Aphelion Issue 236, Volume 23
February 2019
Long Fiction and Serials
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Flash Fiction
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Seeing Double

by Ron Larson

Inspired by a story by Algernon Blackwood

Mr. Popkiss was going to Memphis
When a train pulled up alongside of his.
For a while, they raced neck-and-neck.
That was something that he didn’t expect.

Then his mind became befuddled.
The other train contained his double.
His double mimicked his every move.
He didn’t know whether he approved.

It didn’t signal him in vain
When it mouthed: “Get off that damn train.”
It did it many times, to make sure,
And he was most assuredly stirred.

He was going to wave back that day,
But his double’s train had pulled away.
Popkiss left the train at the next stop.
He wondered what his double had wrought.

He never heard of any train crash.
He never would have earned more cash.
He missed the meeting he was going to,
But Popkiss wasn’t blue, let me tell you.

A man had boiled and bubbled,
And he caused a lot more than trouble.
He killed everyone in the meeting.
So beware: doubles do have meaning.

2018 Ron Larson

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