Jan 08
fiction challenge: Mirror

Dancing in front of the mirror

    I’ve been avoiding my reflection for years, ever since it started moving on its own. I dodge every mirror I see, windows at night, I even face the wall as I brush my teeth. Nothing scares me more than it does, because it’s me … but it has a mind of its own.

    It all started one day, several years ago … I must have been nine or ten. It was after school in my bedroom, in front of the long mirror I had hanging on the wall. I was practicing a dance routine I had created with my friend during recess that day, and we wanted to enter the school talent show together with our choreography. Everything was going well as I danced to the generic pop song my friend and I adored.

    However, I noticed after a while that my reflection … changed. When I pointed my arm right, it would point the other direction. When I turned left, it would turn the opposite way. I just assumed I didn’t know enough about how mirrors worked to have a full understanding of what was going on. But then it started doing my friend’s choreography and making faces at me. I started getting creeped out. What’s going on? Why is this happening? I quickly turned off the music and left my bedroom, hoping that whatever I had seen was just my adolescent imagination.

    The next day, I hesitantly went back in front of my mirror, and rehearsed the dance again. But it was back. And it didn’t plan on stopping. I was mortified. The reflection would do my part, then my friend’s part, and then make up new dance moves as the song played. I wanted to run, to cry, to scream, but I made a promise to my friend that we would enter the show together. So I put up with this crazy fake until the day of the talent show.

    On the day of the talent show, our moms did our hair into tight buns, and put the thick, pasty makeup on our faces. We put on our ballet flats, and we dressed in our leotards. Hers was turquoise and mine was pink, sequins attached all over the front. 

    “Be careful, girls,” my mom said. “The stage floors have been waxed today and might be slippery.” 

    We soon made our way onto the stage, in front of the auditorium of parents and fellow students waiting for their turn to perform.

    The generic, bubbly pop song started playing from the loud auditorium speakers and we quickly moved to the beat. Step after step, count by count. Everything was going smoothly until I heard a ‘thud’ and a quiet murmur from the audience. I looked to my right to see my friend on the floor, hand on the side of her face. I reached over to touch her, but she quickly got up again and continued dancing. I, confused, followed her lead, and we finished with our hands in the air and feet pointed. The audience applauded loudly and I looked down in shyness, only to see it smiling back at me with a cheeky grin. I quickly looked back up and the two of us walked off stage to the wings. 

    “Why did you do that?!” my friend yelled at me, face red and tears streaming down her face. I took a step back and gave a confused look. “Do what?” I asked, shivering in the cold hallway with what thin layers I had on. “You tripped me! I saw you!” she said as she pointed her finger at me. “I saw your leg! You tripped me and now I’m bleeding!” she turned her head to show a large gash where her head had hit the floor. I gasped in shock, but was still confused. “I didn’t trip you! I promise! I couldn’t have! Maybe it was the slippery floor ...”

    “Well, I saw you! I saw that crooked swing of yours go right for my leg!” That was the last thing she said before she started wailing and running down the hall, hand clutching her cheek. I wanted to go after her, but I was stuck frozen and couldn’t move until my parents came to get me.

    When I arrived home that night, I went straight to my bedroom and turned to my mirror to see the reflection. And there it was in front of me. A girl with my same frizzy hair and mascaraed eyes stared back at me with an innocent facade.
    ​“It was you, wasn’t it!?” I yelled. It gave the same cheeky grin as before and widely swung its leg to the side. “I HATE YOU!” I screamed. I picked up the mirror and shoved it into my closet, behind my clothes and toys. I took my CD player and opened it to grab the CD with the pop song on it. I broke it into pieces, ignoring the cuts on my small fingers. I wanted it to feel the same pain I had felt. And as I did this, I could see its smug, rosy-cheeked smile staring back at me, eagerly waiting for its next performance.
About the Author: keyboardmastermind
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