Someone Else's Story - Page 6

“My double . . . he was definitely one of those people,” it continued. “He'd do anything if he thought it'd prove that he still 'had it' - body building, triathlons, marathons, biking for ridiculous distances, cave diving, you name it . . . and I think that last one is what got him killed. There was a location he'd been wanting to dive for ages, but nobody wanted to go with him, everyone said it was too dangerous, so . . .” It sighed. “He decided to go it alone, which is about as stupid a thing as anybody can do . . . but he did it; got up early on a Saturday, drove out there, and dove in.”

“What happened?” the man asked softly.

“He got turned around underwater, of course!” it snapped. “Lost his guide line, probably went one direction when he meant another, and . . .”

“And around then is when your memories become real, I take it,” the man interrupted far less brusquely than he had before.

It nodded. “When my head broke the surface of the water, I couldn't believe even then that I'd found my way out of that cave, but right at that moment I didn't care how it happened. I just threw my gear in the trunk and drove home swearing that I would never do anything that stupid ever again!”

“And that's when you think you were . . . formed,” the man said musingly.

It nodded once more. “Yeah . . .” it whispered. “I do. If there was a way out of that cave, I know I couldn't have found it without a guide line before my air ran out, but I didn't really start thinking about that until later. At the time I was just so happy to be alive, everything seemed so . . . .fresh and new, and for a while I was too busy living my life the way it felt like it ought to be lived to ask any questions. I started paying more attention at work so I could ignore it more when I got home, asked the cute girl in the office out, spent less time obsessively exercising and more time socializing, and was generally too busy being happy to notice anything odd at first, but then . . .” It trailed off.

“What?” The question was asked softly and with genuine interest.

Page 6

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