Skip to content

Off the Wall

This post is part of the Mirror Series. If this is your first visit to the Mirror Series, please click here and follow the arrows at the top right of each post to read the series from the beginning. Thank you for reading!

They always told me the eyes are the windows to the soul, that scary, hidden part of me even I can’t see. When I look in the mirror, I see two white ovals, centered green. My mother’s eyes. Her father’s eyes.

If I haven’t slept or if my body clings to water, they sometimes tinge purple underneath, that unfortunate place where thin skin turns puffy. I’m beyond the age where creams and potions help. My eyes – they are what they are when I awake; they constrict and tear throughout the day. They’re stubborn in their quest to see the world.

Maybe their belligerence comes from the WAY they naturally see the world. When they don’t interact with a filter – glasses, contacts, the logical part of my brain – those gazers can misjudge others. They can expect too much. They catch a piece of a thing and complete a picture that’s unfair. Left unchecked, my eyes make mockeries of reality by imagining finished canvases from glimpses of things.

So, I look in the mirror, face myself eye-to-eye, and try to force my wayward soul to comply with my desire to understand, to accept, to be fair. It’s easy to talk to something I can’t see.

Until my soul winked at me.

In front of the bathroom mirror, it winked. Not one of those flirty, I-don’t-want-anyone-to-see winks. My mouth opened in a creepy grimace. My face elongated, contorted. One reddened eye bulged while the other disappeared in a furrow of rounded, putrid wrinkles. The details of the room behind me disappeared into an abyss. All I could see in the mirror was a monstrous creature, swaying to its own menacing beat, reaching toward me through the glass, threatening to pull me to its blackened side. A melange of decaying inherited features, bits I recalled from old photographs, they tried to suck me through that solo open eye.

I touched my face instead of screaming, just to prove what I was seeing wasn’t real. My vision is not dependable if uncorrected, I told myself. I don’t believe in monsters. That thing – it’s not really there, not who I am. I ran my hands over my countenance, even covered the winking eye, but the ghoul in the mirror did not follow me. My sight was held captive by a single, bloody eye as my fingernails frantically clawed my face. Salty wetness covered my lips, oozed into my mouth. Still, I couldn’t look away from my heaving soul.

It dragged me to the mirror with a violent tug, murmuring in a tongue I didn’t comprehend, yet I understood it meant to enslave me in the world beyond the glass. My feet wore indentions in the floor, grooves that scorched a path to the pulsating reflection of evil. I opened my mouth to scream, but my breath had been replaced by the freezing blast of rancid death, shrieking back at me. An icy, stinking gale blew hair into my eyes. Pain daggered through them as I blinked over the wispy strands. A blink was enough. When I looked again, I was only me.

But, my eyes were altered. Their ability to judge is untrustworthy, a lie. That horrifying visage of my soul, it’s imprinted there. With every blink, I see it, growling back at me.

35 Comments Post a comment
  1. Halloween has arrived early at the cwazzzy house. Killing eyes are at the heart of this. I only hope the Shadow Ninja can escape the horror.

    October 18, 2011
    • Shadow Ninja will survive. He has to read these posts and tell me they are good enough for the blog. 😉

      October 18, 2011
  2. That is just terrifying! I’m going to cover all the mirrors, or at least avoid looking into them with my green eyes.

    October 18, 2011
    • Horror is never something I’ve watched, read or really wanted to write, but coming up with these posts is fun for some reason. I don’t know WHY.

      October 18, 2011
  3. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    Great writing, Andra. Now to lighten the mood a bit….

    October 18, 2011
    • Such a shame. Michael Jackson was such a striking man.

      October 18, 2011
  4. Rockin’ scary! Love it! Now I remember why I never sleep anywhere I can wake and see a mirror…

    October 18, 2011
    • MTM and I have a big ole mirror in our bedroom……………maybe that’s the reason I don’t sleep so well. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this one, Elizabeth.

      October 18, 2011
  5. I give credit to Voodoo practitioners, in that they understand that voodoo magic only works as far as you believe it does. They do not objectify it. One of my biggest mentors is Joseph Campbell, who said wise things such as: “Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”, and “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” I could go on and on…

    If I may, perhaps one more I find relevant from Rainer Maria Rilke: ““Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”

    All this to say how much I found this piece to be inspired and inspiring, Andra… 🙂

    October 18, 2011
    • …and I LOVE All Hallows Eve rituals 🙂

      October 18, 2011
    • You should see the dress I’m wearing today, Brett. It has a Halloween theme. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing all these quotes. All poignant and fitting for this post.

      October 18, 2011
      • Orange? It can be tough for us pale-faces to pull off orange.

        October 18, 2011
      • Black with orange accents. An actual spider hangs from one sleeve. MTM DEPLORES this dress.

        October 18, 2011
  6. Excellent! Vaguely reminds me of HP Lovecraft and some other short stories I used to read.

    I have always hated, feared?, mirrors. I cannot look into them in the dark. I have been know to cover them up or take them down when in hotels. Can’t have them anywhere near my bed – away or at home. Yup, I am that strange. Go ahead, stare into one for a long time at night when there are no lights around. See how long it takes before you see something moving… on the other side.

    October 18, 2011
    • I don’t think I will try that one, Carnell. I will take your word for it. 🙂

      October 18, 2011
  7. ARGH! My green eyes will avoid the mirror at all costs tonight. Maybe every night from now on.

    October 18, 2011
    • It has been interesting to see how many readers have green eyes today, Roxanne. I hope the Duck’s mirrors are horror-proof. 🙂

      October 18, 2011
  8. Blurry hell, Andra, you do this stuff well. I haven’t clicked back through the series yet – saving it for a treat while I’m on hols next week – but you remind me that I can make a scary face which scares the bejeezers out of anyone watching. Phil calls it ‘crazy girl. Last time I did it in the mirror I had to steady myself with a glass of something fortifying afterwards.
    You’re always catching me unawares. I have never before thought of a wink as grotesque, much less as a portal. I shall forswear winking in the mirror for a few weeks, I think.

    October 18, 2011
    • You will have to save that face for All Hallow’s Eve. 🙂

      I love the faces in Beetlejuice, the ones where Alex Baldwin and Geena Davis pull their faces into grotesque contortions. Mine won’t do that naturally, though. Pity for me.

      October 18, 2011
  9. Creepy!

    You know; there must be something in the air. I was just contemplating trying to write something scary.

    I wonder if I could pull off a scary haiku . . .

    October 18, 2011
  10. It’s been a long time since I read a horror story, and I generally ONLY read them if the back of my chair is against the wall, so no one can walk up behind me. 🙂 Your tale raised the hair on the back of my neck; and then Carnell had to chime in with his dare to stare . . .

    I Googled horror in the mirror . . . Check this out:

    Think I’ll sleep with one of my green eyes open tonight! 🙂

    October 18, 2011
    • If you ever have any doubt about the problem with mirrors, watch how cats react to them. They can “see” the other side…

      October 18, 2011
      • I try not to watch cats……..

        October 18, 2011
      • It is freaky what they must see. They are halfway between sides anyway.

        October 18, 2011
      • More than halfway, I’d say.

        October 18, 2011
      • The story goes that if you get behind them and look through their ears, you can see what they see. Cats are incredible, independent creatures.

        October 18, 2011
      • I’ve never been near one that would let me do that, Brett. We have an outside cat that I encourage to hang around simply because of the state of the house next door, but it runs away from me every time I go outside.

        October 18, 2011
    • Eek! Scary stuff, Karen. I didn’t see any of them using a wink as an instrument of fright, though. Maybe I actually hit upon something original. 🙂

      October 18, 2011
  11. earlybird #

    Ouf! Where did that one come from? Dare I read on, I wonder…

    October 19, 2011
    • Writing scary stuff is an interesting experiment for me. I don’t really like to read horror books, but trying my hand at writing something frightening has been fun.

      October 19, 2011

Talk Amongst Ourselves

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: