|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Six
04 - Two of a Kind - Christine-Marie
"Yeeeess!" screeched Zac Hanson as the Hanson Family’s van pulled into the driveway of their home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
"Shhhh! Zac! Zoe’s asleep!" said Diana, with a smile on her face.
Hanson had just completed a world tour so now they were back home for a two week break.Everyone was glad to be home.
Later that evening, the whole house was silent but Zac couldn’t sleep. It was partly because of the excitement of being home. And it was also because of the noises he kept on hearing.
They sounded like they came from the attic…just above the three boy’s room. In fact, it sounded like there was someone up there…maybe walking around.
"I wonder why mom never let us go up to the attics of our houses." Zac pondered.
"You don’t want to know."
Zac gasped. "What in the world was that??" he said to himself. He has felt something he had never felt before…like he had heard someone speak to him…but they didn’t really speak. He could just feel it inside his head. It was almost like there was something in his mind.
There it was again. Zac broke into a sweat. That feeling. That voice, could it be possible? It sounded like his own.
Zachary tossed and turned for many hours that night before falling into a restless sleep.
"Wake up Zaccy-pooh!" chirped Avery the following morning.
Zac mumbled something unrecognizeable before pulling the sheets over his head and turning over.
"Mmmm?" said Tay as he sat up and looked at his younger sister. "What?"
"Will you come play Barbies with me?"
"Uh…sure, but after breakfaast."
"Kay!" and with that the little blond girl raced out of the room.
Isaac woke up and he examined the long white lump that lay on Zac’s bed. He and Taylor counted to three before violently pulling the sheets of Zac’s bed.
"Wow Zac! You look like hell!" said Ike. "No sleep?"
"I guess you could maybe call it something like that."
At breakfast, everyone noticed that Zac was quiet. He was just sitting there like a zombie, eating his cereal in slow motion. He couldn’t stop thinking about last night.
"Mom, what’s in the attic?"
"Nothing special honey, why?" Mrs Hanson answered a little too fast.
"I think I heard some noises up there last night."
"No, there’s nothing-"
"Maybe I could go up and look-"
"NO! Don’t you ever go up there" interrupted Walker.
"Because I say so. Is this understood young man?"
Zac grunted and nodded his head.
That afternoon, Zac was in the bathroom, undressing and getting ready for his shower. As he slipped off his boxers, he noticed the long vertical scar that ran from the top of the right side of his hip to the beginning of his thigh. He didn’t remember how he got it, and when he asked his parents had said that it was just a little accident that he had had as a baby. He stepped into the steaming hot water and had his shower. When he was done, he stepped out and the bathroom was full of vapor.
He turned to face the mirror, which was all fogged up. But what he saw scared him so much he nearly screamed. On the mirror was written:
"I’ll get you, Zachary."
He quickly wiped his hand over the writing and stared at his pale face in the mirror. But he quickly calmed down. It was probably just Tay or Ike maybe playing a joke on him.
When he got out of the bathroom he expected to see his brothers cracking up somewhere, but they were just watching t.v. Zac plopped down on the couch and gave them evil looks. Ike and Tay just ignored him. After all, he was going through puberty.
That night was not very different from the last. Zac couldn’t sleep. He was just so scared. All of a sudden, he began to feel that strange feeling he had felt the night before.
"It wasn’t them."
"I am going to get you Zachary."
"You have to pay."
A wave of nausea came over Zac. He felt very sick. He got up, went to the bathroom, kneeled beside the toilet and began to throw up like there was no tomorrow. In a flash, Taylor was by his side, holding his hair back and Ike had gone to get him a glass of water. When he was finished, Isaac wiped his face with a wet towel and the two brothers carried him to bed. By now the whole house was awake, and everyone was running around getting something for Zac. Mrs. Hanson took his temperature, and as she thought ,he was burning in fever.
"Shhh Zaccy, just go to sleep…it’s okay…just go to sleep…"said Mrs Hanson in a very soft voice, while stroking Zac’s hair.
Surely enough, he fell asleep and didn’t wake up till the next afternoon. When he did, the first thing he saw was Taylor sitting on the edge of his bed.
"Hey little dude." he said.
"Hey" was Zac’s reply. He had to make an effort to speak and even so, his voice came out a low croak.
"I’m gonna go get mom."
Diana came to see Zac and took his temperature again. He still had high fever.
"How are you feeling?"
"My tummy hurts" he whined.
"Just go back to sleep okay? You need to rest."
The next time Zac awoke it was night. There was a thunderstorm outside. He didn’t feel any better, all he wanted was to go back to sleep. But then he felt that all to familiar feeling coming over him.
"Come to me."
"The attic Zachary. Come"
He didn’t have the strength nor did he want to move but, as if under a trance, he got up and started walking out of his room, down the hallway and to the attic door. It was usually locked, but it was open this time. Up he went, up a flight of stairs he had never before climbed in his life. He was so scared, he felt his heart pounding and his insides burning, but he couldn’t control his actions. His body was being moved by someone, or something else. He reached the top and there was another door. He opened.
What he saw inside looked like it came directly out of a dream.
He had entered a small room. It had white padding on the walls. The floor was also padded. In the middle of this room was a big white bed, and in this middle of this bed sat….Zachary Hanson?
No! I am Zac Hanson! Who is this person?
The being who sat on the bed was certainly like a copy of himself. It was like looking at a mirror. Except that he has something strange…he was glowing with an eerie blue light. His eyes were the coldest Zac had ever seen.
"Who are you?" Zac asked, his voice trembling. "And why do you look just like me?"
"My name is Bradley. Have you ever heard of siamese twins, Zachary? And have you ever wondered what that scar you have is?"
Zac paled even more as realization dawned upon him.
"But the difference is that mom and dad are ashamed of me! They locked me up here and have kept me a secret for thirteen years!!! They love you instead of me!!! And why, WHY did they do this to me??? This is why!!!!"
And with that, Bradley turned around to reveal a big deformity on his back.
A hump, thought Zac. His twin was a deformed hunchback.
"Don’t stare at me like that!!!" screamed Bradley. He jumped of the bed and punched Zachary in the stomach. He fell to the floor.
"I should be getting the love you are getting from my family!!! I should have such great brothers like Taylor and Isaac!! They don’t even know about me!!!" shrieked Bradley. "I should be a member of Hanson! I should be the drummer loved by thousands of teenagers worldwide!!!! And just because I was born this way, I am deprived of all these things!!!" Bradley’s face turned red in anger and tears began to stream down his face. He kicked Zac’s head.
"But now, NOW Zachary, you will pay!!! You will pay for all my pain!!"
Zac was quietly weeping while all this went on. He would have given his brother all the love that he deserved, Bradley should have had his rightful place in the Hanson family. He could have been in the band too. Zac had a big, kind, loving heart, and he didn’t understand why his parents could do such a cruel thing.
"You will pay" repeated Bradley. He lifted Zac to his feet and said "I will get all I deserve to have now." And with that, he opened his brother’s mouth, and sucked Zac’s life out of his body and he himself entered into the body which had once belonged to Zachary Walker Hanson.