empty room sits
holding only one object, a mirror. Like a box the mirror holds many things, in fact
it would be more appropriate to call it a doorway.
have opened a
window into myself, or perhaps far beyond my mind’s capacity, so deep down I
have come out the other side skipping across the stars. The thought of this
excites my nerves but scares me if it’s true. I sit naked, legs crossed,
staring at my reflection. The room blackens as I focus in. My head ablaze as
euphoria cascades over my brain. My heart flutters as the darkness hugs my
chest. I can feel I am there, the mirror and I have bonded.
with every beat of my heart, a slow thump, for I am terrified but also in a relaxed
trance. The walls splinter, revealing a red glow that shines across my pale
shadows of men and women run and dance causing the light between the cracks to
flicker in the room. My body is here but my soul is on a journey through the
heavens, walking among the ghosts of my past.
it salvation or
damnation? My mind cannot decipher the difference.
its nails over my brain and I am back cross-legged and naked staring into the mirror’s
abyss. My reflection has abandoned me, leaving in its place a crimson tide ,crashing
the shore of my childhood lake house. In all my life, this is a place I truly
a movie, the
mirror’s image slides through an open window to reveal the characters.
sister’s birthday, candles lit and everyone singing around the dinner table.
can see my
younger self, must have been around fourteen, asking mom if I can go to the
lake with my friends. She returns a sharp look telling me to wait until after
cake. I remember this day quite clearly, my buddy Pete and I went fishing off
the dock and Regan spent her birthday weekend sick in her room. The camera flashes
back to the make-a-wish moment with Dad’s hands fixed on her shoulders as she
blows out the candles. His fingers hanging, looking odd and out of place, grow
long and bite into her tiny shoulders. I can smell smoke rising off the extinguished
candles and the air tastes of a wish that never came true.
against my skull as the mirror sweeps over my thoughts. I feel like a
my own mind’s
eye, the hair on my skin dances as the feeling of an evil eye washes over me, urging
me to retreat. I am unwanted and someone knows I have gazed behind the veil. Could
the mirror hold the key to Regan’s broken life? No matter how hard we tried,
the needle always found its way back into her arm. Every time Dad tried to
shake her out of the haze she only fell deeper in the pocket of depression. The
hope in Regan’s eyes finally burnt out when her closest friend and strongest
shoulder died, her Mom. I desperately want answers, the mirror warps its hands
around my thoughts and begins to squeeze. Ecstasy seeps through and drips down
my spine. The mirror now reflects a door, a door I recognize.
answers or simply more questions? I suppose the latter. A woman can be heard crying
from beyond and although I had heard that sound only a few times before, I knew
the cries belonged to my mother. The door begins to bow outward, pregnant with
dark family secrets. My eyes fixed on the doorknob as if I could reach out and
touch it, fear creeps in but my need for answers is greater. I reach out, grab
and twist allowing the door to swing inward.
on the edge of her bed with her head in her hands sobbing and screaming.
how could I
have let this happen” She says, tears pooling on the floor.
her, fishing line and hooks embedded into every joint of her milky skin.
pulls on every string. Mom’s eyes burst open, her mouth becomes a horrific
grin, blood pours from every puncture wound staining her white dress. The
string master pulls again, forcing her to stand. Her skin is pulled back,
stretched over her skull. He the puppeteer and her the dummy. Regan can be
heard crying down the hall. Blood curdling screams for help, begging for anyone
to save her. The great deceiver forces the dummy to walk, tugging each string
in perfect order. Mom reaches the hallway door and slams it, cutting off Regan
and returning me to the room, the mirror and silence.
man lived behind those eyes. How could I not see him for what he was? When he
said I was his favourite and everyone would shake their heads, was it out of
was I spared
this monster’s torment? These are questions I fear I will never learn the
answer to. My mother and sister destroyed behind closed doors, left to fill the
void with suicide and substance abuse. I can still see mom swinging from the
rafters, a dead head on a broken neck and Regan with a dirty needle sticking
out of her arm. I was not just a kid, I should have known better, I could have
cut the strings, taken Regan and ran, ran as far away as we could so she
wouldn’t have to numb the pain.
tentacles explore every valley of my brain like a parasite festering in my head.
have gazed into
the clockwork of the universe and it knows what I desire most. The mirror and I
have a deeper bond than any marriage, no family could ever feel what we both do
now, we are blood brothers of the deepest kind. A dark hallway appears, so dark
it radiates blue.
forward until a door appears lit with an under glow from the bedroom beyond.
projects Regan’s bedroom. The previous soft colors are now blackened like a
diseased lung. Her room, once an innocent playground is now a prison for her
body and mind, a life sentence she will never escape. Regan terrified, she
hides her face under the covers, shielding her eyes from the intruder. Dad
drools as he inches closer to the innocent. Puddles form at his feet, his jaws
snap shut and bare sharp teeth. He is a rabid dog out for young blood.
out of fear but out of anger. I can no longer be witness, a bystander to evil.
needs me and I
will not let her down again.
I step through
will I descend into madness? What if my brain collapses and my inner light burns
out like a dying star? It wouldn’t matter. All I have known before this moment
was a lie, a web of lies spun to hold victims in place. I have weighed my
options and step through.
I fumble my way down the dark hallway until I
reach Regan’s bedroom door, I push it open.
stands above her bed, snapping and grinding his teeth, savouring every
terrifying moment. We have locked eyes, my chance to flee is no longer an
option. I step forward, showing no sign of intimidation. We inch close, Dad’s
arms flex and we collide like two gorillas, chest to chest, the battle begins.
Dad’s nails dig deep into the meat of my back as I catapult his body into
Regan’s dresser. I stand firm clenching my teeth as blood streams down my back.
The beast climbs to his feet regaining his balance. Dad lunges forward, teeth
snapping at the air. My hands lock around his neck as we both stumble into the closet,
thrashing around fighting for position.
fear, she holds her ground.
to the mirror
if I uttered
the secret password, a bolt of lightning brings her to life. She tosses off the
bed sheets and sprints for the door. I hold tight to the drooling monster to ensure
disappears into the dark. I stick my thumbs deep into his eye sockets until blood
hits my face, his eyes crush like grapes. Dad falls back howling in agony. I
leap to my feet and begin to run. Dad reaches for my legs, sensing I am close
but is unable to seize the opportunity. I am gone, long gone and tearing down
the hall so fast my legs can barely keep up.
see Regan vanish
through the mirror and into my world. Dad is now in the hall giving chase. Clawing
and shredding the walls as he runs down his only son. I turn and go, not
looking back until I crash onto the floor on the other side of the mirror.
a place I
have never seen but also a place I know far too well. My head whirls in
flash flood of
images attack my eyes. Memories of Regan lying in a forgotten alley shooting
junk into her system are now replaced with her going off to college, getting married,
and laughing so hard her stomach hurts. This makes tears well up in my eyes. I
have shaken hands with the devil and every deal has a consequence. Needle marks
run up and down my arm like railroad tracks. Forty pounds lighter my eyes sink
deep into my head. Images of my father’s abuse consumes my every thought. My
eyes dart back and forth searching for the next hit. I bend forward and long
scars on my back pull tight, but like a word on the tip of my tongue I cannot
quite recall why they are there.
Michael Steven on himself: I
have always wanted to give writing a real try and have decided it was time to
give it a shot. I have been writing and trying to improve my story telling for
the past year now and although I have had no publications in that time I do
feel that I am improving in the craft with each story I produce. I have no
background or post education merits in writing in fact I did not even finish a
single English class in high school. I do hope to one day be published but more
importantly I enjoy the process of writing and storytelling.