The following is a 500 word flash fiction piece I wrote. It was first publised in issue 177, march 2013, of AntipodeanSF. (www.antisf.com.au)
The Girl In The Mirror by R.L.Sharpe.
Dana was running late. She rushed around gathering her things, cursing her alarm for not working. She could just imagine what her boss was going to say, or yell, as he so often liked to do — red faced, spit flying.
A movement caught her eye and she looked up — but there was nothing there. She grabbed her work heels and slipped them on. She saw another movement out of the corner of her eye. She looked up, and again, nothing.
She stepped up to the mirror to give herself one last check. She had a smear of lipstick on her teeth and licked it away with her tongue. Dana ran a hand over her hair to check it was smooth, and then adjusted her skirt. She looked good enough.
She turned around to grab her handbag, and swore she saw something move out of the corner of her eye. She jumped with fright, looking behind her, an eerie feeling creeping along her skin.
“Don’t let this place be haunted,” Dana muttered aloud.
Her eyes fell on the mirror that was attached to the wall; it had been there when she moved in three weeks ago. Something looked off. Curious, she stepped closer.
It was her staring back at her, but… the reflection smiled, cocking her head to the side.
Dana squealed and stumbled back, her eyes wide.
“Hello,” the reflection spoke.
Dana’s heart almost stopped. She was clearly losing her mind, or still dreaming.
“Come closer,” her reflection urged. “I have something important to tell you.”
Dana swallowed, hard, and walked tentatively toward the mirror.
“Closer,” her reflection urged, her voice gentle and sweet.
Dana stepped closer, stopping within a foot of herself. Her reflection’s hand came out of the mirror and wrapped around Dana’s wrist. With a hard tug, Dana was pulled into the mirror, screaming.
The room reeled before returning to normal. When Dana’s eyes focused again, she could see her bedroom through the mirror.
“What have you done?” Dana screeched. “Let me out of here!”
Her reflection returned a wicked smile. “Sorry, sweetness, but your world looks better than mine.” The reflection started backing away.
Dana banged on the mirror, calling out to her reflection. Her eyes grew wide as her reflection walked out through the bedroom door, ignoring her pleas. The mirror shimmered under her pounding fist, and her room disappeared. She gasped, her hands frantically running over the glass.
“Your efforts are futile.”
Dana spun around, her eyes landing on the black cat that lay on the bed, its big yellow eyes staring at her. Surely it hadn’t spoken?
“You cannot see through unless she is in the room,” the cat told her. “Only her magic can open the portal, but she won’t let you go back. She hates it here. This is your home now.”
It was all too much: being sucked into a mirror, seeing a talking cat, having no way home. Suddenly, she couldn’t breathe, and the room twirled.
Dana began to fall, darkness surrounding her.
(c) Rochelle Sharpe 2013
#Wonder what happened next? Well so did I. I originally wrote this not planning on extending it, but I couldn’t stop wondering what it was like beyond the mirror, why it was so bad that Dana’s reflection wanted to escape. The answer came to me and now I am planning on turning this into a novel. I have the whole plot worked out and have done the first few chapters of the first draft, so stay tuned.