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A Letter to The Next One

Found in front of a mirror, inside a cluttered attic

By K. KocheryanPublished 11 months ago 6 min read
A Letter to The Next One
Photo by Crina Parasca on Unsplash

"The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own." That is what you will believe at first and maybe until the very last moment. So, as I write this letter sitting in front of the mirror you came across, I think of two things: the first moment my eyes laid upon my reflection and the second, the realization of a strange truth that the mirror holds. And as I listen to the slow creaking footsteps behind me, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder…

There is a line that looks to be made of a stroke from a hand that was either moved gently off the page or of someone beginning to fall asleep.

On the first day, maybe I should have thrown it out–no, shattered it into a thousand pieces, melted the sharp, bronze outer body–buried it for dead. But that was the first day, and I wasn't aware of what the future would bring. I wasn't aware of the end.

As you can see, it is a beautiful, full-length mirror. I didn't question the rope keeping it hidden under a yellowing cloth, keeping it safe from the elements. But I didn't uncover it at that time as I was moving and busy and thinking of other things, so I left it in the attic of a new home that was never really mine because it's the mirror's home and not a home that had a mirror.

It was a few days after when I cut the rope, as the knot was too old and strong for me to untie. And when I looked at my reflection, at first, everything seemed as normal as we are taught to believe the world is, that is, until I noticed that I had a cut on my right forefinger. A long, deep cut that let loose quick droplets of blood onto the wooden floor. I quickly grabbed the wrist of my bleeding hand and held the finger up to see the first moment that everything would change.

There was no cut.

I am looking in the mirror now, and I never noticed how dark the attic is. How a particular shadow moves as if frames are missing from a film.

The following three lines were of scribbles as if a child was pretending to write in cursive.

–the knife sliced my right forefinger as I cut the vegetables for a stew. It was the same cut the mirror prophesied. Though I didn't think too much of it because, well, how could I process it? How could anyone? It was an unnatural occurrence that I didn't want to feed. But that moment, wandering, lingering through every thought, a sharp whisper making sure I wouldn't forget, was relentless.

I waited three days before going up again, this time with a friend. I didn't tell her about what the mirror showed me. When we went up, I thought she would look in the mirror and be puzzled, frightened, or confused, but all she noticed was the beauty of the mirror.

"Is there anything else you see?" I asked her. As she traced the swirling bronze details, I watched a cut on my upper lip let blood fill the small gap between my lips.

She thought it was a metaphorical question. "I see whatever I want to see," she answered, staring into her eyes.

I did take that answer, hoping it was some hint, and tried to change what I saw in the mirror to what I wanted to see, but the blood had traveled down my neck and stained my reflection's collar. She asked if she could "take it off my hands." I should have said yes, but the mirror had a home and not the other way around.

That night was slow, where my racing thoughts tracked through time like thick honey. I cannot write down all my thoughts as there are too many, and I don't have time left. The footsteps are getting louder. And my reflection looks so light.

I would get rid of the mirror and

I dragged It

I would get rid

I It

I dragged It down

-around the sixth step down, my foot slipped, and the mirror’s bronze edges hit my upper lip. I leaned the mirror against the wall and rushed down the stairs, but as I headed towards the bathroom, the gaps of my fingers turning crimson, I heard someone running on the stairs. I was too scared to look. And I don’t remember if it was me who put the mirror back up in the attic. I don’t remember much after that as everything seems to have blank spaces, voids of memory, like dreams that have already set sail before you could see the details of the back of a ship, a ship that contained, held, hidden, deep within its belly a strange item from another land that shouldn’t have been stolen, or to the taker, found, and the taker was took by strange accidents on the ship that arrived on a new land, the land that the item now had to find home, refuge, and feeding, so it let many hands, now decomposed, lead it until it was bought by an unknowing victim who placed it in a bedroom, the victim's last place of living, which made many people come through the home to rearrange and clean and sell and the mirror ended up in the attic under a yellowing cloth.

The next few lines are a combination of loose scribbles and unnaturally straight lines.

Why I looked again, I don't know. Maybe morbid curiosity, or perhaps I was led, but I went to the mirror again and saw a bruise around my neck. Of course, I woke up that night in paralysis, unable to breathe.

I thought I could ignore it even when I knew it held my soul. I just wanted things to be okay and good. But one night, I woke up in the attic staring at my reflection. I saw a hole in the middle of my chest. It did not bleed. And I felt empty. I went downstairs and ate leftovers.

There is a small doodle of a face with three hollow eyes.

My cheek is bruised and swollen. My eyes bloodshot. I have a wound on my leg that looks like a human's bite mark. My stomach aches and moans with noticeable bloat. My feet are trying to heal wounds caused by broken glass from a figurine of a saint that somehow was thrown against my bedroom wall. My mind tingles with silent alarm as it knows I am not alone; I never was once I saw my reflection, and all I can do is ignore whoever it is that now watches me, walks with me, waits for me.

All foretold by the mirror.

But it is around the end when you will realize the mirror doesn't prophesize.

The strange truth is that the mirror is not a mirror; the reflection is not your own, and what you see is what it wants you to see. I can hear the footsteps getting closer and closer, I can feel the creaking of the wood under my legs, and I no longer have a reflection—it’s gone. It’s behind me. It’s behind me. Its beh—


About the Creator

K. Kocheryan

I write, delete, write, and on most days, delete again.

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