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Don’t trust the mirrors.

By Sara ThomasPublished 3 months ago 4 min read
Photo by Tuva Mathilde Løland on Unsplash

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn’t my own. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me. But I definitely saw it.

I had moved into my adopted, paternal great-grandfather’s Victorian-era home just after the dawn of the new year. He died a few days after Christmas. Since he had been a hoarder for most of his life after serving in the war, someone in the family needed to move in to take on the full-time job of managing the mess that oozed out of the decrepit and lonely house. Being in between jobs myself, I volunteered.

The rest of my family seemed relieved, none of them having much liked this particular great-grandfather. From rarely uttered one-line stories, over the 26 years of my life I had pieced together an image of a cruel, unloving, and materialistic man. But the house needed to be cleaned, he was gone now, and the once beautiful manor lies on the edge of an evergreen forest in Connecticut, 40 minutes away from NYC by train. How could I have passed that up?

As soon as I moved in, I arranged for a dumpster outside to deposit general trash, and began sorting and cleaning the mangled interior. When I first found the elegant yet forgotten mirror, abandoned behind an old armoire in the attic, ecstasy rushed my body over the treasure-like find. The golden frame, now covered in cobwebs, begged to glint once more in the life-giving sunshine. So I wiped it down and moved it to the main bedroom, positioning it next to the gallery window. The mirror glistened in the sunlight, then, as the day passed, glowed in the moonlight. But when I woke the next morning, a giant set of cracks, as if someone had punched the mirror, glared at me from the center of the glass.

I’m not a heavy sleeper, and had heard no unusual or breaking noises during the night. I shrugged it off at the time, and credited the break to the old age of the mirror. I thought about calling someone to fix the mirror. But the entire day, I could not bring myself to even eat or smile. My nerves stood on edge, and my bones felt like ice, despite it having been a warmer New England day, indicative of the coming winds of Spring.

Night fell, and I hoped to sleep off the creeping, unsettling feeling that had breathed down my neck all day. The broken beams of moonlight reflected off of the cracked mirror and scattered themselves across the room, as if they needed to hide in the shadows. It was as I approached the gallery window to close the shades, that’s when I saw it. My reflection had seemed normal when I first saw myself in the mirror, but now, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my broken reflection crack a malicious smile.

Frozen in my steps, my body betrayed me as a shudder of fear rippled through my figure. My reflection pivoted to face me head on, and raised its hands to rest against its side of the mirror.

“Won’t you come give me a closer look,” my mirror self cooed, like a siren of mythos to the prey they plan to drown and devour.

Exhaling to brace myself, my breath escaped in jagged clouds. I turned slowly and faking courage, I stepped towards the mirror… only to see my blood-drained face with tears threatening to spill looking back at me.

For the rest of the night, I sat on the edge of the bed, legs curled up beneath me, the baseball bat I normally keep under the bed, now within inches of my fingertips. Morning came and went, the afternoon too, but I stayed at my post. Dusk rolled in, and the clock on the wall broke, fell, and tumbled towards the mirror.

The scared and sleep-deprived eyes that had been watching me all night and day suddenly turned to malevolent ones, and a murderous smile flashed across the face that used to be mine. I grabbed the baseball bat as fast as I could, tightened my grip on its base, and swung with all of my might, fear, and rage at the mirror.

I had hoped to smash it into pieces, so that no face could ever look back at me from that damned mirror again. But as my bat was about to make contact with the mirrored glass, at the spot where it had first cracked, Mirror-Me raised her hand and caught the bat mid-swing. Scared and stunned breathless, it took me a moment to comprehend what had happened, as my perception of reality crumpled around me. Mirror-Me raised her other hand, and shot it out of the mirror, clutching more of the bat.

“Time to play,” Mirror-Me snarled, and before I could even scream, Mirror-Me pulled, using the force of pulling me in to launch herself out.

The crack in the mirror splintered across the rest of the glass, and my screams bounced back at me, echoing around me like cruel laughter. Former Mirror-Me blew me a kiss, gripped the bat, winked, and smashed the rest of my mirror to bits. She started a fire, gathered my broken pieces of glass, and threw them, along with the mirror frame, into the flames. The last thing I could see was her back as she walked out of the room, followed quickly by the hungry flames that began to devour the rest of the house.

Breaking down into sobs and screams, I watched all light fade away. I was locked in this prison with no visible way out, and only the thoughts of what I had released into the world to keep me company.

Don’t trust the mirrors.


About the Creator

Sara Thomas

Mixed, optimistic, and depressed MA-based zillennial just out here trying to make you feel things.

We're all a little messed up, and that's okay. Let's be human together<3

UCLA '18 . Art History . Mythology

Book in Progress: Mess of a Human

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