Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Paradox Twins by Joshua Chaplinsky


Release date: April 6, 2021
Subgenre: Science fiction ghost story, Collage fiction

About The Paradox Twins


The Paradox Twins is a copyright infringing biographical collage that exists on the Internet, pieced together by an unknown auteur.

Named for the famous thought experiment, it concerns estranged twin brothers who reunite at their father's funeral to discover they no longer look alike. Haunted by the past (and possibly the future), they move into their father's house to settle his affairs, only to reignite old rivalries and uncover long-hidden secrets, most of which involve the young woman who lives next door.

An epistolary work comprised of excerpts from various memoirs, novels, screenplay adaptations, and documents of public record, The Paradox Twins is an experimental, sci-fi ghost story about the scariest, most unknowable quantity there is-family.



It was Millie Blackford who discovered my father dead on his feet, the poor girl. Right around the time my 9AM physics class attempted to wrap their collective heads around the concept of geometric gravity. 

            Bear with me, there’s a correlation.

As I explained to my students that morning, whether it’s Newton’s apple, Einstein’s falling man, or the heads of bored high schoolers hitting their desks, the observed attraction between two masses is a result of the warping of spacetime, not a force exerted by the objects themselves. And although disgruntled coworkers and estranged family members often described my father as a “force of nature,” and Millie’s touch set his body in motion, it was the warping of the fabric of the universe that brought his already stiff body crashing to the ground with an audible breaking of bones. 

            But this isn’t a science lesson. Because although science enters into my story, there are some things I can’t back up with empirical evidence. Like my mother’s premonitions. And the Spaceman. 

            But that comes later.

            The class raised their heads in unison at the principal’s knock. They watched as he and I conversed in the hall, waiting like a silent movie audience for the interstitials. But they didn’t need words to get the gist of our conversation. My face gave it away. I could tell by the silence that greeted me upon my return. 

            “My apologies,” I told them. “But it looks like we’re going to have to cut class short today.”

            They did me the courtesy of not bursting into cheers until after I left the room.

            I drove straight to the medical examiner’s office to identify the body. He called the death “unremarkable” but recommended an autopsy anyway. It had only been a few days since I’d last seen Dad, but I almost didn’t recognize him. His paper thin skin bordered on translucent, body shrunken to the point of desiccation. Duncan MacDougall once claimed the human soul had a mass of twenty-one grams, measurable upon death, but my father looked like he had lost twenty-one pounds.

            “Well?” the examiner said, anxious to get back to the sack lunch all coroners seem to have waiting in the wings on such occasions. I focused on the firework display of burst capillaries on my father’s nose, as unique as any fingerprint.

            “Yeah, that’s him.”

Amazon | CLASH Books

About Joshua Chaplinsky:

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor.com. He is the author of The Paradox TwinsWhispers in the Ear of A Dreaming Ape, and Kanye West—Reanimator. His short fiction has been published by Vice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Severed Press, Shotgun Honey, Broken River Books, and more. Follow him on Twitter at @jaceycockrobin. More info at joshuachaplinsky.com.

Website | unravelingtheparadox | Instagram | Twitter

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