Mirror Mirror

Chris hated number 52

This house should have been a money maker but instead it had turned into a complete money pit. Other agents had warned his boss but the greedy bastard had ignored them

The place didn’t feel right from the first time Chris walked in. You couldn’t put your finger on it but being in there made you feel smothered. An overwhelming feeling of depression just hung around it. Prospective tenants felt it and every viewing resulted in people not wanting it. None of the staff wanted to go there either and now it was off limits because of what happened with Danny

He’d been a sweet kid, quiet and sensitive. He’d been employed to take photos of new properties as a favour to a friend of the boss. The story was he’d gone to university but the pressure had flipped him over the edge and he was back home, on meds, being looked after by his parents. He’d come in two days a week, take his photos and go home to do his magic on his laptop

He’d first gone over to number 52 with another member of staff to do the shots two days before it happened. They’d found him in the living room looking into the mirror. They called him but he just stood there without answering (later they told the police that he was shaking almost like he was having a seizure). He was obviously a bit shaken so his dad came and picked him up saying he’d need to have a few days off

He’d came back a couple of days later and said he was fine to go back and finish the shots. Chris arranged for him to be there for the morning with one of the  juniors from the firm who had to let a plumber in leaving Danny to take his photos. It wasn’t until the they were ready to leave that they’d noticed he’d gone. They’d phoned his mobile and then Chris to let him know and that’s when it all started

He wasn’t at home and couldn’t be contacted. A few days passed before the police became involved taking statements from everyone about Danny and his mood on the day, if we’d noticed anything different. Of course, looking back, everyone could question their own judgement. Should they have said something? Should they have done something different?

Appeals were made but there was no news at all. CCTV cameras were checked but he wasn’t on them. His bank account hadn’t been touched and he’d had no activity on his social media since the day he’d turned up for work

He’d written on his laptop about how worthless his life was, about how he was a failure, a burden on everyone and how he’d be better off dead. It didn’t take a genius to work out what had happened and why he’d done it

That was six months ago so today was a good day to off load it onto some other mug who was going to be silly enough to take it on. Chris would take photos to confirm the condition and leave.

The living room was dominated by an old mirror above the fireplace that was part of the furnishings provided by the owner. It was so old that most of the reflective surface had gone and was now more of an art piece than mirror. Chris stepped back to take a photograph of himself reflected in the damaged surface and raised the viewfinder to his eye

A sadness creeped up in him.The reflection of the room blurred around him, not letting him focus on any one thing, disorientating him. It changed quickly to a tunnel of mirrors with the effect as if he was falling into it before pushing him back out again  

The heaviness covered Chris completely, all sense of self began to swirl away and a fear began to take him. It was like a feeling that he was beginning to fall through the floor

He must have pressed the button which set the flash off pulling him back around. He stumbled back and could see the faces of people looking back at him from the mirror, their hands reaching out for him, their mouths twisted as though screaming. They drifted around like a fog, in and out of focus and at the front was Danny, his face contorted in fear, eyes black and lifeless, coming for him, grasping at him, pulling him in

Chris fell backwards to the floor screaming. He looked up at the mirror; it was just as it was when he first looked at it. He stumbled up and out of the room running outside. He reached a shaky hand inside his jacket pocket and pulled out his cigarettes, sat down on the wall surrounding the house and lit up

It wasn’t until he’d finished his second smoke that he’d stopped his shakes and looked at the photo he’d taken. There was nothing other than his own reflection in the mirror staring back at him. The calmness started to flow through his body

Too many late nights on the beer and not enough sleep that’s what it was. Having Danny on his mind and feeling guilty about not having done more to help him. The bloody place gave everyone the creeps so it just all came on top that’s all

Chris made his way back to the office. Best not to mention it he thought. Just get rid of the place and move on. Stay off the beer of a while and get some early nights

The mirror expanded and contracted within its frame as there screams slowly echoed away to silence and their faces faded

It could wait

More would come. more would look, more would be taken

 

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