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
Ryan McNamee would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Doppelgänger

By Ryan McNamee All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Horror

Doppelgänger

They say my family is cursed. That the children of house Amseli are fated to die young. A curse put on us because of a vile ancestor who was said to study alchemy or made a deal with Satan. My grandfather was said to have moved us to New England to escape our fate. I never truly believed such things. Coincidence becomes curses to the superstitious, after all my own father died when he was sixty-six years old. While not olden, he was no young man either. What was undisputed however was that there is very little left of my clan. A mix of deaths and a lack of children meant that there was few who could carry on the name. I did my part by marrying young and having a child ten springs past, young Walter. He was the pride of my life and his mother Olivia my joy, but a number of events recently have made me reconsider my stance on curses.

Britain and it’s war against Napoleon have spilled over to New England. American Sailors have begun to be imprisoned as they crossed the Atlantic. The situation meant I had little time to spend at home with my family. While traveling to trade meetings and seeing to the concerns of ship captains my mind longed to see my wife and son. That is why when I first saw the visage of my son that I blamed it on my own longing. While speaking to a captain at some shabby looking docks I saw the boy, chasing away birds without a care in the world. The young lad turned and looked me in the eyes. He more than just resembled my son, but looked exactly like him. I inadvertently called out his name but instead of responding, he turned and ran into a crowd of sailors. I gathered my senses, knowing that I was many miles from home and that could not have been my son. Longing for home even more I hurried my work along.

I returned home to find my son already wasting away with consumption. His death was slow, I put all I owned on his recovery. Doctor’s saw him weekly and nurses changed his bloody rags daily. His once lively room filled with toys and clean sheets had become dark filled with a terrible smell. Family and friends prayed daily for the boy but it was to no avail. I could no longer recognize my own son when he passed away his body barely skin and bone. We gave the boy a quick Christan burial for fear of further spread of the disease. My life soon turned into one of despair. I was filled with immeasurable grief. I understood many children die of disease, that many lower class family had many children in hopes a few may live to adulthood. But Walter was my child, my heir. Olivia was stronger than I. She grieved, yet managed to wake and do the daily work the household needed. I stopped working entirely, I could no longer bring myself to leave the home. Locking myself away for long hours in the study.

I remembered the little boy I saw not long before my son’s death. The uncanny resemblance. I know the folklore of the doppelgänger. An ill omen of death or tragedy. I could not help but wonder if my sighting of the creature truly an omen. “Was it a messenger of ill tidings or a cause?” Such thoughts filled my mind. I slowly began to withdraw further and further from the outside world. At first outsiders left me alone, giving me space to grieve. Soon however they left me alone for I was an eccentric. I cared not however, I did not care if what remained of my family name became mud. I spent a year studying the unknown. Gathering books of folklore, alchemy, and other knowledge deemed unchristian. I barely spoke to Olivia over the course of the year. Her housework grows as we had to let servants go. I could feel her growing resentment of me but I refused to change course.

As the anniversary of my son’s death neared I found something. A ritual to see my son again. It was part of a darkened unnamed tome sent to me by a cousin. She believed the tome had been apart of the family long since we moved to this country. I waited till the witching hour on the night of the anniversary of my son’s death. Walking out of sight of my home and neighbors, I spilled the blood of a cat that hunted mice around the home and called upon forces that should not be named. I felt my heart race as fires burned and I spoke words I barely know the meaning of. Then the world seemed silent as I finished. Before me stood a little boy sharing the image of my Walter when he was last healthy. I cried tears of joy and shame. I know that this was not my little boy, only his image, yet seeing it made me feel happy. I had summoned my son’s doppelgänger for the hope of seeing him once more.

The doppelgänger did not acknowledge me at first. It made no effort to speak. As I stood crying for what seemed like ages it finally turned to me in with my son’s face. It frowned at me before its shape started to change. Starting with it’s eyes it soon took the shape of my Olivia. It started to cry as it walked off into the wilderness. I stood motionless as it walked off. I found myself unable to chase after it as realization hit me. Olivia would soon die as well. I quickly ran home but as I approached I saw a glow in sky. My home was burning. Firegangs had already started to arrive to put out the flame but argued over which gang would put it out, only the winner would receive payment. My neighbors had to hold me back from rushing into the flame myself. It was some time before the flame had finally stopped that they found what remained of my wife. The fire had started in my study where I left a candle lit and quickly spread with the aid of dusty old books. My wife was trapped in the bedroom before the smoke suffocated her. In every sense I had caused her death.

The brick home managed to stay standing. Perpetual insurance spared me some cost but the damage was great. I now stay at a nearby Inn seemingly unsure what to do with myself. However I need not fear for my future. One night I saw myself having a drink at a lonely corner of the inn. I fear I have not long left to live myself. I have written a Will, I will leave what is left of Insurance money to the medical schools looking to cure consumption. The land will be divided up to what little remains of my family name with a warning. I feared that my family is indeed cursed, and I acting just like some long ancestor that started the curse had only renewed it. I can only wish any related by this cursed blood or married into it, better luck then I.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Ryan McNamee
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

borkarprasad: Story was overall a good experience. I liked that the truth unraveled slowly and kept me in edge every time I changed the chapter. I would love to read more volumes to this legacy and be glad to read it from a published book. Great work!!!!!!!!!

Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...

Alex Rushmer: I read the first chapter, and I'm not sure I can handle anymore, but I certainly liked what I read. The idea of the drug, Fortis, was very interesting, and I enjoyed how you conveyed its effects. The beginning is very intriguing. I think I'd like to see you do a little more with the main characte...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

Marimar Amieva: Although I found the vampire thing a bit too much, I couldn't stop reading it. The story had a bit of everything: mystery, romance, a huge plot twist and relatable characters. I congratulate the author for this story and hope to read more of whatever he writes.

mariamalkorashy: Simply alluring, I have become addicted. Now the rest of this message is simply words because it notified me saying that my Review was to short haha. It has done it again so yup I am still here writing once more haha.

ryder: This is an excellent read. From beginning to end the author showed his creative and imaginative writing skills. Twists and turns, surprises, humor, and sorrow: This book has it all. I strongly recommend this book, and I am already recommending it to my friends.

Clare Cormack: Fantastic read! I was gripped from the beginning. The plot twist and change of gear stops you from putting it down. I enjoyed the way the individual characters had their own chapters, reading from their own point of view - believable and identifiable. Im really excited to read the sequel and have...

Ayesha Shaikh: I love the twists. 😆I like how the writer describes everyone's point of view and the character development. I'm gonna read all the books by this author (current and upcoming). She's one of my favorites now. The spelling mistakes are normal no big deal, the amazing plot makes up for it. Thank you ...

More Recommendations

Andria M. Redlin-Author: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD-READ WITH CAUTION: The book was an enjoyable read overall, with many surprises I wasn't expecting. There were only a few things that bothered me: 1. There were times when the characters (mainly Opal and Lee) were talking too much, which got in the way of the action.. ...

OpheliaJones: This story took a different kind of spin on the "normal girl lives with definitely not normal guy" plot. The plot points of Frey's father, Liam's family, and Frey's view of Liam's world were good to read. She did not fall in love with him in the first couple weeks. Their lives were not smooth in ...

Kiz16: After a truly shocking start to the story, I found the style and content slowed down as the author introduced a varied group of characters who I thought were fleshed out very well. After a slow couple of chapters, I found this story difficult to leave with the tension growing within the house. Yo...

matrixmark: I thought that the introduction to this was relly well written and structurally sound in its presentation.The introduction to the cabin in the woods was good too. To me, it felt like a Blair Witch of yesteryear, but the things which you added in about the mutilated boys were certainly something n...

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.