The Man with Two Souls

tags: short-story

date: 2007-05-25

Doom. Its everywhere, or at least it is for me. I’m John Owen, the man with two souls, and this is my story. I don’t quite know how it happened except that it was my destiny. A government agency was working on a quantum teleportation project that created two perfect copies of the teleportee. The only problem was that they didn’t know what happened to the being that was teleported. Did one body die because there was only one spirit or did they both survive each holding half of the soul? Most people believed that both died because it could not reside in both so it left. Not so with me. My destiny was to live two lives at once.

May 25, 2039

Rah! Rah! Rah! Blared the alarm clock.

John Owen fumbled with the controls sleepily trying to silence the irritating device. Opening his eyes groggily he sat up in his bed and looked at the clock. It was 6:15 am. He stood up and rubbing his eyes and face walked into the bathroom. He undressed and showered. When he finished his shower he walked back into his bedroom and got dressed.

John was dark skinned man with intense blue eyes, uncommon for people of Hispanic origin such as he. He had a lean rangy look about him and his black hair was cut short and he had a thin black beard on his face. He wore a somewhat tight gray and white shirt and soft blue jeans.

After pulling on his socks he looked around his five-room apartment for the shoes he had received the night before. They where Converse All-Stars (vintage 2006); Almost the last ones there where outside of collections. While walking out of his apartment he heard a news report on the radio a man was listening to.

“A man was found dead outside of Chicago today, cause of death unknown. He looked like he had died in his sleep except for the terrified expression on his face. No poisons or other toxins where found in his blood stream and he was in perfect health when found other than that he was no longer alive.”

John shook his head sadly wishing the police would solve the string of confusing murders with no apparent cause. Looking over to the man, who had turned off the radio, he walked out the door of his apartment complex into the noisy street of downtown Chicago. Crossing the sidewalk John pushed the button on his remote and started his 2035 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Opening the door he turned on the radio and tuned it to his favorite XM radio station, Classics from the 2000’s and 2010’s. The radio blared “The Story of My Old Man” as John drove down the street towards the Chicago Police Department. After parking he walked in and went to his “office” which was really more of a cubicle.

“So what’s the latest news Chief?” asked John

“You know, the usual,” replied Police Chief Robert Gunnings a dark skinned aging man with an ample middle, “Some guys dying for no noticeable reason. Those guys shouldn’t even be dead! They’re in perfect health.”

“Another happy day in Chicago,” John said sarcastically.

“Right. Oh there’s an ad here for people who want to test the new quantum teleportation system.”

“Why do you think I would want to do that?” John asked looking at Chief Robert strangely.

“Oh…I don’t know except that it was_all_you talked about until all these weird deaths happened.”

“I’m takin’ a break see ya in five minutes,” said John walking away.

In the break room John sat back in a green chair thinking about the teleportation tests that the government was sponsoring. The truth was he was afraid, afraid that the prophecy the old man had told him was true. Thinking back he noticed that he remembered the night perfectly.

John walked down a dark alley seeking shelter when he found an unlocked door with a friendly light burning in the window. He walked in and found an old man eating a dinner of bread and a hearty soup.

“Hello young man,” said the old man, “looking for something?”

“Yes, I am very hungry, could you spare some food?” asked John.

“Of course you can!” said the old man excitedly hurrying to scoop John a bowl of soup and cut him a good-sized slice of homemade bread, “I was expecting you so I made extra.”

“Wait, how did you know I was coming?” asked John confusedly.

“I know what I know, I am called Taryn Asarin” said the old man crypticly.

“Taryn? What kind of name is that?” said John, “It sounds old.”

“Old it may be but not as old as the prophecy that you are destined to fulfill John Owen.”

“How do you know my name old man?” asked John forcefully.

“I know what I know,” Taryn repeated cryptically.

“Okay so what’s this ‘prophecy’ that I’m supposed to fulfill?” asked John almost sarcastically.

The old mans eyes stared into space as he related a prophecy from the dim past:

Days of dark and days of black,

There is no turning back,

What is done is done.

Glimmers of hope gleam

The chosen ones.

The lords of chance

The unshapers of reality

The forgers of fate

In a time of deaths unknown,

The entire history of reality

Shall be undone and remade,

By the man with two souls

“So you’re saying that I am the man with two souls?” asked John carefully

“Yes,” answered Taryn simply.

“Your crazy man I only have one soul! Besides how could I have more than one soul?” John exclaimed

“I never said you had more then one soul.” Taryn said cryptically


“I said that you will, and when you do you will have the power to reshape the entire history of reality, and I can only hope that you use that power wisely and remake the world for the better.” Taryn said tiredly.

“Okay, I’ll be going now.” Said John.

“No. No. Stay, eat. You need to keep up you strength. You’ll be running for a few more hours at least before you get away from those men,” said Taryn.

“Hey John time to get back to work, times up!”

John snapped back into reality.

“What?” asked John confusedly

“I said: Hey John time to get back to work, times up.” said Chief Robert slowly.

"Yeah, I'm going."