August 13, 2011
Shiny glass. A flash of black hair. Long, gnarled claws reaching, reaching. Bloodred eyes looming. An ice cold voice whispering: “Soon…Soon…” The claws, growing ever closer. Snatching now, snatching at black hair, red eyes burning into brown ones, razored teeth gnashing, gnashing at porcelain skin.

Madison Hays bolted awake in her bed, her breath escaping in terrified gasps, for the third night in a row. Shakily, she brushed her long, raven hair from her face and trained her blue eyes on the glaring green digits of the digital clock on her bedside table- the only light in the room. 3:14 am. Still feeling uneasy from the nightmare, she hesitantly ran her eyes around the darkened room, an effort which proved futile due to her eyes not having adjusted yet. She blinked a few times to speed up the process and caught her breath. There, between blinks, she had seen… something... about her height in the mirror, standing with its head bent. Pure, cold terror grasped her chest. She froze, afraid to blink or make even the slightest movement. Her heartbeat roared in her ears, blocking out all rational thinking. The figure had disappeared, but for how long? Her incapacitated brain recalled at that moment only the reasoning of a child’s imagination and she felt the desperate urge to burrow into all her blankets and reach safety. Realization of her inability to think clearly gripped her and she flung herself down into her bed, pulling the thickest afghan up and over her trembling figure. It was like this, rigid with fear, sweating from the heat of the blanket and certain of her impending doom that Madison finally faded into the sweet oblivion of slumber.

Her eyes opened for the second time that day to rays of sunlight flooding in from the window over her bed. Sitting up in bed and stretching, she sighed. She recalled faint strains of terror from the night before and marveled at her own imagination. As she pulled herself out of the nest of sheets and blankets on her bed, she noticed the mirror that had so frightened her earlier. She walked up to it and stared at the glassy version of herself. The same old long black hair, boring brown eyes, gawky figure and pale skin stared back. Yea, there was nothing wrong with this mirror, except for maybe the person standing in front of it. She mentally berated herself for her panic earlier and turned away, reaching for her radio dial, ready for the sweet release she could only allow herself while alone. She cranked up the volume on her favorite heavy metal album and closed her eyes. Standing in front of her mirror, she swayed to the beat of the music as the high-pitched vocals screamed into her mind and soul, clawing through her with serrated edges, taking her over and erasing, for the moment, the memories and thoughts she was so desperate to forget.

Eyes closed, however, she couldn’t have known that she was not, in fact, alone. There was another being there, just inside the mirror: her reflection. A being that stayed absolutely still despite Madison’s movements with the music. One that, instead of mimicking, watched with bloodred eyes and an expression on her face that would send chills down the spine of even the most hardened criminal. Her fist clenched and then relaxed, and she slowly extended her arm to the thin barrier between her and Madison. Met with no resistance, it passed through easily and began to grasp for the oblivious girl with gnarled fingernails. Reaching, reaching for that raven hair and porcelain skin. Gnashing her teeth with anticipation. Ever reaching.


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This article has 48 comments. Post your own now!

CarsonFaircloth said...
Sept. 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Hello! Congratz on placing in my contest! :)


This was very chilling. The dream was a great way to start the story of, but then carrying it into her actual life...very haunting. I'll definitely think twice before looking at my mirror at night. o.O


The only mistake I noticed was when you said "blue" eyes at the beginning, and then "boring brown eyes" somewhere in the middle, when she's looking in the mirror. But, perhaps, I am mistaken. Just something t... (more »)

rage_against_the_machine replied...
Sept. 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Thank you! :D

And I know about the eye thing, it was a careless mistake.

MindsEye This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 23, 2011 at 9:24 am
I was sypposed to review a long time ago sorry!!!!!!! I really like the story, but while I think the vocabulary makes you sound intellegent, getting wordy can tone down the fear. In the middle, instead of saying she saw something bent over in the mirror add some suspense. Like.....say it looked like - no,it couldn't of been- but still madison swore she had seen...but it was good. Just take this as positive critisism!!!!
RhythmAndRhyme said...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Hiya! I review with a "Stars and Wishes" method; Stars are things I liked, while Wishes are things changeable, out of place, confusing, etc. Continuing on:

Stars: The main idea of the story, first of all. Very cool. (I watch a British sci-fi series, called "Doctor Who," and many of the storylines for each episode have to do with the scary things in everyday life: shadows in the corner of your eye, statues that can move....reflections in mirrors, even. This really reminded me of ... (more »)

rage_against_the_machine replied...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Thank you! Dr. Who.. that sounds familiar, slightly. Sounds like an awesome show :D. 

I like your reviewing method, I try to do it like that too. And I pride myself on my vocab, so that was fantastic to hear :). 

As for the speed, I don't know how that happened haha. Most of my pieces are very descriptory. Thanks for pointing that out!

Great review!

ChristySparrow replied...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Oh. My. Word. That was really freaky. It was so good and I loved it. But I have one or two things:


(1) I know somebody else pointed that out, but earlier you said she had blue eyes and then all of a sudden she had brown eyes. Watch out! That usually ruins the appearance. :)

(2) You used reaching in your story a little too much. Try not to do that next time, but I loved it. :D


But I still loved it! Good job. ^^

rage_against_the_machine replied...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Thank you! And yea, I noticed that right after it was published >.<

I have fixed it, however, and just in time to submit it for a place on my school's literary mag! Fingers crossed!

AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Thanks a lot. -_- *glars evilly at bathroom mirror* Haha really though, as far as first impressions go, I thought this was fantastic.  But here's my critique - we'll start with the basic good, the bad, then more good, then a wrap-up. 


My first impression of this story was very positive.  The flow was good, and I thought your voice was excellent.  You really pulled the reader into the story, even in the short time you had.  The vocabulary was great... (more »)

rage_against_the_machine replied...
Sept. 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Thank you so much! And yea, the blue eyes thing >.> that was a proofreading err on my part. Like I said, I switched the color halfway through and forgot to go back :"/ 

I'm glad it sounds original, this just popped into my head once when I was contemplating my mirror. 

And I did submit the war story I wrote for your contest, I'm pretty proud of it :) It's not something I would normally write about, so I'm glad that your contest pulled it out of me! I'm planning o... (more »)

AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 4, 2011 at 8:16 am
You should be proud of it! You did an amazing job. :) Good luck with the mag!
rage_against_the_machine replied...
Sept. 4, 2011 at 9:17 am

Thank you!


ArchimedesWhite said...
Aug. 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm
An awesome story. If i had nightmares, that would be one of them! Awesome...
rage_against_the_machine replied...
Aug. 31, 2011 at 3:10 pm
Thank you!
msp49 said...
Aug. 27, 2011 at 12:26 am
I'm not even into scary stories, but I liked this piece!  I pictured the last paragraph and it's the perfect picture of an extraordinary frightening situation.  Excellent.
rage_against_the_machine replied...
Aug. 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm
thanks, that means so much!
dancemaniac said...
Aug. 25, 2011 at 5:46 am
wow! this is awesome! loved it!
rage_against_the_machine replied...
Aug. 25, 2011 at 7:21 am
Thank you!
CoffeeKat said...
Aug. 24, 2011 at 9:49 pm
*shudders* Not looking in my mirror again for a while... great story!
rage_against_the_machine replied...
Aug. 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm
thank you :)
writerfreak21231This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Aug. 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm
WOW this is great! I may not have a mirror by my bed but I will always be on guard. . . in other words it was awesome! It is very simlar to my story that I'm writng today. The girl in the mirror. :)(:
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