When your shadow, or reflection takes a life of it's own..
| I slammed my locker shut, and waved to my friend, Jenny, across the hallway. She didn't seem to notice me. I tore my attention away from her, and looked about to see who had called my name.What I saw was: a narrow hallway, filled with sparkling silver lockers, and teenagers hurrying to get to their class, or rummaging through their lockers, or simply having a pleasant conversation.
"Hey Sarah."I saw a girl with dark brown wavy hair, brown eyes, and a dark tan, come towards me.
"Hi Emily," I exclaimed cheerfully. It didn't take me long to notice that she was quite perturbed about something.
“What’s up?" I asked her, frowning slightly."Guess who turned up last night?" she questioned me in return.The look on her face made it quite obvious.
“Nancy," I told her. Nancy was Emily's stepsister. Emily’s mother had gotten married a month ago, after her previous husband's sudden death. Emily didn't like the idea of having a stepfather. Two weeks ago she heard her stepsister, Nancy would moving in soon, all she did was complain about this.
"Yeah, she's a living nightmare. My step-dad invited her even earlier to give me a surprise," Emily continued, in a sarcastic tone, "gee..some surprise really."
"Chill out, you don't even know that girl. How can you say she's a living nightmare?" I commented.
"You'd say the same thing if you met her!" Emily snapped, "It's impossible to breathe in the same room with her, let alone live in the same house."
"Where is she, anyway?" I asked."Oh, she's putting her books in the locker, across the hallway from the Spanish room. I told her to come here when she's done."
I jerked my head toward a short, skinny, red head, nervous looking girl, with a small spectacle. “Her?" I asked.
"Yeah, it's her," Emily groaned.Nancy was making her way across the crowded hallway toward Emily and me.
“Show a little hospitality, won't you?" Emily whispered, as Nancy passed a group of kids walking to their classes. I nodded.
"Nancy, I'd like you to meet my best friend, Sarah," Emily introduced me.
"Hello," Nancy greeted me cheerfully, she had a squeaky, high-pitched voice, "how are you?"
"Um..hi," I replied awkwardly.No one ever said, 'how are you?'"I'm ..um, fine. What about you?" I asked her.
"Perfectly fine, thank you." Nancy smiled.
"Can I see your schedule?" I asked her, to fill the silence between Emily, Nancy and me.
"Sure," Nancy rummaged through her backpack, and handed me a neatly folded piece of paper. I opened it, and skimmed through it.
“You have three classes with me in one week. Math, science, and Computers," informed her while surveying the schedule.
"You have three classes with me too," Emily said, looking over my shoulder. It was apparent by her tone that she was not one bit happy about this.Nancy must have not noticed the glum look on Emily's face, or her unhappy tone, because she suddenly became very excited by the fact that her stepsister had three classes with her.
“Which one's?" she asked curiously.
"World History, Computers, and..um..," Emily looked over the schedule, "World History again."
"We all have Computers the same time, and day," I pointed out, this made Emily's mood worse.
"Yo, Sarah!" someone down the hallway exclaimed my name and gestured me to come.
"Bye guys," I said, as I left Emily and Nancy.It wasn't 'till lunch, that I saw Emily again. I came over and sat next to her, gently placing my tray full of food, on the wooden table.
"I had World History with her, we had a test, Nancy got all of the answers correct, and there were 57 questions," Emily informed me.I looked up to see if Emily was happy about this. Her visage, however, was blank.
“Look there she is!" I exclaimed, pointing my finger at Nancy.
"Shut up!" Emily snapped, "I don't want her sitting here."
"What's wrong with you?" I asked angrily.
"Sarah, you don't understand. She seems the sweetest person alive when she's around other people. She’s really mean towards me."
"Maybe, because of the way you act," I replied indignantly. Just then, I saw Nancy standing beside me.How much had she heard?
"Is this seat occupied?" Nancy asked.
"No," I replied, ignoring Emily's sideway glances.Nancy sat down between Emily, and me.
“So, do you like this school?" I asked her.
"It's okay, I suppose. There are sure a lot of people," she answered looking around, " I went to a private school up in North Dakota. It’s so different from here, in Florida."
"How is it different?" I asked, as I finally started eating my lunch.
"The people, the way you talk, and..everything."
Before I had time to think of a way to respond to this, Jenny came over. "Hey, Sarah," she exclaimed, "Wanna play basketball?"
After eating my lunch, I went with Jenny to play basketball. I didn't see Emily until the next day.
The next day, Emily was quite cheerful, "Hello Sarah!" She exclaimed happily.
"Um..hi," I replied. I stared at Emily; something seemed different about her. I couldn't put my finger on it.
A couple of minutes later, Nancy joined us, "Hey Nancy," I greeted her. She smiled in return.Suddenly, Nancy clapped her hand to her forehead. “I forgot to do my Computers homework!" she exclaimed.
"Don't worry it won't affect your grade. I mean you weren't even here when it was assigned, and she never I assigned it to you," I consoled her.
"The teacher dropped by, to give me the directions yesterday. She told me it was due today," Nancy elucidated.
"You can have mine," Emily offered cheerfully, as she handed Nancy her homework "just erase my name, and tell her you did it."I gaped at Emily. She didn't even like her stepsister, and she would never have given her homework to anyone. She was reluctant about even letting people copy her homework, and right now she had given her homework to someone she disliked.
“That’s worth 25% of your total grade, Em." I informed her.
"Big deal," she shrugged, "I'm just trying to help my new sister out." Just then the bell rang, they both started walking to Computer class, as I stood there speechless.I rummaged through my locker for my Computers homework, and went to Computers.
When I got there, Ms.Glean, the teacher, was right in the middle of giving a lecture. I slipped inside and took my seat, she didn't seem to notice I was tardy.
" ...so, in order to do this assignment, it's imperative you choose one partner, and one partner only. Your assignment will be due by the end of the week, and it's worth 10% of your total grade. Please pass up your last week's homework, if you haven't finished the assignment, I guarantee you, you will not get anything higher than C in my class."
I glanced at Emily, to see if she was one bit worried about her grade. Emily and Nancy were in a deep conversation, and making there way to a computer to work on their assignments. Obviously, Emily had chosen a partner: Nancy.
It was the first time Emily and I weren't partners in a computer project. I looked around to see who didn't have a partner, and caught Stacy's eye. I went up to her, and asked her if she wanted to be my partner. She agreed.Stacy, and I used to be really good friends, but somehow last year we drifted apart.
I enjoyed working with her, it gave me an opportunity to become closer to her. She hadn't changed one bit.
During lunch, I sat next to Emily. “What’s up, Em?" I asked her.
She looked at me perplexed, I explained," until yesterday you disliked Nancy, and today your suddenly acting like you have been best friends since forever. You never let anyone copy your homework, and you just handed Nancy your work, that will bring you down to a C."
"Oh," she shrugged, "my therapist thinks that I should really get to know Nancy, so I thought lending her my homework would make her more welcome, and comfortable."
"Therapist?" I echoed.
"Yeah," Emily replied, " Nancy's seems courteous, and sincere. I think we would become close friends, maybe even best friends."
I gaped at her, speechless.What happened to her? Best friends with Nancy? Therapist? She was fine until yesterday!Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Nancy coming.
"Hey Sarah!" she smiled. I didn't say anything, I was lost in my own thoughts to even hear her voice.
"Sarah?"I looked up, "Oh..hi," I greeted Nancy.
"Do you want to come over today during 5?" she asked."Um, sure, why not?" I agreed.
I turned a block, and ambled down to an enormous, house with a garden. In the middle was a narrow sidewalk leading to the front door of the house. As I walked up to the house in a leisurely pace, the sweet fragrant of the beautiful roses in full bloom enveloped me.I ran up the front porch, and knocked. Knocked again. No answer. I knocked one more time.
Emily opened the door, "I'm glad you arrived. It’s nearly time," she declared in a strange, distant voice. “Follow me," she ordered.I faltered, then decided to follow her.
We went up the staircase, to Emily's room.I expected her room to be a mess as usual, but I was surprised to see it was neat, and clean.I sat down on her bed, and glanced at the enormous mirror, that reached the ceiling. There was an ancient chestnut frame around the mirror. I had never seen it before. It looked foreign in Emily's room.
I heard footsteps, and the door flew open. Nancy came in, wearing a sapphire shirt, and lavender pants. She smiled, and sat down. “It’s nearly time, " she declared.
"Time to what?" I asked."
Time to see who wins," she answered.
"What do you mean who wins?" I questioned in an exasperated tone.
"You'll see...you'll see," she answered."Patience is a virtue."
Emily got up, and pulled the curtains together. Shielding the light coming through the window. I looked about the room. It seemed foreign, and strange, ...secluded from the house.
My best friend trekked to the mirror, and silently gazed at her reflection, waiting for something. The perplexed look must have made it obvious that I did not have a clue to what was going on, because Nancy started explaining.
"When you gaze at your reflection. It’s not exactly the same. If you raise your right hand. The mirror will show your left is raised. The same with your shadow. Sometimes one's shadow is shorter in height, and sometimes it's taller. It’s never exactly the same. Of course, that has to do with the fact, in what position, and angle you are standing. There is a scientific explanation for our shadows, and reflections never being the same. But then again, scientists have explanations, or theories for practically everything," Nancy laughed, a cold high-pitched laugh, that didn't suit her, and then continued, "I, however, wasn't satisfied with those absurd theories. I decided that, this might be supernatural, and in order to prove my hypothesis I decided to research these things. Well, after two years of hard work, and endless theories, and dead ends, I came upon a conclusion that, made sense, and I liked: There are two worlds, meaning there are two of you, and two of me. Our ...clones, if you might want to call them that, are trapped in their world, dieing to get out. They follow us around, hoping to get a chance to force us to switch places with them. Ofcourse we see them follow us around, they are our shadows. They are different from us in some ways, therefore, our shadows and reflections aren't the same. These shadows and reflections have a very strong bond with each other. One shadow is the leader and has power over the rest of it's kind. This mirror," she jerked her head toward the mirror, " is the key to instant transportation. It transports our shadows and reflections to our world, so they can take over our lives."I gaped at Nancy, this possibly couldn't be true, but the way she was talking made it seem so real, ... so true.
For a moment, I believed her.
She smiled nastily, and muttered, "All we have to do is believe they exist. Even if we believe they exist for a second, will do. Next time we look at our shadow, or reflection, they will be able to come out of their world, and force us into theirs," her smile grew, "and by the way you were staring at me, you believed it, Sarah."
"No, I didn't," I replied calmly. I tried to console myself, that this couldn't possibly be true, that I did not believe her so-called hypothesis, and theories.
"Don't lie," Nancy roared.
"Sarah --Sarah! Help!" I looked around to see who had called me. The voice seemed so distant, yet so sharp and familiar. Emily’s voice.I looked at Emily, she was still staring at her reflection. I carefully avoided the mirror. I saw, as if in slow motion, as Emily's head turned toward me. She faced me, and slowly her deep brown eyes turned blood red, and bulged.I let out a horrifying scream, and stumbled back.
Nancy eyes had too gotten blood red. Nancy dashed to the curtain and parted it. Revealing rays of light. My eyes hadn't gotten used to the bright light. I glanced at the floor, shielding my eyes with my hand, to avoid the brightness and realized that Nancy and Emily had no shadows.
"Sarah! Help!"I heard the same distant voice, except it wasn't coming from Emily. I looked around, and my eyes caught the mirror. I was about to shut them, when I saw Emily, inside the mirror. The real Emily, banging on it, yelling in that distant voice of hers for help.
Suddenly, her reflection vanished replaced by mine. I shut my eyes, but I had a feeling it was too late. I opened them, and saw my.reflection, slowly emerge from the mirror.I stared at her horrified. She looked exactly like me, except her eyes were blood red, and enormous. She was smiling nastily. A mixture of hatred and hunger hung in her eyes.My eyes traveled to the mirror, once again.. The real Emily had collapsed in there. It suddenly occurred to me, that she was dieing. Her shadow was deadly. Her shadow had taken her life, leaving her to die.
My reflection came closer. I slowly stood up. There was a moment of silence between us, and then suddenly, without warning, she lunged at me.
I was too startled, to frightened by her move. She knocked me to the floor, and seized my neck, strangling me. I tried to wrestle free, slowly her hands grew week.
From the corner of my eye, I could see Emily in the mirror. I realized she hadn't passed out. She was desperately trying to tell me something. I looked at her, completely lost.She was mouthing something. I gazed at her, desperately trying to figure what she was saying.
Meanwhile, my reflection was trying to regain her strength, and grasp my neck again.Emily gave up mouthing the words, and pointed her finger to her neck. I suddenly understood.I stretched out my leg, and kicked my reflection's leg, causing her to loose her balance, and trip.
I stood up, then bent down to touch her birth mark. She seized my hand, and twisted it. I yelped in pain, as I freed my wrist from her grip.I felt someone's foot hit my ankle, as I lost my balance and fell. I felt someone put their foot down on my leg. That was Emily's shadow. I felt Nancy grip my hands tightly. I tried to free myself from their grip, but it was no use.
I looked up and saw my reflection bend down. I felt her hand on my neck, and a moment later everything became a blur.The room started spinning, making me dizzy. A blur of colors. I thought I saw a face, in front of my eyes. I blinked and it was gone. The room started spinning faster and faster. My head ached, I felt like I was traveling at the speed of light. My breath came heavily, and in gasps. It felt like someone was strangling me, but it was too blurry to see who it was.I gasped for oxygen, and the room spun uncontrollably.
Then, all of a sudden, it stopped. The room stopped spinning. The invisible hand quit strangling me. I ceased gasping for air.I felt dazed. I looked down, and what lay in front of me, caused me come back to reality.
I felt as if an enormous iron fist had just punched me on my heart, and it crumpled up into pieces.Emily lay in front of me. Her eyes had lost their lively color. They seemed light and faded. They reflected a mixture of sorrow, anger, and accusation. Her face was pale, and strange. Emily’s dead body lay in front of me. As I watched her eyes rolled up.
The words: Emily's dead body, repeated in my head. Repeated in a rhythmic tone with my heartbeat. Her corpse flashed in my mind. I felt the anger in my heart, the tears in my eyes. I let out a deafening scream.
All I knew was that when my reflection had touched my birthmark, I was somehow transported into the mirror. The mirror that had held Emily captive.I couldn't focus. Everything seemed blurry.
I heard distant voices.
My voice: Finally, free at last.
Nancy's: Don't be so sure. If our next victim defeats us. Then, the victim would be able to help her escape.
Emily: We better find a new person by next Thursday, or it'll be too late. You’ll be transported back.
Nancy: Next person is that Jenny girl.I heard the voices but they seemed so distant. So ..far away. I knew I had to wait. Wait and see if they caught Jenny. If Jenny fought them off. If ..I lived.My shadow had taken a life of it's own. Had taken my life, and I had a feeling it would go
yo any limit to make sure I was dead, to make sure it had my life permanently..