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Face to Face

Spirits from Yuzuko's past appear before her in a broken mirror.

By Chloe GilholyPublished 5 days ago 6 min read
Face to Face
Photo by Isi Parente on Unsplash

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own. Instead of seeing myself, I saw the ghosts of the people I had killed. I stumbled back in shock, my heart racing. Their lifeless eyes stared back at me, and I stumbled back in shock, my heart racing. The room seemed to darken, and a chill ran down my spine. I knew their deaths were my fault, even if I didn't directly cause them.

As I tried to catch my breath, I noticed that the air had turned thick and oppressive. Shadows danced around me, and whispers filled my ears. The ghosts were trying to tell me something, but their words were garbled and incomprehensible.

My first instinct was to tell my wife Sakura about what I had seen, but she'd blame the paroxetine. We've had a lifetime of trauma and WTF moments in those four days we were in that reality TV show that deserves no name.

The fact that I see my mother's old cats as my uncles and my robot as an aunt is already weird for some people. No matter what, Sakura always had my back. I was there for her when she suffered a double dose of homophobia and fatphobia. It's easy to hate the world, but our love for each other and our chosen family makes the world worth living in. Sakura enjoyed horror movies, but I doubt she could handle ghosts outside the screen.

I'm supposed to be the strong one. I was the one everybody looked up to at school. People wanted to be me or be with me. My weekly pocket money was the same as the average annual income for a family of four. The other kids didn't stand a chance in life.

Here I am shivering in my summer home. Unable to bare the kaleidoscope of melting faces, I kick the mirror and it shatters. Screaming, I kick the mirror, but the faces remain. In the small shards, there are projections of people jumping in rivers, jumping in front of trains and hanging by trees. All the deaths were needless and all because they couldn't live up to the impossible standards I helped create.

"Sorry!" I yell.

Then there were the four pieces to represent the four people I had murdered. My husband Hiroki, I was so stupid, you were nothing but kind to me and I cheated on you. Had I remained faithful or had the guts to break up with you, you would have found the strength to recover. I had murdered your spirit long before it had left your body.

Hiroki is as beautiful as he's always been. I see him waving at me. "Thank you for making my short life a happy one!"

I love him, and each day I love him more than I ever did when he was alive, but seeing his face in the mirror brings too much pain. I caused him suffering, and yet he never stops visiting my dreams. His death certificate states suicide, but it may as well have been a homicide.

The northern piece is the dutch pimp that I sliced with a sword. I forgot his name. The jagged piece south of the mirror was Lavender, my teenage idol and my half-sister. If only we had known the truth earlier, perhaps could have saved you. Lavender is the spirit that is by far the foulest. Her words of hatred cackle through my head. Our final battle had everyone talking.

The last piece was Bobby. I was falsely accused of killing him when he was actually in a coma, but the lie became the truth.

Bobby was one of my dearest friends. I knew he wasn't like some of the older men who used me for thrills and quick money. Bobby saw the best in people and loved playing games. But he had always wanted to die, and all I did was end his suffering. He's on his knees praying as a casket appears just for me.

I'm quick to call out the evil people in this world. I will continue fighting for justice across all races, nations, genders, creatures, nature and robots. It's scary to think that all along, the evil one is me!

As I tried to catch my breath, I noticed that the air had turned thick and oppressive. Shadows danced around me, and whispers filled my ears. The ghosts were trying to tell me something, but their words were garbled and incomprehensible.

My mind raced as I tried to make sense of what I was seeing. I knew their deaths were my fault, even if I didn't directly cause them. The guilt was overwhelming, and I could feel my resolve crumbling.

Sakura was my rock, but even she couldn't protect me from this. I was alone in this horror, and I knew that I had to face it head-on.

With trembling hands, I reached out to touch the mirror, hoping that it was all just a trick of the light. But as my fingers brushed against the cool surface, the ghosts became more vivid, their faces contorted in pain and anguish.

I was trapped in a nightmare, and I didn't know how to escape.

The room was filled with a sickening smell, like rotting flesh and decay. The walls seemed to pulse, and the floor felt like it was shifting beneath my feet. I was losing my grip on reality, and I knew that I needed to find a way out before it was too late.

But just as I was about to give up, Sakura burst into the room.

"YUZUKO!" That was Sakura's voice. "What's happened?"

"Nothing...I'm fine."

"You're not fine, there's glass everywhere and your hands are bleeding." Sakura dashed downstairs, then returned with a first aid kit. I sat in silence as Sakura tended to my wounds until she started asking me the question I didn't want her to ask.

"Why were you screaming?"

I took a deep breath and called out to her, my voice trembling. "Sakura, I can't's too crazy"

"It's 2063, anything can happen."

I struggled to find the words, but finally, I blurted it out. "I broke the mirror because I saw the ghosts of the people I killed, even Bobby and Hiroki. I...I killed them."

"You need to stop taking those pills your grandfather gave you."

"It's not the pills! Each shard represents somebody that I helped get killed."

Sakura was there to support me, and she took charge of the situation. Her eyes widened in shock, but instead of recoiling, she took my hand in hers. "We'll get through this together," she said firmly.

"Let's clean this up," she said, gesturing to the broken mirror on the floor. "We can't leave it like this with Koichi around."

We worked together to clean up the broken mirror, and as we did, I felt a weight lift from my shoulders. The ghosts began to fade, their voices growing fainter and fainter.

It was over. The horror had passed, and I was still alive.

As we sat together, holding each other close, I knew that I had found the strength to face my demons. The ghosts would always be with me, but now, I had a family who would stand by me no matter what.

At that moment, I knew that no matter what ghosts haunted me, I had a family who would always stand by me. And with their love and support, I could finally begin to lay my past to rest. With Sakura and Koichi by my side, I knew that I had a future worth fighting for. And I was ready to face it, one step at a time.


About the Creator

Chloe Gilholy

Former healthcare worker and lab worker from Oxfordshire. Author of ten books including Drinking Poetry and Game of Mass Destruction. Travelled to over 20 countries.

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