Sanjay pushed up to his elbows. His face was white as a sheet; the bags under his eyes showed that he’d been crying, and had probably been awake all night. “It wasn’t our childhood. It was old… seventeenth century old. And it was Croatia… I knew it was Croatia.”
Cole tried to be helpful. “We’ve been to Croatia several times. Are you sure it wasn’t a flashback to something we saw?”
Sanjay shook his head. “No. There was a cat. The cat was important, somehow…”
That was significant. Their predecessor, their donor, the great Nicola Tesla had been fond of all animals, and had especially enjoyed the companionship of a cat during his childhood. Cole and Sanjay’s family were die-hard dog people. A cat had never entered their house. Although friends had cats, there was certainly never any great connection between the twins and their friends’ pets.
A week later, Sanjay was still disturbed by the vision. He refused to talk to anyone but Cole about it, with the exception of the psychologist who had been both studying and counseling the boys all their lives. But then it was simply a report. Sanjay wasn’t ready to be named a nutjob. The great Tesla may have dipped into the loony bin a bit deeper than necessary late in his life, but Sanjay was still very young, and they had the advantage of knowing all about the illnesses that had plagued the man from whom they were cloned.
“You guys need to come to the bar with us tonight. It’s karaoke night.” Glorianna announced. Sanjay just continued staring at the figures on the board he’d been staring at for the last hour. Cole was making paper airplanes. He recognized the implied imperative behind their little sister’s words. She was, after all, best friends with both their girlfriends, and the girls were probably feeling neglected since the twins had turned down every opportunity to go out for the past week.
“We’ll be there. Do you need a ride?” Cole answered.
“Eileen said she’d drive, since she’s not old enough to drink yet.” Her next question was asked completely with body language and silent mouthing.
What about grumpy over there?
“We’re conjoined twins, remember?” Cole joked, earning an actual “look” from Sanjay. But at least he didn’t protest.
Cole lectured his twin about how twenty-year-old women didn’t like to be ignored and how they were both incredibly lucky to have girlfriends who loved them for who they were, not who their predecessor was. Sanjay seemed to perk up a bit, but Cole could tell it was simply an effort on his twin’s part to do the mental exercises their therapist had taught him to help deal with the aftereffects of his visions. Sanjay wasn’t one to mope.
The bar was loud in a friendly, happy way. Karaoke was already starting, and a young couple was doing justice to the classic “Don’t You Want Me Baby” on stage. They found a table and ordered dinner and drinks.
Cole watched his twin struggle to smile and interact. The three girls got up on stage and performed “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips, and actually managed to harmonize nicely. Sanjay applauded loudly, but his face was pale, and his hands trembled slightly.
Something drastic had to be done. Cole found an excuse to kidnap their little sister, leaving Sanjay with their girlfriends.
After a quick consultation and change of clothes, Cole took the stage. He watched his brother’s confused look at Glorianna returned to the table wearing Cole’s clothes, and then at the raucous round of laughter, cat-calls and whistles from the other patrons of the bar Sanjay finally looked up at the stage to see Cole there, looking gorgeous in their little sister’s little black dress and bright red high heels. He belted out “I Will Survive” with all his might, as his twin doubled over with laughter along with their girlfriends.
Cole finished his performance by falling down the stairs from the stage when he became overconfident in his ability to walk in high heels that were several sizes too small. Kicking off the footwear, he quickly jumped to his feet and declared “I’m all right!” to resounding applause.
Glorianna insisted on keeping her brother’s clothes for the night, as she was garnering quite a bit of male attention wearing a man’s dress shirt and tie. Cole didn’t mind. Sanjay was relaxing at last. That made karaoke in drag more than worth it.
“I just can’t figure out the last part… it was like the vision switched to the cat’s point of view. I ran along the fence, and there was city, lit by sunrise, spread out before me…”
“You saw that too? I love that movie!” an unidentified man said from behind them. Glorianna looked slightly miffed that the hunk who had been paying attention to her was suddenly talking to her brothers instead.
“What movie?” Cole asked.
“I think it was called “Ignacio,” let me see…” the man moved his thumb around his mobile briefly, then showed it to the twins. Sure enough, there was a scene that showed a cat, looking sad and forlorn, then it switched to the cat’s point of view as it ran along a fence.
“That’s it! That’s exactly what I saw!” Sanjay was beside himself. If Cole didn’t know for certain that they’d each only had a couple of drinks, he’d swear his twin was drunk. “That’s exactly what was in my vision! But when did I see that?”
Sanjay’s girlfriend Nikki answered for them. “Ignacio? That was last month. We went to the drive-in, remember? It was the second movie. Right after “Arpeggio”. You weren’t very… um…” she blushed prettily “…interested in the movie by then.”
Cole had fond memories of that night. The drive-in wasn’t exactly private, but it allowed for a little bit of making out. They both had an eidetic memory… even if they weren’t paying much attention to the movie, Sanjay must have picked up enough to remember it in a flashback later.
“I’m not nuts!” Sanjay announced.
“That’s still open for debate.” Glorianna countered, but Sanjay didn’t seem to care.
“Sanjay…” Nikki said gently, “I think it’s about time we had a serious talk about these visions you have…”
Cole put an arm around Eileen, who snuggled naturally just a bit closer.
Yes. It’s time to talk about the visions. And it’s time for us to get a place of our own.
After reading the answers to my SciFi Question of the Day about cloning Nicola Tesla, I decided to expand on the idea. This story is broken up into 3 parts, about a thousand words each.
The shortlink for this post is http://wp.me/p1rMYd-jp