The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own. I stared into it, my counterpart staring back. Everything matched equally, my blue eyes, blonde hair, and strong face all took their place opposite me, as at should have been. There was only one difference, that scar…
Chapter 1: Makes the Whole World Blind
A/N: Please see the Author's Note at the end for the Trigger Warnings
My reflection bore a long scar over her face. It ran from her…my hairline and down across her eye, ending just above our chin. The injury bisected the eye itself, robbing it of its blue colour and rendering it grey and useless.
It had been like that for a week, perhaps a few days less. The woman in the mirror unnerved me. So identical and yet, so different…
The mirror she appeared in was my bathroom medicine cabinet door, so I saw her every day when I opened it to retrieve my toothbrush. Singularly, she stared back at me from only that mirror, and no other. The scar was a question to me. How did this other version get such a scar? I had tried asking her many times, but only saw her mouth the same question at the same time. A perfect mirror image. In fact, the reflection acted as it should at all times. When I turned my head to check my hair, so did she. When I grinned to check my teeth, she showed hers also. So, strangely enough, I grew used to her bizarre presence in my life.
I woke up one day, brushed my teeth (silently greeting my scarred reflection), and headed out to work. I worked as a financial manager at a large London company – all spreadsheets and no human interaction - but it paid the bills.
The day was going ordinarily until I was walking home. I had stayed late to catch up on some paperwork and so the sun had fallen by the time I left. As such, I was making sure to walk along a well-lit street. I was walking past some large shop windows when I saw my reflection change. In a flicker of a streetlamp, my regular reflection turned to that of the scarred woman. I stopped in my tracks, frozen. It was definitely her. This was the first time I had seen more than just her face. I stood and took her in.
She was exactly me. Short, strong, and matching my subtle movements. However, I could now see that it was not just the scar which was different. Her posture was slouched. Not in a lazy way. Instead, it felt like a slouch of a calculating hunter, waiting for the right second to lurch at me. It frightened me and I felt my heart begin to thump inside my chest. She remained as unmoving as I was; a deer in the headlights.
Another difference was her clothing. While I wore a neat black and white suit, she wore a hospital gown. The revelation sent a chill down my spine. The eerie, spotted clinical attire hung loosely off her shoulders, giving her a slightly gaunt appearance. A thought occurred to me in that moment, and I took action before I could think it through.
A dark figure was slowly strolling towards me on the sidewalk.
“Hello?” I said timidly, as they approached. They didn’t hear me and continued to move towards me on the path. I waited for them to get close.
“Um, hello?” I asked again and the figure stopped this time, barely a stride away from me. He was a dark, hooded figure with a shadowed face.
“What does my reflection look like to you?” The man’s hood shifted as he looked towards the glass display window.
I waited for his reply eagerly. The implication of another’s confirmation or denial of my scarred counterpart ran through my head.
“It looks….like you should give me your purse!” The hooded man’s voice built to a shout.
The flash of a knife hit my eyes before I had time to scream. I reacted on instinct and swung my arm at the man blindly, making contact between my fist and his nose. I legs began to run swiftly, the sound of them hitting the sidewalk in the night echoed loudly. I soon heard his joining my own, chasing me down.
I saw houses ahead of me. There would be people inside, sleeping but enough to respond to a scream if need be. I looked back and saw him gaining on me. The sight stung my legs with adrenaline. I panted as I ran.
The houses were just ahead, no more than a few seconds away. I took a deep breath, getting ready to shout.
I felt his hand grab the back of my blazer. It choked the air out of my lungs and I made a strangled sound. He was shouting something at me but the rushing blood in my ears muffled his noise. He stood over me, brandishing the knife.
My stunned reaction seemed to make him angrier. He took the knife and slashed it down my face, across my eye.
The next weeks days went by in a flurry of activity. Ironically, the surgeon could not meet my eye to tell me he could not save the eyesight in the other one. He didn’t have to worry, I didn’t feel shocked by the revelation. I had managed to put two and two together and make four the minute the knife seared through my flesh that night.
Candice, a friend from work, had been the only one to visit me during my time in hospital. She brought me flowers and told me the latest stories from work in dramatic voices. She was a straight shooter, Candice. I liked her a lot. She was more family than anyone else in my life.
“I just feel so useless!” I whined to her one night. We had agreed to meet at my place and drink wine until the sun came up, ‘work be damned’ so said Candice.
“Oh come on, get over yourself,” She replied bluntly.
I raised my eyebrows in shock at her sharp tone.
“You can still see, you can still work and you have future! Not many people who survive a knife attack can say the same!” she exclaimed passionately.
‘Right, the future…’ I thought to myself. I had religiously avoided all mirrors since the incident, not daring to even glance into the bathroom cabinet. I was afraid of what I may see. I had been forced to conclude that the woman in the mirror had been a premonition of my injury, warning from another…side.
“You’re right,” I said, “I need to stop moping around and get back to it!”
“Exactly! I will see you back at work soon, yeah?”
Over the next couple of days I had managed to do just that. I stopped wallowing in my own pity and started to live life again. I held my head high as I went to get a coffee and the patrons gasped and whispered at my scar. I went back to work and handled the tsunami of questions with quiet grace. But best of all, I looked back into the bathroom cabinet mirror.
It was a strange relief when our reflections finally matched, when my scar finally reflected hers. Suddenly, I felt as if I had completed a stage of a strange journey. Something in her eyes told me it wasn’t the end just yet.
Chapter 2: All on Deck
The mirror showed a reflection that wasn’t my own once again. Again, the woman in the cabinet mirror had changed. Our scar was still sat on our face, matching as it had been for nearly 6 months. That wasn’t what had changed this time, no, what had changed was her hand, or lack thereof.
I noticed it when I retrieved my toothbrush from inside the cabinet and closed it again. I watched my counterpart begin to brush her teeth as I was, only the brush appeared to be floating.
I looked back toward my hand, toothbrush grasped firmly in my fingers. I then raised my forearm to the mirror and saw what was wrong. My reflection had no right hand.
My body froze, mind racing.
‘Am I to loose my hand as I lost my eye? No!’
I felt fear prickle down my spine and my eyes began to blur with unshed tears. The thought of losing my hand was a horrible possibility. Without conscious thought, I fell to the ground, and began to hyperventilate.
Once I had picked myself up, my mind went into ‘planning mode’. I had taken a week from when my reflection changed to when I suffered the knife attack. Therefore, I had a week before my hand was under threat.
Brilliantly, the end of the week fell on a Saturday, a day I had off from work. I didn’t have to do a thing that day. I could simply lock myself in my house and stay safe.
I packed away all knives, razors and smash-able objects into a large plastic box and covered them all in bubble wrap before hiding the whole thing in the cupboard under the stairs. It occurred to me several times when I did this that I could simply be going crazy, suffering a mental break from a nasty knife attack on the streets of London. I decided to place that thought away from my mind until Saturday was over.
Next, I began to take the mirrors down from around the house, including that of the bathroom. I hid them under the stairs also, but the bathroom cabinet wouldn’t budge and, as, by then, it was already Friday, I would not risk smashing the thing. One other mirror stayed up, the large one in the hallway. It was drilled into the wall and I didn't have the equipment to take it down. It was no worry to me as I planned to use it to check my reflection during Saturday, to see if it changed in a mirror that wasn't the bathroom cabinet - just as it had in the shop window before the attack.
In fact, Friday evening had rolled around sooner than I anticipated. The week seemed to pass by in a blur. Despite that, I felt ready to face whatever the mirror could throw at me. I locked my doors and got ready to spend a day in bed, surrounded by comfort and snacks.
The doorbell rang. I froze.
“Hey queen! Surprise!!” I heard Candice’s voice from the outside.
Sighing, I unlocked the door and peaked outside. There stood Candice with a large brown bag. The tops of several wine bottles peaked out of the top.
“Well, you going to let me in, or not?” She questioned with a laugh.
“Um…” my voice sounded shaky, even to my own ears. “I actually… have a cough.”
Candice looked at me septically, she had seen me earlier at work. I decided to up my efforts.
“Ehem!” I pretended to cough.
Candice burst out into laughter and pushed herself into my home.
“Oh please, let me in from the cold, you evil witch!” She said in jest.
‘It is still Friday’ I reasoned ‘Nothing will happen tonight if the mirror follows the week-long wait again. There’s no reason I can’t enjoy tonight and still keep myself safe tomorrow…'
“Hey, where’s your bottle opener?” Candice’s voice broke me out of my own thoughts. I realized I was still stood at the front door. Quickly, I closed it and followed Candice inside.
'She must leave by midnight!' I thought desperately.
“Oh it’s under the stairs, let me get it for you!” I said, rushing towards the cupboard under the stairs.
“It’s under the what now?”
Candice and I had another wonderful night of drinking wine and putting the world to rights together. I admitted, in my haste to avoid the fate of the mirror again, I had been neglecting our friendship. Tipsy as I was, I made the mistake of letting Candice stay the night.
She woke me up at 10am, gingerly handing me a strong-smelling liquid soup which she called ‘the best hangover cure, ever! Just don’t ask what’s in it, okay?’
Together, we headed downstairs and passed my hallway mirror together. When I walked past, I checked to see if my reflection was still normal in any other mirror than that of the bathroom cabinet. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw my reflection with both hands in tact, just as I had. I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe I was crazy...
Nevertheless, Saturday had arrived and I was starting to get nervous. It took all of my strength and social anxiety to not kick Candice out and lock the door as soon as possible. Instead, we drank homemade coffee together and I helped Candice figure out some of her feelings towards a ‘rather handsome shopkeeper’ before it was time to say goodbye.
Candice had a meeting with her brother that Saturday, so she was soon walking through the hallway towards the front door.
“Oops, one second! I had better check my make-up, in case I decide to drop by that shop on the way over!” she said cheekily, turning to the hallway mirror and admiring herself.
I turned to look at myself while she pinched and stretched her face in various areas. I held up my hands again, and saw that the right hand was gone from my reflection. I was suddenly transported into the night of the knife attack. How the reflection in the shop window has foreshadowed the attack.
“Candy, didn’t you say you had to go? You shouldn’t keep your brother waiting?” I said in a rush.
She didn’t reply.
I looked at my companion. Her eyes shone silver, reflective – mirror-like.
She rushed into me, knocking me into the mirror. It broke with an almighty smash. Candice clattered to the ground with me and straddled my torso. Fragments of the mirror fell around us.
Her eyes were completely covered in mirror-shine. They were strangely beautiful. The breath whooshed from my lungs as she pressed her weight into my chest. She grabbed a large fragment of the mirror and, aiming a my right wrist, began to swing it at me.
My body began to scramble and fight back before I had the chance to think. I grappled with her, begging and pleading at her to let me go.
“Please Candy! Wake up! Don’t do this please!”
Candice just stared back at me through unseeing eyes. She grabbed my head and began to hit it against the floor. I felt the vision in my eye begin to blur. My limbs began to weaken. I was losing the fight. My natural instincts fought until the last second of consciousness, trying to bite and scratch at my attacker. It was futile. I lost my consciousness. Down I went, into the well of darkness - gone.
I woke up to the sound of Candice’s panicked voice.
“Yes! Please! Come quickly! Someone has cut off her hand!”
Chapter 3: The Final Reflection
Candice was not given any prison time for what she did to me. I confessed everything to her, and explained what had happened. Together, we testified that a man had broken in and attacked me unprovoked. She was uncomfortable with it but I took charge and convinced her.
Still, she felt incredible guilt about the event, and had been keeping her distance for many months. No more chatting at work, no more wine night and, honestly, no more friendship. It hurt but my mind was so unsettled by the mirror events that I could not bring myself to be around many people.
The surgeon tried to reattach my hand, but was unsuccessful. My body rejected it. No, not my body anymore, the mirror’s body. I was becoming the reflection from my damned bathroom cabinet mirror. 'What a joke!'
So there I was, one eye, and one hand down, just waiting for the reflection to change again. I stared into it day after day, willing it to tell me what was next…
Eventually, it did.
The woman in the mirror was dead.
She didn’t mimic my movements any more. She just stood there, eyes closed and skin a ghostly grey.
What is a person supposed to do, when confronted with their murder a week before it happens? My mind raced for a solution. Something, anything, to plan for it.
I used the next week as valuably as I could. Firstly, I purchased an axe and some tough clothes. Then, I practiced swinging the axe in different forms, at different things. I smashed pumpkins, melons, and cabbages in my back garden. Each one fell to the axe in a sickening crunch and splash. The whole process made me feel more in control of the mirror’s threat, but still the day loomed over me, ever closer and ever more frightening.
In case I could not protect myself, I made sure to contact my family, and Candice. We didn’t talk about much, but we heard each other's voices. They made me smile. They made me cry. It stung that I was on my own. What a terrible thing - to die alone.
Soon enough, the week had gone. I fished my make-up mirror out of my bag and checked it intermittently, to check when the dead girl would appear in another place than the bathroom. I dressed in my thick clothes, held the axe in my left hand and prepared to face what was to come.
I grew frustrated as the day grew dark. I had been pacing for hours and the adrenaline from the day was wearing off. I found myself extremely angry. I marched up to the bathroom and looked into the mirror.
To my surprise, I saw the reflection there was alive, normal even. She still had my facial scar and grey eye. I attempted to raise my right arm to see if her hand was still missing, but the reflection did not obey me. Instead, she stood there and raised her eyebrow at me - no longer mimicking me.
For the first time, I saw the mirror girl as a separate entity to myself. I found myself screaming at her.
“What do you want?! Why are you here?! Haven’t I lost enough?!”
The mirror cracked.
I gasped and stood back, making the fear behind my rage clear.
The reflection laughed at me. It was a dark, metallic sound that echoed around the bathroom. She raised her left hand and tapped the surface of the mirror. It gave an almighty crash, causing me to stumble backwards and close my eye. When I opened it again, I saw her in the room with me.
In the room
She was out of the mirror!
Before I had time to feel stunned, she swung at me, attacking exactly as Candice had. She pinned me to the floor and took a large shard of the mirror in her hand. I felt her force - she was incredibly strong!
I gripped the axe like iron, holding onto it like a lifeline. She stabbed at my head and I dodged, moving my head to the left and feeling it nick my ear. A small sting.
I swung the axe at her, hitting her in the stomach. She fell off me with a guttural ‘oof’'. I lined up my next attack but she scampered away. Her eye had turned silver, the same as Candice’s had. Upon looking into it, I found myself completely blinded. The vision in my remaining eye was covered by a bright white light.
I couldn’t fight blind! I scrambled for the door, feeling the way towards the handle when I felt a ripping pain in my back. Something was in my back. I felt it another time, this time in my shoulder. Her hands pulled me back by the objects now in my back, 'shards of the mirror', I thought.
I felt my throat burn as I screamed. This was it. All that preparation for nothing! All my suffering, for what? To be killed by my own reflection?
I turned around, feeling the shards pierce their way deeper into my back and shoulder. My soul was roaring! A rage filled my head. I found the axe handle, which I had dropped in my search for the door, and began to hit her again.
I expected the sound to be like the pumpkins I had smashed in the back garden, all sloppy sinews and squishy goop, but it didn’t. When I finally landed a hit on her, it sounded like the cracking of glass.
She punched me in my nose in punishment. I felt my face light up in sharp pain, from my eyesockets to the back of my head. I screamed again, my voice wavering and cracking as I swung the axe at her wildly. I managed to land another hit before pinning her down underneath me and using the axe to hit her over and over.
I kept hitting her until my arm gave out. I heard her scream an unnatural scream and suddenly, my vision was clear.
Laying on my bathroom floor were shards of the mirror and… that was all.
I fell to the ground, exhausted and bleeding out onto my bathroom floor. The axe dropped from my fingers.
With a shaking hand, I pulled out my make-up mirror, the last one which survived in my possession.
Inside, I saw a woman, a perfect version of myself. She was applying lipstick to her face when she gasped. She could see me in the mirror!
This perfect version. Her two hands, her two eyes… Was I to be her mirror monster?
I heard the doorbell ring.
A/N: Woah! What a long story for me to write! I am used to writing 1000 words MAX! I hope you have enjoyed this slightly longer one this time! It was fun to write and I hope you all liked the twist!
Trigger Warnings: Blood/bodily harm/loss of limb/alcohol use/stabbings
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