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Mirror

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Over the past two weeks, I had begun to notice something amiss when I looked in the mirror. My reflection's hair had started to look darker; a raven black to my mahogany brown; eyes more bloodshot than they should have been. But I had no real basis for the nagging unease I felt every time I was near a shiny surface.

I had begun to think of my reflection as an entirely different person than I. I was not it, and it was not me. This decision was made unconsciously, though, and I still had no reason for my suspicions'until that day.

I went into the bathroom to fix my hair before school, and when I looked in the mirror, my reflection smiled back at me as usual.

Except this time I wasn't smiling.

It was a malevolent smile that sent chills running down my spine and caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. Her face was mine. Every contour of her lips, every dimple in her cheeks and strand of hair on her head; they were all exactly the same as those on my own face.

Everything, that is, except her eyes. They were completely red now, neither a spec of white nor my hazel iris visible. A red orb with a pupil stared back at me, cold and begging. She only wanted one thing. To be set free. To be liberated from the glass prison she was enclosed in. And despite her chilling smile and horrid eyes, I found myself wanting to help her, wanting to see to it that she escaped her cold cell.

Before I knew what I was doing, I was touching the mirror, my palm flat against the smooth surface; against her hand. The moment I touched the mirror ' the moment I made contact with her ' I knew I'd made a mistake. I could not detach my hand, no matter how hard I tried. Physically and mentally, I was overcome with a longing sensation, an emptiness that I knew would never be filled.

Unconscious of what I was doing, I closed my eyes'and when I opened them, my gaze was met by hers. But her gaze was more confident now. I backed away, looking somewhere ' anywhere ' but at her.

Yet I did not see my bathroom, as I had expected too, but a swirling abyss of everything I'd ever thought or experienced. All of my hopes and dreams flashed by my eyes in an instant, every thought I had ever thought, every word I had ever said penetrated my psyche. Every sin, every good deed mercilessly rattled my consciousness.

But most of all, shadowing the flood of information, was a kind of despair. It told me that I would never be able to do anything about that shadow, no matter how hard I tried. No matter how loud I screamed, no one would ever hear me. I understood now the feelings of the girl in the mirror; she had endured this long enough to make anyone go insane.

But then again, how long was that? It only felt like seconds, but for all I knew, I could have been in this place for years. There was no way of telling the time or date, no way into the outside world. Time did not exist here. Everything just was.

I knew I had to somehow get to the other side of the mirror, but how? My own reflection had somehow tricked me here, to this side of the looking glass. I was like Alice in Wonderland, except this place was more like a hell than a wonderland.

Or was it? Would it be better to get lost in myself forever here than go back to my soulless world on the other side? Which was really the better place to be? While my people were busy blowing each other up with nuclear bombs, I would be safe living here.

Then again, you could barely call it living. I was here' existing, and the only thing keeping me from insanity was the small chance that she might show up on the other side of the mirror, to laugh or gloat. But she was probably smarter than that; smarter than me, who had been tricked into this nothing that was everything.

I could feel my hopes begin to fade, to dilute into the abyss of forgotten dreams swirling around me in all directions. I had no idea which way I had come from, and it didn't matter. I was losing myself in the wrong side of the mirror, becoming an empty shell, no thoughts running through my head. No instincts. I was a puppet to whoever stood on the other side.

I was just a reflection.





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