Part 6 - The Not So Real Ethan Fairchild
I knew there was something weird about my experience in the alternate world. I could not accept the fact that I would ever turn evil. I mean, come on... Me? Evil? How asinine a thought is that? I knew for a fact that I would never turn evil. And some Make Believe Me was not going to convince me of that fact either. My nemesis was not myself. That woman was a big time imposter!
I watched as she fired at me and Thornton with such gleeful abandon. There again was another reason that could not be me. I would never try to kill myself.
The bullet zipped past us going wildly into the bushes. She wasn't a very good shot. Neither was I. So in that aspect we were the same. Dang.
I glanced at her again. Her face was made up with a sparkly kind of makeup. Not my style at all.
I slapped Thornton on the shoulder. "I can't believe you thought that phoney was me."
Thornton fired back at the woman nicking her in the arm. "I had nothing to base the real you on, so sue me. There was no way I could really know what you would be like. I accepted what was put before me."
I shook my head. "I thought you were a better spy than that."
"Obviously not since you keep nixing my progress at every avenue."
I shot him a wry smile as the Other Me cried out in pain from the bullet wound. "You're going to pay for that!" she shouted.
He chuckled. "What is she going to do? Write a red herring into this strange mystery?"
"As soon as you're gone," she screamed in misery. "As soon as you're gone, everything will go back to normal."
"Everything?" I whispered to Thornton. I call him Thornton because that's the secret middle name I had given to my super spy character, Ethan.
In case you've forgotten the players in this mystery, Thornton is the real, flesh and blood Ethan Fairchild. Apparently, he's a bit perturbed at me since I've ruined his life by posting his story on the internet. How the heck was I supposed to know there was a ëreal' Ethan Fairchild? I guess I'm more psychic than I realize.
"I knew what used to be normal," Thornton said. "But you changed overnight."
"You mean she changed overnight. Not me. That is not me! How many times do I have to say it before I get it through your lunk head skull? That is not me, nor has it ever been me. She's an imposter."
I don't think Thornton was quite accepting my theory. I based this observation on the fact that the temperature had dropped about ten degrees in the last few seconds around the area where we were hiding. Men! They have such a hard time admitting when they're wrong.
"Can't you see that she's changing? Look at her. Even now, before our eyes, her wardrobe has become more dark and dastardly. She's revealing her true colors. Now that I'm here, I'm sure it's harder for her to maintain her disguise."
"Disguise?" Thornton looked at me with glassy eyes.
"Haven't you been listening to anything I've been saying? That woman is NOT me!"
I heard my adversary's gun discharge. And this time it came precariously close to my head.
"Watch out!" Thornton yelled, pulling me backward out of harm's way. "She means business. She wants us both dead."
I snuck another look at the Alt-Me. Her hair was beginning to change color now to a vibrant red.
"That's what I don't understand," I said. "Why would she want you dead too? I think she's created this alternate reality in order to keep you both together. She should want you to live."
"Maybe she's jealous of your relationship with me." Thornton gave me a smirk that for a second reminded me of Ethan's evil twin, Ian. But I shook that thought off quickly. I seriously did not want to delve into anything concerning Ian Fairchild.
"We don't have a relationship," I shot back after stumbling over the image of Ian swimming in my head. "I created Ethan Fairchild from bits of information deep in my psyche. If she was really me, she would know that."
"What are you saying?"
"I'm saying that it's most likely that she's someone from your past. You're her focus. She only wants me dead because of you. She's used my story to draw you into her web."
"You're crazy," Thornton said. "This is not about me. It's YOUR story!"
"Not exactly. It's my Legacy universe, but the characters have been altered. She's writing them in a new way, controlling them."
"Can't you get back in control of them so they're on our side?"
I smirked. "Oh, so now we're on the same side?"
I dodged another bullet and somehow landed in Thornton's arms. I began to push him away from me, but then I noticed something on one of his wrists. It was a red stain. A birthmark. Ethan didn't have a birthmark. So Thornton shouldn't have a birthmark either. The image of Ian came back into my mind screeching to a halt in my mind's eye.
I pulled back from him quickly putting as much space between us as possible.
"Oh, my God! Get away from me!" I screamed.
He could see that I knew his secret. "I can explain."
"No you can't. You're not the real Ethan Fairchild. You lied to me. You're ... You're ... Ian!"
I stumbled backward and straight into the path of one of my adversary's bullets. It came at me in slow motion as it slammed into my shoulder. The pain was immense but not as bad as the fear in my gut. I looked for a way out. Any other avenue to scramble to. It was then I looked at the one who had shot me. She no longer looked like me. She now looked like another person I knew.
"Gia?" I gasped. "You? Why is it you?"
I stumbled backward and tripped over a rock as both Ian and Gia advanced toward me. The rock caused me to stumble and I fell hitting my head on a rock. The last thing I remember before I passed out was seeing their feet so close to me that I knew I was soon going to be dead at the hands of one of them. Maybe they'd even have to fight for that honor.
I could only pray that I'd wake up alive by some miracle. Maybe someone would come to save me, someone I would never expect. Maybe another character from another story. Or maybe we would start this scene all over again and I would keep the knowledge that it was Ian and Gia who were in league together against me.
I don't know. If I wake up tomorrow, I'll find out.