Flash Fiction about a finely crafted mirror
Doris had bought the mirror at one of those 'estate auctions' where everything was sold for back taxes because the owners had mysteriously disappeared. It was a rotten way to get a good deal, but she couldn’t resist the ornate full-length mirror, undoubtedly worth hundreds, but purchased for a mere fifty bucks. She smiled with relief when no one outbid her, even felt a little guilty that she had gotten away with someone’s valuable heirloom.
Carl Brock, her next door neighbor, helped her unload it.
“Woo-wee, Doris, that’s some kinda mirror!” he said running his hand over the carved frame. “Look at that craftsmanship. I tell ya, they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore."
“Yeah, it's a beaut."
“Whatcha gonna do, sell it?”
“Heck no! I’m gonna keep it.”
“Keep it? But it’s way too fancy for you, Doris.”
She gave him a cross look. “I don’t care what you say, ya old coot. I’m gonna keep it!"
“Okay, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean nuthin’ by it.”
She caressed the frame like a lover; it felt warm to the touch, as if it had been sitting out in the sun. “It just feels good.”
“Suit yerself, but the more I look at it, the more peculiar it seems.”
“Whadduya mean, peculiar?”
“Looky here, these figures carved in the wood ain’t angels. They’ve got wings, but they sure as hell ain’t angels. They look more like little devils or somethin', maybe demons.”
“What? Lemme see.” Doris took a good long look. “I thought they were fairies or cupids?”
“With horns growing outta their heads?”
Suddenly, she was very angry, and pushed him toward the door. “I don’t care, Carl! Just get the hell out of my house.”
“I’m a’gettin'. No need to be ungrateful.”
Later that night, lying in bed, she thought about Carl. Why had she spoken to him like that?
Then she heard a buzzing sound, a flittering of wings like hummingbirds or large insects. She sat up in bed as the sound filled the room. "Bats!" she yelled. Looking to the window, she saw it was closed, and then something flew right over her head and pulled at her hair. She screamed and jumped out of bed.
In the corner, the mirror pulsed red, as if it were a hot ember, and in its eerie glow, she saw that its finely crafted frame was now smooth.
She reached out to touch it.
From behind her, there was a loud whooshing sound as hundreds of little imps made a concentrated effort to push her from behind. She stumbled forward, tripped, and fell into the mirror. The red glow winked out.
The next day, Carl couldn't find Doris anywhere. He entered the house, and the first thing that caught his eye was the mirror. He felt compelled to touch it. The frame felt as warm as flesh, and at the very top, etched beautifully into the wood amid all the other little imps, was a new addition.
It looked just like Doris.