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The Man in the Mirror

A Tale of Suicidal Happiness

By Dave RowlandsPublished 8 months ago 3 min read
The Man in the Mirror
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn’t my own. It was, yet it wasn’t. At first it was nothing serious, nothing to worry about. Just a flicker of an eyelid, barely noticeable in the beginning. Was it my eyelid flickering, or the reflection? Hard to tell. The strange feeling that the mirror was watching me was what had prompted me to make the purchase, naturally. I’ve always leaned towards the odd, the strange. The unfamiliar. This mirror, with its slightly brighter-than-the-real-world colouring, had fit the bill nicely. A neighbour’s yard sale had brought me out from the depths of my home, investigating the refuse of someone else’s life like some kind of garbage-fossicking wild beast.

The mirror had its own stand, a full-length affair that showed no more in daylight than it should have done; no, the thing had waited until it was in my bedroom before beginning its … oddness. The flickering eyelid had been the beginning of the strangeness. One time I approached it with eyes closed, knowing that when I opened them, my reflection would be right there, staring at me. Sure enough, he was. He had a slight smile on his face, one that I’d never seen before, no matter how many mirrors I’d glanced into in the past.

A smile that I’d never seen until that day, yet in every other mirror I saw since, I saw it. That same slightly smug smile. I’d feel at my face, at least when nobody was there to witness, just to check whether the expression was present. The fingers fumbling at my face felt nothing out of the ordinary, indeed the more frustrated I felt inside about the subtle smiles the more my outward expression altered. To my fingers, it felt as though I began developing a perpetual scowl, yet in every mirror my face showed nothing more than the smile, growing wider with each visit to my bedroom mirror.

People in the streets began responding to my expression. They would smile at me, sometimes stop to chat. They would talk about how glad they were that I was looking happy these days, far more than before. Did I have someone new in my life? A new partner, perhaps? Had I won big on the lottery? No, I would tell them; I’d just bought a mirror for my bedroom. They would walk away with a slightly doubtful expression on their faces, as though wondering just how a mirror could make a person this happy.

I certainly didn’t feel happy. I only felt confused.

At home, I tried to rub the expression off of my face in the mirror. I’d scrub the mirror for hours, swiping away at my head as it bobbed back and forth from the vigour of my motion. When I was done, my grin mocked me from within the mirror. I punched it right in my smug face. The only result was to break a bone in my hand. It seemed as if my reflection shook his head slightly as the grin grew ever wider.

Even now, as I tie this noose to place around my neck, my reflection works with glee. He wraps the rope around itself with what seemed an almost perverse smile, one I might hold in reserve for watching pornography.

“That’s all it says. No signature, nothing else there.” The detective said to his partner. She nodded. The body had been hanging for a little over a week, the smell unbearable. They had cleared everything out from the suicide’s bedroom. The mirror in question sat now on the lawn out the front of his house, along with the rest of the contents of the room. “Hard to imagine that he felt this strongly about a mirror that his neighbours said only brought him happiness.”

“This is a nice mirror, though…” She ran a finger along the frame. “When do you think the estate sale’s going to be?”

Her reflection began smiling.


About the Creator

Dave Rowlands

Author and Creator of Anno Zombus, but don't let that worry you; I write more than just zombie stories.

Discover more about Baby's parents role during the Auspocalypse at amazon.com and come and join us at the Anno Zombus facebook group.

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