The Paradox of Reflection

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Look in the mirror...

The Paradox of Reflection

You know that moment when you fall asleep? You don’t, do you? One minute you’re drifting off to sleep and the next thing you know, you’re awake again. You remember being awake before sleep and you may remember dreams but you can never recall the actual moment when you drift off. That’s when they come for you.

My name is Miles Brunner and I’m a researcher into unexplained phenomena. I’m also a practitioner of lucid dreaming. A note on that:

Lucidity is a state achieved in sleep where one takes control of one’s dreams. It takes years of practice but once mastered, the lucid dreamer can literally do whatever they dream of. In short, the dreamer takes control of their subconscious; the dream state. Whilst dreaming, they are able to realise that they are actually dreaming and take control of what is not real, or which exists only in their dream state.

My first foray into lucid dreaming was short-lived. I’d fallen asleep but – as is universal – not been aware of the moment I actually dropped off. As I was drifting off to sleep though, I exercised a practiced technique of telling myself that I was falling asleep. Whilst asleep, I dreamed. We all do. Some dreams are remembered; most aren’t. With the techniques I’d learned, I was able to tell myself that I was dreaming without actually waking up. I was in control of my subconscious; able to see the dreams I’d once not been able to.

As a simple initial test during one of these early experiments, I tried to fly the short distance from my living room to my bedroom on the first floor of my house. I willed my body to leave the ground and I flew for the first time. I was so excited though; so exhilarated by my ability to fly, that I lost control and woke from sleep. This sudden awakening alarmed me. I can only liken it to the waking of a sleep walker. I was in shock.

I continued to practice lucid dreaming and became gradually more proficient over time. I flew. I teleported. I did things I shouldn’t; things which would be illegal in the waking world. I achieved things in a state of lucidity which would be physically impossible were I conscious. I gained awareness and a freedom probably not achievable with the application of any drugs, legal or not. That’s when I met them.

They come in dreams. Rather, in that moment when you fall asleep. Because you’re never aware of that specific moment, no-one knows they’ve been taken or visited by these beings. I do though, because I met with them when I was in a lucid state: a dream so vivid that it was actually reality as far as I could tell. The beings told me things. They didn’t tell me why they’re here but they proved to me in a dream state that they exist. I don’t know if they are angels, demons, aliens or something else. I do know that they are not a figment of my imagination though, because of what they showed me. And what they showed me struck terror in me unlike the worst sleeping nightmare I can imagine. There is no way of proving to any reader that these things exist. The knowledge itself is a life sentence but in writing this, I hope I can pass on that knowledge. I can’t suffer alone:

They have visited all of us, in that moment between consciousness and sleep. Most people don’t know they’re here because they haven’t achieved lucidity in dreams. Now you don’t have to because I'm telling you these things exist.

In my dreams they appeared to me not directly but when I looked at my own reflection; in a mirror, in water, or any reflective surface. I knew that I was dreaming, so I was able to tell myself that I couldn’t actually see them in the physical form in which they appeared in my sleep. It’s said that the worst horror movie you could ever watch would be a recording of your own nightmares. The visions I saw were like being forced to watch my own worst childhood night terrors; a personal Pandora’s box. They were controlling me and so as not to wake me from my lucid state, they became my reflection.

Think of everything you’ve done wrong; all the wrongs you have suffered yourself. All of those dark secrets you carry; the skeletons in the cupboard. The inappropriate thoughts you have; the things you would do or have done unto others. That shadowy figure following you; the paranoia; the fear; all things dark; the past, present and future; that which you have suffered, suffer and will suffer; the inevitable losses of loved ones and the one certainty in life, which is death: that is them.

And now I live with an undeniable knowledge: that they are here, with me. Always.

There is no escape. They come in the moment we fall asleep, when we cannot see them. And we may not see them.

They’re with you too. The only way to stop them would be to not sleep; to not go through that transitory phase between wakefulness and slumber, so that they may not enter your dreams, recalled or not.

Look into a mirror. That’s not your own reflection you see: it’s one of them. They are all-seeing; they don’t blink their eyes and risk missing something unless they must. Blink your eyes whilst looking at yourself in the mirror and your reflection won’t blink back. But you won’t see, because in the split second that your eyes are closed - blinking - theirs are not. Have someone stand behind you and look into the mirror with you. Ask that person to keep their eyes open while you blink: your reflection will blink as well. The beings blink when they have to. The one in the person standing behind you doesn't have to. Now try it the other way around and have the person behind you blink while you keep your eyes open: you will see the other person blink. 

It’s behind you.


(C) Steve Laker 2014

Submitted: December 09, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Stevelaker. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Hey,nice short story.But I suggest you make a novel of horror story.I think it is better.I also appreciate if you read my horror novel and give your opinion.Thanks.I hope you are going to make horror novel just like me.We'll see who's novel is better :P

Tue, December 9th, 2014 12:29pm


Spooky for sure... Great work... And the referrence to thos creatures as that... Well great job really creepy stuff

Tue, December 9th, 2014 6:19pm

Darren Totum

Hey fella.

Fantastic subject to use, something which is familiar and also alien to us all. Beautifully creepy subtext and the paragraph about mirror's being genuinely creepy.

Very satisfying short story.

Thu, December 11th, 2014 9:47pm


Thank you my friend. It's always gratifying to receive positive feedback from a peer.

Fri, December 12th, 2014 12:44am

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