My sister and I had another quarrel and I decided to stay in my brother’s room instead of standing the sight of her. So i moved my duvet and pillow, begging permission and finally making my bed on the hard sofa he had managed to squeeze into his small room. I tried to make space, to make myself comfortable.
“Don’t move that mirror!” he scolded sharply as i was about to touch a standing mirror that was turned away from me.
“Why?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Just don’t move it!” He said no more, moving his attention back to the video he was watching on Youtube.
I huffed in irritation but acquiesced to his demand. I didn’t want him to kick me out of his room.
“Should i turn the light off?”
He stared at me, as if trying to understand what i had just said. Slowly, he shook his head.
“No. Don’t For your sake”
“Yes” he paused. “They’d come”
I frowned. “Who would?”
He didn’t answer me.
My frown deepened, the stubborn streak i inherited from my father rearing its ugly head. I swallowed it down, sliding into my makeshift bed.
The light bulb blazed above me and i sighed in exasperation. How was I going to sleep with it on?
I turned to study his room.
My brother had been away from home for a long while- two years- and one day, came back with nothing but a rucksack.
My mum had said nothing but a welcome to him that day. He took what used to be my room and I had to share with my sister.
The room was different. It was the same room yet, it felt different.
Different coloured bottles were on the window sills. I tried to make out what they contained from where i lay. Curiosity getting the better of me, i got up.
“What are you doing?” he asked me as I walked to the window, staring transfixed at the bottles. My eyes were drawn to a particularly red one. Something shimmered within it, and i found my self involuntarily caressing the bottle…almost reaching for the cover…
I jumped, as if beaten and looked around me, confused.
When did i leave the bed?
I turned to my brother and the look of fury on his face chilled me.
“Don’t touch anything! You don’t listen!” he shouted at me and i cowered at the blazing light of fury in his dark eyes. I quickly scampered to bed, pushing my head underneath the covers, stilling my beating heart.
I did not understand my reaction. Even more confusing was his reaction.
“Just sleep. Sleep and wake up tomorrow morning, that’s all. Don’t touch anything and don’t ask questions” i heard him say through grinding teeth as he went back to his single bed.
I closed my eyes and somehow, managed to drift off…
I woke up and the lights hit my eyes, causing me to wince. I heard his snores, confirming he had fallen asleep with the light on. I sighed, getting up. I flicked the light switch off and was walking back to the sofa when i paused. The security light outside streamed into his window, bouncing off the shiny back of the mirror he had asked me to not touch.
I looked at his sleeping form in the shadow, unmoving.
I shrugged and touched the mirror, flipping it till i could make out my reflection. I had not realised i was holding my breath until i had released it.
What was I expecting to happen? It was just a mirror.
I rolled my eyes.
My mum had whispered to me one evening after my brother’s return about her fears. She figured he had embroiled himself in some form of mystic cult and was on the run.
“That’s ridiculous! How do you know that?” I had asked.
She had said nothing then but i could read the worry and fear in her brown, rheumy eyes framed by deep, dark circles.
I shook the memory off, going back to bed and soon drifted off to sleep.
The mirror was facing me.
I awoke, shaken by a nightmare and swallowed a shriek of fear at the huge shadow in front of me before i realised it was only my reflection.
I sighed in relief…then frowned.
Did i leave the mirror there? I could not remember.
I tried to think but was distracted by a tiny silver light emanating from the glass. Where was that coming from? I checked about my person but I had nothing on me.
Yet the light persisted.
I got out of bed and crawled to the mirror, staring at the light.
Suddenly, it began to swirl.
I blinked, rubbing my eyes.
No. It wasn’t nothing.
The silver light was back.
I touched the surface of the mirror and gasped. It was ice cold.
I could hear whispers. From the mirror?
My heart thudded in my chest as beads of sweat formed under my armpits and breasts.
I was afraid.
I tried to move back but found myself unable to control my body.
I willed myself to go back to bed but i couldn’t tear my gaze away from the mirror.
Slowly, my reflection transformed. My eyes widened in horror as i watched my hair in the mirror grow until it covered me like a thick veil.
No, it wasn’t me.
It wasn’t my reflection.
I was watching something else…form.
The murmuring got louder.
My head spun, the murmurs amplified in my head like the scratching of nails on a blackboard. My eyes watered and tears ran down in cheeks, teeth pulled back and biting at my quivering lips. I could taste the blood in my mouth. I tried to draw back from the ghastly image that was appearing in the mirror.
But I couldn’t. I knelt in front of the mirror, as if held down by invisible hands.
The image was complete.
It raised its head up suddenly and the thick black hair parted.
It’s eyes opened, revealing yellow and black iris like that of a snake. It’s mouth parted open, revealing rows and rows of sharp spiky teeth.
“Hello. My name is Moloch” a tinkling voice like a hundred bells said distinctly beside me, a cold hand gripping my shoulder, sharp nails digging into my flesh.
I suddenly gained control of my body and turned sharply.
It was behind me.
I screamed, my nails scratching my face in hysteria as the thing gripped my arm harder.
And shoved me into the mirror.
I woke up in a green bottle, my brother’s face impossibly large, staring at me.
I heard him speak.
“I told you to leave the mirror alone”
I shouted, hitting the wall of the bottle.
“Let me out!”
He sighed, a small smile pulling at the side of his lips.
“I’m afraid that would not do” he murmured.
“Absolutely won’t do” a voice replied behind him.
The person came forward, joining my brother to stare at me.
It was me.
I stared at myself smile at me.
“Th…that’s not me!”
“Then who am I?” my body responded in my voice, chuckling.
I looked imploringly at my brother.
“Please let me out! Please! That’s not me! I’m your sister! Please!”
“Shhh…” my brother whispered.
Suddenly, their eyes changed.
Yellow and black irises, like those of a snake.
I stumbled in the bottle and fell, retreating in horror as the eyes came closer.
Rows and rows of sharp, spiky teeth.
They pointed to the red bottle beside me.
“He is almost smoke. He is almost ready. As you would be” The thing masquerading as me said.
“We would drink you. Like fine wine” The thing masquerading as my brother said.
I heard my mum call for us in the background.
Their features rapidly changed and in a perfect imitation of my brother and I, they replied.