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.

#

Today as I confront my reflection, I glow with righteous anger. The life has returned to my features, and I look strong and bright, like an avenging angel.

My husband has cheated on me. I caught him getting out of a cab with her. I followed them for awhile, to the café and then the hotel, but didn’t confront him until he returned home later.

He denied it at first, but I finally wore him down and he confessed. He’s sworn to never see her again, that he will stay with me. I do not believe him, but there’s little I can do.

All I can do is remind him every day of his betrayal.

#

They have been writing letters to each other. I found one by accident when I was looking for brandy in the study, and one led to many others. When he came home, I screamed and cried and threw them in the fire. I don’t care that she’s come upon hard times and hasn’t any money. Why should she be entitled to ours?

My reflection looks a little green around the edges today. The whole thing makes me sick. I wish we could move far away—to some other country, perhaps—where maybe he could forget her. He married me. He should not pay attention to her or any other woman. His money is mine, not hers.

#

I discovered a large sum of money had been withdrawn from our bank. I just know it went to her. It took everything I had in me not to strike my own reflection in the mirror—a reflection that shows a woman pitiful and weak, eyes puffy from crying, and wilted from such poor treatment.

How could he do this to me? To us? I must do something to fight back. I cannot sit by and watch while our fortune goes to another woman. I will show him what it means to cross me.

#

I emptied out our bank account. Any funds he desires access to he must now get from me. When he argued, I threatened to use expose his adultery. He would lose his status among his peers at best, and at worst, he would lose everything.

He has not adjusted to this new arrangement well. But he will learn.

Do not look at me that way, reflection of mine. I do not care. He deserves this.

#

I once thought we fought constantly before, but now every interaction between us is a pitched battle. My reflection appears stiff and brittle, as if a strong breeze might snap me in half. My eyes are squinty, flinching at the slightest sound.

Oh, mirror, why must I look this way? Why do my fingers appear so gnarled, as if they were arthritic?

This is all his fault. Again I curse that he ever bought me this mirror. Better I not know. Better he’d never won me over with its beauty.

#

Oh, mirror, what have I done?

I would not give him the money he asked for. I have denied him more often of late because he has been asking for more and more. I asked if it was for her. He insisted it wasn’t, but I could see he was lying, so I told him he’d be lucky if I gave him enough for a shoe shine on the way to work.

He was so angry. He came after me. I didn’t mean to. At least, I don’t think I did. He grabbed my shoulders so hard they bruised. He shook me until I thought my brain would rattle loose. And then he threw me. I fell to my knees next to the desk. As I stood, my hand brushed the letter opener. Its cool tip pierced my fingertip as I groped for it.

When he came at me again, I…

The police are saying it was self-defense. I suppose it was. He would have killed me. I’m just sure of that.

Don’t look at me like that! I didn’t mean to! I only wanted him to stop! Stop coming at me, stop yelling at me, stop stepping out on me.

It’s all over now. All of it. Perhaps he even deserved it.

I hate this mirror. It makes me look so lifeless, and try as I might, I can’t seem to wash the blood off. The mirror always sees it.

#

That woman came to offer her condolences. I would have thrown her out on a good day, but then I noticed the bump.

The next day, I tracked her down and watched her for hours. She is with child. There’s no other man in sight.

That whore is pregnant with my late husband’s child.

Don’t sneer at me, mirror. I am not jealous. I am furious. Where is the glow for my righteous anger now? Why do you look at me with such a hideous face?

#

I’m sorry, mirror. I had to cover you. Every time I saw my reflection in you, it made me flinch. My features have grown more and more distorted. What is happening to me? Is this what being a widow does to one’s countenance?

I suppose I owe you an update, mirror self. I don’t have anyone to talk to these days. I spend most of my time following that whore. She has found another poor man to cuckold. He looks at her as if he’s never seen anyone so beautiful.

What’s worse is the glow of pregnancy does make her look beautiful. And it makes me want to gouge her pretty eyes out.

Oh! I cannot look at myself in this mirror any longer. Quickly, return the cover!

#

I hardly recognize myself anymore. But I had to see. See what my most recent act has done to my reflection.

Day in and day out, I watch that woman and her new husband walk side by side, pushing the bastard child along in front of them.

One happy family. He doesn’t even seem bothered by the fact that the child isn’t his. What kind of man can accept that? It’s not even that she’s widowed. She’s just a common whore.

So I let him know. I spent hours writing on their house, their car, their sidewalk, even his workplace, letting them know the truth about her.

They finally argued with each other. For a moment, hope blazed in my chest. Perhaps their misery will finally match my own!

But, no. She broke down crying and he consoled her, and they’re back to being happy again.

One fight.

Who are they? Nobody deserves that much happiness.

#

Somehow they found out it was me. They sent the police after me. The police wanted to arrest me, but they ended up dropping the charges.

Pity. The expression of pity on their faces as they looked down on me.

I will rip that expression right off of their faces.

#

I have done something unforgivable.

They’ll be here to take me away soon. But how will they even recognize me?

I would shatter you, but then there would be thousands of faces that don’t look like me anymore, staring back at me.

Only a monster stares back at me now. There is no humanity left in my reflection.

Sara is a Kansas-grown author of the fantasy and horror persuasions. She is convinced that fantastical things are waiting for her just around the corner, and until she finds the right corner, she writes about those things instead.

1 Trackback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *