Swan Song

Note- this story takes place in a magical land where everyone loves opera and rap artists and other such barbaric noise makers are burned as the stake as heretics. But on with the story.

Caryn Lindstrom was a blonde, pretty slender girl. She could very well be the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She always smiled and whenever you heard a high, ringing laugh you could always anticipate her presence. She was nice, popular, smart, and overall a good girl, everything a parent could want in a child. Unfortunately, I was her sister.

Caryn and I were twins. Fraternal twins. In fact, we didn't even look related. The long, curly black hair that hung almost all the way to my waist was a sharp contrast to her wavy shoulder length blonde hair. And while she had deep blue eyes and a flawless symmetrical face my eyes were a boring crap-brown set upon a visage blemished by countless bouts of acne, and a permanent scar that spread diagonally across my face, a souvenir from a nasty incident where I fell off a ski lift, which also left me with a permanent limp.

She even had a better name. When our Danish parents decided to name their daughters in their native language, the geniuses thought of the names Caryn- not K-A-R-E-N, C-A-R-Y-N- and Dagmar. My name might help explain why I was an anti-social depressed outcast. Not that Caryn's mean to me. No, she smiled and acted concerned whenever I turned up with a new report card freshly smelling of F's or a new slash of blood I had recently applied to my wrist.

I only realized how incredibly sickening she was when we both auditioned for advanced choir freshman year. Looking around my competition for the coveted four free spots I thought that I could easily make it into the choir and maybe do something that would make my parents consider acknowledging me in public. I sang Habanera for Mr. Snaverette, the choir master. Everyone applauded me enthusiastically, but they stopped when Caryn walked in surrounded by her brainless posse of other happy smiling beautiful people.

"Daggy!" she cried running towards me and squeezing me as I flinched at the horrible nickname. "Dag, I'm trying out too!"

"Great," I managed, trying to conceal my fury. I bet you've probably guessed what happened. Caryn sang Caro Nome beautifully and got in, and I didn't. It wasn't the first time God screwed me over by giving Caryn what I deserved, but as I read the list of the people that got in, I felt my heart burn with fury. You know what they say, when you're dying and you see your life pass before your eyes? That's what happened. I saw our grandmother arriving at our doorstep with hugs and candy for Caryn and just a sad, disapproving glance for me, and then Caryn, full of pity, giving me two of her chocolates. I saw the tryouts for the second grade play, when Caryn got to be the beautiful fairy princess and I had to play a tree. I saw our eighth grade graduation, where she got a new white silk Chanel dress to wear and I got an old scratchy too-small wool one leftover from fifth sixth grade, and then Caryn getting a $200 iTunes giftcard as a graduation present, while I got a small box of concealer- "for that hideous thing on your face" as my mother put it, referring to my scar.

That was the moment I decided to murder Caryn.

Twelve years later, I was working as a barmaid in a strip joint in Manhattan. I had not spoken to Caryn for nearly five years. What was she doing? Other than being the leading prima donna of the day, she was out doing charitable work with Unicef, promoting AIDS and cancer research, and had adopted so many children from poor third world countries that she could rival Angelina Jolie. I still wanted her dead, of course, but cutting her out of my life was fine too, and though I lived in a crappy one room studio that strongly smelled of pot and urine and other pleasant things, I suppose I was happy for the first time in my life.

The happiness all came to an end one day, though, when my boyfriend, Aaron took me out to see La Traviata for my twenty-seventh birthday. Guess who was playing Violetta, the hooker dying of tuberculosis and the female lead. And guess which idiot got special backstage passes.

When the opera was over, Aaron rushed me out of my seat and downstairs into the green room. He was very excited about meeting famous singers and didn't notice my persistent murmurings of "Aaron, I have a splitting migraine, let's go NOW." And then I saw her.

Caryn was even more beautiful then I had remembered. Her hair was longer now, and the some of the waves had turned to curls. She was still as thin as she was in high school, and she still wore the same annoying, radiant smile. My homicidal rage returned.

I finally turned to Aaron, slapped him across the face to get his attention, and told him I was leaving, and he could come with me if he wanted to. He nodded vaguely and started towards one of the dressing rooms. Jesus Christ, he abandoned his girlfriend on her birthday. I was so dumping him the next day.

It was too late. Caryn had spotted me. "Dagmar!" she cried, running towards me, beaming. That was total Déjà vu from a certain choir audition. I was gripping onto a chair tightly to stop myself from strangling that sweet, syrupy, pesky voice. But there was no escaping from her now.

Nevertheless, I managed to refrain from strangling her by means of which I had no idea. To my anguish, I somehow agreed to have dinner with her the following night. She smiled and wrote down the address of the restaurant that she wanted to take me to on a spare piece of paper, gently placed it into my hands, smiled again, and flounced away. Aaron was star struck. "You know her?" he asked.

But when I came to the address on the slip, I found no restaurant. Instead I found a large, vacant lot, littered with cigarettes and candy wrappers. Frowning, I checked the paper once more, and confirmed the address. Oh well.

I began to turn away to walk back to the subway to go back to my apartment and maybe pull out a TV dinner and watch Law and Order. But suddenly I felt someone yank me by my hair and push me to the ground. I fell hard, really hurting my hip. Painfully, I sat up to get a good look at my attacker. It was Caryn, her face livid and her enormous blue eyes wild with fury. She was holding a large knife.

"Caryn?" I asked weakly. "What the hell are you doing?"

I got no reply other than being harshly pulled up by my shoulder and stabbed in the back with the machete like knife. Ouch.

"Caryn?" I inquired again, falling to the ground and gasping in pain.

"I hate you," she said, looking not at me but instead staring blankly ahead. "I really, really hate you. You- you can't imagine how much I have wanted to kill you all these years. And now, I have," she said, a touch of triumph emerging from her voice and a maniacal grin spreading over her gorgeous face.

"I- what- Caryn?"

"You were always the favorite, you know," she continued. "You- everyone loved you, Dagmar. I- I was always having to prove myself. I never got away with anything. You could get away with serial murder in broad daylight and you wouldn't get anything other than a sigh from Mom, because you were the screw-up and everyone expected things like that from you. And you were more interesting, entertaining, smarter, too, even though I always brought home a better report card than you did- if you didn't accidentally leave it in your locker. Even Scottina, who always made fun of you because you liked in Ms. Smann's math class. She always thought you were the smartest person she ever met, Dagmar."

She turned and walked away, leaving me alone to bleed to death in the empty lot.

Two days after she killed me Caryn died while singing in a concert gala. Now we were together for all of eternity. God is such a sadist.