“Alan!” Alan put the book down with a thud.

“What Mom?” he called down. She was now standing in the doorway of his room and he turned to look at her.

“I want you to go get some fresh air. You’ve been sitting here engrossed in that book all day!” This was what happened almost every day of his vacation. He would sit at his desk, reading book after book going down only for meals, to listen to music or to talk to the family for a few minutes. Then his Mom would come up at around 4:30 and try to make him go out to which he would protest and, most of the time would succeed in making her let Alan stay at home. But today she was all pumped up and would not stop nagging him until he left the house.

“Where do you want me to go?” The same argument. Every day. It was a wonder they even wasted their time with this argument when 90% of the time Alan would end up not going out.

“To the field. You can take your bike. See if you find anyone your age.” She turned to go away, to bring the conversation to an end, then turned back and said, “Oh, and you have to stay there for an hour or more.”

“Fine. Bye.” Alan got up angrily and stomped down the stairs, got onto his bike and rode towards the park slowly. There were quite a few reasons why Alan hated going out to do anything. Firstly, it was quite a long way to the field especially on a bike, with cars whizzing past you every other second. Secondly, you had to pass the dog cage, all the dogs of the area collected along with their owners. Since all the big dogs would also be brought there, the smaller ones would not generally be brought there. Alan was very scared of dogs, and the fact that the dogs were mostly large did nothing to calm him down.

Lastly, there was a mysterious mansion where nobody lived. At least, that’s what everybody thought. Rumor had it there was once a happy family of four living there but around a month after they moved in they were said to have died strangely and suddenly. Nobody had bought the house, as it was believed that it was haunted by the spirits of the dead family.

Alan had gotten to the dogs and had gotten off his bike to try and get across without making a noise when suddenly a German Shepherd escaped and started running after him. Alan hopped on to his bike and started cycling at an extremely fast speed. He had no idea where he was going. All he wanted was to get away from that dog. Its owner was also chasing it with calls of “Spike! Heel.” and “Come here!”

Alan kept cycling until finally he lost sight of the dog. That’s when he realized where he was. Behind the haunted mansion. Something caught his eye and he looked in that direction. What he saw made shivers run down his spine. It was a face behind a window with iron grills like a prison and on the window was one word. Help.

He couldn’t see any distinguishing features on the face but thought he was about Alan’s age. He thought of an excuse to enter the house and with all the courage he could gather, walked around to the front of the house, stepped on to the porch and rang the bell. He waited nervously for about a minute.

What seemed like ten minutes later, someone opened the door. She had bushy black hair and was wearing an expression of shock.

“What do you want?” she said when she saw Alan standing there and he got the feeling that if it had been someone older than him she would have said something a lot worse.

“I-I saw a b-boy through the window. He l-looked about my age so I was wondering if he’d like to come out and m-maybe go biking or s-something.” He said as every word he said made the lady angrier.

“You have no business knocking on peoples’ doors and asking such things. Now go back home and I won’t do anything to you.” She snapped. Seeing Alan still standing there, petrified, she exclaimed exasperatedly, “Well, what are you waiting for. Run along!”

Alan walked back to where his bike was parked and saw the kid still behind the window. He mouthed the word ‘sorry’ and got onto his bike to go home when he saw the boy writing something else on his window. He had written ‘The window to the right of this one is open.’

Alan thought of just leaving and calling the police but his curiosity got the best of him and, once again, he got off the bike and walked to the window indicated. He pushed it lightly and to his surprise, opened easily. He stepped onto the windowsill and climbed in. He found himself in what might have been a storage room. He found a door and opened it to a bathroom. Another door. He opened it slightly and saw the silhouette of the boy facing him.

Relieved, he opened the door to see his own face staring back at him.

“Wh-who are y-y-you?”

“I’m your clone. But don’t ask any more until I show you the others.”

At this, Alan was extremely confused but walked on. Alan #2 reached a silver door and a red light appeared to scan his face. The door swung open and Alan almost fainted. There were hundreds of-of him staring back at him. Finally, he asked,

“Why are you all here? Who are you?”

They replied robotically, in unison, “ We are your clones and we will take over the world. But first we must imprison you. You will never leave this room.” The door slammed shut, leaving Alan alone for eternity, to sit by and watch as he took over the world.



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