“The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own.”
An icy chill shot down Gianna’s back as she read the ink-blotted words in her notebook. Her voice lingered in the space that drifted between silence and the moans of the outside storm, then sifted back into the night like a ghost. Slowly, she lifted her head from the message - a haunting epistle she barely remembered writing - and met her own eyes in the mirror.
Lately, Gianna had been logging her encounters with the phantom that lurked in her reflection. Visits were a nightly occurrence now, and the notebook that she kept by her bathroom sink was horribly speckled with water and hairspray.
Admittedly, Gianna had never been much of a believer in the supernatural. Yet, as she examined the latest wrinkle that had formed - seemingly overnight - on her otherwise pretty, 36-year-old face, she felt inclined to believe there was something other than age that was taking her over. That was consuming her.
Like any thirty-something-year-old, Gianna still felt like a child. However, the “Gianna” she kept seeing when she looked in the mirror was a completely different person than the one she knew herself to be on the inside. As she ran her fingertips over the puffiness of her pre-mature jowls, Death seemed to remind her that she was already starting to run out of time, and she felt that she barely recognized herself.
“I love myself. I am beautiful. My spirit is unique. There is just one me,” she whispered softly. It was the latest mantra her therapist had been encouraging her to use - another useless affirmation that she didn’t fully subscribe to but promised she’d try out anyway.
With nimble fingers, she poked and prodded at her loosening skin for a moment, then plucked out another grey, wiry strand from her long brunette waves. She watched it fall down into the sink like a dead, wilted flower.
Gianna jumped at the sound of the thunder and watched as her face flickered before her in the mirror.
The storm was supposed to be the biggest California had seen in decades, and was projected to rage for nearly two weeks on end. It rattled the back window as if there was some contorted, limping old man tapping the glass:
click, click, click.
Sometimes, when the corner of Gianna’s eye caught the illuminated glow of the curtains, she saw his shadow sitting there. Watching her.
Gianna closed her eyes to catch her breath - doing her best to disregard the skull that emerged from behind her face every time the lightning pummeled the earth.
“I love myself. I am beautiful. My spirit is unique. There is just one me,” she repeated again. She then headed out into the storm and off to work.
There was a pair of periwinkle blue, childlike bunny ears that Gianna had started to wear while teaching her kindergarten class. She had found them one day while sifting through a few boxes of old dramatic play costumes in her classroom’s back storage. While she’d set most of the items out to be utilized by her students, she’d kept the bunny ears for herself. For some reason, they called to her.
Gianna loved her job. However, she wasn’t really the best at it. That is - until she’d discovered the ears. She wasn’t sure how or why, but the silly little things did something for her - did something to her. Whenever she put them on, her quiet, introverted persona managed to become just a tiny bit more effervescent - just ever so slightly more confident and better suited to engage with a classroom full of lively, animated five-year-olds.
She called it the “Superbunny Effect.” While her personal life had become plagued by the phantom that aged her in the mirror, the bunny ears allowed her to be the young, vibrant person she felt that she was and that she desperately wanted to be in the classroom.
Indeed, “Superbunny” had become Gianna’s classroom identity. Suberbunny was energetic, amusing, and outgoing - and the kids absolutely adored and obeyed her.
Unfortunately, Gianna had misplaced her ears that day.
“Miss Verardi!” Hannah’s frightened voice suddenly rang out, “Mateo says there’s a ghost in the bathroom!”
Gianna turned away from her small group instruction and met the terrified eyes of her little, five-year-old student.
“That’s not true,” she assured her, “when did he tell you that?”
“Right now!” Hannah exclaimed. She pointed to a group of other young children that had gathered around the back of the class near the bathroom.
Gianna held back a frustrated breath. She felt her body tense as she stood up and began to walk to the scene.
“What’s going on, friends?” She asked the congregation of young spectators.
“Mateo found the ghost in the mirror!” Zoe exclaimed. Her expression was one of both fright and awe, and she pointed into the dark of the bathroom.
Gianna held her alarm back as she took sight of the little, jubilant Mateo - with his head full of bouncy bronze curls - standing in front of the mirror with a flashlight propped up to his chin.
The other kids screamed and squealed as his face flickered in the reflection.
“Ok, Mateo, that’s enough,” Gianna said firmly. She walked into the bathroom and held out her hand, to which Mateo reluctantly turned over the flashlight.
“Where did you get this?” She asked, even though she already knew the answer.
Mateo looked up at her with big, innocent eyes - innocent eyes that Gianna knew better than to trust.
“He got it from your office,” Carlos said. He pointed to the small room in the corner, which contained Gianna’s desk and also doubled as a storage unit.
Gianna opened her mouth to respond - but before she could - there was the sound of a key turning the lock on the door. Gianna’s heart immediately dropped: she knew exactly what was about to happen.
Ms. Nuñez - the elegantly dressed, vainglorious Vice Principal - walked in with a bitter look on her face. Though she didn’t say anything at first, she didn’t need to. Gianna knew she was unimpressed.
Click, click, click…
Gianna felt the seconds count down as Ms. Nuñez’s heels walked toward the children.
“What’s going on here?” She asked the group of small students once she’d approached them. She flashed Gianna an accusatory glance before smiling at the circle of young faces.
“Mateo found a ghost in the bathroom!” Hannah exclaimed.
“A ghost!” Replied Ms. Nuñez with parroted excitement, “Well, I’m sure he must be a friendly one, then.” She gave Gianna another quick glare of disapproval, then continued her interaction with the students. “Shouldn’t you all be at your centers working?”
The kids quickly disassembled and went back to their table activities without much quarrel.
As soon as they had, Ms. Nuñez gave Gianna a disciplinary eye. “Come see me today after class,” she said sternly.
Gianna’s heart fell to the floor. Frozen, all she could do was nod.
There was a clap of thunder as Ms. Nuñez closed the door behind her, and Gianna felt her dignity flee out of the room as well.
With a sigh, she returned to the table of children that were waiting for her.
Her blue bunny ears remained nowhere to be found.
“I love myself. I am beautiful. My spirit is unique. There is just one me,” Gianna said to herself in the mirror.
It was 10:54 p.m. and Gianna was, yet again, staring at her reflection. Outside, the storm continued to rage - occasionally making the lights throughout her apartment dim and scintillate.
However, it wasn’t the lightning that was causing Gianna’s mind to flicker that evening. As she stared into her eyes, the phantom slowly started to emerge from the other side of the medium, and her fears began to fester around her.
The truth was that Gianna feared more than just aging. As her youthful allure slowly began to fade, it was the irrelevancy that came with growing older that really disturbed her.
Once upon a time - in all honesty, not that long ago - Gianna had been vibrant, full of energy, and young - but she’d wasted her twenties on frivolous pastimes. Now well into her thirties, she couldn’t seem to ignore the hints society had been giving her that she was already becoming too old to be useful. That she was becoming invisible.
“Based on your formal and informal observations this year, we just don’t feel you’re a good fit for Glenbrook Elementary,” Ms. Nuñez had said to her that afternoon after class.
Gianna bowed her head, refusing to let Ms. Nuñez see the tears in her eyes.
Gianna was great with the kids. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was the tremendous amount of after-contract-hour school activities that Gianna refused to participate in. Teaching was lovely. However, it was also exceptionally tiring - even with her charming, charismatic alter ego, Superbunny - in her back pocket. She simply just did not have enough reserved energy after teaching to do one bit more.
It was for this very reason that the administration wanted Gianna gone for the upcoming school year. However, they disguised their case against her with frequent, pop-in observations that always seemed to happen at the very worst times.
Click, click, click. As Gianna listened to the contorted, limping old man tapping at the window, she gazed at herself in the mirror and was consumed by the trauma that haunted her as a result of those observations. While the image of Ms. Nuñez prowling around her classroom swept over her, Gianna once again began to see that old, decrepit version of herself fading back into her face.
The outside thunder made her jump, and her heartbeats surged down her spine. She lifted up her hands and examined her fingertips, which were icy cold and bone white. Then - as if in a trance - Gianna grabbed her notebook.
“The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own,” she scribbled. Her strokes were jagged and forceful, and they created ink-blotted, possessed letters on the page. The whites of her thin, bony knuckles pushed through her skin as the message appeared on the paper.
A loud clap of thunder immediately broke Gianna free of her trance. She shut the book closed and stared at herself once again in the mirror.
“I love myself. I am beautiful. My spirit is unique. There is just one me,” she whispered.
Thankfully, Gianna slowly began to see the image of Superbunny fade back into her face and blur her fine lines. She sighed with relief as two periwinkle blue bunny ears appeared on her head.
I’m back, she thought.
And indeed, she was - she was back to the Gianna that she wanted to be.
Gianna sometimes swore she saw ghosts in the school hallways.
While there weren’t any actual accounts of the school being haunted, the students seemed to have a 6th sense about these things. Gianna often caught them whispering about strange, obscure sightings in the shadows.
“He was there behind the custodian's closet again,” a fourth grader mumbled.
“Well, I saw the creepy man just now in the gym,” a sixth grader piped in.
Silly kids, Gianna thought to herself. As the storm continued to rattle the windows, the ghost stories ran through her mind. It was 1:45 p.m. and she sat at her classroom desk, flipping through her phone.
The afternoons were supposed to be Gianna’s planning time. However, she was always too tired after teaching for six hours straight to get any work done. Instead, Gianna had started to create TikTok videos in her classroom.
Gianna adjusted the setting on her ring light to the soft, yellow glow - which camouflaged her fine lines and made her complexion appear more even and youthful. Then, with careful eyes, she examined the ceiling above her for hidden cameras. One could truly never be too careful.
Once she felt satisfied that all was clear, she mounted her phone on her tripod and put on her blue bunny ears. She had finally found them - hidden inside the stack of boxes that were set aside to be picked up for recycling.
On TikTok, Gianna had truly taken her Superbunny persona to the next level. Three years of Covid had bred an online community of teachers who needed to vent and complain about the complications of their jobs. However, Gianna had likened to a different approach and had managed to find her own little positive, unique niche within the education community. As she danced around to the latest trends and performed quirky little skits in her high-pitched “Superbunny” voice, Gianna's account was steadily growing.
“You’re such a fresh breath of air to the profession!” One follower commented.
“You truly know how to see the bright side of all this - your students are so lucky to have you!” Read another.
With each heart, comment, and follow, Gianna’s confidence and sense of self-worth grew. On TikTok, she didn’t have to feel worried about Ms. Nuñez walking in and flashing disapproving eyes at her. And, thankful to the app’s many filters, there was no need to fret about her fine lines or pre-mature jowls. On TikTok, she felt confident that she appeared young, fresh, and vibrant every single time.
Mirrors had come to play a truly interesting role in Gianna’s life. On one hand, she was perpetually haunted by her aging face when she examined herself in her apartment bathroom. On the other, the videos Gianna created were like peering into a reflection of the person she desperately wished she could be - of the person whom people were beginning to look up to and admire.
“There are not things I do now that I didn’t do before”, she mouthed into her iPhone’s camera. The odd, jumbled sentence was part of a silly trend where the user lip-synced to Joe Biden’s voice while doing crazy, outlandish things - like scooping peas into a cup of coffee instead of sugar. Gianna adjusted this trend to her niche by looking confident while stuffing an armload of the classroom’s teddy bears into the toy kitchen.
It was a stupid, meaningless trend. However, it was cute - and it was certain to get hearts and follows.
After shooting about ten takes of the video, Gianna sat back in her chair to carefully select the version she liked best and edit it.
Once satisfied with the adjustments, she took a deep breath, hit “upload”, and smiled. She couldn't wait to watch the engagement flow in.
“Miss Verardi!” Hannah’s terrified voice cried out, “Mateo says he’s still the ghost!"
Gianna sighed and glanced at the clock. It was 8:32 a.m., and the day was just getting started.
Over in the dramatic play area, Mateo had thrown a fluffy, white princess dress over his head and was running around making spooky “ghost” noises. The bolder kids of the class were pointing and giggling, and the more timid ones all had faces draped with wide, concerned eyes.
The persistent storm had caused ghost stories to circulate around the school a bit more insistently than usual. Some of the most unsettling rumors were originating from the fifth and sixth grades - but were inevitably creeping down to the younger ages.
Gianna braced herself to dismantle another fiasco, then remembered something: she had her Superbunny ears, of course. And, luckily, she knew exactly where they were this time.
With a swift bolt, she ran to her office to grab them. She emerged from her rabbit hole - or, office - hip-hoping over to the scene.
“Someone said there’s a ghost in here,” she exclaimed in a high-pitched, friendly voice, “but that won’t be the case for long…SUPERBUNNY’S HERE!” She gave a confident smile and then reached up to her head to wiggle her long, periwinkle ears. As she did, she felt the excitement and relief of the frightened students seep into her soul…
and she became alive.
Gianna had a dream that night that the phantom in her reflection wore long, dark rabbit ears.
“I love myself. I am beautiful. My spirit is unique. There is just one me,” it whispered to her.
Gianna couldn’t pinpoint who or what she heard in its voice, but there was something familiar about it. She lifted her hand up to the glass, and the phantom did the same. “Where’s Superbunny?” She asked.
The phantom gave an eery smile and widened its eyes, which were silvery and the same color as the mirror. In fact - as Gianna quickly realized - they were the mirror. Amidst them, a long, winding staircase stretched out into eternity - extending an invitation to Gianna and enticing her with an invisible pull.
Click, click, click…
The old, contorted man - Gianna's constant indicator of reality - began to tap on the window, and Gianna became slowly aware that she was dreaming.
A mix of panic and wonder instantly washed over her. Gianna watched as her own face - one of innocence and goodness - slowly began to separate from the phantom’s sinister expression.
Click, click, click…
The taps of the old man were like seconds counting down on the clock. As Gianna felt herself stepping closer and closer to waking up, she realized she had broken free of the mirror.
With unsteady footsteps, she followed a staircase away from her reflection and approached the window. She pulled back the curtains to embrace the old man - but instead saw her own face in the glass. The phantom was there again - its two long, dark rabbit ears connecting them both to the moon.
Gianna opened her mouth to ask the phantom why it was doing this. However, she quickly realized her mouth was sewn shut.
As she reached up to pull out the jagged, uneven stitches, she pleaded frantically for Superbunny to save her. Her voice was dispersed through muffled, frenzied moans.
Gianna woke up to the sound of thunder. The rain beat heavily on her apartment’s thin rooftop, and the contorted, limping old man tapped at the window.
Click, click, click…
With eyes that were still blurry from sleep, Gianna peered around her room in suspense. Seeing nothing at first, she untwisted the blanket from her head and sat up to examine the darkness.
Shapes and shadows from the storm leaped across her wall. Gianna watched them for a moment before one of them caught her eye. It was a human-like outline with long, dark rabbit ears - bounding and jumping in the flickering light.
Gianna stared in fright as it hovered among the other shapes and silhouettes, then darted back into the shadows as the wind shifted the dance of the trees.
That day at school, Gianna could not seem to find her blue bunny ears for the life of her.
“Is Superbunny coming today?” Hannah asked. Her eyes were bright and hopeful. Hannah was a timid, sensitive child, and the storm had been stressful for her.
Gianna smiled at her and kneeled down to look into her eyes. “I’m doing everything I can to let Superbunny know that we need her,” she assured her.
Just then, the lights flickered and flashed, and the classroom went completely dark.
“Ah!” A chorus of kids simultaneously screamed.
“Don’t worry!” Gianna exclaimed. Her voice was reassuring, but firm. In the dim lighting, she could already see teardrops beginning to form in a few of their eyes.
“It’s just the power,” she said, trying to comfort them.
“No, it was the ghost!” Hannah cried. She pointed a shaky finger at Mateo, who stood by the toy kitchen with big, worried eyes.
“It wasn’t me!” He exclaimed.
“Ok, ok, ok,” Gianna interjected, “boys and girls, everyone come to the carpet. We’re going to sit and wait together until the lights come back on.”
The kids slowly made their way to the carpet. Where are my damn ears? Gianna wondered.
Click, click, click…
The sound of Ms. Nuñez’s footsteps echoed outside the classroom, and Gianna rolled her eyes. She managed to put on a smile just as her vainglorious, villainous Vice Principal opened the door.
“The power is said to be out for the rest of the day,” Ms. Nuñez said in her stern voice, “and I’m taking the kids to the office to be sent home. Staff needs to stay until further notice.” She pointed to Gianna’s walkie-talkie, which sat on the back counter. “Make sure you stand by for instructions. She then led the kids out of the classroom.
Gianna sighed a breath of relief as the door closed behind her, and went back to her office to lay her head down. She was exhausted.
Click, click, click…
Gianna woke up to a puddle of drool that had formed on her desk. Her neck ached horribly from being bent in an odd position, and she sat up to the sound of the ticking static coming from the walkie-talkie.
Shit. How long had she been out? She grabbed the small, rectangular device and spoke into it: “office, do you copy?”
There was silence from the other end, then a muffled response. “There is just one…” the voice on the other end replied, then was cut off.
Gianna rolled her eyes. She took it to mean there was one student left in the office. It’d probably be hours before she was allowed to go home.
Gianna pulled out her phone and began to scroll through her TikTok. To her delight, her latest video had received 10.1K likes. She scrolled through the comments and giggled to herself as she read them.
It was stupid - sure - but Gianna felt pleased with her hobby. She felt like she was pretty damn good at it, and she enjoyed re-watching her own videos.
In fact, the urge to do just that suddenly set in. Gianna swiped to her profile - which brought up the collage of her content - and scrolled through the bouncing images.
Re-watching her videos had become Gianna's favorite way to remind herself that she really was the lively, effervescent teacher she’d always strived to be. As she sunk into the joyful delight that was Superbunny - that was her - a sense of pride washed over her.
Gianna had watched about five videos when she began to hear the click, click, click come from the walkie again.
“There is just one….there is just one….” A faint voice mumbled.
Gianna frowned. Though it was strange, she decided to ignore it.
She closed her eyes and sat back in her chair. “I love myself. I am beautiful. My spirit is unique. There is just one me,” she whispered.
Gianna decided to watch one more video and then head down to the office to investigate the situation. Thoughtfully, she pulled up the video she’d created yesterday and smiled as she observed herself shoving those silly teddy bears into the kitchen.
The sound used for the video was odd - that was for sure - but it was indeed comical. She watched her lips move to the jumbled speech and she watched those blue bunny ears bounce and jiggle.
Then, she watched - in horror - as a shadowy, dark-eared silhouette suddenly emerged from behind her; separating itself from the “her” that was Superbunny.
“There is just one….there is just one….” the radio clicked, “but now there are two.”
Frightened, Gianna dropped the phone from her hands - and there was a loud clash of thunder as it hit the floor.
Click, click, click…
Gianna’s frantic footsteps echoed into the acoustics of the parking lot as she ran.
Somehow, she managed to make it home safely, even though the shadowy rabbit had crawled out of her phone and followed her for much of the way.
Once she’d locked herself inside her apartment, she burst into the bathroom and - sprawling her hands against the cool of the mirror - peered deeply into her reflection.
“There is just one me,” she whispered determinedly into her eyes. The storm continued to rage outside, and the contorted, limping old man tapped at her window - the same as he always did.
Click, click, click…
Gianna was pulled into a trance. “There is just one me,” she whispered over and over again, “I am Superbunny, I am effervescent, I am good.”
With an obsessive concentration, she studied her reflection and attempted to see past the fine lines on her face.
Much to Gianna’s relief, Superbunny slowly began to appear amid her complexion. Gianna smiled. “You're here,” she said, “I’m back.”
With serenity warming her heart, Gianna fell asleep that night to the sound of the rain.
Click, click, click…
“Superbunny, come save me!” Hannah exclaimed. Her voice was giggly as she reached her arms out playfully toward Gianna.
Gianna smiled at her. It was 12:32 p.m. on Friday, and class was an hour away from being dismissed. Though she usually reserved Superbunny for crisis situations, Hannah was right: it was Friday - after all - and what better way to end the week than by a visit from Superbunny?
There was just one problem: her ears had disappeared. Again.
Did I put them somewhere strange yesterday when the power went out? Gianna asked herself.
Thunder clapped from outside, and Gianna thought she heard the click, click, click of the lock on the door turning.
Great, she thought. The last thing she needed was Ms. Nuñez prowling around her classroom, looking for something wrong on a Friday afternoon.
However, the click, click, click she was hearing wasn’t the door at all. Upon investigation, Gianna realized that one of the kids had left the water dripping from the faucet by the bathroom.
She approached the child-sized sink, which was connected to a small, child-sized mirror. The kids continued to play in the background as she lifted her eyes up to her reflection. As she did, their laughter echoed behind her.
Much to Gianna’s disbelief, she saw her Superbunny ears sitting on top of her head. She reached up to touch them - confused.
Have I been wearing my Superbunny ears this entire time? She wondered. Her heart filled with doubt. Something didn’t feel right.
There was a flash of lightning and a scream from the kids. A huge clash of thunder crashed into the peaceful ambiance of the room. Without understanding what she was seeing, Gianna witnessed the shadowy, long-eared figure slowly emerge from her reflection.
“No,” it whispered to her, “you’ve been wearing my ears.”
Gianna’s stomach dropped to the floor, and she watched as the face of the obscure figure with the long, dark ears slowly began to develop features -
features that looked like her own.
Gianna reached up again to touch the bunny ears that sat on her head, and the dark, ominous figure did the same.
Suddenly, Gianna’s phone began to vibrate from her back pocket. With a pounding heart, she reached for it and examined the screen, which was flooded with TikTok notifications.
A stark bolt of dread ran down Gianna’s spine, and she glanced back at the shadowy figure in the mirror. It stared at her with icy, menacing eyes, and nodded its head.
Though she felt terrified, she also couldn’t resist. Gianna swiped open her phone and tapped into TikTok. There, the circular, red notification symbol waited for her. She took a deep breath and opened it.
“Are you crazy?!” One person exclaimed.
“This is taking it too far; you should have put a warning on this new content!!” another read.
“I’m unfollowing!!!! This is NOT ok!!”
Gianna began to feel nauseated. With trembling fingers, she opened her latest video to see what they could possibly be talking about.
And then, she saw it. Rather - she saw herself: kneeling by the toy kitchen with a big, sinister smile on her face and staring directly at the camera. The dark, shadowy figure had become one with her on the screen, and she watched in horror as she realized she was no longer stuffing teddy bears into the cabinets. Instead, she was holding up photos of her students - all with their faces crossed out. One by one, she ripped the photos apart and fed the pieces into her mouth. While she did so, she lip-synced to the audio:
“There are not things I do now that I didn’t do before.”
Gianna’s heart was pounding so hard it felt as if it would break out of her chest. She felt frozen with fear and humiliation. She felt possessed. Her fingers swiped up and down uncontrollably on her screen - passing through the many videos on her profile. In each one, the dark, shadowy figure had consumed her. In each one, she found herself doing something hauntingly sinister and odd.
Gianna’s jaw hung open, and she looked back into the mirror as the laughter from her students pulled her out of the trance.
As she did so, she met my silvery, window-like eyes…
and I smiled at her.
She mimicked my delight and grinned back at me.
“There is just one of me,” we whispered together.
And as she reached up to take off the periwinkle blue Superbunny ears from her head, I did the same. We watched as two dark, shadowy ears appeared above us in their place.
“Who are we? What have we done?” Gianna asked.
“We’ve gone Rogue,” I replied.
Lightning flashed, and the ongoing storm of Gianna’s mind suddenly had the most impressive, scintillating idea.
As she opened TikTok back up to create a new account, we smiled at ourself in the mirror. Our wrinkles and premature jowls lined our face as if the glass had broken all over it. And together - we created our new handle:
About the Creator
Free-Form poet of ethereal style. 🧚♀️✨
Creator of stories with hints of fantasy & mystery.
Fueled by a conflicted soul of fire & water. ❤️🔥🧜🏻♀️
A sucker for a good rhyme. ☺️
Quality over Quantity here. 🙌🏼
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
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This was very spooky and was very well done. I love her mantra 🥰
I thought it was sad , so much discomfort for the main character. Could really feel her anxiety
Gina Gina Gina! This is incredible! I loved everything about it - the pacing was perfect, the tension build was great and I loved the use of that mantra. Reminded me of horror films and then I loved the shift, almost like Venom taking over Eddie Brock and referring to themselves as We rather than I. Fab work and sorry I waited so long to read it. Top Story was so richly deserved!
I read this last night before falling asleep, but was tired to leave any comments. First thing is might not be a good idea to read before falling asleep, unless you want to dream people in bunny ears giving you nightmares as I did - lol. I mean that as a compliment. Great horror piece as a psychological thriller! Well done! Bunnies are kind of scary now and I actually worked as the Easter Bunny - long time ago. 🐰
Click, click, click.... Great story... one that truly does seep one reality into another. Nicely done. ❤️
"An icy chill shot down Gianna’s back as she read the ink-blotted words in her notebook." - Me: Wait a minute. "Yet, as she examined the latest wrinkle that had formed - seemingly overnight - on her otherwise pretty, 36-year-old face, she felt inclined to believe there was something other than age that was taking her over." - Me: A wait, what? "The storm was supposed to be the biggest California had seen in decades," - Me: Now this is becoming too eerie for me. "Whenever she put them on, her quiet, introverted persona managed to become just a tiny bit more effervescent - just ever so slightly more confident and better suited to engage with a classroom full of lively, animated five-year-olds." - Me: Holy shitake Mushrooms! The story and the publishing platform itself have become self aware! If it breaks anymore 4th walls it might just actually leak into reality itself! “Miss Verardi!” Hannah’s frightened voice suddenly rang out, “Mateo says there’s a ghost in the bathroom!” - Me: I got my own story about encountering a ghost in the bathroom as a kid. It didn't come out of the mirror. It morphed out of the wall and looked like it was phasing in small teleportations closer to us. It happened during the week the boy's bathroom lost lighting for like a whole week. So, it was definitely spoopy. "However, they disguised their case against her with frequent, pop-in observations that always seemed to happen at the very worst times." - Me: Well, that's just cherry picking. Even when she confronted Mateo in the restroom about the ghost, Gianna was doing her job. That vainglorious, vice principal's must have a saguaro cactus shoved deep up her arse if she thinks that Gianna's doing anything but her job. "Now well into her thirties, she couldn’t seem to ignore the hints society had been giving her that she was already becoming too old to be useful. That she was becoming invisible." - This reminds me of an story where a supermodel in her 50s said that she feels invisible as the men that she wants no longer wants her. She said it was due to ageism, and that's how she's being discriminated against in the dating community. Yet, she didn't complain about such things when she was younger able to attract the men she wanted, from women that were her current present day age. She didn't care about making other women invisible until one day she became one of those invisible women. Yet, what throws me off is that most of my preschool and kindergarten teachers were ladies of older ages. Sure, there were a few young ladies, but the energy gets replaced with wisdom that makes it easier to discipline students properly. Well, that's my two cents at least. Gianna's gonna be in high demand, imo, as the years go on. "On TikTok, Gianna had truly taken her Superbunny persona to the next level." - Me: Oh sweet mercy! It's infiltrated Vocal! I know You've talked about it before, but knowing Your ethereal horror, I'm honestly wondering if I should even search it anymore or if rogue's going to be there? I gotta say, the tree tapping sort of reminded me of stories of the boogie man or the yule man. The tapping of the heels down the hallway signified a more prolonged sense of horror as well that's more in the waking reality. We learn about certain people and their arrivals just by the sound of their footfalls, a scent like shampoo or cologne when they walk in the room, or even just a presence that someone's there (different people emit different auras). This one strikes so much cause it has a lot of realism in there. I mean, just look at the profi- I mean written descriptions. I like how the affirmation became part of the foreshadowing in the later part of the story. That was top notch in carrying a clue from the beginning and giving it meaning in the narrative. It was superbly done. I gotta admit, the cellphone and walkie talkie scenes definitely creeped me out, especially when the shadow rabbit lady was in her phone. Since the mirror mentioned seeing an older version of herself, and wanting to return to her younger days, especially when she fell asleep at work during the thunderstorm, I wonder if the dark bunny was sort of 'the old hag' being one of the main 3 sleep paralysis demons people report about seeing. Only other thing it makes me think of is what people would call "ghost of the bitter bitch." Which is like a malevolent spirit whispering in one's ear, influencing them towards anger and malicious acts. You did well with this wonderful, wonderland like, story, Gina. You always outperform Yourself.
Great story Gina! I loved the symbolism of the bunny ears and what they meant to the kids. This was very engaging and full of creepy, unsettling moments....BOO! 😄 I love horror stories...Thanks for completing and sharing.
This is great. Gave me a creeping feeling of dread. You did an excellent job building tension here. The part that stood out to me the most was when she discovered the disturbing video and had no memory of it. Such a chilling scene were everything collided in the creepiest way. I also just love a good creative use of POV and you killed it!
Woah. Nice twist!
It's all fun and games til somebunny loses their ears! I LOVE this! The arrival of the "vainglorious, villainous Vice Principal" being synonymous with the ages lines showing in the mirror is Hitchcock-worthy. GREAT story!!
You definitely achieved the 'slow bleed' here. This story kept me curious and engaged. I kept speculating. The rogue bunny tik tok video sounds so disturbing. I like how all the events that happened could have actually unfolded quite differently, depending on what persona she was wearing at the time. Her mantra, the clicks, and the thunder punctuated the scenes so well. It definitely gave me Donnie Darko and Alice in Wonderland vibes. Very creepy.
Felt the clicks in my head- the duality of life always fascinates me. Def a psychological thriller here.
In all honesty, dear Gina, I couldn't bring myself to read this one... it just got under my skin! But I just wanted to say, Congratulations on Top Story!
That definitely has some creepy moments. You had me with her finding a video of something she didn’t remember doing. Always horrifying. Plus I liked the switch to “we.” Always a sucker for a narrative that plays with person.
Oh my goodness I absolutely love all of this, but the ending!!!!!!! What a great and horrifying way to tie it all together. Well done!!
Click. Click. Click. Hints of "The Raven" scraping across the chalkboards of our minds. Dual images of ourselves, "Looking for Mr. Goodbar", striving to become whole, to become who we want to be. And who will that be when we become it? The effervescent twenty something year old? The fading, evanescent thirty something? Superbunny? The afflicted, frightened teacher? The alter-ego? Or something else? And what does Rogue Rabbit have in mind? Compelling story with terrifying overtones. Xing out the children's faces, ripping, stuffing them in her mouth--& the children are still there with her. And you leave us with them, with her, in that moment, with a sickly sort of feeling in our stomachs. Incredible story. Congrats on top story, though the accolade does not do you justice.
Really love the slow burning tension in this one, and the characterization of Gianna is so well done! Congrats on the Top Story!
Eerie, super creepy. Awesome 😎🥇🥰👏👏👏👏👏👏 Fantastic writing, pace, and character building. Congratulations Gina 🥰🥇
Awesome ✨ Congratulations on your Top Story✨🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉✨💖
Congrats Gina !!!! What an outstanding story !!! wow!! I learn a lot from your style and your detail and focus. Thanks for sharing this story. Hope to read more :)
I'm reading this at 2AM midnight and I couldn't read it for more than 4 minutes. I'm scared as F !
Great story, Gina. I could feel the tension build all the way through. Excellent. Congrats on the TS