And they weep forevermore.
Setting down her pen, Monica reread the morbid poem she had just written and grinned. It was a lovely piece about lost souls, and she was quite proud of it. She read through it a few more times, occasionally aloud, to make sure she had the rhythm right. After changing a few words, she nodded. It was finished.
Tomorrow she would read it one more time (just to be sure) and send it into the magazine, where it would, with any luck, be published. It would be her tenth poem to make it into print. She felt that deserved ice cream.
Walking to the bus stop, Monica let her mind wander, hoping to hit upon an idea for a poem. She wished absently that she had someone to bounce ideas off of.
The bus pulled up, and Monica stepped on it. In her distracted state of mind, it took her a moment to realize she was the only passenger—in fact, she was the only one on the bus. There wasn’t even a driver.
Bewildered, Monica turned to get off the bus, but the doors had already swished shut. For a moment, absolutely nothing happened. Monica looked around her. Surely she was mistaken. There had to be someone. Someone had to be controlling the bus.
“Hello?” she called out.
And then the bus began to shake. It rattled and quaked, throwing Monica to the ground.
“Are you all right?”
She looked up to see people around her. A girl was bending down to help her up, but gasped when she saw her. Monica couldn’t blame the girl—she felt like gasping herself. It was strange enough to have an empty bus toss you to the ground as though it were in an earthquake, and then find yourself surrounded by people—but looking at the girl beside her was beyond strange. It was impossible.
The girl had her face.
“You--” Monica gasped, just as the other girl said the same thing.
“How?” Again, the girls spoke in unison.
Examining the girl, Monica found that they were not actually identical. While they had the same face, the other girl had painted hers with quite a lot of makeup—using pink eye shadow and shiny lip gloss. On a good day, Monica wore mascara and lipstick. The girl also had a purple feather in her layered brown hair, whereas Monica’s hair was plain and straight. Monica also noticed that the girl’s outfit was far trendier than anything she herself owned—preferring, as she did, to wear sweatpants and baggy t-shirts.
The bus started to move. The girl with her face helped Monica into an empty seat. People around them were staring, so the girl pulled the cord signaling she wanted to stop. The two girls said nothing as they waited for the bus to reach a designated stop and pull over. Then they piled out, still watched by their fellow passengers.
Standing alone with her doppelganger under the hot sun, Monica found herself completely at a loss for what to say. Her twin was the first to speak.
“So, what is this, a separated at birth thing?”
“I don’t know.”
“You have my face.”
“Where did you come from?”
“You just appeared on the bus. I thought I must have imagined it, but….”
“I don’t know.” Monica rubbed the bridge of her nose, trying to focus. “When I got on the bus… this is going to sound crazy.”
“We’ve already passed crazy.”
Monica shrugged. “Fair enough. When I got on the bus, it was empty. No passengers, no driver even. Then it shook, and I fell over, and when I looked up you were there.”
“Huh.” The other girl rubbed the bridge of her nose. “Who are your parents?”
“What are your parents’ names?”
“Erica and Jason.”
“Yeah—how’d you know?”
“I’m Monica Chase. My parents are Erica and Jason Chase.”
Monica stared at the girl. “That’s not possible.”
“Your name is Monica too, isn’t it?”
Monica could only nod.
“Ever watch Doctor Who?”
Rolling her eyes, Monica said, “Duh.”
“Well, there you are.”
“Where am I?”
“In another dimension.”
“What?” Monica’s jaw dropped.
“You must have passed into another dimension.”
“Coming from anyone but myself, that would be the most insane statement I’ve ever heard. But… you must be right.”
Monica looked around. Everything looked so normal… except… Across the street, where there had always been a Wal*Mart, sat a Winn Dixie. And—she blinked. How had she not realized that the cars were driving on the other side of the street, like they do in England?
“You must be right,” Monica repeated.
“Sure I’m right,” the other Monica said. She seemed much more relaxed, and even excited, about the whole thing—which Monica supposed was because she hadn’t been pulled out of her life and into a strange alter-version of it.
“I wonder if we’re exactly the same?” she said.
Monica raised her eyebrow. “We don’t look the same.”
“Well, we do dress different.”
“And you got your hair layered.”
“Isn’t it cute?”
Monica had to concede that it was. Why had she never thought of layering her hair? It really complimented her face shape.
“I wonder if we’ve written the same poems,” she said.
“Poems?” the other Monica repeated, “I don’t write poems.”
“What?” Monica stared at her. “How can you not write poems?!”
The other Monica shrugged. “It never occurred to me. I didn’t think I’d be any good.”
“But weren’t you inspired when that poet came and talked to you in sixth grade?”
“Oh, I remember that. The teachers were super psyched about it. But Alison and I ditched that day.”
It was the other Monica’s turn to stare. “You don’t know Alison Stewart?”
“Never heard of her.”
“But she’s my best friend!”
Monica looked around, eyes lingering on the Winn Dixie and the wrong-way driving cars.
“Things are different here,” she said.
Today's Novel Idea Prompted by: "You have been transported to another dimension! This world is similar to our own, but several key things are different. What are these key things, how did you get there, and how might you be able to get home (if you even wanted to)?" courtesy of Build Creative Writing Ideas.