The Man in the Mirror
Confused and disheveled Sarah looked around the room as if expecting him to be lurking in some corner or niche. He wasn’t, and that scared her more than seeing him had. She jerked back to face the mirror to no avail. He wasn’t there either.Her brow knitted in uncertainty, Sarah began to wonder if she’d imagined the whole thing.She’d felt funny since entering the house and now she just longed to be done here. She headed out into the hall; glancing up and down it st, to make sure he hadn’t just slipped out when she’d turned to face him. That would have made her feel worse in a strange way, probably she thought because that would mean it had been her overdrawn imagination, making a simple moment something more sinister and haunting.
As she made her way back to the entrance of the house she kept her wits about her, careful not to be sucked into any other rooms.
The girl with the flip-flops and hair twist was waiting for her with her change in hand and a worried smile on her face.
“We thought maybe you’d vanished into thin air for a minute there.” She said gaily, and handing Sarah two twenty-dollar bills.
“Oh, no.” Laughed Sarah shakily, trying to sound level. “Something caught my eye in one of the rooms down the hall, I just wanted to take a closer look.”
“Oh really, is it something I can help you with? More furniture?” The girl ventured hopefully.
“It was just a mirror, I thought it was interesting. I don’t know if I can afford it though, right now. I think the table might have cleaned me out for the week.” Sarah said truthfully.
“Was it the big mirror in the den?” The girl pressed.
“Uh yeah, actually it was.” Sarah said putting her change away and zipping up her purse with finality.It was time to go she decided. She needed fresh air and to clear her head about what had just happened. “You know, would it be alright if I left the table here for a couple hours? I just need to call a friend to help transport it. If it wouldn’t be in the way…”
“Yeah, no problem! I’ll just put a sold sign on it so every one will know. When you come to get it just ask for Vic.” Said the girl getting out her sharpie and turning over the old price sign. “I didn’t catch your name.” She said pausing with her sharpie.
“My name’s Sarah. My cell is 945-4916 incase there’s a problem, or if you have to close up early for some reason.”
Vic scribbled down her name and number. “Thanks so much, I won’t be more than an hour or two at most.” She said turning to the door.
“Your welcome. Bye!” Said the girl shutting the door behind her.
Sarah took a deep breath and got in her car. Pulling out her cell phone she looked up the number for her friend Brad. He had a truck and he loved to put it to use any chance he got. She had a hunch it made him feel macho. That was fine with her, Brad was a good guy and she’d known him since they were kids.
“Hello?” Came his quick answer.
“Hi Brad, this is Sarah. Whacha doin’?”
“I just got done dropping Tommy off at the mall and now I’m going to get my oil changed. What’s up?”
“Well actually, I just bought a table for my house at an estate sale and I have no way to get it home. I was wondering if you’d mind helping me get it to my house, maybe after your done getting your oil changed?”
“Yeah, I guess so.Where’s it at?”
Brad is so genteel, Sarah thought and had to smile to her self.
“Well how about I meet you where ever your going to get your oil changed and you can follow me back to the estate sale from there?”
“Sounds good, I’ll see you at the Jiffy Lube.” Brad said clicking off.
“Okay, bye.” Good old Brad. Sarah turned on her engine and pulled off from the sale.
An hour later Brad was loading her table carefully into the back of his ford while she watched, wincing with every scrape and bump. As he used a rope to secure the table she couldn’t help but think about the mirror. It had been like an aphrodisiac sucking at her senses, pulling her in. It made her feel sensual, beautiful and she did want it.
As if on cue the girl Vic came walking out to them. “If you guys need any help loading the table-“
“I got it.” Brad said smiling and giving the rope a couple of hard tugs before he hopped down from the back of his truck.
“Okay, well enjoy the table then!” She said starting to turn away, and then she stopped turning back to Sarah with a smile. “By the way,” She said lowering her voice conspiratorially. “If you really want that mirror, I’ll throw it in for five bucks. I’m tired of selling things and this is my second weekend in a row. I’m afraid I’ll be here forever if I don’t get rid of everything!”
“Are you serious?” Said Sarah incredulous. “Yeah! Of coarse I’ll take it. I’ll be right back Brad.” Sarah called over her shoulder and following her in the house. Vic had the mirror already waiting in the hall.
“Here, I was ready to give it away if it didn’t sell!” She said starting to pick up one end. Sarah picked up the other end.It was heavy and the girls manipulated it carefully out of the rest of the house and put it in the backseat of Sarah’s car. With the mirror facing front Sarah buckled it in place. “I would hate to see anything happen to it!” She pulled a five out of her purse and handed it to Vic happily. “Thanks so much! I love it. It’s got so much character.”
“My great uncle certainly thought so. He bought that mirror somewhere over in Europe in the late 1800’s…it was really old then, so that must make it ancient! My grandfather said it belonged to a gypsy caravan he met up with while passing through Rumania. A gypsy woman supposedly gave it to him…she warned him it was cursed. She said it absorbed the souls of the dead, or maybe it was the energy from them, something like that anyways. It’s not true though. It was just a spooky story my grandfather used to tell us, to keep us out of the back wing of the house. He kept it in his den. He didn’t like us to go poking around back there. It worked.” Victoria laughed deciding she’d said enough. She didn’t want the poor girl deciding not to take it after all. She wanted to get out of here too.
“Well maybe I’ll tell that story to my mother. Maybe she’d stay away from my wing for a while, that’d be nice.” Sarah laughed. “Well I’d better go, Brads waiting for me to follow him. It was nice to meet you Vic.”
“Nice to meet you too, thanks for taking it all off my hands! Now I can finally go on that date.”Victoria smiled, waving as Sarah pulled off. She hadn’t wanted to tell Sarah that story, but she felt guilty. Sarah seemed like such a nice girl, she deserved to be warned. Vic shook it off, nothing of consequence had ever happened because of the mirror…but she’d heard rumors. People had said they’d seen things coming from it; lights, flashes, even people long past. As a child she had heard these things and stayed well away from it. So maybe, that’s all they were, just rumors and stories to scare a little girl.
Vic shivered as she went back up the walk, she’d promised her uncle she’d stay here long enough to take care of the estate, but she really didn’t want to spend another night in this house. Last nights noises had almost sent her running out the door. They had come from the attic and sounded like footsteps, and windows opening and closing. Then Steven had showed up and the noises had soon been drowned out with the sounds of their coupling.