...And after only around two months of being active, we're on the final chapter for this story. I am actually surprised by how quickly I've reached the ending myself, because my previous SpongeBob SquarePants darkfic took me nearly two years to complete (due to an awful combination of school life and procrastination.) Hence why this story was so short – I didn't really want another fiasco like that.

But before I begin rambling on, I'll let you guys read the ending to this. Enjoy!

Chapter Five

The girl continued to head towards Lisa, taking no heed of how uncomfortable she was making her feel. The Simpson was panicking like crazy – after all those moments of distant staring and wild chases, they were finally about to properly meet face-to-face. With every step the doppelgänger took, Lisa could feel the pulsing of the truth much nearer.

She took a good look at the girl – she seemed to be of flesh and blood, like an ordinary human, but after everything that had happened so far, Lisa was now refusing to believe what her eyes were seeing. She could just as easily be a vivid figment of her broken mind, or maybe even some kind of ghost. Ignoring all sense of logic, Lisa stepped towards the girl, holding her hands out to touch her; to see if she was truly human or not.

Interpreting Lisa's movements, the doppelgänger quickly backed away, stating, "No, Lisa," as she did so.

Lisa gasped. It was the first time she had heard the girl speak; and she sounded so much like her when she was eight...

...Wait. She could actually remember what she sounded like at that age? Surely that was an impossible thing for anyone to recall? But how did Lisa manage to recognise her own voice from when she was a little girl? Maybe it was some kind of odd symptom of her growing insanity...

There was an long, awkward silence. The Simpson obviously didn't know what the doppelgänger was thinking, but to herself, a plethora of questions were rushing through her mind. In the background, the nuclear reactor continued to buzz, its blue light still radiating, casting a shadow on one side of both people. If it wasn't for the extreme tension at that moment, the scene would've probably been eerily beautiful. After a while, Lisa finally gained enough courage to speak up with a very important question:

"Please, tell me..." she started, her voice cracking, "...Why have you been following me all night?"

The doppelgänger's head fell down. Lisa decided to try again:

"Why do you look so much like me when I was your age?"

It was a stupid question, but Lisa was very desperate for answers by this point – though alas, the doppelgänger turned her head away. The act struck a nerve with the Simpson for some reason. Why is she staying mute now? she thought. She spoke to me clearly just before! Is she trying to annoy me even more? Becoming increasingly irritated, Lisa asked the girl another question:

"Who are you really?"

No response.

That's it - no more playing nice. Stepping towards the girl once again, arm outstretched, Lisa could feel defiance rushing through her veins. Damn common sense and decency to hell; she wanted to learn the truth right now, and this time, she wasn't going to be stopped. Highly alarmed by Lisa's actions, the doppelgänger stepped back and held her arms up in self-defence, dreading the moment when she would touch her.

And that was when Lisa felt the skin of her hands.

It was cold and clammy, like she was touching a dead body. The texture felt so unnatural that Lisa pulled away immediately with a yelp, recoiling at the sense. The doppelgänger merely stared at her with glassy, angered eyes. After she recovered from touching the horrible texture, Lisa glanced at the girl, baffled and enraged.

"Tell me now," she said darkly, "who the hell are you?"

The doppelgänger, realising that the crazed woman in front of her was to no longer be left in limbo, composed herself and took a breath. With the opening of her mouth came three words that stunned Lisa:

"I'm your past."

The Simpson's eyes went wide open at that short sentence. 'I'm your past'? What did that even mean? ...Of course Lisa knew what it meant. Throughout her life, she always understood a metaphor when she heard one.

"So..." she began, still taken aback by the revelation, "...You're saying that you represent my past, or to that effect?"

The girl nodded.

"Well then, are you a human?" she asked further, still shivering from how her skin felt.

She looked away from Lisa's eyes. Not again... But unfortunately for the girl, something inside Lisa was breaking.

"Then why have you been following me?" she asked again, her voice rising. "Why did you run away from me outside of town?! Why did you lead me to here?! ARE YOU A HUMAN, OR AM I GOING CRAZY?!"

The doppelgänger stepped back again when Lisa screamed out her last question, but her outburst prompted her to speak the most since they had truly met:

"Look at yourself, Lisa," she started, not disguising the contempt she had for her older self. "You're a depressed lowlife who's shut herself away from the world ever since you left high school. And now you're busy yelling at nothing in a power plant!"

'Yelling at nothing'... So is she really some kind of self-aware hallucination? Lisa thought, beginning to reflect on her actions.

"You had so much potential," the doppelgänger continued, "but you threw it all in the wind. You had a family that truly loved you, and friends that would follow you to the ends of the earth, but you pushed them away – and as a consequence, you're now alone in this world. Essentially, you've thrown your entire life away."

Lisa became horrified at the realisation of what she had done to herself. She never wanted to become what she had ended up as now – she wanted to make something of herself, to make a difference. But those chances had certainly disappeared now.

And it was all her fault.

Then, something inside her brain completely snapped. Suddenly, Lisa felt as if she couldn't take any more. Walking towards her younger self, the Simpson was no longer aware of what she was doing. Every movement she was making was now at complete random. Noticing the odd look on her older self, the girl became incredibly frightened.

And then, Lisa put her hands around the doppelgänger's neck.

Realising that her older self was trying to strangle her, the girl attempted to break free, but this only made Lisa hold her tighter. The immediate struggle was intense – the girl tried to kick Lisa with her feet and scream, to force her to let go, but the Simpson was having none of it. She didn't know why she was doing it to the girl who represented her past, but all she knew was that she had to die – even though she was only a vision created by her severely broken mind. In reality, she was merely strangling thin air.

During the (imaginary) struggle, Lisa ended up having her back against the railing, which protected her from falling into the nuclear reactor. Not that she cared about it, of course – all she cared about was killing the girl.

Even if it meant the risk of killing herself?

And just as she realised where she was, the girl managed to kick her off-guard, prompting Lisa to fall over the railing, taking both of them over the other side – with Lisa's hands still around the girl's neck.

The fall must have been quick, but to the Simpson, it felt like slow motion. At that instant, she realised she was about to die. Quickly letting go of her younger self, she could feel the air rushing past her, knowing that her time was almost up.

I now regret ever throwing my life away, Lisa thought for the last time. Maybe death will be the only way I can atone for what I've done...

...And I'm going to end it there. :P Just imagine the scenario the next morning, when the employees at the plant discover a dead body in the reactor...

Anyhow, I want to thank everyone who's been reading this story. Without your encouragement, I probably wouldn't have even carried on with this beyond the first chapter. Your comments mean a lot to me. :)

Now you might be asking me, "Do you have any new ideas for Simpsons stories?" Not really, sadly (aside from an idea for a crossover that needs more development.) I may not be posting anything new for The Simpsons section right now, but you might see me again someday.

Sincerely, Third Kind.