"IN A GLASS DARKLY" - George Wilhite
I know you are there again.
Tormenting my every waking moment and hiding like the cowards you are, just out of reach.
Doctor Wilkins doesn’t believe me when I tell him how long I’ve known about you. Says it’s impossible I could remember that far back.
“Like, you hypnotized me dude,” I want to say. “Now, you reject the truth because you can’t handle the result?”
But I do remember the first time I saw you. The first of your kind. In the mirror.
I was only ten months old when Mom held me up to the mirror. To my horror, we were reflected there not once but twice. There was the clear duplication of our images but also the more spectral one, behind us and to our right. And our shadow selves cast their derisive smiles I have come to loathe.
You have grown as I have grown. Every mirror reveals twin images of me, one the “real”, the other you, the ghostly double, grinning in triumph over me.
Proving you exist has preoccupied my time. I was a lousy student and after dropping out of school an even more disastrous employee. No matter how often I tried to make a fresh start, inevitably your relentless presence would cause me to make the same mistake over again...telling others about you.
And landing me back here.
It would be one thing if I merely desired to prove myself sane. I gave up caring long ago if anyone believed me or what they thought about me. If I only saw my own twin in the mirror, and not that of my mother, this would remain strictly personal. But it is not that simple because I know everyone else has a twin as well.
Today I will take action. I swear it!
As I write this, you smile smugly from your prison in the mirror.
It will be over soon. You’ll see.
Wilkins shook his head, reading his patient’s final diary entry. The security at this place was abysmal. How did he get that box cutter into his room? This delusion was one of the most profound Wilkins had ever encountered.
Wilkins tossed the diary on his desk, rose and stretched. The hairs on the nape of his neck stood up as he felt the eerie sensation he was not alone in his office. For a split second, he swore someone bustled past him out of the corner of his eye. He turned and found only empty air in all directions. He shrugged and laughed it off, brushing aside any thoughts of the uncanny.
In the mirror, something stirred, aware of the extreme skepticism this human embraced.
“Maybe this time, we will be successful,” it whispered to its comrades, waiting patiently further back in the depths of the realm of glass.
BIO: George Wilhite is the author of the short fiction collection On the Verge of Madness. His work has also appeared in numerous print publications and online at Yesteryear Fiction, MicroHorror, Eschatology Journal and The Fringe.