Being Women

MIRROR ON THE WALL

Veron buys a seemingly ordinary mirror at a market stall. After hanging it at home, she discovers it possesses mysterious qualities, including a fog that spells out a warning message. The mirror's cautionary advice saves her from a potentially fatal encounter with a serial killer.

Discovering the Mirror

Browsing through a quaint market on the streets of Aramza, Veron stopped at a stall selling souvenirs at discounted prices. An oval-shaped mirror with gem-studded edging caught her eye. The vendor told her those were imitation stones and not real gems. He sold it to her at a throwaway price. With a glint in his eyes, he counted the money and flashed her a wide-toothed smile.

Strange Happenings

Back home after a weary journey by air, she unpacked her belongings and hung the exotic mirror in the hallway. The next evening, as she went to switch on the lights in the foyer, she noticed something strange. The glass had clouded over! Unable to understand what was going on, she rubbed it with her sleeve. Nothing! The fogging seemed to get denser. The weather was clear, and there was no way a mirror in the hallway could get steamed over. Panic rose inside her when she realized that a mist was swirling inside the mirror!

A Mysterious Message

She clamped her palms to her mouth when faint writing appeared on the glass: “Don’t open the front door.” As she stood rooted to the spot, stunned at the strange occurrence, the mirror cracked slightly near the edge with a soft chink. Veron jumped back with a shriek. The writing slowly faded, and the glass cleared in an instant. Veron didn’t know what to make of it, and the message held no significance to her. She tried to slip it out of the wall hook but pulled her hand back as if electrified. The mirror seemed to be possessed.

The Ominous Warning

With her heart racing, she slowly retreated and rushed to the bedroom, out of breath. This apartment building was in a quiet area, and most of the flats on her floor were unoccupied. She didn’t know what to do when suddenly the doorbell made her jump out of her skin. She wasn’t expecting anyone, yet she crossed the foyer again, hesitantly this time. The mirror seemed to glare at her, and like a rage building up inside it, the fog swelled furiously. Another chink appeared with a slightly louder crack this time. The message was more pronounced, as if pleading in urgency: “Don’t open…” The rest of the sentence trailed off as if the mirror had used up every ounce of its energy. Veron nodded and ignored the repeated ringing of the doorbell.

A Life-Saving Act

The lights fizzled out, and the foyer was shrouded in darkness. Clueless, she stood still, not daring to breathe. The edges of the mirror buzzed comfortingly. The sound of the retreating footsteps faded, but the mirror didn’t stop buzzing. It seemed to signal her not to move yet. A good fifteen minutes passed when the lights turned on and the mirror glowed softly. The glass was clear, and she looked at her reflection, panic-stricken and perspiring.

The Chilling Realization

At a loss of what to do, she looked at the strange mirror and wondered about the message. She got her answers the next morning when the breaking news screamed from the television that a serial killer had been apprehended with his serrated dagger on the way out from Luxe Apartments. Veron hadn’t watched the news since her arrival two days earlier. Breaking into a cold sweat, she realized the killer had likely been outside her door last evening. The mirror’s warning suddenly made perfect sense.

Gratitude and Reflection

Tears streaming down her face, she rushed to the foyer and leaned against the cold glass, thanking the mirror profusely. Running her fingers along the cracks, she soothed it. It seemed to come alive last night like her knight in shining armor. The glass shone crystal clear, and the gemstones twinkled in the bright summer day.

By Sangeeta Kamath

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