The face in the mirror

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Based on the superstition that if you are in a room lit only by a candle and you stare into a mirror, a image will appear behind you, an image of your dead self, and if you let that image fully form you would pass over and die, this is an altered version of that superstition

Submitted: May 09, 2008

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Submitted: May 09, 2008

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Tears stream down her cheeks as she slams the door and hits the light switch, instantly blanketing the room darkness. She can still hear them screaming and fighting although the door muffles the sounds coming from her parent’s bedroom. Her tears gradually turn to muted sobs as she buries her face deep into her pillows. For once the fight isn’t about her, for once it isn’t her name they are screaming, but still she feels she is to blame, she is at fault…
Time passes but to her it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t exist. The screaming from her parent’s bedroom has stopped, but it still echoes through her mind. Every word, every shed tear a vivid, repeated dialogue playing itself over and over through the timeless twilight she has allowed herself fall into. Her tears stop yet the echo resides as she reaches for the lighter hidden in the back of her bedside draw. She flicks on a flame and stares at it momentarily allowing her eyes to dance with the flame before lighting a candle she keeps on her window sill.
The candle pushes back the darkness and bathes the room in a gentle warming glow… a soothing glow, but to her its out of place, it doesn’t belong... just like her… The homely glow of the candle is a mocking beacon of happiness she will never achieve. Hurriedly she blows out the candle, the darkness embracing her once again. She paces the length of her room, trying to get her mind away from the screaming voices. Eventually her mind drifts away from the angry voices of her parents but her mind focuses on another voice. A voice she doesn’t know, yet the voice sounds familiar to her.
She stops her pacing. Giving the voice, this soothing voice her full attention, the voice scares her. She feels the hair on the back of her neck rise and Goosebumps flood her body as this disquieting yet irresistible voice whispers

“Light the candle my dear Emily”

She finds herself compelled no matter how unwilling she is to obey whispering to herself

“Yes, I will light the candle”

She stands in front of the candle staring at its flame, yet it doesn’t feel right, there is another presence in her room… her sanctuary… Yet again the voice, the voice that only she can hear whispers almost commandingly to her

“Thank you Emily. Now let me see your face, turn and face me my dear”

Unwillingly she turns, hesitant, scared at what she might find, she hasn’t looked up just yet, keeping her eyes fixed on the floor by her feet, and the voice invades her thoughts almost sounding hurt as it comes with its familiar whisper

“Why won’t you look at me Emily? Please Emily raise your eyes and face me”

Like a puppet she slowly raises her gaze only to find she stands facing her reflection in the mirror, her breathe catches fast in her throat.
The voice was hers!
The strange presence in her room was her own reflection!
Yet… something is different… something is wrong with her reflection…
It is her yes, but it is not, it looks gaunt, the eyes hold no life only a glazed reflection, an imitation of life. The voice intrudes upon her stunned thoughts a hint of callous laughter in its tone
“Why do you look so shocked Emily? Does your own reflection scare you?”
The voice chuckles softly in content.

“Do not fret so my dear Emily, for I am not what you are now. I am your dead self.” Another chuckle followed by a sigh.
“For you see… Emily… When you are to die this is what you would look like”

The voice fell upon deaf ears; Emily was scared, unsure, desperately seeking a logical explanation for this. After a few minutes of deathly silence Emily was uncertain if her eyes were deceiving her but the reflection -her reflection- seemed to become more vivid… more real… more independent…
Emily has had enough she tears her eyes away from the mirror, spinning around and douses the candle with her fingers, breathing heavily, body trembling from shock and confusion. Slowly she crawls into bed eyeing the place on her dark wall where the mirror is. Many minutes pass before she enters a deep troubled sleep and the final thing she hears in the moments before she drifts off into the abyss she hopes is a rustle of the leaves and not the mirror chuckling at her…
Emily wakes up late the next morning; she ignores the bizarre events of the previous night shrugging it off as a nightmare. Her parents have gone out, to where she doesn’t know and frankly she doesn’t care. The only time the house is quiet is when they aren’t there.
Finally another day in her life has ended and she has locked herself in her room; her parents had come home early. They had gone out shopping… apparently… but Emily knew the truth as did both her parents, her father had gone to the bar again; he reeked of alcohol and couldn’t stand straight for more than a minute without support. Her mother had gone to ‘discuss work’ with a colleague, yet the make up and the smell of another man’s cologne on her told Emily that she had gone to visit her boyfriend: which she did more and more these days. Yet her father was to drunk to notice.
Before he had managed to stumble into the house he was already shouting, Emily wasn’t sure if it was directed at her or her mother. To be honest she didn’t care, she ran upstairs as her father struggled with the door, both doors slamming simultaneously, one open, one shut. Emily was safe from her drunken fathers rage… for now…
As the sun dipped lower in the sky her father’s got louder and louder, until the walls echoed with his drunken anger. Finally the sun had faded behind the horizon and Emily could hide in the darkness. Slowly she closes her curtains watching the change darkness has on her room until darkness is all she can see.
She is safe once again; the darkness smothers her father’s angry screams and her mother’s fearful sobs.
She feels the presence in her room again… the one from the night before. This time she knows she is awake, turning she lights the candle and hurriedly she spins around as her gaunt reflection chuckles almost happily

“Why good evening Emily” It smiles almost taunting her
“I’m glad you decided to return… but tell me, why did you leave so last night?”

Keeping her eyes on the mirror Emily slowly walks and sits down on her bed and to Emily’s startled surprise the reflection stays standing facing her. Her shock was all too evident to the delight of her reflection.

“What’s wrong Emily? You thought I would copy your every action didn’t you?”

A triumphant cackle emits from the mirror as Emily nods solemnly in admittance.

“What on earth made you assume that? We aren’t attached at the hip you know”

Emily couldn’t help but giggle at that obvious fact. Laughing for the first time in how long she couldn’t remember.

Emily wasn’t sure if her father had heard her or if he had decided she would be the outlet for her anger, but he was at her door banging on hard, the hinges groaning under the assault.

Emily’s reflection glanced at door and turned to Emily whispering calmly

“Open the door Emily, let him in, I’ll show him the errors of his ways”

As much as Emily didn’t want to she got up and walked to her door watching it shake violently, as she reached for the handle she realized that she wasn’t shaking. Her hand was still, she was oddly calm, slowly she unlocked the door.
Before she had taken her hand away from the key her father had flung it open, knocking Emily across the room into a crumbled heap against the wall. He stormed across the room grabbing Emily and lifting her limp body off the floor, glaring at her with demonic eyes full of hatred. He raises his hand in a closed fist, doing the bidding of the demons but a voice stops him

“Why hello there”

Emily’s possessed father turns to the source of the voice and finds he is staring at the mirror, but the mirror doesn’t reflect his image… no, it still reflects the dead gaunt reflection of Emily, a small deathly smile on its lips.

“Who the hell- or what the hell are you?!” he bellows at the mirror

The reflection smiled and pointed at Emily with its semi withered and death persevered hand.

“That is who I am”

The anger faded from Emily’s father’s face and was replaced with stupor and confusion

“Wha-?” is all he managed to mumble.

The ghostly visage of Emily’s reflection smiled and said nothing, just locked her gaze with Emily’s father’s hazy eyes
At first it was just a staring contest to him, but soon he started to panic, he was paralyzed in place Emily’s limp body slipped from his fingers, he tried to blink but nothing. His eyes were burning but he couldn’t relieve the sting. Soon this was the least of his worries, he felt the strength fade from his body, his body withering excruciatingly as the life was slowly being drained from him. Droplets of blood were slowly squeezing out his pores until there was a slowly continuous trickle of blood coming out of every available orifice and pore. His vision finally fading to black and the final audible sound other than the blood gurgling out his ears is the sound of every bone splintering in his shrivelling crumbling form.
Finally the reflection blinks letting Emily’s father fall free from her gaze. His body collapses to the blood soaked floor in a crumpled heap of empty skin and bone splinters.
Hours pass until Emily finally wakes up, sitting up slowly wiping away the blood from her mouth, her eyes focus on the ruined form of what is left of her father. Yet she doesn’t scream, she doesn’t cry instead she smiles softly, a blood chilling smile turning slowly to face her reflection in the mirror the smile not leaving her lips she whispers:

“Thank you”

Her reflection returns the same cold, eerie smile embracing Emily in its gaze

“You’re safe now Emily, I will protect you from anyone who dares try bring harm to you, but I need you to do something for me”

Emily’s smile slowly fades and her brow furrows in confusion, hesitantly she asks:

“What do you want me to do?”

Her reflection smiles tracing its finger lightly over the mirror

“Call your mother, I wish to have a word with her….”


© Copyright 2017 Sir Vampire. All rights reserved.

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