My Mirror's Reflection

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man blinded by his sheltered up-bringing experiences vanity for the first time. Questioning his own life and creation, the man falls into a deep, religious stupor and attempts to discover God in himself, or himself in God.

Submitted: December 01, 2013

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Submitted: December 01, 2013

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I was born into a small village in a small community who lived by enjoying small pleasures. The children of my quaint village spent the winter months hiding indoors, the spring months tending to their parent’s land and the summer months playing and laughing in the fields. The village had a character which changed with the seasons. In summer, I was told, my parent’s cottage was beautiful - large and green, covered by the ivy that spring brought. The beautiful large windows let in as much sun as possible, flooding the rooms with natural light, filling every cranny and crevice with colour and heat. The garden blossomed into rich fuchsia, turquoise, magenta, gold and every other colour I could think of and the pond glimmered, its waters as clear as the azure sky above. The thatched roof was made of a bright brown wicker which in the Sun’s heat would change to a dark dry hay colour and fray, growing wild. The village was alive in summer, and everybody looked beautiful. Bodies crowded the streets, with men in short trousers and vest jackets and the ladies in light dresses and barefoot.

 

But these short months passed as quick as the flutter of the last butterfly’s wing, and the winter months approached. The winter brought with it its cold and bleak disease which infected the village. The people became scared, retreating into their houses in the middle of the day. Children would no longer play; no longer laugh. My parent’s cottage transformed. The ivy died away and left a carcass of weeds and brown roots on the exterior walls. The garden became a graveyard for dead flowers and the shrubbery boasted no colours outside the spectrum of brown, grey and black. Inside was equally desolate. The light that had poured through the windows in the summer now absented itself. Light died in the early hours of the day and so people remained indoors under the guardianship of artificial light known as candles. These small implements of wax provided no fitting replacement to God’s gift and only acted as a meagre replica. The light they spawned left the corners dark and formed unnatural shadows that danced intimidatingly in the cracks of the pale, white walls and the gaps in the floor. The village became bleak indeed, and although the villagers knew this would only be for a relatively short time, a lifetime seemed to pass. The spring would soon bring the new blossom and vitalise the fields with new crops and then the arrival of summer would appease the people and so once again all could enjoy the spoils of the ‘light’ season.

 

This is where I falter, for one time, a long time ago, the spring never came. The light ceased and continued to do so. It was in this time that people became restless, and the jovial personalities of the town became shrouded in darkness and therein began a hatred for God. During this dark time my father despaired for the well-being of his wife who was pregnant with me. He saw in a dream that she would die in childbirth, but I would survive. He told my mother to kill me before it was too late, but my mother refused. On the first hour of the twenty-fifth day of the third month, my mother died in childbirth; but I lived on. My mother sacrificed herself for me and in doing so lost her life. My father could no longer look at me without feeling contempt, blaming me for the death of his wife. He took his own life shortly after. I became the first orphan of the village. No child had ever been without a parent before the age of fifteen in our village, and so the townspeople were lost with what to do. Many believed me to be a child of the devil and so my guardianship was not decided in any haste. I was placed under the care of my uncle until the age of fifteen. This fulfilled, he happily gave me up to live on my own in my parent’s abandoned cottage. It is here that my real story begins and, for the first time in over fifteen years, the trees began to blossom with the colours of spring.

***

 

I was truly alone. I unpacked what little belongings I had into my parents’ old bedroom. The bedroom was small but perhaps that was because the large bed occupied most of the room. The windows faced out towards fields which seemed to go on forever or at least until my vision prevented me from looking further. Each field had its own, personal colour ranging from a very dusty green to orange and in the distance they even seemed blue. I often wondered where those fields led to, if they led anywhere at all. Of course I would never leave to explore; I wasn’t made that way. I walked over to the old oak wardrobe which was positioned on the opposite wall to the foot of the bed, on the left of the bedroom door. I opened the door which was rigid and heavy from years of neglect. It was bare apart from a small object in the corner wrapped in a dusty dirty cloth. I picked it up and removed the cloth revealing what now looked like a very old, worn book. The book was made of dark brown leather and the pages were thin and stained with yellow blotches which covered the ridges of the pages. I opened the book and turned to the first page. I began to read slowly through the passages admiring the beauty of the language. The sentences were short and sharp but in front of me was a passage so revealing it resembled a map. As I traced the paths with my finger, I began to understand how we came to be, where the world started, why the sky was there and why day became night. My eyes were opening to a world I had never seen before, a world which had been right before my eyes for fifteen years yet I never had the curiosity to question why or how it was here.

 

As I continued through I stopped abruptly on a particular passage which was more startling than the rest:

 

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.’”

 

Could this be true? Were we really created in the image of God?

 

“So god created man in his own image.”

 

Yes? How could I have never come across a book like this before? A book full of revelation, full of knowledge – full of truth. I pondered this passage for a while on the floor of my parent’s bedroom resting my head on the footboard of the bed. I was told about this book by my uncle when I was younger but he never let me read it claiming it was not for children like me; children who wouldn’t understand its content. But I did! In front of me lay the truth of life! Excitement filled me uncontrollably! Unbearably! I wasn’t alone; I would never be alone for I had God with me - in me!

 

I stood up and stared at the pages briefly before walking out the bedroom door. I stopped. I noticed something I hadn’t seen already: a ladder leading to the attic of the house. Surely I would have seen this? As I moved closer towards it, I saw a small glimmer of bright light, the brightest light I had ever seen. I walked slowly up the ladder and found myself facing a large pane of reflecting glass. It was framed in old wood which was rotting around the corners of its rectangular shape. A mirror. I had heard of mirrors in books and knew that some of the wealthier townspeople owned them. Living in my uncle’s house, and having the smallest privileges, I had never come across one and had only ever seen my reflection in the dark waters of the lake or in the clouded distortion of a wooden bucket. I was startled by my reflection. My image was no longer deformed and I saw who I was clearly for the first time. My head was perfectly formed, boasting deep, dark cheek bones and a jawline which stemmed from the top of my strong neck. My lips were full and lovely, coloured in a blushing light red which complimented my tanned skin. My nose came down elegantly from the middle of my eyebrows. The ridge was defined clearly showing the two slants either side leading towards my cheeks. My hair was dark, almost black falling delicately over my ears and eyebrows in a sweep from left to right. But it was my eyes which stood out effortlessly. They were a dark brown with tints of mahogany under the pupils. They sparkled in the light pouring through the windows either side of mirror; the whiteness of my eyes accentuating the colours around my pupils. I remembered the passage I had just read: “made in our image.” I started to think and questions formed in my mind. Was I God’s reflection? Is this what He looks like? I contemplated His image by considering my own and for the first time I admired myself. I was beautiful.

 

As the light faded away by passing clouds, the sparkle in my eyes faded with it, and I noticed a window facing out onto another house behind the mirror. I moved towards the window and looked out of it. I saw a girl in her bedroom braiding her hair. She was pretty with cashew-blonde hair and had smooth pale skin. Her figure was inviting, accentuating beautifully formed breasts and a flat stomach with a slightly arched lower back. Her legs were long and slender with no blemish I could make out from my viewpoint. I was intrigued by this girl, but there was something missing in her. Although pleasant, I saw that something lay deeper in her expression, perhaps uneasiness. Then she stopped braiding her hair. She paused. She turned quickly towards the window, catching my eyes. I stammered backwards awkwardly knocking into the back of the mirror. I waited for a minute or so, frozen against the mirror. I then moved slowly back towards the window and looked out again. Her room was empty. What did she think I was doing? I panicked beginning to pace erratically around the room. Then I heard a knock at the door.

***

 

“What were you doing? I saw you looking at me through the window,” she said. “You’re the orphan boy. Why were you looking at me? What’s your name?”

“I’ve just moved in and I’m exploring the cottage. I saw you by accident through the window. I wasn’t spying; I’m sorry. My name is Cashlin.”

“That’s right. Cashlin. I remember my mother talking about you.”

As I looked at her, I started to see her imperfections, small but detailed. Each time I blinked, I saw a little more, as if her fallibility was creeping up on me when I wasn’t looking. Her eyes were slightly too close together and dishevelled. She looked lethargic; tired. The whiteness around her eyes was partially miscoloured as well with specks of yellow filling the corners. Her skin was also quite blotchy; her pale complexion was imprinted with red marks and rashes.

“My name is Constance. I’ve never met you before, have I? Actually, I remember seeing you once as a boy but your uncle kept you quite hidden away, but so were we all. The seasons have been locked in perpetual winter. But it’s changing. There’s something different in the weather now.” She paused looking at the glaucous sky. “Spring is coming, but no-one knows why it has taken so long. My father said it changed around the time of your conception. My father believes that your father’s suicide locked the village in continual ice and darkness. So why now?” I considered her words carefully. Why now, indeed?

“Can I come in?” she continued.

“Yes, if you like.”

She came inside, slowly. Cautiously. She looked around the central living room which was the first thing you saw when entering the house. After a moment she turned her head briefly back towards mine and then rushed upstairs. She took the stairs two at a time, clearing the ascending obstacle in a matter of seconds. I then heard her ascend another set of stairs, this time slower with a much more calculated ascension – the attic! I quickly ran after her attempting to take the stairs with the same efficiency but spectacularly failing, slipping on the second jump. As I got to the top of the staircase I heard nothing from the attic. I began to climb the ladder leading towards the attic. As I got to the top I saw her, staring out the window looking out to her room.

“This is a beautiful window,” she said. “You can see quite far; the fields look beautiful. I have often wondered what is out there. Beyond the colours of the grass and smell of the flowers. I hope one day to explore it and discover it for myself because there are so many….” Her voice began to trail off as my concentration was once again focused on the mirror before me. There I was again. My image bewildered me. How had I never seen myself properly before?

“We have one of these in our house. Fantastic aren’t they?”

Her interruption was enough to distract me, for the content of it interested me.

“You have one?” I asked.

“Of course! Most of the houses in the village have at least one mirror. Did your uncle not have one?”

“I don’t know. Not that I saw.”

It suddenly struck me the uniqueness of my situation. My uncle told me only the wealthier people of the village owned mirrors. I was the only person in the village never to have truly seen their own reflection before. The realisation of this suddenly angered me. Why had I not seen myself before now? What didn’t my uncle want me to see? Was he jealous of my beauty? He had always been worried about vanity, but this wasn’t vanity: it was recognition; realisation…

“…Cashlin? Cashlin!” I heard her shout.

“Yes? Sorry, I was in my own world.”

“I said I have to go now.”

As we came to the front door, she stepped outside and then looked at me for a while. Her eyes flickered, first on my body and then to specific parts of my face, eventually focusing on my own eyes. She stared.

“You are…different Cashlin,” she said. “You are quite beautiful.”

She then turned away and ran back to her house.

Beautiful.

That word must stand alone. I thought myself beautiful but to hear it from someone else’s lips was far better.

Beautiful.

***

 

There I was; only I wasn’t. My face was cracked. My eyes were distorted. My teeth were positioned sporadically around my mouth with no obvious place of origin. My body was deformed and my hands covered in blood. This isn’t me? This can’t be me? My beauty vanished; nothing more than a destroyed image of perfection. Evil incarnate, defying God’s reflection with agonising brutality. This isn’t me! This can’t be me!

I woke up suddenly in a cold sweat which covered my skin and filled the aura of the room. A dream. No, a nightmare. I leapt out of bed heading towards the attic. As I reached the top of the attic I faced the mirror once again. Perfect. My reflection was perfect. I consoled myself in the ease of my image and returned to bed, comforted by the realisation that the dream-world had no place in the real.

***

 

The next morning I awoke to the sound of singing coming from the attic; a beautiful sound I had never heard before. I got up and made my way up to the attic. I followed the sound to the window and there I saw its source. The music was coming from Constance’s open window. What an infectious voice. I stood there for several minutes until once again she turned and saw me looking at her. This time however, she didn’t move. She just stayed there facing me, singing at me. I was paralysed in the sound of her voice.

Her singing gradually came to an end, and I moved towards the mirror again. I looked at myself closely. Faultless. My image was becoming more appealing to me every time I looked upon it in the mirror. I sat on the floor for a short while infatuated in my form. I took up my leather book and continued reading from the section where I stopped. The language was astounding to me. The poetic content was mesmerising, I had never before taken such delight in words. However, I then came across a new passage which confused me intensely:

 

To Adam he said, “Because you listened

 to your wife and ate from the tree

about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of,’

Cursed is the ground because of you;

through painful toil you will eat of it

all the days of your life.”

 

This passage pained me. The punishment’s severity was brutal. But why did you listen? Why would disobey God so openly in paradise? You failed humanity. And then I thought for a moment. No. No, Eve failed in humanity. She corrupted you Adam. You fell for the temptress of temptations. She was too weak to resist, and you were too weak to resist her. In fear that she would leave you, you joined her in eternal purgatory. Why Adam? Why let yourself fall with her instead of leaving her to face the result of her own sinfulness?

 

This passage troubled me for some days. I rarely left the attic and I refused to see Constance. The only thing which reminded me she was still there was her voice. Her voice was changing, becoming softer and crisper. Each syllable, each note was defined and pronounced. The weight of her voice floated delicately in the air passing through my window with ease and delicacy. But my mind would always wonder back to Adam’s story. Corrupted by his partner. If he had remained alone, he would never have fallen from God’s idyllic sanctuary. Why, Adam?

***

 

The following morning I felt a warm glow on my face. As I woke up I saw something I had never seen before: a blaring orange pouring through my window. I felt the Sun’s warmth on my skin and I began to moisten in my body’s sweat. The summer months were coming rapidly. The fields outside now boasted shades of pink and green. Flowers were blossoming in people’s gardens. Sunflowers sprouted and grew tall attempting to catch the Sun’s full power and light. Azaleas, marigolds and petunias all boasted their full colours and were no longer trapped in the dusty brown carcass of weeds. I felt naturally joyful for the first time in my life. My purpose was clear and my mood was contented.

 

I rushed upstairs to see my reflection in the light. But as I came towards the mirror, the light pouring through the windows placed a bright glare upon its face. I couldn’t see myself properly through my squinting eyes. The brightness of the sun prevented me viewing myself clearly. Frustrated I attempted to move the mirror but it was far too heavy, and would surely drop if I tried to move it. My frustration was building excessively as I tried to shield the light with my hands. Every time I tried to block the light from one direction, another window countered my efforts with its own glare of light. I paced around the room emphatically, angrily. What should I do? I needed something to block them. I went downstairs to search for something, and found several black cotton sheets hidden under my parent’s bed. I then made my way back upstairs and started covering each window in a black sheet until the whole room was dark. I then filled the attic with candles providing a dim light, but enough to allow my reflection to reappear. There I was. Calm again; content again. My frustration emptied fast and I was appeased with the beauty of myself. I felt that I was beginning to know myself. I was beginning to see who I really was. My knowledge was limited before I couldn’t see my mind’s true gift. I was blind but now I saw.

 

Before I could begin to fully enjoy seeing my image once again, I heard a knock at the door. It was Constance.

“Cashlin,” she said “where have you been? It has been four days since I last saw you. I haven’t seen you at the window and you haven’t answered your door.”

She paused allowing me to respond but I was too busy concentrating on her. She looked extremely tired. Her face almost appeared to be withering away. Her lips were still full like they always were, but the colour was slightly paler than usual. Her beauty was fading speedily away from her. Soon it would only be her voice that would carry any delight.

“I’m sorry,” I replied “I must have lost track of time.”

“Would you like to come outside? The seasons are changing Cashlin, and village is more alive than I have ever seen it.”

“I’d rather stay in. I have some things to take care of inside and need to be left alone. Sorry.” With that I closed the door. Was my response too abrupt? The truth is I didn’t care.

 

I moved back upstairs quickly, and once again placed myself directly in front of the mirror. Beautiful. My eyes were sparkling furiously in the candlelight, almost dancing along with the candle’s ever-changing flicker. “Created in the image of God.” I truly was seeing myself as God’s own reflection, a copy – no – an imprint of His knowledge and form. I was kneeling down in front of the mirror going over the first passages of my leather book over and over again. Was there a chance for redemption? Could man ever again not feel ashamed in the uniform of nakedness? I hoped that one day I would find this bliss and rediscover the perfect unity between man and God. Our separation was surely only temporary? I was allowed to see God, but not touch Him. We were separated by the one thing we were united by – the mirror. There was man in all his glory, made in the form of perfection, yet I was alone. I thought to myself “where have you been? Where are you? I give you my love but nothing in return. Please help me underst” – what was that? I heard something behind me; a creak. A step. I turned around cautiously to see the blonde, slim figure of Constance.

“So this is what you’ve been doing up here?” she asked accusingly. ”It’s sunny outside for the first time in over fifteen years and you are inside staring at a mirror?”

She had come into my house without invitation and now abused me with unfair insult.

“Why have you come in uninvited? I did not give you invitation. I am here because I want to be here – alone. Get out and please leave me alone.”

“Cashlin, please. I haven’t seen you in days. I must confess, I have grown attached to your presence. I feel relaxed around you; complete. Please come outside and enjoy the spoils of spring.”

“I don’t want to. I just want to be left alone.”

“This is ridiculous, Cashlin please I –“

“What don’t you understand? I don’t want to come outside! I don’t want to see you! I want to be left alone!”

Never before had I experienced such a quick development of anger and rage. I wanted her gone. She was invading my personal environment with temptations of the outside. I needed to continue my own self-discovery.

“Please Cashlin. I need to be with you. Why lock yourself up here alone, when we could be together outside. My feelings for you have developed in a way I didn’t think possible, given the time we have spent together.”

What was she saying to me? Declaring her…love, for me? I was shocked and bewildered, but even more than that, I was bemused. We hadn’t had so much as a long conversation or spent a substantial amount of time with each other to constitute a relationship of love. And why would I fall for her? Her beauty is something that belongs in the shadows, for the light only reveals the truth of ugliness in a person. My beauty was beyond compare and certainly beyond her.

“You think that I love you?” I asked, getting up and walking slowly towards her. “You have fallen off the spectrum of sanity and now wander the deep, dark abyss of delusion. I do not care for you. I barely know you, but your exterior flaws accentuate the interior flaws of your character. I will never love you because I do not want to engage my time in that labour. I have found true consolation inside, with God, and do not want the presence of a descendant of the fallen woman. You curse men and make them false, bending truth into lies. Leave. Me. Alone!”

She stumbled backwards at the weight of my words. In honesty, I was slightly surprised by the choice of them. Their brutality and venom came out like splintering knives and I could see in her eyes – those tired, wooden eyes – that she was painfully hurt. She glared at me intently, her eyes filling up with the salty liquid. I glared back.

“What has happened to you?” she screamed. “This has all happened so fast. You are changing. Please stop this and come outside!”

Why was she doing this? I haven’t changed, I have simply realised the truth about our own existence. Why should I forfeit myself to needs of a girl; a girl who I hardly know. There is only one truth, and that is God, not the temporary union of the two of us.

“Constance. I have come to the very real understanding that I do not need anyone. All my life I have lived under the presumption that I was a mistake and nobody loved me, not even my own father. Over a very short time I have learnt that I am not a mistake; quite the opposite. I am the purposeful reflection and creation of the living God. I was hidden from Him for many years and now I have found Him. Why should I lose the truth of a life of lies? No. I don’t need you or anybody else for I am complete alone.”

She looked at me, unblinking, with a stare of bewilderment. What couldn’t she understand from what I was saying?

“Can you hear yourself? God is with us every day and He is in every body. He does not only reside in you. You cannot possibly think that? A mirror gives a reflection to everyone regardless of who it is. You are not alone; you have just misunderstood.”

Lies! She doesn’t know what I know and even if she did, she is a woman. She is the fallen; a tyrant of a weak will, as deceptive as the serpent who deceived her. She has no beauty. There is nothing in her equal to Me. I am His reflection; I am Him. I am…I am! I turned back towards the mirror, and saw Myself once again only this time I glowed. I saw Him. God stared back at me. The truth was staring me in the fa-

“Answer me!”

Her interruption was intrusive. I turned to her but said nothing; there was nothing to say. She was nothing to Me.

“You are nothing to Me.”

Her eyes began to water, and slowly a single tear streamed down her face. I didn’t care; my emotions were not reserved for her. That would be a waste. I turned to the mirror once again. Perfection.

All of sudden she ran to the window to the right-hand side of the mirror. She paused in front of it, turned to face me and ripped it down – no! What was she doing! I screamed for her to stop but she continued to the opposite mirror and then to the one which faced out to her bedroom behind the mirror. The Sun poured in carrying intense light which refracted of the mirror causing a spectrum of light-streams all around the room. The dust floating in the room filled the air in the light’s brutal gleam. Stop! I screamed again! Why was she doing this! My anger was building.

“WHY! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS CONSTANCE!” I screamed

“This is isn’t right Cashlin. You aren’t right; I’m doing this for your own good.”

“NO! I’VE TOLD YOU I DON’T NEED YOU; I DON’T LOVE YOU! GET OUT!”

“Please Cashlin – “she was begging –“you don’t want this. You’re living in the shadows, please come out into the light!”

WHAT? I was living in the shadows. I have, for the first time, found the light! She is the one living in the shadows. They have clouded her judgment and disfigured her beauty.

 

I stood up sharply squinting in the light. I looked down at my hands and they were shaking aggressively, uncontrollably. I was furious. I HATED HER! There was nothing but anger in me. I wanted her out forever. As I stood there she came over to me, grabbing me begging me to stop; to come with her…I wasn’t listening. I just stared into her eyes, sweating and breathing fast; my whole body now shaking. I pulled her hair and forced her to the floor.

“CASHLIN! PLEASE STOP! YOU’RE HURTING ME!”

My rage ensued. I didn’t want to stop there; I didn’t want to let her go. I screamed, roared in her face and with one strong thrust; I smashed her head into the mirror, over and over and over again. The mirror was shattering on top of her as I did so, but I didn’t care; I just kept doing it. Fury, rage, hate filled me.

***

 

She lay there amongst the broken shards: a broken corpse on My attic floor. I still felt nothing, except the rage inside Me had now turned to a violent anxiety; panic filled My very being. The mirror was broken all over the floor. Only the frame remained intact now. The window facing out towards Constance’s old room now shone through the empty frame, and the Sun continued to pour through, bouncing and glinting off the broken shards on the floor. I had to fix the mirror.

I dragged Constance’s body across the floor being careful not to drag any large shards of glass with her. Her arms were so very limp, and the complete collapse of her body made her harder to move – but it needed to be done. I struggled to the right-hand side window and left her under it, slumped under the bottom of the frame. She looked so pale; so still. Her eyes barely open and vacant. There was no life left in them. I felt My throat swell up as a lump had got lodged there and a twang of sadness rushed through me. But this passed quickly, as I remembered the mirror. I had to fix the mirror!

 

I began to sweep up the pieces into a small pile next to the frame. The majority of the pieces were larger than I thought which surprised me. I hurriedly began to organize them which took Me the best part of two hours. The Sun was hot, and I began to sweat once again. My hands became moist and some of the shards were slipping from my grasp, frequently cutting Me. By the time I had sorted all the pieces into place My hands and arms were bleeding heavily, and there were blood stains over most of the shards. But I couldn’t stop now, I was almost there; I had almost fixed it. I ran downstairs to My parent’s bedroom and ripped out the backboard of the wardrobe. I then ran to the kitchen to find something to stick the shards on with. In one of the cupboards in the kitchen I found an old box, covered in mould and damp. I pulled it out and opened it. Inside there was a tin of varnish and a dusty picture. I took out the varnish and placed it to the side of the box. I then took the picture out and brushed off the dust. It was a drawing of My mother. She was wearing a dark dress and had no shoes on. She was sitting on a chair looking directly out at Me. She had long wavy hair down to her shoulders and her eyes were beautiful. Although there was no colour in them, I could tell they were dark. They stared right out at Me; these beautiful, big eyes. She looked wonderful. This was the first time I had seen her. My uncle had a picture of her, but never let me see, becau – the mirror! I had forgotten! How could I have forgotten? I grabbed the tin of varnish and brought it back up the attic. I then began to stick the shards of the mirror into place on the backboard with the varnish, hoping it would be sticky enough for the pieces to stay in place. I began to stick the pieces in place until eventually they were all done. By this point the light outside was beginning to fade down. The corners of the attic darkened, and deeper shadows bounced around the room. I sat in front of the mirrors empty frame waiting for the shards to set. I began to think of My mother. She was so beautiful. We had the same eyes. She was taken so early from this world, and I began to question why. Why would He do this? She bore one of Your own children who needed their mother and You left Me alone for so long. Why? I felt myself getting angry again but I noticed the darkness outside. The time had passed quickly and darkness has descended with it. The mirror must be dry by now.

I picked up the mirror and placed it back in the frame. I stepped back a couple of paces and looked at Myself. There I was; only I wasn’t. My face was cracked. My eyes were distorted. My teeth were positioned sporadically around my mouth with no obvious place of origin. My body was deformed and my hands covered in blood. This isn’t me? This can’t be me? My beauty vanished; nothing more than a destroyed image of perfection.  I was disfigured. My whole form was mutated. I screamed in agony. I was no longer Him, I was me. There was nothing similar to what I was before. Even my eyes were different; somehow the colour had lost its entire colour and instead of being a dark hue of colour they were now dark shadows in my head. I was…ugly.

“WHY!” I began to scream.

“Please speak to me Lord. Why have You punished me now? I beg Your forgiveness. I am sorry for what I have done, but I don’t feel the guilt. Would you have me lie to You or speak as an honest son. I must be with You; You are all I have. Please forgive me. Please give me my reflection.”

And upon finishing my final words I opened my eyes to look upon the mirror and as I did it came crashing down. The shards separated from the board and fell towards the floor, and on hitting the floor the glass transformed into sand. I fell to the floor, speechless staring at the floor where the sand lay. I couldn’t move; transfixed at where I stood. How was this possible? How could this have happened! I paced violently around the room, and began to scream, “WHY” and “HOW” unable to justify what had happened. Was He punishing me further? Why? My agony was severe I could hardly breathe and my stomach was in pain. My head began to throb intensely and my shouting was beginning to make my voice hoarse. I was angry! So very angry! Why! I stopped in front of the empty frame which now pictured the window in its form. I walked through the frame and towards the window and looked out towards Constance’s bedroom window. It was empty, obviously. How could I have taken away her life from her? I saw it all clearly. She was trying to save me from myself, from something I would never reach. We all have a reflection she said. We all have a reflection.

I looked back at her body under the window. Sadness filled my whole being. I began to wretch at the very sight of her. Her skin, although pale, looked more beautiful than I had ever seen it. Her eyes were still open; vacant. Her eyes shone like two white orbs. I had never recognised their perfection before. They were a bright blue, brighter than Sun. She was beautiful all along, I just couldn’t see it. I have been blinded by myself. I began to cry uncontrollably looking at her. I took her from this world. I did. I looked out of the window again and knew what I needed to do. I took one last look at the distance sunset beyond the fields I would never visit and walked backwards to the mirror’s frame. The air weighed down on my shoulders. Suffocating and hot I tried pushing it away, using the strength in my legs to push, but like a dark cloud the air felt thicker as it reached my lips. In agony under the gravity of my surroundings, I faced the window. The fields outside were inviting me; full of colour. I imagined smells of honey and wheat filling my nostrils as I travelled through the air like a fallen angel. This was my only option. I had become engrossed in a love that did not exist, and rejected one that did. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath in. I’m sorry God. I’m sorry Mother…I’m sorry Constance. I ran towards the window and jumped straight through it. The glass smashed around me piercing my face and neck like shrapnel. As I fell I didn’t scream, I didn’t shout; I didn’t say a thing, there was no need. I would be with Him soon.

***

 

As Cashlin hit the ground of his neighbour’s garden, a rustling, grating sound was heard from the attic. The sound came from the particles of sand which were now moving. They moved in complete unison over the body of Constance, covering every inch of her until she was no longer visible. Then, suddenly, the sandy shape of Constance collapsed, leaving nothing but a flat bed of sand on the floor. Constance’s body had disappeared.

***

 

The summer had finally come. There were bright colours of magenta and gold, and rainbow spectrums of different colours poured through the windows. Outside, the garden bloomed in colours of fuchsia and turquoise and the pond glimmered, as clear as the returning azure sky. The village was alive with the sound of children playing. The attic of Cashlin’s cottage filled with light, and the shadows that had occupied the corners of the room vanished. The attic was desolate except for the presence of one large object in the centre of the room, framed in an old rotting wood. Its form: perfect, lovely,

Beautiful.


© Copyright 2019 Richard Hill. All rights reserved.

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