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Lunetheart t1_j20xvvc wrote

(I decided to go dark :)

"Who are you, really?"

"What, sweetie?" "Dad" asked, giving me a confused look, but I knew better. "It's me, Dad-"

"That's bull," I said. "I know you aren't really my Dad. His friends and coworkers won't know the difference, I'll give your acting that, but us kids do-I'm just the one brave enough to say something."

The lookalike gave me a surprised look, then sighed, sitting down in the armchair. On instinct, I tensed up, but I relaxed easily, knowing that he won't hurt me as I dared to take a step forward.

"I should've guessed you'd be smart enough to see through it," the lookalike said. "Very well. My name's Mark. I'm not your father, but-"

"I'm still gonna call you Dad," I blurted out.

He gave me a confused look. "... huh?"

"You're nicer," I shrugged. " aren't gonna hurt me-you haven't even tried."

"Of course I-geez, what?" Mark asked. "According to my Intel, I'm acting just like him-"

I snorted. "He would've beat me black and blue for daring to speak like this, but you just sat down and decided to have a serious conversation-you aren't lying or anything, either. Intel, though? You some kind of secret agent or something?"

"...yes," Mark said. "A spy-your family is my cover identity for the time being. My mission is supposed to last a few years-"

"Then you're going home?" I asked.

"I'm afraid I have to," Mark said. "Your...would you be fine if your father was released after that?"

I shrugged-I knew the answer, but...

Mark clearly knew what I meant, and he sighed. "I see. Then I suppose, when I'm done, there will be an...accident of sorts." He paused. "Wait, this why everyone's acting like nothing's different?"

"Oh, definitely," I said. "I've just never been afraid to take the beating-I punch back and know where to aim."

Mark smiled as he stood up, and I tensed up on instinct-

"Yeah, you're a tough kid," Mark said. "Can I give you a hug?"

Now...that's a weird question, coming from someone that looks just like him.

But it's not him.

I nodded slowly before just going for it and moving forward to give him a hug, and Mark gave me a gentle hug back as tears came to my eyes-this was so nice, I'd always wanted this-after Mom's "accident," I'd been the oldest sibling, even if just by a year, so I never got these protective, gentle hugs-I'd given them, not...


"You know," Mark said quietly as I sobbed into his shirt. "It's just you and your siblings...when your father's officially gone, you'll be alone. Would it be weird if you suddenly got adopted by a certain spy?"


MikeColorado t1_j212yqd wrote

Gotta quit reading stuff like this when I am cutting onions. Hit straight into the heart. Amazing writing.


Used-Helicopter8963 t1_j21o342 wrote



OwlrageousJones t1_j22qbdn wrote

Statement of Nora Waltz, regarding the impostor in her family.

My brother - Ethan - and I never got along. We loved each other, but we didn't get along. He was always so prim and proper, obsessed with rules and neatness. He'd chide me for not being lady like, and I'd flip him the finger, and we'd argue about it for hours.

When I told him I wanted to be a doctor, he asked me if that meant I'd finally stop dying my hair. It didn't, for the record.

Naturally, we stopped seeing each other as much as we grew older, went to college - Ethan went to law school, because of course he did. I ended up shifting gears a little into becoming a therapist. We only saw each other on Christmas, although we occasionally called for each other's birthdays. It was the usual each time - he'd ask me when I was going to settle down, and I told him I got enough of that from our mother.

Then, last year, he left a voicemail - saying he was worried about something, how he might've gotten some bad attention. It's a bit strange, you see, my brother isn't a criminal lawyer of any kind. He specializes in elder law. It's not a line of work you expect to make enemies in.

I called him back, naturally, and I thought he sounded a little different at the time, but I figured he might've been under some stress. He said it was all fine, nothing to worry about, and he was looking forward to seeing me again on Christmas and I didn't think much of it.

Not until I saw him - him. It. The thing that called itself Ethan Waltz.

My brother was always taller than me - we had the same dark curly hair, although he always kept his shaved close to his head where I just... kind of went wild with it. Ethan used to play basketball, and he looked like it. But the man - the thing - that greeted me and called me 'sis', something Ethan never did, couldn't have been more different from him if it tried.

Shorter, doughy. Freckled, with an unruly blonde mop. He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt of all things. I was so confused, I thought this was some weird joke. I looked at my mother to ask her who the hell this was, and she told me to stop being silly.

"Just hug your brother already, Nora," she said, looking at me like I was crazy.

"This isn't Ethan, Mom. For God's sake, he's white."

'Ethan' just laughed, said it was a funny joke 'sis', and did I come up with it on the flight over?

I kept asking where Ethan was, and my parents just got more and more frustrated. Even my Auntie chimed in, asking if I'd spent so long on the West Coast that I couldn't recognise my own brother anymore.

I felt like I was going insane. I started questioning whether they were right. I felt sick. I would like to say I excused myself to the bathroom, but I just kind of pushed past everyone.

I remember splashing some water in my face and thinking very hard about what the hell was happening. My parents weren't the kind of people to pull jokes like this, and my Auntie sure as hell wasn't. She was almost more uptight than Ethan is. Was. I don't know anymore.

"Are you feeling alright, sis?" 'Ethan' said from behind me, and almost making me scream. He was the only person who hadn't gotten frustrated earlier. The more I said he wasn't my brother, the more he smiled and laughed - and he was still smiling now.

It didn't feel like a kind smile. And I told him that. Demanded to know what sick game he was playing. What he'd done to my brother because I knew - I knew damn well he wasn't Ethan.

But it just smiled and laughed. "I really was looking forward to seeing you, Nora. I can't wait until next Christmas."

And then it left me. Just rejoined everyone else like it belonged, and I just... didn't know what to do or say. I couldn't get over any of it. I could tell I was bringing the mood down, but what was I supposed to do? That wasn't my brother but nobody believed me. I was starting not to believe me. Even the family photos Mom had on the mantel all showed him. I just... I thought I was going crazy.

It was only when I got home that I realised I wasn't crazy. I definitely wasn't. Our family went to Disneyland, when I was younger - I was twelve, Ethan was fourteen I think. He hated it, I loved it. We took some of those little polaroid photos - I still had some pinned to my corkboard. And the Ethan there is the Ethan I remember. Tall. Not smiling. Already wearing a tie everywhere at fourteen.

I don't know if I'm going to go to the next Christmas. But what choice do I have, if I want to find out what that thing did to my brother?


a_spicy_meata_balla t1_j23u4pg wrote

I love your writing style. You've crafted a fine and cuh-reepy little story here. Great work!


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DonRobo t1_j23vsob wrote

That's a really refreshing prompt imo. Well done