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Mirror Image

by John Ritchie

Have you ever had that feeling that something has chosen you, rather than you have chosen it? That you just happened to be in the right place at the right time or... well this is going to sound really silly, but I felt as though the mirror had actually been waiting for me, and for some time. I was destined to be its next owner and it had manoeuvered itself into my path.

Listen, I’m not joking, that damn mirror even decided where it was going to hang! I put a hook in the bedroom wall over the dresser and hung the mirror there. The next morning both the hook and the mirror were gone.

I looked behind the dresser, and under the bed. I even looked in the bathroom. But that damned mirror had disappeared. Imagine my amazement when I stomped downstairs and found it in the living room over the fireplace and my Tretchikoff, a previous Charity Shop find, standing against the wall.

Now I remembered having a couple of beers the night before, but I wasn’t by any measure drunk. I am not given to blackouts or sleep walking as far as I know, so how the hell... But it didn’t stop there. When I tried to lift the mirror down off the wall I couldn’t move it. I swear, it was as if it was nailed to the wall.

But wait, it gets better, or weirder, take your pick.

I was standing there in my boxers looking at this mirror when I heard my fiancee Stephanie let herself in. She had been out of town on a business management course and she had rung me the night before last very excited about a opportunity that she said we should get in on. I had a bit of money put by and wanted either to invest it, or get a bigger house in a better area. I just couldn’t decide.

I was turning to go and greet her when something made me turn back. The scene in the mirror was no longer a reflection of my living room it was of a section of road about a mile from my house and my car, or what was left of it, was wrapped around a tree.

I recognised Stephanie’s arm, hanging limply out of the driver’s door, by the bracelet I had bought her. A man I didn’t recognise was slumped in the passenger seat and scrawled across the back window were the words “Brake Failure” and a date, two weeks in the future.

Even as I stared in the mirror, the image faded and I saw Stephanie’s reflection coming up behind me hand in hand with a strange man. Only I recognised him: it was the guy I had seen lying dead in my car. In his free hand this man was carrying a sack with “Mike’s Money” printed on it.

Stephanie’s free hand was holding a knife with blood dripping from the blade. As I watched, her reflection stabbed me in the back again and again.

Then I felt Stephanie’s arms around my waist and her warm breath in my ear as she said “Nice mirror, Mike. Have you been to the Charity Shop again?” She stepped past me to check her hair in the mirror and there were just our two faces until she turned again to hug me. Over her shoulder I saw I was holding a skeleton.

Copyright © 2008 by John Ritchie

Proceed to Challenge 274...

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