6 of 52 Weeks – Looking Out From In
It doesn’t seem to matter how quickly I walk down the hall, opening the doors to each and every bedroom. By the time I reach the mirror at the end – they’re all closed again.
And I know, behind each door is some fresh new nightmare waiting to wrap its bony, cold hands around my heart. On the other side of the one on the right, across from Grandpa’s room, the shadows wait for me to be ready. But ready for what?
The reflection in the mirror is just that. A reflection. Right? If I look back over my shoulder right now, will I be looking at myself, or my back… or will it be someone else entirely this time, like the night the cat went through the glass.
I don’t want to turn and look through the glass, through the mirror into that other town. I shouldn’t see a town, anyway. I mean think about it. The mirror is at the end of the hall, at the top of the stairs in a two story house.
Why don’t I see the hall reflected? Why is it the town reflected?
And why the hell is there a Dakota chief in full ceremonial dress at the other end of the hall, by the window? That’s one puzzle I can never figure out.
If I open the first door, the one directly ahead of the stairs… I don’t know. I can’t explain what happens every single time. Can we just leave it at there is always someplace new, never the same place twice. I have to admit, that part is kind of exciting. Unless she’s in there, with her crazy eyes, wild hair and wicked smirk. I’m not very fond of her, despite seeing a lot of me in the gaze she returns.
Occasionally, they’re in there. Four girls and a little boy. A guy I can’t quite see, and I’m looking through someone else’s eyes, I’ve got to be. But they’re mine. I can feel that. A room of missed opportunities? It’s more like a house inside the room. Sometimes it’s even another own. Not the one that reflects in the mirror.
Sometimes it the other house. The one where people come in one piece and go in several. The one where every room is filled with the sounds of things best left unseen and imagined only under a red light.
I remember wanting to be on the other side of that mirror. I remember wanting to feel the breeze in that sepia-toned world. I wanted to swing high on the swing hung from the large maple, just on the other side of wall, past the mirror, past the wallpaper, past the insulation and the shiplap siding.
And if I think about it hard enough, if I let myself think about it at all, I’m there.
And it’s cold.
My head presses against the glass as I stare out at the girl on the other side of the mirror. Why won’t she turn and look at me?
Enjoy the little look into the mirror? Don’t get too close… you may not get out.
If you want to read more of the insanity that is my mirror and New Bedlam, check out my shorts collection, Into a Long Ago Future. Available in print and digital.
Have a busy week folks, but don’t forget to stop for a cup of tea once in a while!