Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scare Me Blogfest: Mirrors

Scifi Media are hosting a Halloween blogfest, called Scare Me, where entrants have to "write about the scariest book that you have read, Movie you have watched, Ghosts you have encountered, and/or to share your own scary story." 

For me, there are two types of scary: the things that jump out at you, giving you a quick fright (which I hate!), and the slower, creepier, underlying scary that has you peering nervously into dark corners for hours. One of the things that has always creeped me out late at night is mirrors. In the dark, they distort shadows, and I've always had this urge to try and peer around the mirror's edge, to see what might be behind it. With this in mind, I wrote the below piece a little while ago. It's not particularly steampunk, being more of a psychological thriller but I hope you enjoy!



James clutched the corner of the basin with one hand while his other gripped the straight razor, tapping the sharp edge against the basin's edge with each of his slow breaths. Breathe in. Tap. Breathe out. Tap. But sucking in air was difficult in the bathroom's suffocating heat. The damp in the air clung to each inhalation, and to his skin, coating his bare arms in a slick sheen.

James.

It was barely a whisper in his head, but he glanced around the room, halting his rhythmic tapping. No one was there, of course. No one ever was.

Taking a deep breath to steady himself, James released his grip on the basin to lift his hand and wipe the fog off the mirror, smearing his face onto the glass. His reflection wobbled as he peered at it. Droplets of water dribbled down, curving with the mirror as it rippled outwards. He blinked to try clear his vision, then splashed his face with water.

The mirror continued to waver.

James leaned forward, his reflection leaning too, but distorting in rainbow waves. He slowly raised his hand to the mirror again, tensing when he realized that the glass wasn't cool like he'd been expecting. It was warm. And soft. He pressed all four fingers hard against the surface, frowning as they sank into the silver, until the tips of them had completely disappeared.

James... 

The whisper - her whisper he now realized - came from the front of him this time. In the misshapen mirror, a fog swirled around his face, turning it into an unrecognisable haze. The skin on his arm prickled, but he didn’t move his hand, to mesmerized by what was appearing before him.

Her eyes appeared first, black with their intensity.

James... how could you?

Her face materialised behind his hand and with her words, the fog misted out of the mirror and swirled into the steam of the bathroom.

James tried to tug his hand back, but it was only then that he realized it had completely sunk into the mirror and he couldn't budge it. “It was an accident.” The words rasped from his mouth as he tugged on his hand, dropping the razor in the sink to grab his wrist with his other hand and pull harder.

A cackling laugh filled the room, bouncing off the bathroom tiles, and Grace’s mouth twisted into a smirk. You killed me... you killed me after you promised we’d be together, forever.

“You’re not real.”  James shut his eyes, but she didn't disappear, her twisted face. “You’re dead and I’m going mad.” When he opened them again, Grace had moved back from the mirror, and her hand was outstretched, touching her fingers against his buried hand.

Her head was bowed, her face hidden behind a mass of thick brown hair. We can still be together. Her shoulders shook, and James reached out with his other hand, wanting to touch her.

Grace's head shot up, and her gaze fixed on his, her eyes bloodshot and streaming with red tears. We will be together. Her hand reached out, out of the mirror, out towards him, and wrapped around James' wrist, tightening around it and digging her long fingernails in.

She held something in her other hand. James looked down at the empty basin, but by the time he realized the razor wasn't there, Grace had already lashed out. A line of red dripped down his arm, dribbling onto the tiles. His knees buckled from under him and Grace let go as his other hand freed from the mirror.

When he fell to the tiles, the blackness swooped in, but not until he had a chance to see the red writing smeared onto the mirror in front of Grace's dark glare.

Murderer.


13 comments:

  1. Ooh that is creepy! Great piece. I get freaked out by mirrors and windows at night, I always think someone is going to look in.

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  2. Great story and you aren't the only one that thinks mirrors can be creepy. Think of Candyman and even going back so far as Vampires not having a reflection. Thanks for joining in on the fun.

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  3. Ooh, nice and creepy. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Now that was creepy. Thanks for sharing?

    Right. I'm off to cover up all my mirrors.

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  5. This was good! I have a bit of a morbid fascination with mirrors, as well. Reading that, I realized I've written at least one short story and two poems that feature something freaky about a mirror. Huh. Funny that I never considered that before. Sounds like James deserved it. Well done!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  6. Loved the excerpt :) Mirrors freak me out too.

    .......dhole

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  7. nice story, some great imagery!

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  8. I thought the story was well written and rather creepy. Good post.

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  9. Dude, intense tale! I'm so curious as to how James was responsible for Grace's death...but in a way, I think it's even creepier that we don't know! Well done.
    Mina's Resurrection Blogfest!

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  10. Oooh, a dark tale nicely told. I'm not scared of mirrors in real life, but there have been things about them I've read or seen in movies that scared me.

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