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The Double Walker

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They say everyone has a double... And when you see it, you die....

Megan's words kept ringing in my ears. With every repetition, I felt the deeply embedded fear that was weighing on my mind grow. Hardly anyone sees their death coming, I don't know why, but I had to be one of the only people who did.

Panic was setting, though my senses were still groggy from all the medication I was given, I could just make out the sound of the heart monitor speeding up gradually. Tears were begin to walk down my cheeks. The saltiness stung the cuts on my cheeks. Now that I was awake, I was steadily regaining my better judgement, and every injury I had sustained was slowly beginning to resurface, overwhelming my brain with pain.

Memories from the past few hours rocketed past my eyes like a film. There wasn't a thing I could do to make them stop. Closing my eyes didn't help; in fact, that made the images clearer. I was helpless, as my life passed before my eyes. That was a sure sign I was going to die.

I suppressed a sob that had risen in my scratchy throat. It made me cough violently. Breathing was becoming somewhat of a challenge now, even though there was an oxygen mask strapped to my face. Wasn't there supposed to be a little clicker thing that would get a nurse? With a arm that felt like lead, I felt around the side of the bed for it, but it wasn't there.

All this panic was undoing my nerves. What was left of them, anyway. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to tune out the rest of the world.

They say everyone has a double... And when you see it, you die....

I could hardly wrap my head around this. I knew I was going to die, everybody knew that. My end was drawing nearer, and nearer. The good die young, right? Everybody says that the grass is greener on the other side, so dying shouldn't be that bad. It could be painless. I don't know why I was so afraid of dying.

Is this what Megan felt? Megan saw her doppelganger, or whatever you call it, and now she's dead. They never even found her body. I couldn't be sure that she died quickly, without pain.

I remembered how terrified Megan looked at first block, when she confided in me her run-in with herself. I thought she was just messing with me at first. But Megan wasn't really the one to mess with people. Then, what do you know, she's dead two days later. No body, no crime scene. She's just gone. Like, she'd just picked up and left, like she was done living.

My nerves were fraying, as more and more memories began to surface. Me driving down an unusually quiet main street, alone, still reeling from the death of my friend. Somebody ran out in front of my car. Instinctively, I slammed on the breaks. Because it was December, the tires slipped, and my car spun out of control. All I remember before waking up in this hospital, I don't know how many days later, was a girl about 5'7", with bleached blonde hair.

I even saw her dark brown roots.

I never realized that I saw myself until now. Depending on how many days I've been in this hospital, I might have long enough to live, and tell somebody. But there was a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that told me that I'd been here for a while.

Something flashed by the window. I assumed it was a bird; I was in a second story ward, it certainly wasn't a person. From what I saw with my bleary vision, it looked almost white.

Pushing my luck, I felt compelled to get up and see what it was. It was an overwhelming desire. Like I was a puppet on a string, and the puppet master wanted me to get up, and I was completely helpless. My hands went to work unstrapping the oxygen mask, making it a lot harder to breathe. Part of me wanted to put the mask back on, and drift back into a medicine-induced sleep. But another part of me was demanding that I get up.

It was an urge I couldn't quite curb.

Halfheartedly, I sat up. Almost every muscle protested against my decision. But I sort of tuned out the soreness and pain.

Next, I found myself ripping the IV needle out. There was a huge bruise on the inside of my right arm, in the fold of my elbow. A tiny little speck of blood was just barely visible in the middle of the bruise. Normally, the sight of my own blood would scare me half to death - no pun intended- but it didn't bother me. Not even if I forced myself to be frightened by my own blood.

With stiff limbs, I managed to clamber out of the hospital bed. I didn't quite manage to stay on my feet, however. I landed with a thud on the cold, unforgiving hospital floor.

The thing fluttered by the window again. It pushed me to get closer. I fingered the floor, searching for something that might help me get to the window faster. My hand brushed the IV stand. Almost as if I was possessed, I got myself up on my feet. The IV stand had wheels on it, so I could move with ease.

They say everyone has a double... And when you see it, you die....

I felt like an elderly person using the IV stand as a cane. And I moved like an elderly person, too. I must've bruised my tailbone or something, because every step was like somebody was stabbing my lower back with a butcher knife. It was unbearable, but I kept going, until I had tears gushing out of my eyes, and was on the verge of throwing up.

Once I was standing in front of the window, I noticed how much my senses were mangled. It felt like there was breeze, or something. I never felt that before now. I was staring at the window, and I could tell that it was closed. I could see my reflection.

Something wasn't right, though. I didn't know at the time what it was, but I knew when I found out that getting out of the bed was a bad idea.

Absentmindedly, I leaned forward. I felt a little wobbly, and went to hold the window frame. My hand missed.

The ground rushed up at a nauseating speed.

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