What if there were something more to your reflection?
I've had a slight infatuation with mirrors as far back as I can remember. As a teenager, I had four mirrors in my crampy bathroom, three in my stuffy bedroom, two in my surprisingly spacious purse, and one stuck firmly on the door of my locker.
Don't get me wrong, though, I'm not a narcissist or anything like that. When I looked in a mirror, I rarely looked at myself. I think what always attracted me to mirrors was the reflection of light and colours bouncing off of this simple little man-made object. It all just seemed so majestic to me. The problem was that I was never able to look into mirrors for too long. The initial feeling of excitement and wonder would quickly turned to dread and melancholy. It was as if the air around me had gone cold, and a large wave of gloom had pulled me under its surge. I'd always just narrowly avoid drowning in it, only to then be washed up in an even worse place that I might have thought unimaginable in my bliss only moments before. It wasn't until my 19th birthday that I understood why.
I was applying makeup over my bathroom faucet. I could hear my parents laughing downstairs as my father paced back and forth across the hallway, waiting to take me out for my birthday dinner. I could see my little brother struggling with the top button of his dress shirt, and I could feel the sense of gloom begin to hover over my head. By now, I'd learned to ignore it. I suppose after a couple years of exposure to that kind of thing each morning, it just becomes part of your routine.
I put a little more concealer on and looked at myself in the reflection. I looked pretty for a change; presentable, as my mother would say. My eyes scanned over the face of the young woman staring back at them, opening their own little investigation for faults in my makeup – foolproof. As I turned to leave, I noticed something that sent a horrible shiver across my shoulders, and down my back. My pupils were the wrong colour. Of course, I thought, my eyes are probably just reacting to the contact lenses. I leaned in to investigate, but as I did, I felt the darkness engulf me. The world around me seemed to dissolve into shades of grey and black, and last thing I remember is an overwhelming sense of gloom that seemed to replace the confusion and fear I'd felt only seconds before. I was calm as my eyes shut tight, and my breathing lightened.
I opened my eyes to darkness. The light of the fluorescent bulbs lining the mirror seemed to have burnt out. My body laid sprawled out across the bathroom floor. There was a sharp ringing in my ears as I slowly got up and made my way over to the sink, stumbling over a hairbrush on the way. My hands clenched the edges of the cabinet as I stared down into the drain. The gloom hadn't left. When I'd finished catching my breath, I daringly glanced back up toward the mirror. My eyes had gone back to normal, but my hair was a mess. Suddenly, I remembered my family waiting for me just downstairs. I immediately turned and made my way over to the staircase, except there were no family to console me. At least, none that I could see – every light in the house seemed to have gone out. The only light left was coming from the bathroom mirror itself, which I assumed was a result of the moonlight reflecting off its surface. Except there was no moon, no stars . . . nothing. I called out for my mum, but there was no response. No mum, no dad, no brother, and no dog. I called out again, only to have it reciprocated once more with deathly silence. I could feel a cold tear trickle down my cheek as I moved down the staircase. I wanted to believe they'd just got fed up waiting and left without me, but I knew that wasn't true. It's hard to put into words, but it was as though I could no longer feel their presence anymore. I felt . . . I knew I was alone.
I made my way back to the bathroom, took a seat on the toilet, and planted my face into my palms as my eyes became miniature rainclouds. I'd always suspected this. Ever since the feelings of gloom began, I'd always known in the back of my head that there was something more sinister to mirrors. You have to understand that when you look in a mirror, you're not looking at a reflection. You're opening a portal to a separate plane of existence – one full of darkness, shade, and gloom. I know it sounds dumb, but your reflection has watched you grow up. It cares for you, and it blocks you . . . protects you from crossing over because it knows what it's like here. It knows its side of the mirror is dark, hopeless, and painful. The only problem is . . . not every reflection is so noble. These beings have observed your behaviour – they can mimic everything you do. This, unfortunately, sets you up as their perfect replacement.
I understand now why this happened to me. They say that the eyes are the window to a person's soul, and that person . . . that being in the mirror had yellow eyes – mine are dark brown.
You could say that I'm a reflection now. I've been trapped here for about a month, but it's probably been closer to three. I'm not sure if I'd have made it this long, if I hadn't realized how to escape this horrible place around the twelfth day. See, you have to to make someone think you're their reflection. You must trick them into crossing over through their mirror.
I haven't got much more time left here, though, in this . . . place. The ringing grows louder with each passing day, and I don't think I can keep whatever sanity I have left through another week of it. I just pray to God that you have brown eyes.