I originally wrote this story some years ago but after dusting off the cobwebs I hope you will find it new and improved. 😀
Jean and Jane were identical twins. From their looks even their own Mother couldn’t tell them apart; personality was a different matter. Jane was a sweet, smiley, happy baby. Jean was always scowling, crying or whinging.
If you gave Jane a rattle she would play happily for hours, or at least she would have if Jean hadn’t thrown her own toy away, and then wailed until she was given Jane’s. If Jane was suckling happily on their Mother’s left breast that was the one Jean wanted; if they were swopped over, it was the same story.
Jane never complained; if she had things might have turned out differently. Perhaps if their mother hadn’t always given in to Jean she might have learnt she couldn’t have everything she wanted.
As the girls were growing up they remained as they had been as babies, identical in looks, opposite in personality. They became beautiful women with no shortage of male admirers. At first they were equally popular, but it didn’t take long for Jean’s sharp tongue and bitter comments to drive them to the more agreeable nature of her sibling.
Jane took up archery, enjoyed it, practiced regularly and even represented her club in the local league. As she gained more experience she entered competitions and accumulated an array of medals. Even in defeat she was gracious, and always congratulated her opponents.
Not surprisingly Jean was jealous, joined the same club and did her best to defeat her sister. If it didn’t quite go her way she was not averse to cheating, as long as she got the result she wanted.
The only time Jane got upset with her twin was over a man. She had plenty of male friends but gradually became close to Bob, so no-one was really surprised when they got engaged. She had always been beautiful, but now the happiness that glowed from inside gave her a radiance that made even total strangers stop and smile.
Jean had wanted Bob for herself and her bitter heart got blacker as she determined to get her revenge. The opportunity arose on the night of the engagement party. Everything had gone wonderfully, Jane and Bob made the perfect couple, and the evening had been a total success, right up until the time for cutting the cake.
Bob was nowhere to be found so after a while Jane went to look for him. He wasn’t in any of the downstairs rooms or the garden. Going upstairs to check the bathroom she found it empty, but a noise from the bedroom caught her attention.
Pushing open the door she was greeted by the sight of her sister, nearly naked, rolling around on the bed on top of Bob. For a moment she was too stunned to speak.
‘How could you?’ she sobbed, ‘and with my own sister.’
A horrified look crossed Bob’s face as he turned and saw Jean’s smirk.
‘She told me she was you,’ he tried to explain. ‘She said she had something for me but I should have realised when she pulled me onto the bed.’
Jane had forgotten she was still carrying the cake knife. All she heard was screaming, and there was blood everywhere, and a horrible gurgling noise, and people shouting, and a man calling ‘Help me, help me.’
After that everything was confusion, then blackness. When Jane opened her eyes she had to close them again quickly against the glare of the light. Gradually she became aware she was in a hospital bed, with a policeman standing on guard by the door.
She was in there for a week, the shock and trauma having caused her to lose her power of speech.
Bob was a regular visitor, and bit by bit the story came out. How the sisters had fought over the knife, a guest had tried to intervene and been stabbed. The man had died and Jane was now facing a manslaughter charge.
After a few days Jean came to the hospital to see her. For the second time in her life Jane lost her temper. All the bitterness and hatred of their growing years came out, all the insults, and nastiness that she had tried to meet only with kindness and love, all thrown back in her face.
Bob heard the argument as he approached. Restraining the girl standing by the bed he put a bandage over her mouth to stop her shouting. He only had a few minutes while the nurses were updating the incoming night staff for the change-over.
‘Quick, swap clothes and get her into the bed before the policeman comes back. The coffee machine is only just along the corridor. Hurry now.’
She dressed in record time, and helped him put the nightdress on her twin. Just before they left he removed the gag, but only after he had forced several sleeping tablets down the throat of the girl now lying on the bed.
Tucking his arm round her waist to give her support, Bob led her out past the nurses’ station, coolly calling Goodnight and telling them they were going now as the patient was sleeping.
At the trial nobody believed the defendant’s wild claims as to her true identity, but Bob was there to hear the verdict of involuntary manslaughter and the five year jail sentence.
After a suitable space of time the wedding took place. After all she had been through it was not surprising the bride was not the girl she used to be. Something about her was different; chinks appeared in her sweet nature.
It was only on their honeymoon that his new wife told him ‘You know I’ve always loved you, but don’t ever call me Jane again.’
For the first time in her life Jean had done the decent thing, faced up to her responsibilities and swapped places with her sister in the hospital, knowing she was the one responsible for the man’s death. When Bob arrived she had reverted to type and seized the opportunity to get what she had always wanted.
Without admitting his part in the deception Bob had no way out, the real Jane was in prison, and Jean was now his wife.
© Voinks February 2017
Photo courtesy of Pixabay. I think the expressions are perfect for the story.