Through an Empty Mirror


Spooky tree- Contributor: FreeImages

Disclaimer: This story includes dark themes such as murder, please read at your own discretion

The young man blinked, confusion pinching his brows. The rough texture of bark and fall leaves could just barely be seen through his pale form. He turned, scanning the unfamiliar forest. Moonlight bathed his face in a ghostly blue, illuminating the faint curves of his skull beneath his skin.

“What…?” The word escaped his lips in an airless whisper. A cool wind caressed him, sweeping back his sandy-colored hair from his pinched face. 

The boy took a quiet step. An odd, lingering panic touched his colorless eyes. Like he’d just woken from a dream. 

He started through the woods, strides purposeful though his face looked anything but. 

His pace faltered at times, shoulders stiffening and face hardening in a blank, cold look. Like something was wrestling for control inside him. 

The boy unsteadily traversed the woods until a light shone ahead. 

A small village touched the edge of the trees, and as the boy scanned it he wilted in relief. Though, as he stumbled onto the cobbled street, his skin prickled. He stiffened again, that blank look washing over his features. He broke into a jerking run, aiming for a small home with welcoming light leaking through the windows. 

He rapped on the door with an unnervingly steady fist. 

A woman about his age opened the door, a pale cotton skirt sweeping around her ankles. 

She smiled. But her eyes were not quite focused. Not quite alighting on the boy’s thin form. 

She shifted, allowing the boy through. Another set of footsteps sounded on the steps behind him.  

He stood aside as the two women passed him, chattering nervously. 

He moved further into the house, studying the shelves lined with an odd collection of items. Dried leaves in the shapes of stars, cracked marbles, small stones; jars of shining silt, and others of glistening insect wings. 

He plucked the largest jar from a shelf, tipping his head in a predatory way to watch the dozens of mouse skulls clack against each other. His eyes flicked to the two women standing in the next room. Emotion flickered in his stare before quickly smoothing over. 

He dropped the jar. 

The two girls gasped, gripping each other as glass and bones slid in every direction. 

Then their eyes finally landed on the blurred figure hovering in the hall. 

The girls screamed.

And didn’t stop. 

Their shrieks curdled the air, causing the remaining jars to shiver until they burst, showering the three beings with wickedly sharp shards. 

One stood unscathed, ghostly pale; casting no shadow, taking no breath. 

The others were less fortunate. 

The slivers of glass and porcelain tore through skin, flesh, and bone, embedding with small chinks in the wall behind them. The speed with which they ripped through the women was unnatural. Bewitched. 

Their screams gurgled, blocked by blood bubbling from countless wounds, now dripping in rivers to the floor. 

They fell. 

All went deathly silent. 

The lights flickered out, and as the darkness fell, a tiny smile bloomed on the boy’s thin lips. 

As dawn’s first glow glimmered on the horizon, the boy—who wasn’t quite a boy anymore- stepped back into the shadowed woods. He sped through them, looking to any passersby like someone simply on a morning run. But at closer observation, they might see that no puff of frosty breath ever escaped his lips, or that the blank whites of his eyes had once been a stormy blue. 

As the first rays of gray sunlight touched the clouds, he came up on a small house tucked between the cottonwoods, wood dark with age and creaking with cold. 

He slowed, coming to a stop at a cracked window opaque with grime. 

And inside, standing stock still before a mirror devoid of a reflection was a figure. 

A figure with sandy brown hair. And empty blue eyes.