Mirrored. Short Story.

So, no surprise, I’m tired. Woo! It seems to be my thing of late. My weekend was fairly boring. I went out briefly on Friday night, then went home early and went to bed. Hardcore partier or wha? I pretty much passed the weekend that way, doing some college work and sleeping.

Today was a longish day, the worst is that my eyes are really tired, almost painfully so, while the rest of me is only moderately tired. I’m typing most of this with my eyes closed, just because it feels restful and kinda nice. It is pretty weird that I can type with my eyes closed. Though I’d say most people can and they juts don’t realise it. I’m going through periods of opening them to make sure I haven’t moved my hands like one key to the left or right rendering everything into incomprehensible gibberish, but that hasn’t happened yet!

On with the show!

—————————————————————————————————–

Mirrored

The shards of mirror threw bright spots of light across the room. He hurried with the brush, sweeping as fast as he could, wanting to dispose of the shards. He gathered them into the pan and brought them outside, dumping them in the bin there. Good. That was good. He went back in, closing the door behind him. He grabbed the hoover and started to vacuum, they had to be gone, all gone, every last bit. After he was satisfied, he removed the bag and put that into the bin too. There. Clean. Good. It was cold outside, the clouds were filling the sky, promising rain. He hurried inside. It was warm here. It was safe here. It had been an accident, a terrible, terrible accident. But it was ok now. He fixed it. He went back to where the mirror had broken, there was nothing left but an empty frame. He looked at it for a few moments, trying to decide what to do with it. It could be used for something. He picked it up and brought it to the spare room. He’d decide what he’d do with it later. There were a few paintings in the house that needed frames, but he hadn’t decided if the paintings were safe or not. He would have to figure that out soon. They were covered anyway, just in case.

As he went around the house he turned on lights, quickly passing the sheet covered squares. He was safe for the moment, but he didn’t want to be near them. It wasn’t safe, they might get him if he strayed too close. They had been following him for a while now. What they wanted, he didn’t know, he only knew they were stalking him, every moment of every day. But they couldn’t see him, not anymore. He hadn’t seen them come out, but he suspected they could. He had covered all the mirrors and after some consideration, all the paintings. He hadn’t seen them in the paintings but it was better to be safe.

It had started almost a month ago, it was hard to believe that it had been a such short time, short but it seemed never ending. It didn’t occur very often in the beginning. He’d be looking in the mirror, knowing something was off, but not sure what. He would look around the room, at the people, at the paintings and decorations, the chairs, everything, then look back at the mirror. There was something wrong, something off. He could never tell, not in the beginning, he usually discarded the idea, thinking that he was just being crazy. Of course there was nothing different in the mirror, that was impossible. Then he’d be at home, passing by a mirror, or standing near one when something would catch his eye, something moving, something quick. He’d turn and look but it was already gone, darted from the frame. He pushed away these thoughts too, it was just his eyes playing tricks. That was all. Or some passing shadow, thrown off the surface of a car. He tried to convince himself that was all it was and it worked for a little while, until he started seeing it in rooms without windows. There was no way that it was a reflection or a shadow. It was something inside the mirror, something that was moving around. Once he realised that, it didn’t take much longer for the pieces to fall into place. He’d be looking at a mirror, trying to see what was off, then he’d realise, there was an extra person in the reflection. One who was facing him, sometimes they were looking at him, other times they were studying the crowd, but there was no doubt, the person in the mirror was no where to be seen in the room. He debated with himself for awhile, over why they chose him. Maybe it was because he saw them first, but that was wrong, he saw them because they started showing interest in him. It was the only way to explain it. The flashes in the mirror had alerted him to the problem, without that he may never have realised what he was seeing.

When he realised his first instinct was to remove all the mirrors, but that could be counter productive. What if they could talk? He could study them if he kept the mirrors, so he covered them. There was no sign that the people in the mirror could travel through, there was nothing to say they could or couldn’t, but he didn’t want to risk it. He had only seen them in mirrors, shiny surfaces seemed to be ok. He made sure not to touch the mirror while covering them, the people in the mirrors gave up all pretence of hiding. It was unsettling to look into the mirror and see another person looking back. The look on that persons face, one of pure hatred. The same person was at every mirror, a man, about forty, with greying hair. It had been worrying, that face, just waiting. Staring. He covered the mirrors with the sheets carefully, making sure not to touch the surface of the mirror. They were all covered now, that was something at least, it made him safer. He was all right as long as they couldn’t see him. If they didn’t know what he was doing he was safe. He could sit and think and plan without interference from them, without worrying what they could see. No one else seemed to notice them, he tried pointing them out to others but they could never see the person in the mirror, he always tried to play it off as a joke or a trick of the light. It seemed to have worked most of the time though he had no doubt that some people now thought he was a little screwy. Maybe he was. He believed they were real, he had to. The alternative didn’t bear thinking about. He did wonder for a while if he should see out some kind of medical help, but that was no good. They wouldn’t believe him and he’d still be in danger. They couldn’t help him. No one could.

Someone rang the doorbell, he walked to it slowly, he wasn’t expecting anyone, that would mean it was probably beggars or someone trying to sell something to him. He opened the door, the driveway was empty. A gust of wind pushed past him and into the house, it had started to drizzle. He shivered, then closed the door, shaking his head. Must have been the local kids, playing a joke on him. They hadn’t done it to him before but he’d heard from his next door neighbour that they’d knock on her door all the time, then run, cackling, into the streets. He turned, then stopped. There he was. The man from the mirror. Staring at him. The sheet had fallen from the mirror in the hall. The man was smiling. He reached out, his palm laying flat against the glass, it had no lines. Slowly his hand moved through, the surface of the mirror rippling. The man was coming through. He was transfixed, frozen with a grim fascination. He knew he needed to get away, he needed to run, but he couldn’t. He was stuck. The man stepped from the mirror and moved toward him, he moved slowly, but gracefully. The mans eyes glittered in the light. The last thing he saw was his own reflection, his pale face growing purple, twin versions of himself, staring back from the mans eyes.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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