CHAPTER 4


Just as Ryan was about to fire the gun, placing his index finger on the trigger, there was a subtle sound somewhere in the house. Hesitating for a second Ryan looked towards the door, frowning slightly. Josh was still sitting with his eyes closed, his eye lids twitching a little. Suddenly the door handle to the studio moved and the door opened with a creaking sound. Both Josh and Ryan instantly looked at the person standing there. Josh's mouth dropped open as he saw the terrified look on his brother's face - as he stood there in the door.

"What the...?" Ryan in the door said as he was looking directly at himself standing next to Josh in the middle of the room. His eyes were opened wide in disbelief and shock. Looking first at his doppelganger his glance soon found the gun in his hand, which was pointing directly at Josh's head.

"Who are you..?" Ryan in the door said as he stood there frozen, unable to comprehend what was going on. Ryan next to Josh smiled a vicious smile:

"I'm you...!" he hissed as he suddenly flung the gun away from Josh to point it at his enemy in the door. Josh was looking bewildered from one Ryan to the other... the one with the gun was wearing a black T-shirt and the one in the door wore a red one. Other than that there was no chance of telling who was who...

"Don't...!" Josh burst out as he watched Ryan with the black shirt put his index finger on the trigger, aiming for the other Ryan's chest. But an ear shattering 'bang' sounded and Ryan in the door spun slightly to the side, grabbing a hold of his shoulder. Looking down on himself, blood was flowing from his shoulder, where the bullet had grazed him, tearing a thin line in the red fabric of his shirt. Staring frantically at Ryan with the gun he hid behind the doorframe, mind racing like crazy. What on earth was going on?

"Time to die...!" Ryan in the black shirt mumbled under his breath and started walking towards the door, gun ready. It was as if he had completely forgotten about Josh, who was still duct taped to the chair in the middle of the room. Pale and trembling Josh couldn't do anything but watch. From around the corner of the doorframe Ryan in the red shirt peeked inside and saw his doppelganger approaching.

"Go to hell!" he yelled as he started running down the hallway, drawing the mad man's attention away from Josh. He couldn't bare if he was hurt. Ryan in the black shirt immediately followed and stormed out of the studio. Swallowing Josh started working on the duct tape which bound his wrists together and to the chair, at the same time he was listening carefully to what was going on in the house. Groaning as he tried to free himself from the duct tape he could hear running footsteps, things shattering and loud yelling. Looking at the camera, which was still rolling, Josh managed to loosen one of the duct tape pieces and was now able to move one of his hands more freely. Josh looked up as he saw Ryan in the red shirt appear in the doorway.

"Are you hurt?" he asked and Josh shook his head feverishly. In the background both of them could hear approaching footsteps.

"Run!" Josh burst out and hesitantly Ryan complied, running out of sight. Seconds later Ryan in the black shirt passed the doorway. Again Josh returned to loosening the tape, and it was started to pay off. However he was interrupted when he could hear voices which sounded like they came from the living room. Closing his eyes he tried to decipher what was said. But it was impossible when the sound had to pass through several walls. Biting his lip Josh pulled at the tape and managed to free one of his hands completely. Suddenly a loud 'bang' came from the living room and horrified Josh heard a thump.

"Oh my god...!" he whispered under his breath and started working as fast as humanly possible on the last bit of tape. Some rummaging about could be heard before the sound of approaching footsteps came and in a panic Josh tore at the tape, tipping over the chair. With a thud he landed on his side on the floor, still halfway bound to the chair and looked up towards the door. Tense and heaving for air Josh listened to the footsteps, feeling how his heart was racing in his chest. Wide eyed Josh watched the figure walk into view... It was Ryan with the red shirt.

"Are you alright?" Ryan asked and hurried to kneel down behind Josh and started working on the tape.

"Oh, thank god...!" Josh burst out, barely able to hold back the tears. Quickly the last of the tape was removed and Ryan helped Josh to his feet. Looking at his older brother Josh looked at the bloodstained red shirt.

"Did you kill him?" he asked, still nervous that he might show up in the door. Ryan swallowed and nodded. Josh let out a sigh of relief.

"How did you...?" he asked and Ryan raised his arm a little - the gun in his hand.

"I grabbed the gun from him," Ryan said and smiled. Josh nodded and pointed at the camera.

"He was filming everything for some reason... I think it was for you," he said and frowned.

"How the hell was this possible... I mean, TWO of you?" he asked completely flabbergasted and Ryan shook his head.

"I have no idea..." he said and ran his fingers through his hair, exhaling deeply. Josh swallowed and sighed again.

"Thank you... Thank you so much, Ry," he said and hugged his brother tightly. Ryan returned the hug passionately.

"We better call the police," Josh mumbled into Ryan's chest. Then his eyes grew wide as he looked at the tear in the red shirt. All the gap in the fabric revealed was skin. Perfect, uninjured skin. No wound. It felt like Josh's heart skipped some beats and chills ran down his spine. Slowly he started to end the embrace by pulling back a little... But Ryan kept hugging him, unwilling to let go.

"No. No police, baby bird..." Ryan whispered in his ear. Josh felt his knees turn to jelly and he felt like screaming, but he was completely paralyzed. A little chuckle came from Ryan as he squeezed Josh even tighter.

"Game over, butter tart," he whispered.