Hollow

Quick and nervous, his steps were muffled against the carpet. The door swung open, reverberating against the walls like a concrete bell. Stumbling onto the counter top and turning on the water, he took hurried glances into the reflection as it stares back at him with disappointment etched onto the features. That d*** reflection. It always seemed to pierce him like needles, injecting the regret into the pit of his being.
The water felt like ice against his hot skin, and pulling away, he stared at the condensing liquid forming on his finger. Contrary to the clarity of the rushing water, the drop was as black as night.

It brought back memories. Good memories? Not really. Memories of the past never seem to be quite what they are at the moment; however, these memories pierced him hard. Memories of himself, not himself at the time, himself without all the money, just him. Convulsions shot through his body and threw him forward, head crashing in the granite with a bone-splitting crack.

His eyes rose to the mirror as his disbelief became present on his face. His head was normal except for the section on the top right of his skull where his head had hit the counter. It wasn’t there. A piece of his head had cracked off like an egg and all that was there was a hole. A hole that was gushing out that same black liquid with no sign of an end.

The reflection shifted. It was an image of a man he used to know. Perhaps, the only man he had felt any degree of love for. Unruly dirty-blonde hair partially covering deep blue eyes with baggage formed from too many long nights. Clothes bought from the local thrift store and dirt up and down his arms from a day of hard work. The man in the mirror was not at all a man of luxury, yet he had something that filled the man on the other end with envy. He had a smile on his face.

The man in the bathroom raised a finger slowly up to the mirror with a small tremble starting to form. The man in the mirror reflected the action with that same solid smile written on his face. No matter how far you run, the past always catches up.

He drew back his fist and drove it full force into the mirror, letting out a war-like roar in the process. The sound of the mirror smashing gave him some sort of relief, but as he looked at it, the mirror was fine. It wasn’t until he looked as his hand that he found the source of the crash. His fist had shattered and all that was left was a sharp, crushed stub with the black liquid spilling out of the cracks.

Tilting his head back, he let out a hard shrill scream and it bounced off the ceiling right back at him. He took several struggled steps in no clear direction until he could barely see anymore. His senses were failing, his legs were going numb and his mind was in a haze. The black liquid on the counter and floor was making him lose his balance and he almost fell. His only stabilizer was his one hand grasping the counter with as much force as his weakened muscles could manage.

With heavy, hoarse breaths, he couldn’t hold on any longer, his grip was slipping and his whole body was numb. It was over.
His hand let go and he tipped backward. It was as if someone had thrown over a china cabinet. The crashing of glass filled the room, while shards of his perfect skin shot in every direction. Sharp pieces were lying in pools of the black liquid as they dripped drop by drop.
The man in the reflection moved his eyes to the mess of black liquid and slowly shook his head left and right. It was a simple gesture but it was enough. He turned from the scene and walked into the mirror, the smile still on his face.





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