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Mirror Mirror by Kees Couprie

She didn’t know what had woken her up. It wasn’t the blackbird that usually welcomed the day by singing from the tree in front of her window. It wasn’t the light from the rising sun either. What time was it anyway? According to her alarm clock, it was 3:45 a.m. Well, whatever it was that had dragged her from Morpheus’s arms, now that she was awake, she might just as well make use of the bathroom.

While washing her hands she stared at her reflection in the mirror. “I hate you,” she said. That wasn’t really true. She didn’t hate herself. Why would she? She didn’t really hate her reflection either. People had told her over and over again that she was pretty, and up to a point she had to agree with them, if it weren’t for that hideous scar on her left cheek.

She didn’t really remember the yet unexplained explosion of her cell phone that had burned away most of the skin and part of the flesh of her left cheek. It had literally punched a hole in her face and chipped two of her molars. She vaguely remembered the pain she had felt after the plastic surgeons restored the damage as well as they could, but that scar would always be there. It would make people stare at her for the rest of her life and cause them to talk about her behind her back, sometimes even within hearing distance. She hated that scar with all the passion she could summon.

“Why don’t we trade, huh?” she barked at her reflection. “My left cheek for yours, so you have both scars and I have none. You are in the mirror anyway. I’m the only one who sees you.”

Wait. What was that in the corner of the mirror? Did something move there? She looked behind her, but saw nothing. Then she looked at the mirror again, straight at the corner. There is was again! It was like…a ripple. Like the ripples formed by the wind in a pond. That couldn’t be, could it? Mirrors are made of solid glass, not of water.

Slowly she moved her hand up and toward the mirror. Her reflection did the same thing from the other side. Hesitantly she tapped the mirror with her fingertip and quickly pulled her finger back. Circles! Like circles in the water! They grew and grew, spreading all over the mirror until they finally faded away. She was more intrigued than scared and moved her hand forward again.

Just as she expected her fingers to disappear into the mirror, her reflection suddenly reached out, grabbed her wrist and started pulling. A deep, terrifying guttural shriek escaped her lips. She tried to free herself, but her reflection was too strong. She screamed hysterically when the reflection pulled her arm into the mirror. She panicked as it pulled her face into the mirror.

She was still screaming when she woke up, fighting against the blankets that had somehow managed to wrap themselves around her. Sweat was dripping from her face and her heart pounded like crazy. She ran her fingers through her hairs and shook her head a couple of times, trying to compose herself. Good God, she thought, that was a bizarre dream. She wondered what a therapist would make of that.

Suddenly she realized that her bladder was trying to tell her something. Hello brain, bladder here, I’m about to explode.

She got up and entered the bathroom, then stopped. She looked at the mirror from an angle. The mirror looked perfectly fine. She felt stupid, but she lifted her arm anyway, slowly brought her finger closer to the mirror and tapped it. There you are, she thought, solid glass.

Feeling like an idiot she stepped in front of the mirror and looked at herself. Then her eyes widened. The scar! It was gone!

“What the…” she started. Could it be true? Could her scar have disappeared overnight? Like magic? The cheeks she saw were perfect, smooth, unblemished. There was not even a hint of discoloration. She slowly brought her hands to her face to touch the silky smoothness.

She wailed when she felt the scars on both of her cheeks. She kept screaming when she saw her reflection smile, and she was still screaming when they found her sitting in the corner of her bathroom, her face bloodied as her fingers clawed away at her cheeks.