Chapter 2: The Mirror.
“Slayd… Slayd! Wake up!”
Slayd sat up suddenly, wondering who had called him. It had sounded just like the hissing, raspy voice that had awakened him from his coffin.
The hooting of an owl just outside the bedroom window startled him, and he looked around the abandoned room. He had fallen asleep in the dusty old bed at some point, and by now it was very dark outside. A thin strip of white moonlight filtered through the broken glass, playing across the wrinkles in the decaying cloth and casting dim shadows across Slayd’s face. He stared up at the ceiling, slowly counting the peels of paint that had worked themselves loose from their wooden panels.
“I guess it was no one… perhaps just my imagination, or a dream.” He shook his head and frowned. Slayd wasn’t one to dwell on Bad Things, but it seemed as though ever since he had woken up in that awful coffin, nothing had gone right. Nothing even seemed normal. He sighed.
“It does me no good sleeping away like this. I’m not even tired! What I really need to do is find someone who might be able to help me.”
He got up and intended to make his way out of the farm house, but something in the corner caught his attention. A glint in the mirror.
He curiously walked over to it, and tilted it towards the moonlight. A little flash of light suddenly flickered in the mirror, but it disappeared just as quickly as Slayd had seen it. He tilted the mirror this way and that, but didn’t catch it again. He shook his head, wondering what it was, and turned to go.
Again, he saw it out of the corner of his vacant eye socket, a white flicker in the mirror. He quickly turned on the threshold of the door, staring intently into the reflection of the mirror across the room. Nothing, except his own eyeless face stared back at him.
“Now I’m definitely seeing things,” he said to himself. “Perhaps I’m mad. It wouldn’t really be very surprising now, would it?”
But he continued to stare at the mirror from across the room. He crept slowly - ever so slowly, like a snail that has caught himself on wet glass - back to the mirror, raking his gaze from corner to corner, hoping to see what had made that flash.
But then something very curious happened, which surprised Slayd very much.
His reflection winked at him, in a way that only an eyeless reflection can wink.
Slayd jumped back, startled, grabbing the back of the bed for support. He stumbled and fell to the floor. Trying to get his reflection back in his sight, he twisted back around to stare at the mirror. His reflection didn’t follow his shocked movements at all. It just stood there in the mirror, almost laughing at him.
Slayd didn’t move for a very, very long time. And I couldn’t blame him one bit, because I would be very scared too, if my reflection had moved when I most certainly had not.
But eventually, after sitting in absolute stillness for a very long time, Slayd did a very brave thing. He drew one of his hands out, and slowly touched the mirror’s glass. His reflection’s gaze followed his hand, watching as Slayd gingerly brushed the smooth surface. And then it too, slowly extended its own hand, touching its fingertips to Slayd’s.
Much to Slayd’s shock and amazement, the reflection’s fingertips began to push out of the mirror! Slowly, bit by bit, the reflection began to emerge, until it was standing over Slayd, gazing down at him, still touching his fingertips.
Slayd swallowed hard. He wasn’t sure of what to do at all, because something like this had never happened to him before, and he was quite certain that it didn’t happen very often to other people either.
“Hello,” he began, unsure of what to say. “Can you… understand me at all? Who are you?”
His reflection gazed at him curiously, and laughed.
“I,” it said, “Perhaps, now perhaps I am you. The question is who… are we? Or rather… who am I? That is what you should be asking. But I won’t always tell you what you should ask. You’ll have to figure that out for yourself.”
Slayd started in surprise. That voice… I know that voice! I heard it when I woke up!
“I… I don’t know who I am,” he stammered, “But you… um… you could call me Slayd, I guess. That’s what I heard when I first woke up. But… I think you already knew that. You were the one that called me, weren’t you?”
His reflection merely stared at him, and Slayd squirmed a little. “But, I don’t really know who I am. I… I don’t remember.”
His reflection nodded. “Of course you don’t.”
“Why… why wouldn’t I remember? Do you know who I am? Am I dead? What’s happened to me?”
The reflection chuckled. “You ask too many questions, and none of them are the right ones to ask. Perhaps, now perhaps, if you ask the right questions, I’ll tell you the right answers.”
Slayd frowned. “But what are the right questions?”
His reflection just looked at him, grinning.
“All right…” he sighed, “Who am I?”
And just at that moment when he spoke those words, the reflection laced his fingers through Slayd’s and pulled him into the mirror.