Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2288851-The-Dark-Side
by Jinxx
Rated: 18+ · Chapter · Dark · #2288851
Chapter 1 Leilani's hunt for a new mirror leads to something darker.
My grandma advised me to use caution when looking for a new mirror. She always told me to choose the one that feels right to me rather than merely purchasing anything because it will look wonderful hanging on a wall. I was never quite clear why she was so picky about something that was merely used to help you put on makeup in the morning or make sure you look decent before you leave the house. What was the fuss about?
I should have listened. I really should.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Just choose one," Darien, my boyfriend, said over the phone.

I sighed as I made my way down the aisle of the sixth store I had gone to that day. I said for the umpteenth time, "You can't just choose any old mirror.. "It has to look and feel good."

"What? Feel good? Like if you rub upon it?"

His pathetic attempt at innuendo caused me to snort. Darien was a great boyfriend but sometimes I wondered if he has a few brain cells missing. "No, Dar, I mean like how it feels in the space."

"I have no idea what that means but I'll take your word for it." I hear some shuffling as he pulls the phone away from his ear and covers the receiver, followed by muffled voices. "Yeah, okay. Hey, listen, Lani, I have to head into a meeting. I'll see you at home with the new mirror."

I sighed. "Yeah, okay. See you tonight."

He hangs up without another word.

I wandered the aisles for a few more minutes before I finally decided to call it quits and head home. I made my way back to my red Chevy Equinox. I threw my phone and purse on the passenger seat and was about to move to the driver's side when a bright flashing neon light caught my attention across the street. The sign boasted " HOME DECOR " in multiple colors. Maybe it was the exhaustion of wandering multiple stores and leaving empty-handed, maybe my attention span was distracted by the pretty colors, or maybe it was the other, less flashy sign which quietly stated that today was a sale for half off everything in the store.

"What the hell," I muttered to myself as I snatched my phone back out of the car.

I jogged across the street and pulled open the door which greeted me with a soft tinkling bell. The store was packed with all kinds of furniture from modern to victorian. Beds, dressers, bookshelves, cribs, this store had everything. From the outside it looked like any old hole in the wall store but on the inside it felt like I had stepped into the "Beyond" section of Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

I slowly made my way down the aisles that appeared to be made out of the very furniture they were selling. I felt like I'd died and gone to a home decorator's heaven. I didn't realize I had been lost in my own thoughts until I felt a light touch on my shoulder which made me almost jump out of my skin. I whirled around and came face to face with a little blue-haired old lady. She gave me a sweet smile.

"Hello, dear," she said in a gentle voice. " Can I help you find anything?"

Of course this place is owned by a little old lady.

"I'm actually looking for a mirror for my foyer," I said. "I've been to so many stores and can't seem to find exactly what I'm looking at. "

"Ok, we have plenty of mirrors," she said as she motioned for me to follow her through the maze of furniture.

She shuffled ahead of me at a snail's pace. I was never one to be incredibly impatient but I really wanted to see what they had. I had a feeling in the pit of stomach that told me this was the place. We turned one more corner and I found myself surrounded by mirrors from floor to ceiling. I was giddy but also had my grandmother's voice in my ear warning me about what happens when you have too many mirrors facing each other and souls or demons becoming angry because they couldn't leave their realm. I couldn't remember. I loved my grandmother but we are pretty sure she was losing it near the end.

I had been lost in my thoughts again and didn't realize the old woman was speaking to me.

"I'm sorry?" I spattered.

"I said,' What kind are you looking for?" she repeated calmly.

"Honestly," I said as I stepped farther into the space to see more of the mirrors. "I'm not sure. I figure I'll just know it when I see it."

She nodded and gave me another of her sweet smiles. " Well, go ahead and look around. I'll be up front when you have one picked out." She stepped toward one of the mirrors near the floor and pointed to a tag hanging on a short pillar in front of it. " When you find one you like, just bring me the tag and I'll have my son bring it to your car." With that. she shuffled away again.

I felt like I was being watched from all sides but every time I turned around, the only eyes watching me were those of my own reflection.

There were so many different mirrors - full length mirrors, framed mirrors, mirrors without frames, round ones, rectangular ares, honeycombs. It was another world. How could I decide with all these choices?

"Stop," I said to myself before I became overwhelmed.

I took a deep breath and slowly started moving through the hall of mirrors before me. I had no idea how long I had been in there and had forgotten to ask what their hours of operation were. But it was all forgotten when I saw it. It was perfect. The mirror was about four feet in length with a thin silver arch frame. At the top was an artistic filigree decorated with tiny roses. I quickly snatched the tag and began navigating my way through the labyrinth back to the front of the store.

The little old lady stood behind a counter I hadn't noticed when I first entered. She was leaning on the counter reading a very worn copy of House of Leaves. She looked up as I approached and put on her smile again.

"Did you find what you were looking for, dear?" she asked.

I nodded and handed over the tag. Only then did I realize that I hadn't even checked the price. It's not like I was on a budget but I didn't want to spend thousands on a mirror.

"Oh, yes," the old lady said, breaking me from my thoughts, " this is a lovely piece." She began typing numbers into an old cash register. "Your total is $250."

I gaped at the woman. Surely such a gorgeous piece was worth more than than $250!

"Is everything alright, dear?" she asked, concern etching her wrinkled brow.

"Yes," I stammered as I dug into my purse.. "I'm just shocked. I thought it would be so much more." I handed over my credit card.

"Oh no," she chuckled. "I don't usually charge too much. Besides, you seemed a bit frazzled when you came in." She swiped my card into the reader and waited for it to respond. "I thought it only right to give you a newcomer's discount on top of our half off sale." She winked as she handed back my card and the receipt to sign.

I quickly scribbled my name on the receipt, sliding it back to her. "You are too kind." I said. "I was a bit frazzled. I feel like I've been searching forever to find the right piece." I reached back into my purse for my keys. "Let me pull my car to the front."

"Of course. My son will meet you out front with your purchase."

I said my thanks and hurried out of the store to my car. It only took me about three minutes but as soon as I pulled to the curb in front of the store, a man, who I can only assume is the woman's son, stood outside with the mirror wrapped up in a box. The man was a bit scary looking. His face was dirty and marred with multiple scars. His long hair looked tangled and greasy. On top of that, the man looked like he could win a fight against a brick wall.

My mother's words echoed in my head, "Leilani, just because someone looks scary doesn't mean they aren't good or the inside."

Thanks, mom. I'll still keep my distance for my our sanity.

I rolled down the window. "In the back is fine," I said as I tapped the button to open the trunk.

He quickly tucked the mirror into the back, slamming my truck. I gritted my teeth. I hated when people did that.

He reappeared at the open passenger window. Thinking he wanted a tip, I pulled a five out of my purse and offered it to him. Before I could thank him, he snatched the money out of my hand and growled "No refunds" before skulking back into the store.

"Rude," I muttered as I rolled up the window.

Slipping the car into gear, and that jerk out of my head, I set off toward home, excited about my new mirror.
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