The feeling of unease crept over her like a cold shadow. Ellen sat on the steps of the old house and waited. It would start soon. There was no fighting it this time. The huge Oak door behind her creaked open. A waft of ancient air tickled her nostrils.
Before she had time to think about it, she found herself inside. The house creaked and groaned like a huge dying dinosaur. Her feet made no sound on the freezing flagstones. Her gown billowing out behind, she broke into a noiseless run.
The corridor that lead directly off the hall was long with many doors on either side. It was lit by flickering candles. She could see a chink of light from under the heavy door at the end.
Her heart beat quickly. Slowing to a walk, gulping the waxy air, she came to a halt in front of the great black door. The candles that had lit her way had all but one, extinguished. Dense darkness wrapped around her shoulders tightly. The only way was forward. Reaching for the silver handle, it turned and the door swung open wide.
Ellen was blinded by bright white light. The air was cool, yet the white marble floor was warm beneath her bare feet. Nothing in this room, bar a highbacked leather chair and a roaring log fire in the white marble grate. No windows. No doors. Even the boundaries of this intensly bright room seemed indistinct, hazy.
“Come” a familiar voice echoed
“Where are you?” Ellen whispered, still shading her pained eyes.
“In front of you… always” answered the voice, flat and sarcasticly.
Ellen walked forward, drawing level with the white leather armchair that faced the blazing fire. She walked around it to stand before the voice, lifting her aching eyes to look upon …
She felt weak, confused at the sight before her.
“Who… are you?” she whispered
“Do you really have to ask ? Surely, you already know ?”
“Impossible!” shouted Ellen, her mind buzzing with a thousand thoughts.
“Don’t be such a baby!”
Ellen was looking at herself! There, in the chair large as life, a convincing imitation. It stared back her dismissively.
“How can…?” breathed Ellen, icy fear shadowing her rapid beating heart.
" I am YOU. YOU are unfortunately, part of ME. WE are shades of the same person. You know the answer… Didn’t your mother tell you it was folly to talk to oneself?" it replied archly.
“I don’t know…YOU” Ellen looked back at this carbon copy seated neatly in the white leather chair. It was like looking in the…
“Of course you do! I’m your reflection. It’s me there trapped in the mirror.
Day after day you primp and preen. Alas! you never see ME” It’s eyes now glittering darkly, full of reflected fire and menace.
“But?…” Ellen started…
“Remember Ellen, you dropped the mirror and it smashed! A thousand tiny pieces. YOU set me free!” said the reflection as it leaned forward in the chair.
“No….I didn’t mean to break grandma’s mirror my hands were wet, it slipped”
“Ha, Ha, Ha, too late Ellen. You should have been more careful!”
The voice of the reflection had a hard edge that made Ellen’s flesh crawl. It’s cold black eyes bored into Ellen’s very soul and she felt the room begin to spin. The light got brighter, blinding. Her mind racing with scrambled thoughts, sounds and then all at once, nothing.
“Ellen! Ellen! breakfast is ready!” she was roused by the sound of her mother’s voice drifting up from the kitchen below. The pleasing smell of frying bacon teased her cold nose. Eyes still closed, she felt the coolness of clean cotton sheets against her face. Her tense limbs relaxed, realising it had just been a bad dream.
Ellen stretched and smiled. Her outstretched hands touched something cold and smooth! She sat up abruptly. Now wide awake. Her vision clouded as if her breath misted invisible glass. She swept her hand in front of her face and gasped as the view cleared. Across the room she saw herself, sitting up in bed watching, smiling. Black eyes stared back at her, laughing.
“Good morning Ellen. Sleep well?” mocked her reflection.
Ellen felt a chill settle in the pit of her stomach. In desperation, she reached out around her, hands sliding down over cold glass. She was imprisoned within the mirror! She shouted, raged, beat on the glass till her fists ached.
The funny thing was, she couldn’t hear herself scream. The only sound was her reflection, laughing. Dancing, freely about the sunlit room.
© FCS 2003-2009
Written a few years ago & lifted from the vault. Inspired by that horrible feeling you get after a bad dream. The first few moments of your day a muddle as you figure out what is real, or that unsettling feeling that
follows you for a while….anyways, a bit of mild gothic horror…