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The Mysterious Mirror

by Len Jeffrey about a year ago in fact or fiction
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The Reflection

The Mysterious Mirror
Photo by Steffen Gundermann on Unsplash


I hadn't noticed the strange symbols etched into the old hand mirror before. I only purchased it yesterday at a garage sale and now as I look at it closely they seem to resemble tiny hieroglyphics running along the edge of it.

"Oh well," I thought, "As long as it does the job."

I stood in front of my large dresser mirror and proceeded to check out the length of my hair at the back using the hand mirror. I caught a glimpse of something odd that certainly should not have been in its reflection-a doorway. I quickly turned around just to make sure but there was nothing there. Nothing out of the ordinary. Only my small bedroom with its night table, dresser and of course, bed. The doorway was as it always has been, off to the left side of my small room.

"Very strange," I thought. Then I shrugged off the incident and continued with the mundane tasks of everyday life.

Still, all day long at my work place I couldn't help but think about that reflection in the mirror. When I got home I went straight to the bedroom and picked it up. I held it in front of me and stared into it. Holding it steadily in my hand I slowly turned myself around in a circle while staring at its reflection. Why I did this I'll never know. The reflection of the rotating bedroom made me slightly dizzy. I immediately stopped turning when I saw it again. That doorway! I glanced at my dresser's mirror-no reflection of any doorway! My eyes blinked back to my hand mirror. The doorway was there again! Quickly I looked back again to my dresser mirror. It was not there! I started to shake. What's happening to me? What is it about this old mirror? Just then I saw him in the doorway's reflection! He was a middle-aged man wearing a fedora and holding a walking stick. Just as quickly as he appeared, he disappeared and so did the reflection of the doorway. I had to find out about that old hand mirror.

The garage sale was just this past weekend and only down the street. That's where I headed. I came up to the house and rang the doorbell.

An elderly woman answered it and said to me, "I was expecting you."

That certainly startled me. She told me that she had recognized me as the man who had bought the hand mirror at her garage sale on the weekend. She asked me in and offered me a cup of tea while she told the following story:

"My name is Mary Langley. My husband was an Egyptologist who traveled around the world in search of antiquities. Often he would bring home discarded but interesting objects. Eventually he had collected quite a number of articles. He left me about thirty years ago but before he did he told me a story that upset me. It still sends chills through me whenever I think about it. One of the tombs in which he was in charge of excavating contained a large number of parchments papers. Those papers had impressions or writings on them which were over five thousand years old. They told of magical incantations and religious rituals that brought about all kinds of physical phenomena-at least according to the writings. One of the parchments stated how the high priests would 'energize' certain everyday objects. Objects such as vases, hair brushes, combs, eating utensils and many other objects. Those objects would no longer be 'ordinary'. They would now hold some kind of special 'powers'. The high priests made use of these special objects for healing purposes and various rituals. My husband was able to decipher some of the writings which were on parchment papers buried with a lesser-known high priest. He was shocked when he finally put all of the information together. It seems that among other amazing things these ancient people were capable of time-travel! I know it's hard to believe but that is what was written on the ancient parchment papers. My husband of course could not prove the time-travel claim but he did subsequently prove that the objects buried in that tomb did possess some kind of power or unearthly energy.”

The old woman paused and was quiet for a few moments. Her head was bent down. She was obviously trying to hold back her tears.

"One rainy night I went downstairs to his laboratory in order to bring him a cup of tea. He was nowhere to be found. I called out to him but he never answered me. He was gone. He literally disappeared from this earth. I have not seen him since."

I told her that I had seen a man in the doorway when I saw the reflection in the old hand mirror.

"What did he look like?" she asked.

"He was holding a walking stick and wore a fedora," I answered.

"Oh my God! That's him! That's my husband Bill!" she shouted.

"What does this mean?" she asked me.

"I don't know but I will find out for you," I assured her.

She agreed to let me examine the laboratory in which her husband had spent so much time in.

When I arrived home I went straight to the bedroom and picked up the mirror. I held it up close and stared into it. Nothing happened. I held it up to my face while looking into it and slowly I turned around. I watched the room behind me rotate when finally there it was-the doorway. It was behind me. Suddenly the lights went out! I lowered the mirror and turned around. There was a dim light emanating from the doorway. It was here! In my room! I shoved the mirror into my back pocket and slowly walked towards the open doorway. I was shaking as I peered into it. I could just barely make out the figure of a man! Against my better judgment I walked towards him. I felt that he must be the old woman's husband- the professor! He looked to be in his late forties and signaled me to come closer. I nervously walked towards him while stirring up the low-lying mist at my feet.

What was I getting myself into? His eyes stared intently into mine. I couldn't help myself. I walked up to him fully aware that I was no longer in my room. He looked at me with an extremely puzzled expression on his face.

"Where am I. Who are you?" he asked.

" I came to find you Professor Langley,” I answered. " My name is John Berry. I also haven't a clue as to how I got here. I'm as puzzled as you are. Don't you remember working in your laboratory and then disappearing?" I asked him.

His eyes looked down as if in thought.

"Yes, yes! I remember now! I was reciting words from a scroll that I had found inside of a bowl.

The next thing I remember is that the room began to spin all around me and everything became black. How did I get here and how do you know my name?”

There was no time to answer the professor because at that moment we both heard a sound and turned our heads to see flames! Burning torches were being carried and they were coming closer to us. We ducked down and both of us scrambled to hide behind a wall. There were dozens of men and women walking in a slow procession. They were making their way up an incline and following a person who was wearing a headdress of some sort. He was reciting words from a scroll while some of the followers were carrying a heavy sarcophagus. I held my breath. Where were we and what time in history was this? Even more, what if we were found out? My life could be in real danger! If they see me they might surely kill me! We both made certain that there was sufficient time after the procession had passed before either one of us had spoken another word to each other.

The professor spoke first: "My guess is that we just witnessed a funeral procession from inside a pyramid. We're in extreme danger here! We've got to find a way out."

The only way out seemed to be in the direction of where the procession had come from. We struggled up along large boulders to an area that gradually widened. Searching in all directions we saw what looked like oil lamps or torches secured to the walls along the tunnel. The thought occurred to me that this whole adventure had started with this mirror which I still carried in my back pocket. What if the answer to our dilemma somehow lies in this mirror? I stopped running and walked over to one of the torches to get more light. I pulled out the mirror from my pocket and held it up to the light.

The professor saw what I was doing and said, "There's no time to waste. What are you doing?"

"Just give me a few more seconds,” I replied. “I think I have an idea."

Again I stared into the hand mirror. All that I saw was blackness. I put the mirror up to my face and slowly turned in a circle while holding it steadily. The only reflection was the torch passing slowly by at each rotation. That's when I heard a yell. Someone had seen us! The professor darted in one direction. I ran the other way down a long dimly lit tunnel listening to the reflection of my footsteps and my heavy breathing bouncing off the walls around me. Somehow I was able to locate an opening in the rocks in order to hide. The guards ran past me. I felt safe for now as I heard them rush by speaking in a language which I have never heard before. Then I realized that they had caught the professor! What could I do? I knew that they were trying to question him but with the language barrier I knew it would be hopeless. They began threatening him. I could tell that they were becoming more and more agitated. One of the guards raised his spear and was about to thrust it into the professor! I couldn't help myself. I yelled out! That stopped them, but only for a moment.

They rushed over and grabbed me. I thought, "my life is over now". They yelled at and taunted me. Some of the guards raised their spears at me and the professor as if waiting for the order to kill us. We closed our eyes. Suddenly a strong gust of wind blew all of the lamps out! The guards were blinded by the darkness and 'confusion reigned' as they say. They scrambled in all directions. The professor and I just ran for our lives! We knew that we were running in the right direction because the sound of the guards was decreasing. All was pitch black and deathly quiet. Fearing for our lives we hid for probably an hour and then slowly rose again to make our way back to where the torches were. We became aware of sporadic patches of light as we made our way along the pathway. Because of the lack of light our senses of hearing and smell were magnified.We were pretty certain that there were no signs of any other human beings nearby. We walked carefully along the narrow pathway until finally we saw a bright light just ahead of us. It was sunlight and it was hot! We quickly emerged from the dark tunnel and peered out. Both of our jaws dropped open! There we were staring at the people, buildings and grandeur of ancient Egypt! We were still in great danger of course and scared for our lives. All I could think about was when would I awake from this horrible nightmare.

The answer must somehow have to do with the mirror which I incredibly still carried in my back pocket. I suppose the Egyptians didn't have time to grab it from me. I pulled it out and stared into it hoping for some hint of an answer. I desperately needed something to get us out of this predicament! This time my taking the mirror out of my pocket was the worst thing I could have done. The sunlight reflected by it was seen by someone below us. We were on the run for our lives again! Half of the population was notified about our existence by the yelling of the guards and they were after us! It was no use. We couldn't out-run them this time. I tripped on something and the mirror that I still held in my hand went flying into the air. I watched it as if it were all happening in slow motion. It was in the air, flipped around two times and then the glass shattered into a thousand pieces. That was the end of the mysterious hand mirror!

Coincidentally, at the very moment the mirror shattered I had hit my head and was knocked unconscious when I fell onto the ground. When I came to I found myself staring up at my bedroom ceiling! I was home again! What happened? I started to get up but was stopped by the incredible pain at the side of my head. I touched it lightly and knew that it was badly bruised and swollen. Just then the doorbell rang and I slowly made my way down the stairs to answer it. I opened the door to discover an unmarked package at my feet. I bent down, grabbed it and opened it to discover a carefully wrapped hand mirror with Egyptian symbols running along the edge of it! I looked up in time to get a glimpse of the delivery person. He was an elderly man who wore a fedora and walked with a cane. I could have sworn that as he turned his head he winked at me!

Written by Leonard Jeffrey 2009


fact or fiction

About the author

Len Jeffrey

I am 74 years old and got the bug to write late in life. It has been about two years since I last wrote a short fictional story and now because of Vocal I got the 'urge' back again. To tell the truth, I like it!

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