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Her

A short horror story about a haunted mirror.

By Madison NewtonPublished about a year ago 4 min read
8

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own.

I had beaten the lamp into the glass until my knuckles were cut up and bloody. The jagged shards still stared back at me, their warped appearance giving the cursed face a hellish grin.

I had come home and approached the ornately framed mirror that hung in the hallway, just a few feet from the front door. Its convenient location allowed me one final glance over my outfit and makeup before leaving for work each day.

That morning, I had left as usual. I had glanced at the mirror, and the face that stared back was disappointing, yet my own. I could see the pudginess in my cheeks, the chapped lips and the dry skin. I had great work to do, lots of exercising and lotions in store, but all that work was familiar. That face was the one I woke up seeing each and every day.

When I arrived home, I let out a shriek so loud I thought for sure the neighbors heard. I dropped my work bag and clutched my chest while I caught my breath. I stared in disbelief at the face reflected this time.

Its features were perfect.

The jaw was taught and proud, the nose button-like, the cheek bones prominent. The eyes were similar, but bright, a twinkle within them. The lips were plump and full, a natural redness to them that would shame a rose. My eyebrows were plucked just right, no filler. And my skin glistened, moist and healthy, chapped lips lay forgotten.

I stared in awe, a relief setting in I had never known before. The thankfulness that overtook me in that moment made my knees weak. Whatever angel had blessed me that day I knew I would spend the rest of my life repaying. The extra weight was gone, and my face was the one I had hoped would stare back at me someday in that old mirror.

But as quickly as the relief washed over me, the waves suddenly retreated, replaced with nothing but horror.

As I stared at the face, it wouldn't stay still. I wasn't moving, but the reflection was. The longer I looked, the worse I felt, a doom setting in like a cancer.

The eyes seemed to see straight through me, the glossiness of the red red lips grew wetter, almost bloody. The nose grew crooked, pointed, witch-like. The hair grew matted, eyebrows furry and knotted with dirt. The once fair face was mutating into a corpse before my eyes and it was all I could do to hold my vomit.

Then the horror receded, and all I felt was fear.

It was a fear that seemed unreasonable, too far-fetched, which somehow made it worse. It was the fear that we were connected. The horrible face and I were one, and if it decayed, would I follow suit?

I turned away, breathing heavily as I crossed the room. In the corner stood a proud Tiffany lamp, its red and yellow patterns turning the ceiling plaid as the bulb shined through it.

I seized its stem and marched back to the mirror. I stood before it for just a moment, readying myself, when I noticed the face one more time. It was this reflection that overtook me. It was the face I saw next that I knew would have driven me mad had I not done what I did next.

The horrible, gruesome corpse was smiling at me, its eyes that were not quite mine staring daggers into my heart. I took a deep breath and swung.

The plaid patterns scattered like fading comets across the room, the bulb going out with a satisfying smash. I would wind up and whack, wind back up and thwack, pulverizing the lamp against the cursed mirror.

As more sharp edges sprouted from the mirror with every hit, my swings grew more frequent. More insistent.

Soon there was no time left between swings, the anger behind each one making time slow down to a standstill. The shards flew about, scraping my face and brushing against my dry fingers. I clutched the lamp tightly in my hand, a battle axe hungry for flesh and the mirror shards hungry for my own.

An hour or two it must've been. All that was left was the frame. I leaned back against the wall and choked back a mixture of sobs and puke, the lamp destroyed in my arms. I stared up at the golden frame that once housed the corpse. It's emptiness unnerved me, but I finally breathed a sigh of relief. The more familiar kind of relief. Utter relief.

A quiet settled over the hallway and I allowed my eyes to close while I took it in. Even against the black of my eyelids I could see the eyes so clearly, it's toothy grin so wide it might burst out laughing.

I burned the golden frame that night.

fiction
8

About the Creator

Madison Newton

I'm a recent graduate of Stony Brook University with a degree in Environmental Humanities and Filmmaking. I love writing and storytelling, and I love sharing my work so I can continue to improve my written voice.

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Comments (5)

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  • J. S. Wadeabout a year ago

    Excellent story Madison! “ Even against the black of my eyelids I could see the eyes so clearly,”. Very cool, dark, personal. 👏

  • Roy Stevensabout a year ago

    Beautiful descriptive language Madison! I especially liked this one, "But as quickly as the relief washed over me, the waves suddenly retreated". Gorgeous and ominous at the same time. Nicely done.

  • Jeff Newmanabout a year ago

    Very cool story! Thanks for sharing. Would love your feedback on my entry if you want to read some.

  • Beth Sarahabout a year ago

    A good entry - I like the way it starts with her vanity :)

  • Mohamed Jakkathabout a year ago

    Thank you for sharing "Her," a gripping horror story about a haunted mirror. You did an excellent job building tension and creating a sense of dread throughout the piece. The use of vivid imagery, especially in the descriptions of the reflections in the mirror, was particularly effective in creating a chilling atmosphere. The final act of destroying the mirror added a satisfying conclusion to the story. Keep up the good work and keep writing!

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