Congratulations to Danielle, the winner of our Teen Writing Contest!
The Hall of Mirrors
I was young when my parents died in a tragic accident and left me and my brother alone in the world.
After they passed my brother and I neglected the estate, our once grand, luxurious home soon became a hollow house of crumbling corridors filled with cobwebs. There was only one spot of the entire estate we bothered to maintain, The Hall of Mirrors. It was a large room, with walls made of ancient mirrors that shone strangely even in the absence of light. It had always been my mother’s favorite room.
Thusly, it was the only room in the house that held some remnants of joy, some glimmer of happiness long lost; soon it became common for us to dine in the glimmering room.
It was during one of these bland meals that I observed my reflection, my blonde hair was frizzled and my blue eyes were stained with tears. Those eyes had once been the source of my name; they had once sparkled so brightly that my mother had insisted they name me Andromeda, after the sparkling Andromeda Galaxy.
But now they seldom sparkled, they only wept. They wept for the lives that had been lost that fateful day when God had called my parents home. How God could ever leave a child and his elder sister alone to fend for themselves, I never understood.
I was barely a teenager and now I had to take care of my little brother. My parent’s deaths affected my brother even more than me, as evidenced by his dreadful reflection. His heart was broken in such a way that I doubted it could ever be healed. I yearned for a way to ease his pain.
Then she came. She came suddenly, as if in answer to my silent prayer for my brothers healing. I saw her, a terrifying, beastly creature and although she was human in form she was not so in actions. Her wild gold hair flew outward in all directions and although she attacked my brother it was I she looked at, never taking her dangerous blue eyes off me.
My brother screamed my name, “Andromeda! Andromeda!” He cried. But it was as though I was dreaming, I wanted to stop her but I couldn’t.
She slammed his head against the floor and blood trickled down his face. He cried out for her to stop but she wouldn’t, she had a job to do and would see that it was done. She slammed his head several more times against the marble floor and his screaming was eventually silenced. His blood splashed up against the mirror.
Wait-The Mirror? I froze and so did she. She ran a bloodied hand through her tangled locks and so did I. Every move I made, no matter how slight, the killer mimicked. My blood ran cold.
My reflection. I had watched my reflection kill my brother. But reflections can’t kill people, I thought. I felt sick. Had I killed my brother? I was shaking and crying but I couldn’t stop staring at the mirror, at my bloodied reflection.
I saw my brother’s corpse in the mirror too; I saw the blood dripping off his face in a steady rhythm. The liquid made strange patterns on the floor, like a design painted on it by some demented artist. The sound of the blood falling echoed horribly against the glass walls, a revolting sound, like a melody composed by the devil himself. Drip-drip. Drip-drip. Guil-ty. Guil-ty. Guilty!
The word echoed horribly in my mind, “No,” I screeched at the polished and blood splattered glass. “No! You did this, not I!” The reflection in turn accused me.
I put up my hands to my ears to block the sound of the blood, but I couldn’t stop looking at the mirror. Even when I closed my eyes, the hideous image stayed with me, haunting me, and plunging me into a feeling of indescribable agony. I beat my hands against the glass, smearing the blood in odd patterns, distorting my reflection, making it look even more beast like. “No! No!”
I was frantic; I fear all my sanity had fled from my mind, “You did this! You killed him!” The mirror echoed back my words and any glimmer of sanity left in my soul vanished. I threw myself at the mirror, desperate to avenge my brother’s death, desperate to destroy his murderer. The glass shattered and the many pointed shards pierced my body. I fell to the floor and my blood mingled with that of my brothers. Now the blood-patterns on the floor seemed strangely beautiful.
I smiled softly at the swirling sea of red, for even though I knew I was dying, I was content. I had destroyed the beast that killed my brother.