Replication

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Chapter 17

Everything is dark.

A strange sense of tranquility flows throughout my body, its presence generating a warming sensation in my veins. For some reason, the pitch darkness and utter silence does not alarm me. I am floating through the cool blackness, my body a weightless projection in space and time. I have no worries. I have no fear.

I have no coherent thoughts.

The only thing that I am able to discern is a strange pinprick of white light that is coming closer and closer as I continue to float through the abyss. I claw my hands out into blackness in a fruitless attempt to find the source of the light. It feels as if I am underwater, but somehow, I am still able to breathe.

The pinprick of light grows larger as I continue to float forward, propelled by some unknown force. As I get closer, the light becomes so bright and so strong that I am forced to squeeze my eyes shut. Suddenly, my entire body becomes white-hot.

I am infiltrating into the light.

Before I can even attempt to process what is going on, I am suddenly slingshotted forward at a menacing velocity. My body flips and twists in all directions, and I careen forward at a speed so fast that I can barely breathe. Just when I think that I cannot take it any longer, everything stops.

The world is still.

Ever so slowly, I open my eyes to see that I am standing in a kitchen. The odd part is that everything is slightly foggy, as if I am standing in a thick mist. And the other odd part, which I notice a few moments later, is that I am not alone. There are three other people in the kitchen, all sitting down at the kitchen table in the corner of the room. Two parents and a young girl, presumably their child. They are all eating dinner.

I close my eyes for a few moments, breathing in the aroma wafting from the table. My stomach instantly growls as I smell the delicious scent of roasted chicken and baked potato.

I reopen my eyes.

“Hello?” I call out.

My voice sounds foreign to me, and it echoes across the room.

However, none of them turn around. They continue to eat, their backs to me.

“Hello!” I cry out again.

Still, no one moves a muscle.

Okay, now this is weird. They cannot hear me.

I wonder if they can see me.

I walk forward toward the table. I still feel oddly weightless, as if I am on the moon or something. Slowly, I can start to hear their conversation.

“She’s too young, Hal…”

Hal…

It is him. And his wife.

And the little girl sitting at the table is me.

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