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For a heart-stopping second, I feel my foot slip and I stumble dangerously close to the cliff's edge. I turn just fast enough to see the knife flying towards my face and I dodge it as best as I can. It misses my vital features but still cuts deeply into the flesh of my cheek before clattering to the ground. I feel warm blood dripping down my chin.
Angrily my attacker lunges towards me again and I rise to meet them; high on adrenaline and the will to live. We clash and I manage to get a fistful of their shirt as they grapple at my face and throat. I move back quickly and pull them with me so that they lose their balance and fall to their knees.
We both go down for a second, but I recover first and now I have the knife. For a moment they don’t notice this and they move to attack me once more, but as the cold metal of the blade touches their skin all colour drains from their face. Genuine fear dawns in my eyes – because those are my eyes.
I am staring into my eyes. I am holding the knife to my throat. I am fighting myself. I am fighting my clone. Time slows and my mind goes into overdrive. There is nothing stopping me now. I can end this right here. There is no telling what they will do if I let them go; they’ve already tried to kill me many times.
But this is me I’m talking about. I know myself – I’m a pacifist. If I’m trying to kill me then there must be a serious reason why. I’ve been lied to; been deceived. I’m innocent. I’m broken.
I blink cold sweat out of my eyes and attempt to swallow past the lump caught in my throat. There are tears in both of our eyes, tears of rage and terror and love. I need to make my choice. There is no time left. My brain has to kill them. My heart longs to save them. My pulse pounds deafeningly in my ears and I feel sick.
What move do I make? There is no time left. This is it. What move do I make?
This piece is too short to be published as is, but I don’t want to change it so instead, I thought I could talk about this idea a bit more down here. I really meant to create a feeling of conflict in the reader over whether they should kill their clone and remove the chance of it causing more harm, or try to save their double and open the door to possibilities related to that.
As much as I meant to keep this story neutral so that readers could imagine themselves in it, I did mention the character being a pacifist. I’m a very soft hearted person and that’s probably why this question of morality gives me such pause. I’m sure there are some people who feel no conflict at all in this situation.
I’ve also considered writing it again someday in second person (you feel, you think, you do, etc). Maybe that would better create the feelings of stress and tension I was trying so hard to push upon the reader. It would be an interesting experiment too. I’ve not read many works written in the second person outside of fanfiction. This would be a good piece to try it on since its main character is so nondescript. I wouldn’t be forcing too many of my own mannerisms or opinions upon the reader.
Hopefully, they would be free to see it through their own eyes and make their own choice on what they would do. Good food for thought anyways.
Well, that’s enough words now so I’ll leave this here. Thanks for taking the time to read my work and I hope you have a lovely day.