The Other Twin









Ezra Azra

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© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra

Photo by Kyle Head on Unsplash
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by Cole Keister:































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-behind-gold-paper-2388647/
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by Cole Keister:































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-posing-in-arabic-clothing-with-genie-lamp-15499799/

 
A military coup had changed the Nation from a Democracy into a Dictatorship. The Dictator was Henry Francis Verwoerd, a citizen who had been born in a foreign country.

He was a widow. He had adult twin daughters, Elizabeth and Nessie. Each had a Doctorate university degree. They did not know which was elder. All their lives the twins argued about that; playfully, most times. Their father said that when they were born, the nurses neglected to tag them immediately. Hence, even their mother did not know.

Their father was not in full agreement with the direction in which their mother had counselled them. He had done nothing to actively oppose their motherís counseling. His daughters were well aware of his disappointment in them.

By their motherís counseling, unknown to their father, the daughters, years in advance, had seen their fatherís dictatorship coming.

Their mother had been meticulously careful to be neutral in the Nationís Politics. The daughters, while ostensibly following their motherís neutrality, disagreed with their father's Politics. He did not know that, after his wifeís death, his children joined an Underground Organization that opposed his rule.

Also, with their fatherís reluctant permission, they bought and lived in their own home. They visited him regularly and openly, to keep up the appearance of a happy family. Although their father had never visited them in their own home, they never stopped reminding him he was always welcome to visit; even without him first asking permission.

Although both their fatherís and their Organizationís Political ways included resorting to crude violence against each other, the sisters had never joined in violent Political maneuvers.

All over the country every day somewhere there were violent street oppositions to their father's dictatorship. The skirmishes often included bombings, and shoot-outs with police and soldiers.

One of the purposes of the Underground Organization was to help persons flee the country. The twins were divided on that matter.

One was willing to avail herself of the opportunity to flee the country if the violence against her fatherís rule became excessive, country-wide. The other twin was committed to never abandoning her Nation, even if that commitment meant dying, reluctantly, at their fatherís side.

The twins had no illusions about their father's cruelty. If he ever found out about their involvement in the Underground Organization, he would not have hesitated to send them to jail, or a firing squad.

Every week, somewhere in the country, a military firing squad was on active duty.

The principal way the sisters worked was through an onstage Theatre Company that staged productions all over the Country, and toured overseas.

Their Company, the Christian Theatre Art Company, in order to appear to be utterly harmless, and largely useless, Politically, staged only Christian Church plays in the genres of Miracle, Morality, and Mystery.

All of the plays staged had been anonymously written, and staged by Churches in Medieval Europe. Plays such as, EVERYMAN, THE MIRACULOUS APPLE TREE, THE CASTLE OF PERSEVERANCE, SAINT JOHN THE HAIRY.

The Theatre Company was working on a plan to stage, in time, the Medieval European Church play entitled, THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. It has approximately four-hundred and ninety-four speaking roles, and would have to be staged over at least forty days.

If the twinsí fatherís spies had ever reported the kind of plays the C.T.A.C. was staging for a paying public, it was sure to deepen his disappointment in the way his children were living their lives.

There were no auditions for the onstage roles. Casting was by the Companyís board of directors. A citizen deemed suitable for a role would be contacted, in person, by a board member, and offered the role. The only qualifications required in a citizen was that their public life was scandal-free, and not involved in the Nationís Politics.

Prior onstage experience was neither-here-nor-there.

Since all the characters in these plays were from the Bible, and the themes were always about what constituted sincere Christian Church worship, the plays were considered thoroughly innocuous, Politically.

It was the seventh year of the dictatorship. The Christian Theatre Art Company was enjoying extraordinary international fame.

The Dictator himself was, albeit grudgingly, pleased to approve of the Company. At every opportunity he pointed to its international fame as proof that his dictatorship was not as evil as his opponents claimed.

He was completely ignorant of the number of his Political opponents who were continually escaping his tyranny by serving as onstage performers, and stagehands in the Company's productions, touring overseas.

A crisis arose in the Theatre Company. One of their members was a Government Agent. He had grown disillusioned, he said, with the Dictatorís government.

At the time of his joining the Companyís crew as a stagehand, he had been unaware of the Theatre Companyís clandestine smuggling of Political dissidents.

While serving as a nondescript stagehand, his spying instincts gradually led him to discover the Companyís smuggling activities. This discovery heartened him because he saw it as a way he could safely escape serving the dictator.

He did not know to whom in the Company it was safe for him to reveal his identity and request. He put his professional sleuthing talent to use. He hesitantly and warily contacted Nessie. He was unaware she had a twin sister.

For the first few minutes of their discussion, Nessie was shaken and terrified that a Government Agent had been able to infiltrate the Theatre Company.

His sincere and deep contrition at having brought on the crisis, helped calm Nessie. For the sake of the Theatre Company, he said, he was prepared to do whatever Nessie required. Nessie informed him she would have to consult with superiors in the Theatre organization. She would get back to him within hours.

Nessie met with Elizabeth. She apprised Elizabeth of the situation. She did not reveal the Agentís identity.

Nessie, we have to delay helping him. We need more time to be certain he is honest about defecting from Dad.

How long will that take? The longer we take, the greater the risk that Dadís Agents will find him out, Elizabeth.

Nessie, it is common knowledge how this C.T.A.C. conducts itself. He could be trying to get you to arrange a meeting for him to see who the board of directors are. When you tell them he wants to defect, they will not want to meet him until they conduct their investigation. That could take forever.

He doesnít have forever, Elizabeth. Take a photograph of him, Elizabeth. Without him knowing.

What?

When he comes to talk to me, you hide and photograph him. When the board has a photograph, their investigation need take a few days only.

Good for you, Nessie! Cunning and good!

Of course. Thank you. To be expected of the elder twin.

Within an hour-or-so Nessie met with
the disillusioned Government Agent. All the while they spoke, and Nessie was hoping Elizabeth was taking photographs, Nessie looked him over intently to detect signs of hypocrisy. When he eventually left, somewhat disappointed his application had to take a few days before he met with the board, Nessie was somewhat pleased she had found no indications of insincerity in his behaviour.

She hurried home to meet her (younger) twin. Elizabeth was sitting at the kitchen table. Her Polaroid camera was on the table.

Elizabeth? The photograph?

I did not take a photograph, Nessie, because I know who he is.

Okay. Iím waiting, little sister.

I met him once when we lived with Dad.

Where was I?

I donít know. He said Dad had invited him to meet us. Because Dad wanted him to choose one of us to marry.

And?

He left, because I told him if he did not leave I would seriously harm his face.

He does not know I am the other twin?

Obviously.

So? What do we do now, Elizabeth?

As the elder twin, this is what I suggest. We tell him the board has approved his application. And then you and I come up with a plan on how we can get Dad to turn against him.

Good. I go along with that.

Another thing. He must never know you are the other twin.

Okay. Do you know his name, Elizabeth? I donít.

Yes. He told me. Demetrio Tsafendas.
 



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