View Full Version : The Image in the Mirror

September 29th, 2018, 03:03 PM
The Image in the Mirror

It was an imposing mirror, with gilded framing and shaped like a large emerald stone, which fitted well into the front room. It was this that made my mother buy it at the auction.

On that afternoon, I happened to glance at the mirror, and from the corner of my eye I saw something that shook me up. I could make out a girl’s face. I stood there wide mouthed for a few seconds and for a moment my mind went blank. Was I having some kind of hallucination? I wondered. I looked again but the girl has disappeared. Had I imagined it? I didn’t believe in ghosts, and this would be difficult to explain to anyone, so I kept it to myself. There was something special about this mirror that had come to their house. Was there some sort of message? I took it down and examined it carefully. There was an address at the back. Maybe the previous owner could shed some light on what I’d seen. Was the girl in the mirror a real person and what had this to do with me? No one else had seen anything strange.

It didn’t prove difficult in finding the address. What was difficult though, was to make any sense of the person who answered the door when I went there. The lady was foreign, and not too keen to answer my questions.

I didn’t bother pressing her. It was obvious that she didn't know anything about the mirror. I went home and got to thinking. This time though something stirred inside me. The girl’s face was not much older than myself. Who was this person and what connection could she have with me? I thought about it, and I decided to seek advice from a medium. I’d seen an ad in the local paper about a Madame Zion who offered her services concerning unexplained appearances. I phoned and made an appointment. I’d nothing to lose - I still thought that there must be some logical explanation to this but I had an open mind. This thing had got to me; it had become an obsession.

Madame Zion lived in a nice part of town. She had a small bungalow, with a trim garden in a tree lined street. It was obvious that she ran a profitable business. I rang the bell and a woman came to the door. A little portly lady, with a pleasant inquisitive round face, she was wearing a gown and had her hair in a bun. She had a broach around her neck, and rings on her finger. I thought that she had an oriental air about her, which added to her credibility.

“Good morning, I am Steve Edwards. I called you yesterday, and made an appointment for 2 o’clock,” I said looking at my watch.

“Oh, Yes, you are the young gentleman with the face in the mirror, please come in dear.” She led me into a room that was heavily draped with cherry red curtains and a table and chairs in the middle but little other furniture. There were pictures of star constellations and artefacts of astrology on the walls which presumably were there to help the customers acclimatise to their surroundings.

She offered me a chair. “Please make yourself comfortable,” she said as she unwrapped some small instruments from a blue velvet cloth. “Now tell me exactly what you saw and we’ll take it from there. I need to hold your hands while you explain what you have seen. As you talk, the energy waves from your body will flow out to me and that will make it easier to visualise the Omni-sphere surrounding you.”

It all sounded matter of fact and nothing like I had imagined, so I proceeded with my story. I explained that I had seen the face of a young woman who seemed to smile at me. I wanted to find out who she was and why did she appear to me.

Madame Zion closed her eyes and while she was falling into a trance, I could just make out her face because the lights had been switched off and the room was in darkness. Then I heard her talking quietly, but I could not hear the person she was talking with. From what I could see though, she was now smiling so I gathered that nothing sinister was happening and waited patiently till she finally came to, and opened her eyes. She switched on the lights and the whole sťance was over. She looked up at me; I was anxious to hear what she had to say, but I stayed silent. “Young man, the person that has been haunting you is none other than your mother.”

“It can’t be, I already have a mother,” I protested.

“The girl in the mirror is your biological mother. Thanks to the mirror, she has found you at last, and can now rest in peace. Her little baby that was snatched from her outside her house. She lived in a terraced house opposite the Odeon cinema by the water front. She’d left you in your pram while she went in to get some milk for you. When she came out, you had gone, the pram was empty. She fainted. People came to help but it was too late, her heart gave up on her. Before anyone could call for help she was gone. Her spirit has looked everywhere hoping to find you. The mirror was hers, and after her death all her belongings were sold off.”

“If I am that child, how did I get to where I am now? My mother is not my mother? Maybe the ghost of that girl has it wrong. Maybe I am not her lost child, how can I be sure?”

“I can only tell you what I saw and heard from her.”

“Thank you, I know what I have to do.” I now had some doubts but was concerned enough to try and find out as much as I could at home. I went down by the water front and found the house. The thing to do was to ask if anyone still remembered the girl with a baby who’d lived here 20 years before. Maybe the present owners could shed some light about the young girl and her baby. When I got there, as I expected no one knew much about the past, but they told me to ask the old couple who lived across the street. They would perhaps remember the girl.

I went across and knocked at the door. After a while, an old lady appeared.

“I'm sorry to trouble you, but I'm looking for someone who lived here a long time ago. I’m trying to trace a young girl who lived here 20 years ago.”

“Let me see now,” the old Lady said. “I ‘ve lived here for the last thirty years and I do remember. Very sad. Yes there was a girl who lived across the street; she had her baby snatched and she collapsed and died. They never found what happened to the baby.”

“Can you tell me anything about this girl, was she married? Did she have any relatives?”

“No, all I remember is that she was very pleasant and she adored her child. She lived alone but the baby was well looked after, and she was also well dressed.

“Thank you, you've been very helpful,” I said as I went off to consider my situation.

Taking stock of the circumstances I decided that it wasn’t necessary to search anymore. It was obvious that I was the baby and that I had been adopted. I would raise it with my mother; she would fill the gaps as to how I came to them. My present parents had brought me up as their own child and had given me the love of a mother and father. Never the less, it was time to clear things up.

I went home and I approached my mother. “We need to talk,” I said to her. You know how much I love you as my mother and maybe you have things to tell me about my birth.”

My mother looked at me suddenly surprised. “What do you mean by that?” she said.

“I know now, thanks to the mirror you bought, that you're not my biological mother.”

“Oh dear! What has happened Steve? Yes… it is true that I am not your mother. I am trully sorry. Maybe I should have told you sooner, but I thought it best to wait till you were old enough. We adopted you. Someone had left you in a church, and we were offered the chance as I could not have a baby. I never met your real mother.”

“I can tell you all about her,” I said. She loved me so much, that she collapsed and died when she found that I was snatched from outside her house. That mirror you brought into the house held the deep secret. I don’t know why the abductor left me in the church but she was the cause of my mother’s heart attack. My mother’s spirit is now calm having found me even after her death, and she’s happy that you found me and brought me up. Nothing need to change, I am a big boy now, and I can understand.”

They embraced as tears flowed between them.

October 4th, 2018, 05:18 PM
Hi Ian. I like the idea behind the story. You could really have some fun with this, I think. There does seem to be some issues with this being written in first person vs. third person. First person is someone telling you his or her story ("It was an imposing mirror, with gilded framing and shaped like a large emerald stone, which fitted well into the front room. It was this that made my mother buy it at the auction.) Third person is more like a camera recording the events ("On that afternoon, Steve happened to glance at the mirror, and from the corner of his eye he saw something that shook him up. ) The two sentences above follow each other. This issue continues throughout the work, so you need to decide which person you want to use.

There are also some gaps in the story line. Like what does this particular mirror have to do with the girl who died? Was it something she used herself? If she died in the street, how did it happen that her spirit was in the mirror? I like the interactions with the medium; I think they are mostly realistic.

I think if you read your work out loud, you will be able to pick up on a few things, and be able to see the information that is missing. Keep going; keep working on this. I think it can be good! Thanks for sharing your story, Ian.

October 5th, 2018, 04:25 AM
A very engaging story. I enjoyed what i read. It left a lot of unanswered questions and could easily be a longer work. I think sue's questions could help you expand it. For example about the figure in the mirror, why is she trapped in the mirror. Who is the person? Where do they make these mirrors? What magic is involved. Why did the girl surface as a ghost? Is it plot relevant? Lots of great feelings in this peace.

October 5th, 2018, 10:24 AM
Thank you for taking the time to read the story. Your comments are appreciated because without them there's meaning to anyone's writing. It's through your eyes that the story takes form and not my writing it. The plot here is the magic power of the mirror which has enabled the poor girl to continue her search for her child after her death in such circumstances. She had no other choice but to enbody herself in her mirror hoping to see her child.

October 5th, 2018, 10:33 AM
I thought I had already answered your posting Sue, but it didn't appear. In any case, I can't thank you enough for saving me by pointing out the obvious mistake concerning the POV which I have now corrected. Perhaps wrongly, I left some gaps to allow the reader to imagine and participate in the story.

October 5th, 2018, 03:25 PM
It is easy to make a world of mirrors story. Maybe read borge's work. He wrote about a world of mirrors inside a labyrinth. That should give you some ideas if you pick up his work and read it. He I think was one of the first to write fantasy.

October 11th, 2018, 10:41 PM
Hi Ian, I enjoyed the ideas of your story. I would like to see more interactions between the ghost and human, maybe over a couple of nights. Also wouldn't the girl be more scared of the ghost girl in the mirror, I know I would be pretty freaked. This did not come across to me when reading, the girl seems quite calm in fact. As has already been said there are lots of avenues that this story could use to become a larger piece. I would be interested I reading a rework of this. :)