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Ghosts and Mirrors

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Ghosts and Mirrors
She was beautiful and she knew it. She was a famous actress, and so she had to be beautiful. Every day, she spent hours making her hair elegant, and painting her face with expensive makeup. The walls of her old house were covered with mirrors, so that she might see herself at any moment, lest something be out of place.
Her hair was always shining like sunlight, and her skin was soft and pale. Her figure was to be envied, as was her lovely smile.
But her personality was something different entirely. She was proud, unwilling to admit her faults and above all, she was vain. Other people, women especially, were beneath her. But because of her fame and beauty, people put up with her.
As in many old houses, there was a secret room that no one knew about, except for the woman. This room was entirely bare, except for one floor length mirror. Red curtains covered this mirror during the day.
It was at night that the mirror was important. Ever since she had found it, the woman would wake up during the night, rather suddenly. She quickly became worried that she wasn’t beautiful anymore, and so she went to the mirror in the secret room and would stare into it for hours.
One night, as she was gazing at herself in the mirror, something suddenly changed about it. It frightened her.
The next day, the beautiful, vain woman was nowhere to be found. No one ever found her.

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Mrs. Morton and her daughter, Erica, stood outside their new house. Erica was rather bored with the whole thing, because the movers hadn’t arrived yet, and there was nothing to do in a nearly empty house.
“Erica, honey, why don’t you go exploring? I have to buy some groceries for supper tonight.” Mrs. Morton said. She hoped her daughter was in an agreeable mood. Erica was a beautiful girl, but sometimes she could be very temperamental.
Erica rolled her eyes but said, “Alright, I think I will.” She twisted some of her blond hair around her fingers, looking at the house with slight disgust. Then, after blowing a bubble with her pink bubblegum, she walked up the steps and opened the front door.
The house was dusty and cob-web filled, just like Erica had thought it would be. Somewhat disdainfully, she walked through room after empty room. There was no furniture and the walls were bare, except for some dusty mirrors. Erica stopped at several to check her hair before continuing on.
After completely going through the first floor, she went up some large stairs to the second floor, hoping it would be more exciting. But besides finding a large library room filled with books, there wasn’t really anything on the second floor either. She was about to go back downstairs when she saw something strange on one of the walls of the room she was in.
She walked closer and touched the wall. The strange thing turned out to be a long, thin crack. Upon further inspection, she discovered that it was an outline of a door. She took a step back and looked at it from afar.
A door? How do I open it? She wondered, not so bored now. Trying to remember what detectives did in TV shows, she poked at the door, hoping to trigger a response.
Perhaps it was just pure luck, but she happened to hit a hidden button that opened it. Silently, it swung open and she stared at it for a moment. Then, hesitantly, she walked into the secret room.
Unlike the rest of the house, the walls in this room were pure black. The floor was black as well, made of cold tiling. There were no windows. In fact, there was nothing in the room. At least, that’s what Erica thought, until she walked to the farthest wall. Most of that wall was covered by a dark red curtain.
Erica touched the curtain with light fingers, sure that it would be dusty, but it was clean. She was surprised by this, and pulled it back all the way. This revealed a floor length mirror, which showed Erica her own startled face. She tied back the curtain and looked at herself for a while. Then she started smoothing back her hair and checking to see that her makeup wasn’t smudged.
Finally, after a good amount of time, she thought she’d better go back downstairs, before her mother came back. For some reason, she wanted to keep this room a secret. It would be her very own secret room.

Erica woke up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. She lay in her bed for a long time, trying to fall back asleep. But the harder she tried, the more awake she became. She started to think about her looks, and then she started thinking about her dream to become a model.
I’m beautiful, and that’s what a model needs to be. She thought. But then she began to worry that she wasn’t beautiful enough. The more she thought about it, the more worried she became.

Finally, she couldn’t take it anymore. She got up, and almost without thinking, she snuck through the house to the secret room. She went inside it and, while there were no lights, it wasn’t dark like she thought it would be. Maybe light is reflecting off of the mirror or something. She thought as she walked towards it.
She spent hours in front of the mirror. To her, however, it felt like a very short time. The only reason she went back to bed was because she felt so tired again.

Weeks passed. Every night, she would go to look at herself in the mirror for very long periods of time. During the day, she began to be even more temperamental than usual, and even more vain. Her mother began to worry about her. “Honey, are you coming down with something?” She asked often. To which Erica answered, “Mom, I’m fine. Just leave me alone.”
One night, as Erica gazed into the mirror and fixed her hair so that it was just right, she suddenly thought that the reflection was changing. She looked closer. To her complete horror, her reflection did change. Her skin began to vanish, then her muscles, until there was only a skeleton with blond hair left. Her eyes were no longer bright blue, but were instead empty sockets, staring in shock.
She only just managed to hold in a scream as she backed away from the mirror. Then, shaking terribly, she turned and fled from the room.
Sleep did not return to her for the rest of the night, and in the morning she felt tired and sore. When she went to do her hair for the day, she was scared to look in her bathroom mirror, but she finally summoned the courage to do so.
Her reflection was normal. She was looking at her usual, beautiful self. Nothing odd at all.
A dream. She thought, smiling a little. Nothing more than a bad dream.
Her mother was at work that day and to amuse herself, Erica decided to see what kind of books were in the library room. She looked for a little bit, until she came to a book entitled, “Skin Care Tips”. She pulled it off of the shelf and was about to skim through it, when suddenly, the entire shelf swung open to reveal an empty space.
A secret passageway? She thought as she stared out into the dark expanse. I’ve got to explore this.
After getting a flashlight, she entered the passageway and started walking. It was very narrow and would often twist and curve and lead to dead ends. But finally, she saw a wooden doorway up ahead. Feeling excited, she turned the handle and looked inside.
An icy finger of fear ran down her spine.
The room was filled with skeletons. All of them were lying on the ground, as though asleep. They would have been identical, if not for their hair. Some had red hair, and others brown, and some black. By Erica’s feet lay a blond haired skeleton. The hair was piled up on the skeletons head in a very elegant fashion and had beautiful pins in it. The hair was shining like sunlight, and Erica touched her own hair, starting to shake.
The hair was the same color as Erica’s.
Erica seemed frozen to the spot, unsure of what to do first, scream or run. But before she could do either, the blond skeleton began to move. As though waking from a long sleep, it pushed itself up and stood. Gazing at Erica with empty eye sockets, its’ arms began to reach for her. She backed away but the skeleton was too fast. One cold, bony hand gripped her wrist tightly and the flashlight fell, shattering. The room full of skeletons was thrown into darkness once more.

The police never found Erica, and Mrs. Morton finally moved away. The house stood empty for years, until finally, a new family moved in. They had a daughter who was very beautiful, and she knew it too.
Several weeks later, she opened a door, and saw a room full of skeletons. Some had red hair, and others brown, and some black. And by her feet lay two blond skeletons, their hair shining like sunlight.


End



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