Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
KeshaRocks would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Doppelganger: Sequel to Mindbender

By KeshaRocks

Drama / Adventure

Prologue

"How did I get here? More important, how do I get out?" Hiccup asked himself, fighting a shudder.

A scratchy gray image, fuzzy around the edges and frayed through the middle came into view. In the distance he could see the outline of a dark forest. A dim violet light radiated through the arrangement of thin black trees.

"You're here because I brought you," he said. "So you will know this place."

Startled, Hiccup whirled to see him just within the perimeter of the clearing, draped in his armored tunic like before, the shoulder pad spiked with dragon teeth, and the weapons belted to his waist.

"It's a mid-region. A place seldom consciously reached. Once that lies in the space between dream and all realities."

Hiccup took a step back, his eyes trained on him. Amid all the phantom trees, he cut an even more menacing figure than he had before. He even seemed taller, if that was possible.

What was worse, he didn't like not knowing if "here" really existed. Being in a dream meant that you were inside your own imagination, right? Then why did this feel so real?

Uncertain of what else to do, Hiccup continued to walk backward slowly, his feet crunching over the brittle ground cover. Hadrian shifted slightly, as though there was something about him creating distance that bothered him. His eyes remained unblinking.

"What do you want?" Hiccup said, his tone stern.

Hadrian scowled. "I want what you have."

Hiccup felt a cold shiver run through his spine. He didn't like it here.

It seemed t be the response he was looking for, though, because Hadrian took a step toward him, then another. His feet made no sound against the patchwork blanket of dead leaves and cinders.

"Though you should know, you have as much to do with this as me."

"Stop right there!" Hiccup ordered.

Hadrian obeyed only as his heel came in contact with a dried twig, snapping it. They both stood frozen then, listening to the echo. The forest seeped whispers. Stifled laughter rang in the distance.

Hiccup felt panic rise within him. He glanced around, searching for a place to run. Every direction looked exactly the same, though, and as far as he could tell, there was no exit.

"You must understand, that your only hope of navigating this realm is to know it for what it is – to know that it is within a dream that you stand." Hadrian said.

"You're making no sense." Hiccup snapped.

"Just figured I'd give you advice on how to live here." Hadrian replied.

"Why?"

"So that you can at least survive, when I take control." He says with a lick of his tongue on his upper lip.

Hiccup's stomach knotted and back flipped three times before sinking to the very bottom.

"Look around you," Hadrian said. "And you will see how you actions have already begun to strip the veil." He held out a hand. Ash floated to light on his fingertips. "It weakens, and the night where it is at its thinnest in your world fast approaches."

"What is it with the way you talk?!" Hiccup asked frustrated.

Hadrian held his hand toward him, palm up. Hiccup hesitated, staring at it as though it were the hand of death. "You need to go. Now."

Hiccup stumbled forward. He grasped his hand tight and pulled him straight through the line of trees, the sound of his steps absorbed into silence by the powder-soft ash.

They sped through the maze of dead forest, taking sudden twists and quick turns.

You're dreaming, he told himself as they ran. It's just a dream. Any second now you'll wake up, and it will all be over.

A cool breeze filtered through, stirring the curtain of his hair.

From somewhere within the woods, Hiccup heard a rustling sound and then the whisper of his name. His head snapped up. In the distance, a bright light radiant and ethereal, broke like a beacon through the dimness. Long and slender, the light fluttered beneath the cover of a billowing white shroud, taking shape.

Hiccup could not help but steal backward glances as they ran. He saw a figure emerge from within the ebbing light – a woman, angelic in form, though her features remained lost in the distance, buried beneath yards of floating gossamer veils.

Hadrian stopped, yanking Hiccup to face him. "You will surrender, Hiccup. I will break free."

The figure drew closer, and while Hiccup didn't know who it was, it felt safer than being with Hadrian. Hiccup yanked himself free and bolted for the angelic woman.

Hiccup

He ran faster. Behind him he could hear Hadrian on his tale. He didn't look back and he didn't stop. He could hear him following him, but if he looked back now, he'd lose his will.

"You are his only threat and therefore the only hope," she said hastily.

Suddenly, a hand clamped around his mouth. Hiccup muffled a sound as close to a scream as he could manage. Hadrian yanked him back with harsh movements. Hiccup tried to fight him, but he froze when he felt Hadrian's lips by his ear.

"And once you're out of the way, Astrid will be all mine." Hiccup could just hear the grin in his tone. Hiccup wanted to kill him.

Out of this air, Hadrian grasped a doorknob that appeared just as his hand clasped it. It was as though the door had been painted to blend in with the forest. Pulling the door open, it revealed chestnut wood floors and a bedspread with a simple quilt.

Hadrian shoved Hiccup through and he stumbled over the threshold, into his bedroom. There, in his bed, he saw himself – asleep.

"Just you wait, Hiccup." Hadrian called after him.

Behind him, the door slammed shut.

He stood at the farthest edge of the cliffs, boots caked in ash.

Like clawed fingers, the black rocks jutted out over the torpid waters far below, pointing toward the distant horizon. A vast motionless sea, canvas white and still as death, spread itself wide and long before him. It met, in the distance, with the think black line the separated it from a torn violet sky.

At his back stood the skeleton ruins of the forest.

Hadrian closed his eyes, allowing the dead nothingness around him to numb his mind and still the rhythms of his body until all he knew was the buzz of static, that dull vibration, as familiar to him now as breathing. His concentration drew to the cool, soft sensation of the sword in his hand, held tight in his fist.

"Why do you force him to return to this place each night?"

At the sound of her voice, musical and deep, Hadrian opened his eyes, though he did not turn. If he looked, then he would only be trapped again, lured by that ivory seraphim face.

His gaze narrowed on the horizon. He held his silence as the winds stirred. Brushing his hair from his eyes. It flicked cold fingers at the skin of his arms.

"But do not forget that it was he who left you here."

Far below, the frost white seas began to churn. The waves turned choppy until restless waves lapped at the rocky cliffs, as though to test their resolve to stand.

There was a billow of white gossamer to his left as she floated to stand beside him. The gales picked up with yet more speed, whipping her hair wildly about her face.

Below them, the sea's vice rose from a whisper to a roar. Waves crashed, throwing themselves as though in suicide upon the pointed rocks. The wind howled past them, lifting her veils into a violet dance. The sword's surface rippled in the reflection of the gleaming light. Hadrian gripped it tighter.

"Standing here, so alone for so long . . . Do you not grow cold?" he heard her ask.

He stared forward, unblinking, as a knife of blue lightning sliced the sky.

"No," he said.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., , ,.,,,,,

ElusiveBadwolf: I loved this book so much! It's a shame that i already came to the end of this. I really enjoyed the story, and i liked it how everything became in the end. It was a great book and i can say that you are a great writer too. Keep it that way and i think you can make it in the writing business!

Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...

emmaneal74: I loved this booked. Would definitely buy it when published and read it again. The story flowed in such a way I just couldn't put it down. I was never confused about the characters or their roles in the story which can happen sometimes with so many lead. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to r...

Jason Phang: It's too short! The plot was excellently thought through, with the characters flowing up and down the storylines like the peaks and valleys of the Himalayas. Thoroughly enjoyed the book and the time spent with Asta and her journeys. (:

brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...

littlebunnypoopoos: Omg this was so amazing! The ending was a little bad and predictable. But otherwise, I need a second book or I'll die :D The character development was excellent and the whole romance, action, and suspense was superb

William Po: Enjoyed the characters and story of the USAF during WWII. Author seems knowledgeable about planes and situations faced by bomber personnel. Also the suffering the air war caused on both sides to civilians.

Dru83: This is perhaps my favorite part of the Olafson story just because it is here that were are introduced to his "gang". The characters are so diverse and complicated that each of them could just about spawn their own story. Eric's buddies are just so captivating and the plot just rolls along. Again...

More Recommendations

Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...

heavyreader: great scifi novels but needs a better spell checker (check auto-substitution level) and grammar checker!!! otherwise, ready for mass market publishing!!

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...

Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.