Reflection

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The Imaginarium
Sometimes it's best just not to look. Inspired by an Imaginarium House One Word Prompt.

Submitted: August 01, 2017

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Submitted: August 01, 2017

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Reflection

Those reflections in the water are rarely noticed; but supposing, just supposing, you looked into the water and saw something......wrong! Not a big difference, not like you are looking at someone else. It is definitely yourself that is staring back, but there is something kind of....off!

Maybe the hair is slightly different, or perhaps the eyes are slightly the wrong shape, or the wrong color. Is there something wrong with the expression; maybe the reflection is crying when you are happy, laughing when you are sad. The difference is not so great that you can’t explain it away by thinking of distortion caused by ripples, or reflected light messing with the colors, the shades, the shadows. You shrug it off and walk away, forget all about that momentary confusion.

But what if you don’t? What if you stand there, staring at that reflection, concentrating on finding out what exactly is wrong? What if you lean forward towards your reflection, and the reflection in turn grows bigger? You reach out your arms and suddenly find that your hands are held in a firm grip. It’s only your imagination. It’s yourself you are looking at, after all.

Why then are you suddenly finding yourself being pulled forward towards that water’s surface? It’s getting too close. You should not even be able to maintain your balance in this position. Trying to pull back, to free yourself from this firm grip, you find instead that the pull on you increases, gets so much stronger. There are only inches between your face and the water now.

And then it’s there. You try to turn your head to the side but your eyes are locked in place by that mocking and victorious gaze that meets your own now frantic one. You cannot even blink your eyes let alone shut them. Water streams into your nose, into your mouth, and very soon into your ears too. You want to scream, need to scream, but you know that if you inhale, take a deep breath, you will draw so much water into your lungs that you will drown. You try and try to hold your breath. Your pulse beats deeper and deeper inside your head, you feel like your skull is being pressed by a vice. Your vision strobes between dark and light.

You can’t resist for ever. You draw in a breath and start to choke. But how can you cough out water when you are still face down underneath it. As you struggle to get the water clear of your lungs, more and more streams in to meet it. And oh, that smile that meets your eyes, triumphant, victorious, totally callous.

Eventually you can struggle no more. You do not even have the capacity to move a finger, can’t even feel it when that grip is released. It is like someone is flipping a switch and turning your life off. You are gone, you are nothing; you are no more.

But to a bystander it would look as though you had simply tripped as you stand back up. The water streams from your hair, your body, your clothes, but in seconds you are entirely dry. You will discretely turn, open your mouth and spew forth the water that had lain inside your lungs for so, so long.

Strange perhaps, that after a fall you walk with a spring in your step. It would be stranger still if someone approached that water and looked down, for along with their own reflection they would catch sight of your own, face down, with your hair streaming out to the sides.


© Copyright 2017 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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