PAYSON PARDIL AND THE DOPPLEGANGER'S QUEST - by Jules Diamond
CHAPTER 1 - STRANGER IN BLACK
If you've ever met a stranger that had an alarmingly similar appearance to you, I know how you feel.
My name is Payson Pardil, and I was five the first time I saw her, but my Mom swore up and down that I was imagining things. Still, I knew the girl on the swing at the park looked exactly like me. The second time, I was eight. The girl smiled at me as we walked through the mall. Again, my Mom said it was just my imagination. The last time was last month.
Being fifteen has enough problems of its own without people thinking you're crazy.
I wasn't the most normal person on the planet, but after I started therapy, it got worse. My Mom insisted that I go to therapy because it could "help" me with my run-away imagination.
Dr. Ferdinand Cave is my therapist. He has sleek black hair that sticks to his skull in a comb-over due, a round head, and always wears a bow tie with a crazy pattern. I have to say, he's pretty nice, but definately weird. And it isn't exactly "cool" to see a therapist.
Anyways, last month...
I couldn't wait to see the new movie Part Time. Me and my best friend Beth Kane had agreed to go and see it. We had the money, even had a ride. The only problem... My Mother is insane! No, Beth and I couldn't just go and see the movie, she had to come. But that wasn't the worst part. Beth and I recognized a couple friends at the movies, and when we told them we were going to see Part Time, my Mom laughed and replied, "Oh, no, sweetie. We're going to see the new Mupets movie."
As if that wasn't enough, she proceeded to tell them that Dr. Cave didn't want me seeing violent movies. I told her it wasn't violence, it was comedy, but it didn't help.
I have to say, the Mupets movie wasn't awful. Some of the humor - the stuff you don't get when you're six - made me laugh, but I'd never tell my Mom that.
We weren't able to eat snacks because my Mom thought we'd get sick from the food at the theatre. And because the woman's a health nut.
As I was saying... The last time I saw her was last month.
As we were leaving the Mupets movie, I saw her. She was coming out of the theatre playing Part Time. (So, she gets to see it and I don't? How fair is that?) She smiled and waved, but noone else seemed to notice her.
I had always been known for being some-what of a clean freak. My dark brown, curly hair was always perfect, my clothes always clean, and my locker always in perfect order. This girl - the one that looked like me - was nothing like that. She was wearing a pair of grey skinny jeans with a rip in the knee, a deep purple shirt, a black leather jacket, and a pair of old, black converse sneakers. Her hair was a bit darker than mine, straight, and had blue hilights. She had way to much makeup on a wore a big pair of silver hoops in her ears, along with several studs. Over all, our appearances couldn't have been more different.
I was tempted to point her out to my Mom, but what good would that do? All that would accomplish is a stern talk with Dr. Cave about how imaginations can sometimes get carried away.
Later that night, when we got home, - Beth was spending the night - we had a long talk about the mysterious girl.
"That's three times, right?" Beth asked, biting off a bit of a carrott - my Mom's favorite food, and the only snack in the house.
I sighed. "Yeah, three."
"I just don't get it, Pay," Beth started. "You say noone else can see her? Ever?"
"She was at the movies tonight and you didn't seem to notice her," I pointed out. "Other people just ignore her, I guess."
"Or they can't see her."
I tried not to look confused, but apparently, Beth noticed.
"What if Dr. Cave's right? What if you are imagining her? I mean, it's possible, right?"
"Yeah," I said uncomfortably. "I guess." But I knew the truth: she was real.
Knowing that Beth wasn't going to be easily convinced, I let the matter drop. No need for my best friend to think I'm crazy, right? Besides, I was beginning to think that noone else could see her because she really didn't exist, at least not in the physical sense. I'd heard of ghosts haunting people, but I'd never believed the stories. They were just made up by people wanting attention, or old quacks. But now, I was wondering whether or not they were true...
The next day at school was tough. Apparently, my so-called-friends told Jenny Carls about our trip to the movies, and she thought it was a riot.