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the mirror

A man stood outside a store
With his feet scraping against splintered floors
Gazing at a door that had long been unhinged
And was just laying there
Dead and lifeless against a sun bleached frame
He took a breath
And entered the store
His eyes meeting the floor
Covered in scrapes
From the many haphazard boots
Dragging themselves and their wares in
His rough hands brushed the walls
To steady the sea of emotions
Trying to break free of his chest
He squinted his eyes
And walked to the back
Stopping in front of two large mirrors
One strong and gold
With large carvings
Detailing a petite thin sheet of clear glass
With soft edges
And tarnished gold flakes
Whose carvings smiled at the man
And whose slanted glass invited him in
He broke his gaze just in time
To notice the other mirror next to it
Simple
Small
Black
Smooth
It was cheap and would have matched the man’s home
Would have complimented his humble but cozy home
But the golden frame called to him
And when he brushed his rough fingers on the frame
It was the way a lover touches their beloved
And he knew he could not part with his mirror
He had already decided it
His
He looked into the mirror’s glass
The way it reflected him back
He looked happier
Thinner
Younger
Everything he promised himself he would one day be
He bought the mirror without a second glance at the black frame
It was far more costly then he could afford
So he gave the man at the counter a check
And hurried off before the boy could realize
He didn’t look like a man
Who could afford such a grand mirror
He ran out the door surpassing the frame and the floor
Barely grazing the walls
And ignoring the splinters
He just walked ahead
Staring at himself in the mirror
His smile seemed whiter
His nose no longer crooked
His cheeks more defined
He was so busy looking at himself he walked into the street
Narrowly missing the traffic
But he did not hear their honks
He only heard the mirror
Speaking sweet words into his old ears
And promising him things
He never dreamed he could have ever again
He came home and immediately nailed the mirror to his wall
Right y his door
Where he would see it every day
He nailed that mirror to tightly
So that if the day came where they wanted the mirror back
They would have to
Rip apart his wall to get it
He laughed and smiled at the mirror
He pushed his hands against it
Feeling every smooth inch
Until suddenly he found a nick
A nick so small it could only be seen
By a very careful eye
A nick not even the size of a pea
But the nick seemed to grow in front of the man
Seemed to swallow the golden frame
The frame cried out to the man
But the nick had already swallowed its beauty
The carvings were replaced with the hole
The smooth replaced with the crack
The mans eyes widened
And he no longer saw himself
He saw the cackling grey haired
Liver spotted
Shell he had become
His teeth became yellow
His arms frail
His neck thin
His knees knobby
His spine bent
And his eyes glazed
The man tried to inch away in fear
But the man in the mirror smiled back at him
And held its arms open wide
Grinning
Its skin rotting off
Exposing dry bones
And with a desperate screech
The man broke the mirror




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