This is a short story I did for my creative writing class. The genre is horror/sci-fi… hopefully. Any advice welcome 🙂
She sits in the room with her mirror, folding it, crumpling it, laying it flat. It springs back into form, never torn or creased. Her mirror can be used as a picture on the wall, or a blanket that keeps her warm, or a canvass ready to be painted.
She doesn’t look into its bendable form, her face clearly presented inside. She doesn’t stare at it for hours, or ask it questions that reflect back her true nature. She uses it for practical reasons or imaginary ones.
The room she sits in is round. But she can’t climb the sides – roll around like a hamster stretching its legs, or itching to get free. It’s just round. A sphere with no doors, windows, or escape.
The wall is white, her sweaty palms leaving no mark on its surface when she scrambles, nails trying to bite into its shell as she tries to get free. Her blood is red when her skin breaks, her nails torn. No one comes to help her when she pounds the wall and tries to rip her mirror up.
When they do come, the door always opens in a different spot. She never knows when they’ll come, but always knows why. They are always large and grip her like her bones are made from her mirror’s material, never afraid that she’ll break. They dress in one long white suit that climbs past their neck and covers their hair, not a strand poking out. They wear masks on their faces, white masks with wave like indents that cover their mouths and noses. Their eyes are protected with thick clear glasses – their eyes that stare and not look, and blink a thousand times, as they fracture into multiple parts like a hundred mirrors are kept inside.
With hands wrapped in fat black gloves, they grab her. Hoist her up by her arms that feel like shattering under pressure. They walk with precision, both in time. She never hears a laboured breath, or a sound escape their lips. She hears the thud of their black boots and the weak patter of her feet as she tries to keep up with their large strides.
The hallway she is taken down is straight. Not a curve or loop.
Every ten paces there is a small window that hovers above her head. She never has a second to look inside. Doesn’t dare to stand on her tiptoes and check.
Every fifteen paces is a wide door with a slit of a window. She can’t see what lies behind the door, but sees light protruding, fighting to get free. Once or twice she hears the smallest rattle when she passes, the tiniest quiver running through the big doors; they never look, never wonder what the tremor is, her arms aching as they pull her forward.
The doorway they take her through is different.
It has two doors that swing open, a thin piece of red tape boxing off the entry, as if it could be easily missed or mistaken for another. They don’t touch it or make a signal. They walk through knowing the doors will spread wide and let them in.
Past the doors is room shaped like a box. And inside the box is a chair. They place her on it, movements harsh. Wanting to see her bruise. Wanting to see a wince of pain. They don’t tie her up – place restraints on her wrists or ankles. They only make sure she stays straight, arms to her sides and legs closed, chin protruding like an arrow pointing up. They move back, positioned diagonally across the room.
There is no sound when the door opens – the secret door like the one that hides in her room. He walks in, his hair gray and thin, his mouth pinched and nose too long for his short square face. He wears a white shirt, black pants, and a mud brown tie.
His nails are clipped and yellow, skin flaking at his cuticles as he folds his sleeves up. He bends over her, looking in her eyes. His breath is blood on her face, the sharp, sweet, metallic scent clogging up her nose. His tiny blue eyes scrutinize her, the white space around his iris yellow, red veins pulsing, looking ready to pop.
He brushes his left arm with his hand, the skin fluttering, cracking. Peachy-red skin turns to gray, rotting, decomposing back into the dirt she knows from which he came. From the pocket of his pants he pulls out a needle and draws her blood; the crook of her elbow pinches and burns, the feel of a wasp’s stinger attacking again and again.
He inserts the needle into his arm with precision as she lies in pain, his skin smoothing. The smell of rotting flesh burrowing back underneath his skin.
The contours of his face soften and the yellow tinge in his eyes turns white. He smiles, his lips red, the last of her blood flowing into his blueing veins. The roots of his hair turn blond and he sighs as if complete; the air fills with the smell of blood and rotting flesh, her blood not able to disguise the sins he tries to hide.
She sits in the room with her mirror, needle marks pocking her skin. Her body hurts and weeps, so sore from all the blood he took, filling vial after vial. She feels limp, too tired to raise her head or move; her arm underneath her buzzes and tingles, needing to be shaken awake. She lies prone on the wall that cups her, her mirror giving her warmth. She tries not to look inside, not wanting to look into the face that he made.
She falls into dreamless sleeps and wakes to nightmares, as they stand above her, monitoring her vital signs.
With no breath they are soundless and she is shocked awake, her hands scratching at their covered faces. They restrain her, arms above her head, one masked face close to hers. She looks into its eyes and sees each blink, each mirrored fracture, reflects a death a hundred thousand times.
So close, she sees the rot around its eyes; sees the death that the man in the room can never escape. It pulls away and they yank her to her feet, dragging her back into the hallway. She struggles, not ready to see him again. She stumbles and they pick her up, their hands digging into her shoulder blades.
The light of the hallway feels too bright and she keeps tripping over her own feet. Her knees scrape the ground as she buckles, skin tearing, black blood seeping through. She swallows a scream and can’t move – they haul her forward as her legs bump against the ground.
Spots of black blood follow them down the hall; her feet drag like mops, blood trailing them like water streak marks. Doors creak and moan as she passes, the light from the windows wavering, shadows flitting by.
The door with the red tape opens as she’s pulled through. There is no chair inside and they hold her as he comes in, his face already sallow and hair wire gray. He pulls his needle out and taps a vein on her arm, the skin around it shredding into flakes. She kicks and pulls against their hold as he draws black blood, his brittle fingernails poking into her skin.
He looks at her, disappointed, and sighs. He gives the needle to one of the masks, and she watches him go through the secret door as they drag her into the hallway. The taste of death coating her mouth and the smell of rotting flesh in her nose.