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Episode 74: A Brief Episode in Which Charity Meets Her Match

The door-opener regained her composure quickly.  “You must be Charity Bolt,” she said.

The waif she was looking at, complete with runny nose and small bag clutched to her chest, nodded but said nothing.

“Well, come in, come in,” the woman insisted, stepping aside.  

The next moments were occupied by the taking of Charity’s bag, the hanging of Charity’s coat, and the guiding of Charity to the living room.  Charity followed all directives obediently. 

Once Charity was seated, beside a fake yet welcomely warm fire, the door-opener took a few seconds to marvel at her again.  She shook her head and said, “It is remarkable how similar we look.”

Charity nodded quickly, her mind having been preoccupied with that same thought ever since the door opened: She’s five, maybe ten, years older than me, yet our faces are so alike.  Same height, same hair.  That’s a huge sweatshirt she’s wearing.  She must be chubby.  I’d be willing to bet though that if she lost some weight she’d have the same body as me.  This is eerie.

Charity’s reverie was disrupted by the woman, who spoke in a disdainful tone: “I heard he married someone who looked just like me, but this, this is almost perverse.” 

Charity cocked her head to one side as she tried to process that statement.  She almost had it figured out when the woman walked toward her with a hand outstretched and said, “I suppose I should introduce myself, since you seem unaware who I am: My name is Chastity Fate.  Or, if you prefer, I’m the first Mrs. Steel Bolt.”