I never really noticed the big, old antique mirror all the years that it hung in my grandma’s house. It wasn’t until she gave it to me for my sweet six-teenth birthday that I really got a good look at it.
Now I wish I hadn’t.
The problem wasn’t that the old mirror was ugly (at least not that ugly) it just looked really weird. I mean really, really weird. With it’s dark wooden frame carved into squid like curlicue tentacles that seemed to knot around themselves, I always got the feeling that it was just about to reach out and grab me. And the glass, what was up with that glass? No matter how many times my mom scrubbed it clean, it always seemed to be foggy.
Okay, I’ll admit that it was totally creepy.
And now I had the joy of having that creepy mirror hanging right in my bedroom.
Gee, thanks Grandma!
“Dad, can’t we hang it somewhere else in the house?” I whined, slumping on my bed as I watched my dad finish hammering a nail into my bedroom wall.
He hefted the old mirror up off of the floor and gave it a quick look before carefully easing it towards the new nail sticking out of the wall.
“No,” he said, maneuvering the heavy old thing, trying to catch the string on the back onto the nail.
“Why not?” I whined some more.
“Because,” He said, gently letting go of the mirror so it could hang on the wall on it’s own, and then stepping back to look at his handy work, “it’s a creepy old mirror and I don’t want other people to have to look at it when they come into the house.”
See! See! Even my dad thought it looked creepy.
“So why do I have to look at it?!”
“Because your loving grandmother gave it to you,” Dad said. Quickly scooting out the door he called over his shoulder, “Enjoy!” and closed it behind him before I could complain some more.
Yarg, why did Grandma have to give that nasty thing to me?
Bouncing off of my bed, I shuffled my pink bunny slippered feet over to the antique mirror. It didn’t look any nicer up close. If anything, it actually looked even creepier. The glass still looked pretty hazy, only the polished black wood frame shined clearly with tiny reflections of myself. The tiny me’s twisted and morphed and hung upside down, following the intricate carvings of the mirror frame. Strangely enough, some of the tiny reflections didn’t look like they were just standing there in front of the mirror. Some of them looked like they were reaching out a hand and touching the surface of the glass.
I looked down at both of my hands still hanging lazily by my sides.
Okay, that was a little weird.
I glanced back up to my tiny reflections in the mirror frame, but they were gone now. Every last one of them was. . . gone. Disappeared into the deep inky blackness of the wooden mirror frame.
Squinting my eyes at it, I carefully inspected the mirror. Tilting my head one way and then the other I tried to find an angle where the reflections would appear again, but there didn’t seem to be any trace of them. Had I imagined it all?
Huh, when had the glass become so clear?
Stepping a little closer, I frowned into the glass. My reflection looked shocked in return.
Um, mirrors weren’t supposed to work like that, right?
My now frightened reflection whipped her head around to quickly check over her shoulder, then back to me. She urgently said something, but no sound came out of her mouth.
I slowly shook my head back and forth, not believing what I was seeing.
As I watched, my reflection became more and more frantic to get me to do something. Tears were pattering from the corners of her eyes down onto her cheeks and she was slamming the palm of her hand against the surface of the mirror. Still absolutely no sound came from the glass.
“What do you want me to do?” I asked the reflection.
Thinking that maybe I could feel the pounding of her hands, I touched the surface of the mirror. For the tiniest moment my hand stopped at the surface, being resisted by the glass from going any farther, and then my hand was plunged into frigid cold water. At least it felt like water, right off of a glacier.
“Eeek!” I yelped, yanking my hand back half a second later.
When I looked down at my frozen to numbness hand, it was blue and stiff, but completely dry.
I looked up to my reflection. She looked more terrified then ever. She was now using both hands to beat on the glass. Every few seconds she was whipping her head around to look behind her. I didn’t see anything there. Now it looked like she was yelling some thing. Watching very carefully, I could almost lip read what she was saying.
“Get me . . . something”
No it was more of, “Get me. . . . coat?”
“Let me out!”
Let her out? How was I supposed to do that? And did I really want to do that? What if I accidentally let out whatever was after her? What if there was nothing after her and she’s like my evil twin or something?
The reflection me was practically hysterical now, all but clawing at the glass to get away from the invisible horror.
Okay, even if she was evil, she looked seriously freaked. I needed to at least get her to safety and then I could decide how evil she was.
Bracing myself for the shock of cold, I reached my hand into the mirror one more time. Like a drowning girl, my reflection latched onto my hand with both of hers.
An arctic wind howled in my face and I winced as a brilliant flash of light blinded me. And then we were both tumbling to the floor.
Reflection me was up first, like a little prairie dog, whipping her head all around trying to look in every direction at once.
“I’m out, I’m actually out!” she squeal in glee (in my own voice).
“Yeah your out, now would you mind getting off me? You’re kind of heavy,” I said in a much less happy voice.
Reflection me looked down to finally notice that the nice squishy thing she was kneeling on was my stomach.
“Oops, sorry about that,” she said with a sheepish grin as she climbed off of me, still using my voice, which was getting a little freaky.
Sitting up, I quickly glanced at the mirror before turning to my maybe-evil-twin. It wasn’t hard to notice that the glass now only reflecting my empty room. No reflection of her or me.
Giving my reflection a once over, she didn’t look too evil, but looks could be deceiving.
“So, are you my evil twin, or what?” I asked. I’m not so good with the subtle.
“What!? I’m not evil. You’re probably the one that’s evil,” my reflection snapped.
“Isn’t that exactly what you would say if you were evil?” I asked.
“Isn’t that what you would accuse if you were evil?” my reflection asked, pointing her finger at me, “Besides, if you were really evil you might not even know it.”
Darn it, she had a point.
“So, what were you doing in the mirror? It looked like something was after you,” I said, changing the subject away from how evil I may or may not be.
“Something was after me,” my reflection said, her eyes growing wide.
“Something?” I asked.
“I-I don’t know what it was. It was just huge, but it was so fast, and it could stay in the shadows like it owned them,” she said, her voice trembling with her last words.
Okay, that sounded pretty creepy.
“Well, thank goodness there’s nothing like that around here!” I chirped, a nervous chill ran up my spine.
“Yeah, we’re both safe and sound now. Thank you so much for saving me,” my reflection agreed happily.
And that’s when we both heard the floor boards creak just outside my bedroom. Our heads snapped to the direction of the sound. We waited with held breaths for a long moment.
After a couple more heartbeats, we let out a long breath of relief.
“That was probably just my parents puttering around,” I said with a shrug.
And then the floor creaked and some clothes hangers clattered inside my closet.
Okay, that definitely wasn’t my parents.
“Um, maybe we should—” my reflection began nervously.
Unfortunately she didn’t get to finish that thought. Between one heartbeat and the next, the closet doors exploded, flinging clothes and hangers all over my room. Wind howled, shadows spun, and something big stepped out of my closet.
“It’s here Alice, RUN!” my reflection shrieked, and then she bolted to her feet and was flying to the door.
I took one last look at the giant treading towards me, and then I was flying to the door too. With all the chaos, I didn’t get a great look at it, but what I did see was scary enough.
We dashed up the hall and down the stairs, all the while the howling wind followed us and so did the giant shadow thing.
“Mom, Dad,” I yelled as I barreled into the living room.
But they weren’t there.
“Call the police!” I yelled, hoping they could hear me.
“That’s not going to help,” my reflection yelled, grabbing my hand and swinging me back out of the living room ahead of her.
Behind us, my family’s huge, room sized couch burst into pieces and then danced around the room.
“Mom?” I called, blitzing into the kitchen.
I was heading full speed towards the kitchen entryway on the other side of the room, when the giant shadow monster popped up, right in front of me.
It wasn’t just that this thing was big and shadowy that made it scary, it was the fact that it’s facial features didn’t seem to have a permanent location on its face. Oh yeah, and the tentacles. Face tentacles always creep me out.
I tried stopping, but my slippers only skidded on the tiled kitchen floor. I thought I was done for.
And then a cast iron frying pan came sailing through the air and smacked right into the monster’s tentacley face. My reflection grabbed my hand again and yanked me back out the doorway we had just come in by.
Yay me! Or reflection me, at least.
The wind howled even louder. The shadow monster blocked our way out the front door, so the only direction to go was back up stairs. In a panic, I steered us back into my bedroom. Even with all the noise, my parents still hadn’t popped out of any other rooms on the second floor.
Where could they be?
Still trying to catch my breath and think of what to do next, my reflection slumped to the floor.
“Where on Earth are my parents? This is a really crumby time for them to go shopping!”
“Hey, Alice,” my reflection said.
“Could you help me move this? I think if we put it in front of the door, it’ll keep it out for a while,” I said, grabbing the edge of my dresser and pulling. The heavy piece of furniture went no where.
“Um, Alice?” my reflection said a little more urgently.
“Come on, if we work together, we might be able to move this,” I said, giving my dresser another tug with no effect.
“Alice!” my reflection yelled.
“What!” I snapped back.
She pointed to the reflected room in my mirror. My mom was there, poking around my room, looking puzzled. I looked around the room I was standing in, no Mom, just me and my reflection.
“I don’t think you pulled me out of the mirror, Alice. I think I pulled you in.