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Reflections are not always what they seem

Strangeness is all around us

By Peter RosePublished about a year ago 10 min read

Reflections are not always what they seem.

Strangeness is all around us.

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn’t my own, given the circumstances that did not surprise me as much as it should have done. Let me start from the beginning, I was driving home late, about two am, along a route I had never used before, my sat nav went crazy and directed me along a twisty, very narrow, lane. The darkness was made more complete by the overhanging trees and the heavy rain. Then the screen wipers failed, the car is only three months old, this should not happen; I peered through the rain-washed screen and could make out a large brick built entrance gateway, on my left, as I reached this the engine stopped, the lights went out, total shut down. I groped around in the glove box and found a flashlight, this did work. The rain was still hammering on the roof and windows of the car, the wind was gusting enough to slightly move one ton of automobile on its suspension. The electric windows did not open, the radio did not work, I tried my cell phone that showed no signal, but the oddest things were that the clock on my cell had stopped and also the dashboard clock had also stopped. The whole electric system of the car had just switched out, even the alarms. I shone the torch at the gateway and saw that the brick work pillars, either side of the entrance, were attached to a low brick wall that curved away into the dark and that there was a heavy looking metal gate, suspended from one of the pillars, but this was not fastened to the other pillar, it hung partially open. I thought I glimpsed a light shining some distance away down the driveway. I turned off my torch and could just make out a light in among the rain. I resolved to brave the wet and wind and seek help, as I opened the car door the rain stopped, the wind speed dropped all was calm. I was startled by this sudden change and sat back in the car, it immediately started blowing a gale and raining a deluge. I opened the door, and all was calm and still again. I left the car and used the flashlight to check the pathway that headed towards that glimmer of light, the path was dry! I turned and shone my light at my car, it too was dry. I walked slowly towards the hope of help, Occasionally I shone my light around, the low brick walls either side ended after only a few feet, the land either side of my path appeared to be flat open lawn for as far as my torch could reach. I turned back to check my car and it was a measure of how spooked I was that I was relieved to see it still there. The path curved to my left and trees started to appear out of the darkness, as I walked round the curve, I lost sight of my car but in front of me was a modern looking house, quite a substantial one, brick built with a grand front door one that looked far too wide for the rest of the building but all looking very modern, lots of glass and polished steel supports. The light was over the front door, I did not realise immediately but I should not have been able to see this light while still in my car, the curve of the drive and the trees would have prevented this. The modern appearance reduced my sense of unease, There was only the one light, nothing showed from any of the windows. I searched for a bell push, expecting to see a camera-controlled entry system but the door was just a blank sheet of polished metal, as I reached it, the door opened, silently. I called out my voice seeming to echo into an empty hallway. I stepped inside and instantly lights came on somewhere high above me, the entrance hallway was clear of furniture, a staircase led upwards from my left-hand side while on my right were several closed doors, even these internal doors seemed to be made of polished metal. I called again but the whole place seemed to be deserted, that odd partial echo, you get in an empty space was almost overwhelming in this strange situation. I pushed at the first of the doors on my right and it immediately opened, and light came on. There was no furniture but there was a mirror on the wall. I looked into this, but the reflected image was not of myself.

I stepped back, turned around then back to the mirror. The image had changed, it still was not myself but if was different from the first reflection I saw. The image before me now had a fluid nature, a slight movement at its edges, a subtle change to its overall shape. It was a human, that much was recognisable, but I cannot even now, describe that person. I stepped back expecting the image to reduce in size as a reflection always does, this one did not; it expanded, as if I, or whoever it was the image of, had stepped forward nearer the mirror. I took another step back and then what or whoever, was in the mirror stepped out of it and flowed over the space between us. I did not physically feel anything but was aware that the image had joined with me, become part of my very existence. Although I felt no physical change, I did experience both mental and emotional changes. The initial split second of fear as it stepped into me disappeared, and a cold acceptance took over. My mind shed all doubts and concern at the strangeness of my situation. A clarity of thought processes overcame all else, I started to think only in terms of logical reasoning and had no distractions or concerns for my physical safety. I started to examine the room in detail, mentally measuring distances, and angles, noticing the exact distances between doors and the mirror. I went back to the hallway and through a different door. The room I now entered had a similar mirror but its position relative to the door was different. The mirror was also slightly smaller and when I looked into it the image sharper, still not myself but sharper, more well defined. I stepped back and this image flowed into me joining the first one. Again, no physical sensation but mentally and emotionally I could feel change. My emotions became softer my mental reasoning slightly less cold, as if there was a more compassionate coating to the cold logic I had felt when entering this room. I returned to the hall and started up the stairs, as I did so I became aware of sound, for the first time since entering the house I could hear sounds, musical sound, unlike any music I had heard before but music none the less. It was coming from a room just at the top of the stairs, I still felt no fear but did experience a degree of apprehension before opening the door to this room. In the room were six people all dressed the same, they were seated on wooden chairs, as used at dining tables, all six were facing a wall with a mirror on it, none looked round when I entered, they showed no sign at all of noticing my arrival. They all seemed similar to each other and to the image I saw in the mirrors downstairs, there was an empty chair and I sat then became aware that the music seemed to come from the mirror they were all focused on, once I looked at this, I could not look away again. It was not a physical force that held me, but my own mind, I knew I could not turn away. I lost all awareness of time passing, I was in a trance like state, conscious but unaware, most peculiar but also restful. Suddenly the music stopped, and I could look around there were now ten of us in the room, all very similar in appearance, all seated on wooden chairs. No one spoke but one by one we walked out of the room and down the stairs. We walked in single file, silent and steady. Down the stairs and through the hall, without entering the rooms with mirrors; at the end of the hall was a larger door, still the same blank sheet of polished metal. This opened as our leader reached it, we followed in line, out to a sun bright sky over a dull grey desert, featureless and flowing away as far as I could see. Without thought we spread out into a line facing away from the house, I was aware that I had two others in my body, but it did not bother me nor even feel wrong, I was aware of myself yet not connected with who I used to be. Such a strange experience, so far out of normal that I still cannot find the words to describe it. I do not know how long we stood looking over this desolate desert, time had no meaning to my new inhabitants; eventually there was movement in the distance. A shape on the horizon became a group of people who were walking slowly towards us. As they got near it became possible to see there were ten of them, all looking so similar to my present appearance. They stopped in a line face to face with our one, each of them reached out to the one of us nearest to them, I felt my arms raise as my hands went to meet my closest new arrival. The moment we touched hands I felt a tingle like a small electric shock, run through my entire body. I felt my two inhabitants leave me and flow into the new arrival. I then felt excruciating pain as if every part of my skin was burning, as if every skin cell on my surface was being burnt away. I fainted from the pain.

When I returned to consciousness, I was laying on the floor in a dusty room, The floor was wooden boards, there was no furniture but on the wall was a broken mirror. I hauled myself to my feet and used the last vestige of courage to look into this mirror, I looked at myself and relief swept over and though me. As strength started to return to my limbs and senses I looked around, I was in an old and obviously long deserted house, it had been stripped of all serviceable furniture and fittings, leaving only the broken mirror and ten broken wooden chairs. I found the back door and opened it to see an overgrown neglected area that had once been a lawn, now reclaimed by nature. I felt in my pockets, and all was normal car keys cell phone change wallet everything, I looked at the cell, no signal but the clock and all functions were still there. I went back though the house out of the front door and there was my car, standing on an unkempt, overgrown driveway. I got in and started the engine all was normal, I reversed down that drive, flattening the long grass that had grown up through the cracked concrete surface, I reversed out of the gate and back onto the road. It was early morning; the sun was shining, all seemed well with the world. It turned out that was an illusion, all was now very wrong with the world; but that is a different story.

Short StoryHorrorFantasy

About the Creator

Peter Rose

Collections of "my" vocal essays with additions, are available as printed books ASIN 197680615 and 1980878536 also some fictional works and some e books available at Amazon;-


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