Girl in a Mirror

She looked in the mirror. Fifteen years old now, home from school, but needing to view what the others were seeing in her. They all claimed to see things she did not. So she looked.

Mirror mirror?

Sure enough, there was the dog. Cody Stineman told her she looked like a stupid dog almost daily; a dog stared back at her now. Stupid eyes peering out from a pale face, crooked teeth, white, but surely too crooked to be human. A stupid and ugly dog stared at her, its eyes somehow even more hurt than her own.

Her vision clouded for a moment. She felt the wetness on her cheek before she saw them. A small drip of tears on a dog’s face. She clenched her eyes shut, hoping the dog would be gone when she opened them again.

The dog was gone. She was now staring at an eagle. Wings spread wide and sharp eyes glaring in a most majestic way. This is what Coach Ainslow saw at practice just an hour ago. An eagle of a basketball player. She picked off two passes into the post and tipped a few more, resulting in Coach screaming that she was an eagle, sharp-eyed and ready to pounce. “Yeeeeeeahhhhhh,” he screamed in a very un-eaglelike way. “That’s you right there, an eagle. Yeeeaaaaahhhhh.”

“More like a gorilla.” She heard Megan Winters mumble that to some freshman girl, and when she looked over, they were staring at her, laughing and rolling their eyes. (more…)

One Good Deed

The mirror’s surface remained devoid of any human reflection. Dirt and unidentifiable sludge kept her curly hair twisted into a tangled mess. Carefully applied charcoal dust and more dirt buried the features of her face in earthy cracks. Torn fabrics and layers of ragged coats hid her expensive undergarments. She was only disguising herself as a vagrant, not forcing herself to suffer every aspect of their misery. Besides, at her age wearing anything felt uncomfortable already. Everything dragged at her skin, chaffing or cutting in the worst places and almost nothing seemed to heal anymore. Eventually she would be nothing but a gibbering pile of cuts and bruises. She needed to finish this before that happened, or before someone made the decision for her. With one final turn in the mirror, she gave a snapping dismissal to herself and headed for the streets.

It had been years since she’d gone outside. While she had technically left her home on several occasions, she had never just spent time outdoors for the sake of being outdoors since the day she’d received the phone call asking her to come to identify the body of her last grandchild. Her family had not been large, but this was the twenty first century in a first world country. She hadn’t expected to be the last Goldenbaum standing. Children were supposed outlive their parents here, and the grandchildren outlive them. If you had a few descendants, your legacy was secure. You didn’t need to pump out fifteen kids in the hopes that a few would live long enough to do the same before they all kicked the bucket. She scowled up at the pale blue of the winter sky. “I had four kids. Two had kids of their own. Fifteen! That’s fifteen I could rely on! I was supposed to be done with this!” She screeched. A woman passing by gave her a small look before quickly hurrying on her way. Evalise sighed. Causing people to think she was psychotic wouldn’t help. Probably. (more…)

The Humanity Mirror

I am the happiest woman in all the world. I am about to marry the man of my dreams, and he has given me this delightfully magical mirror as a wedding gift. My complexion glows, my eyes sparkle, and as I twirl in my gown, I am beautiful. Nothing could be better.

#

After our first year of marriage, it appears some of my sparkle has dimmed. I gaze into the glass surface of the mirror, desperately looking for the sparkle in my eye and the glow in my cheeks. Perhaps the year of arguments and disappointment have taken their toll on my beauty. I have to hope that this next year will be better. He gave me a lovely pendant for our anniversary. But it pales in comparison to this mirror he gave me last year.

#

Each day it seems as if there is less life in my reflection. After every fight, I rush to the bedroom and stare myself down in the mirror. My eyes are squinty and hard and frown lines wrinkle around my mouth. Had I known this marriage would slowly suck the beauty—the life—from me, I never would have accepted it or this mirror.

I don’t know what to do. (more…)

September Stories at the Confabulator Cafe

We hope you enjoyed last month’s stories. We were lucky enough to have a brand new guest author submit last time, so if you haven’t had a chance, go back and read the story “Nephilim” by the talented James Young.

This month, we wrote to the prompt: “the mirror’s surface remained devoid of any human reflection.” We hope you’ll delight in the different directions the Confabulators took that prompt this month.

We’re still on Wednesdays this next month. Here is the September schedule:

Wednesday, September 6: “The Humanity Mirror” by Sara Lundberg
Wednesday, September 13: “One Good Deed” by Kita Haliwell
Wednesday, September 20: “Girl in a Mirror” by Rob Conway
Wednesday, September 27: “Last Rites” by Neil Siemers

 

Nephilim

“You boys lost?”

The man’s voice, with its slight Southwestern twang, came from behind me to my left.  As Pedro, my Patron, was sitting on that side, I ignored it.  To be honest, it was hard to focus on it in the busy, bustling diner as it was.  Pedro had told me the place’s name, saying that it had the best salsa burger in the entire country. I gotta admit, that’s not exactly what I imagined a vampire who’d been around for half a millenia would remember, but whatever.  I’ll admit the tomatoes, peppers, and Kobe beef were like someone painted a sunset on my palate, but that’s what happens when all your senses increase by a few orders of magnitude.

Place has a bit of a fly problem, I thought angrily, as it suddenly seemed like a horde of the buggers had taken up residence just outside of my arm’s reach.

“Hey, shit for brains–talking to you too,” the man continued from right behind me.  I nearly whirled around whipped out his throat just for the hell of it, but caught myself.

Don’t want to announce to a room full of gazelles that a lion walks amongst them, I thought.  Although this asshole is definitely moving his way to the ‘slowest gazelle on the veldt’-territory I glanced over at Pedro just as the diner’s cook slammed his hand down on the bell in the order’s window.

The look on Pedro’s face that was my first warning. The Old Ones tend not to show fear.  I think part of it is showmanship, but most of it is because after walking the earth for centuries there’s not a whole lot you haven’t seen.  So understand, when an Old One has a face like a seal who has just seen an orca hop out the water and start walking up the beach towards him, that’s a bad sign.

My second warning?  Well that was the fact the sound of that bell just kept ringing…ringing…ringing like the sound had been suspended in mid-air.  My master, before turning me over to receive my training as a young vampire, had told me sound or light seeming to be off was a sign of magic.  What particular brand of magic was not important, as generally magic is a big neon sign saying “GTFO” in 100-point, bright neon green font. (more…)