I'm writing this down; I found a pen on the nightstand by the bed...next to his pen. There was paper too. When the light comes they've gotta be back where they belong…and so have I.
I don't know if you will get to read this...I can't even tell if there's ink in the damn pen. There's no way to be sure in this dark. So I'm not just writing this, I'm thinking it too. It might just be that you—that somebody—will tune into my thoughts. Does that seem crazy? Nothing seems crazy to me; not after seven years of living like this. Seven years of being pulled and pushed about without any say in the matter; being made to do the things he demands.
I don't really know why this has happened to me. And sure as shit, I don't know how. Maybe there's some, yet to discovered, scientific explanation. Maybe there is such a thing as magic!
My name is William Paul Prendergast. It feels good to write my name, even though I can't see it. I haven’t seen it written or heard it spoken in such a long time. Seven years. There is so much I have missed in seven years. Food! Proper food! What wouldn't I give to taste…strawberry cheesecake, or roast lamb with mint sauce, chocolate, the sweet crunch of an apple.
But I can't be wasting time telling you about how bad this is for me...I gotta warn you. This could happen to you just as easily as it it did to me…
Seven years ago—I was on the east side of the park, waiting for Jenny Caffery….We were going out for the day; our first date. I was early, enjoying the morning sun on my back...I miss the sun most of all. When it comes to sunshine, I'm kindda like that guy adrift in a small boat on an ocean—water, water, everywhere but not a drop...
Waiting for Jenny; Amusing myself by reading the names and initials carved into the wooden planks of the bench I was sitting on—that's when I committed the crime that got me where I am now. I defaced public property. I was nineteen, and waiting on the prettiest girl in town. I thought I was alone, but he was there. He was always there...with me. Most of the time unnoticed, but always there.
Between a gouged proclamation that AC-DC ROCK and a carved smile-face was a piece of smooth wood, just waiting for a boy with a little time on his hands and a sharp pocket knife. Just waiting for a boy like me.
I've always had an affinity for woodwork, and in less than twenty minutes I had carved a very tidy looking outline of a heart with an arrow piercing through it. Encased in the heart, above the arrow shaft my initials; W P P and below, J C. Admiring my handiwork; I folded the blade of my knife into its handle and in doing so sliced the point across my finger.
It hardly hurt at all, but the bleeding was furious for such a little cut.
Jenny was due in just a couple of minutes. I didn’t have a Kleenex with me and I wasn’t about to smudge the blood on my clean jeans, and my shirt was brand new…A romantic notion rescued me from my dilemma. I would fill mine and Jenny’s freshly cut initials and the heart surround with my leaking blood. Then when Jenny arrived I would take her hanky and press it on top to make a print. A first date keepsake that would have her swooning and send all her girlfriends green-eyed.
Hes moving…rolling over in the bed…I’d better hurry.
So I reached out…
Damn hes awake
...my dripping finger.
No! No! No! hes sitting…swinging his legs over the edge of the bed.
I can't explain what happened next. All I know is at the exact moment I touched my bleeding finger onto the etching I had made in the bench…
He’s reaching for the switch, only seconds before everything must be back where it's supposed to be...before I will be back where I have to be.
…When my finger, his finger and that woodcut heart converged in my blood...that’s when he became me...and I became his shadow. CLICK!