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The Man in the Mirror

Author since 2015 1Story 0 Followers
The Man in the Mirror

I have never been a good flyer. Anxiety mixed with a fear of heights makes airplanes my personal hell. Currently, I find myself in the terminal solely for my mother. She was diagnosed with cancer recently and is rapidly deteriorating. My mom is the only person in my immediate family I truly care about, as I have no siblings and my father passed away years ago. Flying is the only option to reach her before she passes. With each passing minute, my anxiety intensifies. The plane has been delayed for an hour, and now they’re indicating it could be another half hour before we board.

On top of this, I’m starting to get a migraine. I reach into my carry-on for some medicine, only to realize in panic that I forgot my medication. “Oh crap, where is it!” I remembered packing it. Feeling the onset of a panic attack, I rush to the nearest bathroom to clear my head.

Inside, I lock the door of the nearest stall and sit down. “Okay, just breathe. There are extras in your other bag. Don’t freak out too much. You can do this,” I reassure myself. I begin my calming routine: two sticks of peppermint gum, listening to piano music, and counting backwards from twenty. Despite my efforts, my headache persists. Checking my phone, I realize it’s almost boarding time. I collect myself and exit the stall.

Around the corner from the stalls, two sets of sinks face each other, each accompanied by a long mirror. I approach one set, attempting to compose myself further. As I gaze into the mirror, I notice an infinite reflection of myself created by the opposing mirrors. I’ve always found this phenomenon fascinating. I entertain myself by moving my head back and forth, watching the infinite reflections mimic my movements.

However, something odd catches my eye. In the distant, greenish tint of the reflections, it appears one of my images is turned away from me, and beyond that, another reflection seems to be speaking. I shake my head, and the oddity vanishes. “Huh, that was strange,” I think, attributing it to my heightened anxiety. Turning on the faucet, I splash water on my face, hoping to refresh myself. As I straighten up, I notice three reflections standing shoulder to shoulder, yet still mirroring my actions. I hurriedly wipe my face, and the anomaly disappears. “Okay, what the hell was that? I can’t be losing it,” I whisper to myself, trying to rationalize the stress-induced hallucinations.

Taking a moment to breathe, I dry my face with a paper towel. Removing the towel from my face, I’m startled to see an army of reflections, no longer in sync with my movements. I wave my hand, and they remain still. Then, eerily in unison, they speak, “What are you doing in there?”

“What?” I respond, confused.

“You need to come with us,” they insist.

“Why? Are you threatening me?” I ask, disbelief and fear mingling in my voice.

“No, you are threatening you,” they cryptically respond. I try to dismiss the voices, convincing myself it’s a hallucination. “Forget this, I need to leave.”

“We can’t let you,” the reflections say, their tone chilling. The atmosphere becomes increasingly threatening as I find myself surrounded by these menacing copies of myself, separated only by the mirrors that spawned them. My panic escalates, breathing becomes difficult, and I realize I must escape.

“L-Look,” I stammer, terrified, “I need to leave, or I’ll miss my plane. I’ve had enough of this breakdown.”

“No! Stop him!” The reflections begin pounding on the mirrors, their efforts causing the glass to bend and crack, threatening to shatter. I rush to the door, slipping on the wet floor. The sound of breaking glass halts my escape, and I witness a horrifying scene of reflections emerging through the shattered mirrors, injuring themselves on the shards of glass, blood everywhere. Despite my efforts to flee, the mob restrains me.

“We warned you.” They start dragging me towards the mirror as I scream and resist, my throat burning with the effort. They attempt to silence me, but I bite at their hands. Overpowered and outnumbered, they pull me through the mirror’s frame, and everything fades to black.

Groggily awakening on the cold bathroom floor, my head throbs painfully. Confused, I wonder how long I was unconscious and whether I hit my head on the counter. Relieved to see I haven’t missed my flight, I stand, only to notice an alarming amount of blood, far more than could come from one person, on the other side of the mirror. Two questions plague my mind: Whose blood is it, and why is it only on the other side of the mirror?

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