dead man’s arms as well. This man bore a striking resemblance to the sorcerer Silas and to Stefan Salvatore. His name was Thomas Michael Avery. He was the last known doppelganger of Silas.

A book was handed to the man who stood at Tom’s head. He opened it slowly. The second group of men and women began to light candles all around the room. The chanting soon began. The man at the head started with the loud words while the three remaining around him followed behind him with lower voices mumbling in unison. The lit candles also began to flicker as they normally did, but as long as the words kept being spoken the flickering began in unison to the spell itself. This was no mere spell that was being recited. This was a hidden passage in the Egyptian Book of the Dead that the Armory’s most adept agents located. Now a warlock with Egyptian blood that traced back to the High Priests of old was reciting the spell. The Armory wasn’t going to allow the doppleganger to stay dead.

The even chanting began to reach a fever pitch. The sounds of the chanting mimicked a heartbeat. Finally, the High Priest rose his hands toward the sky. The candles around all shot up into the sky with a burning flame before going back down to normal levels. All eyes turned to the man laying in the middle of the room.

A few silent moments passed. It was as if they were not breathing. Hope was about to be lost for good until his right index finger moved. His left moved. The High Priest watched as the man Tom Avery’s chest started to rise and fall. Long eyelashes unfurled. A look of terror filled the man’s handsome features. “W-Where…” He tried to speak, but the lips of the formerly deceased doppelganger were dry and cracked. His throat was parched. He was a doppelganger, but he was still but a man returned from the land beyond the sun.

The High Priest moved to the man’s side and touched his arm. “All will be made known in time. For now, know that you are safe. No one will harm you ever again.” The objective of the Armory was something only known to them. They would not speak of why it was important to bring back a completely human doppelganger. The spell was complete and would only work on a doppelganger. For now, they would bask in their glory.

~*~

Six weeks later

Staying in a room that resembled a hospital bed was beginning to get the better of him. He often stood up from his bed and paced the floor. His alleged friends would always give him anything he wanted. He’d even asked for his favorite beer and no one had even batted an eyelash. Avery was a trained paramedic. He knew medical equipment and medical procedures when he saw it. They were doing something to him and he had no idea what.

The nurse that soon came to visit him on this day was an older female with snowy white locks. He assumed her age to be somewhere in her late 40s to early 50s. “Good morning Tom. How are you?” She asked. She began to take his vital signs like she did every morning.

“I’m fine Elizabeth. It’s the same thing I’ve told you every day for the past six weeks.” He was getting a little more than antsy. He wanted to get the hell out of where he was and back to his life. He had no clue how long he’d been gone. They told him he’d been dead, but he had no recollection of it. He just remembered this girl. There was a girl with beautiful blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes. Her name was Caroline. After that, the next thing he remembered was waking up in that room.

“Well, I’m actually hoping that they’ll let you into the gardens today. It’s a lovely day outside. I’m sure the fresh air will do you good.” The nurse made some notations on the pad link that kept all of Tom’s medical information on it. She smiled at him warmly. “I’ll see you soon, Tom. They should be coming to see you again within the next few minutes.”

Tom leaned back on the bed that had been his prison for the past six weeks with a disgusted look on his face. He folded his arms almost like a petulant child. He had no idea where here was. He wouldn’t know the first thing to do in order to get out of the room.

He heard loud screams outside of the door and thuds against the wall. Tom’s eyes widened when he heard the most terrifying sounds ever. While the sounds of a struggle were outside his door, he climbed out of the bed and began to move things around. If there was something out there, he wasn’t going to let it find him easily. He was hiding behind some equipment that he’d knocked over that had been hard to move when he heard the door open.

The door came open with the same computer beeping sound that it had plenty of times before. The solitary footsteps were soon followed by the voice of a man. It was a British man that he’d never heard before. “Tommy boy! Come on out now will ya?” He was a tall man with short black hair and barest hint of a mustache upon his top lip. “This any way to treat your new best mate? The name is Enzo St. John and you’re gonna just love me.”


 
"Not all those who wander are lost." - Tolkien
credit: james kriet

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