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Tears stream down his cheeks as he slams the door and hits the light switch, instantly covering the room with darkness. He can still hear them screaming and fighting although the door muffles the sounds coming from his parent’s bedroom. His tears gradually turn to muted sobs as he buries his face deeper into his soft pillows. For once the fight isn’t about him, for once it isn’t his name they are screaming, but still he feels he is to blame, he is at fault…

Time passes but to him it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t exist. The screaming from his parent’s bedroom has stopped, but it still echoes through his mind. Every word, every shed tear a vivid, his tears stop yet the echo resides as he reaches for the lighter hidden in the back of his bedside draw. Why am I such a wimp? He said to himself. He flicks on a flame and stares at it momentarily allowing his eyes to dance with the flame before lighting a candle he keeps on his window sill.

The candle pushes back the darkness and bathes the room in a gentle warming glow… a soothing glow, but to him it’s out of place, it doesn’t belong… just like him… The homely glow of the candle is a mocking fire of happiness he will never achieve. Hurriedly he blows out the candle, the darkness embracing him once again. He paces the length of his room, trying to get his mind away from the screaming voices causing his ears to ring momentarily. Eventually his mind drifts away from the angry voices of his parents but his mind focuses on another voice. A voice he doesn’t know, yet the voice sounds familiar to him.

He stops his pacing. Giving the voice, this soothing voice his full attention, the voice scares him. He feels the hair on the back of his neck rise and floods his body as this disquieting yet irresistible voice whispers.

“Light the candle Simon” He finds himself compelled no matter how unwilling he is to obey whispering to himself.

“Yes, I will light the candle.” He stands in front of the candle staring at its flame, yet it doesn’t feel right, there is another presence in his room… he feels petrified… yet again the voice that only he can hear whispers almost commandingly to him.

“Thank you Simon. Now let me see your face, turn and face me!” Unwillingly he turns, hesitant, scared at what he might find, he hasn’t looked up just yet, keeping his eyes fixed on the floor by his feet, as the voice invades his thoughts almost sounding deafening as it comes with its familiar whisper.

“Why won’t you look at me Simon? Simon raise your eyes and face me!” Like a puppet he slowly raises his gaze only to find he stands facing his own reflection in the mirror, his breathe catches fast in his throat.

The voice was his! The strange presence in his room was his own reflection! Yet… something is different… something is wrong with his reflection…

It is him yes, but it is not, it looks gaunt, the eyes hold no life only a glazed reflection, an imitation of his pity life. The voice intrudes upon him, a hint of coldhearted laughter in its tone

“Why do you look so shocked Simon? Does your own reflection scare you?” The reflection said, as if trying to taunt him. The voice chuckles softly in content.

“Do not worry Simon, for I am not what you are now. I am your dead self.” Another chuckle followed by a sigh.

“For you see… Simon… When you are to die this is what you would look like”

The voice drowned his mind into a sea of confusion; Simon was scared, unsure, desperately seeking a logical explanation for this. After a few minutes of deathly silence Simon was uncertain if his eyes were deceiving him but the reflection, his reflection seemed to become more vivid, more real, more threatening.

Simon had had enough of this so called illusion; he removed his eyes away from the mirror, spinning around and douses the candle with his fingers, breathing heavily, body trembling from shock and confusion. Slowly he crawled his bed eyeing the place on his dark wall where his mirror was. Many minutes passed before he entered a deep troubled sleep, and the final thing he heard in the moments before he drifted off into his dreams, he hoped is a rustle of the leaves and not the mirror haunting him.

*** ***

Simon woke up late the next morning; he ignored the bizarre events of the previous night shrugging it off as a nightmare. His parents had gone out, to where he didn’t know and frankly he doesn’t care. The only time the house is quiet is when they aren’t there.

Finally another day in his life has ended and he has locked himself in his room; his parents had come home early. They had gone out shopping “apparently,” but Simon knew the truth as did both his parents, his dad had gone to the bar again; he stank of alcohol and couldn’t stand straight for more than a minute without support, and his mum had gone to ‘discuss work’ with a colleague, yet the makeup and the smell of another man’s aftershave on her told Simon that she had gone to visit her boyfriend: which she did more and more these days. Yet his father was too drunk to notice.

Before he had managed to stumble into the house he was already shouting, Simon wasn’t sure if it was directed at him or his mother. To be honest he didn’t care, he ran upstairs as his father struggled with the door, both doors slamming simultaneously, one open, one shut. Simon was safe from his drunken fathers rage…for now.

As the sun dipped lower in the sky his father’s got louder and louder, until the walls echoed with his drunken anger. Finally the sun had faded behind the horizon and Simon could hide in the darkness. Slowly he closed his curtains watching the change of darkness.

He is safe once again; the darkness smothers his father’s angry shouts and his mother’s fearful sobs.

He feels the presence in his room again, the one from the night before. This time he knows he is awake, turning he lights the candle and hurriedly he spins around as he gaunt reflection laughs almost happily

“Why, good evening Simon” It smiles almost taunting him.

“I’m glad you decided to return… but tell me, why did you leave so last night, and who are you?” Keeping his eyes on the mirror Simon slowly walked and sat down on his bed and to his startled surprise the reflection stayed standing facing him. His shock was all too evident to the impress of his reflection.

“What’s wrong Simon? You thought I would copy your every action didn’t you?” A triumphant cackle emits from the mirror as Simon nods solemnly in admission. “What on earth made you assume that? We aren’t attached at the hip you know”

Simon couldn’t help but giggle at that obvious fact. Laughing for the first time in how long? He couldn’t remember. Simon wasn’t sure if his father had heard him or if he had decided he would be the outlet for his anger, but he was at his door banging on hard, the hinges groaning under the attack. Simon’s reflection glanced at door and turned to Simon whispering calmly

“Open the door Simon, let him in, I’ll show him the errors of his ways.” Mumbled his reflection. As much as Simon didn’t want to, he got up and walked to his door watching it shake violently, as he reached for the handle he realized that he wasn’t shaking. His hands were still, he was oddly calm, slowly he unlocked the door.

Before he had taken his hand away from the key his father had flung it open, knocking Simon across the room into a crumbled heap against the wall. He stormed across the room grabbing Simon and lifting his limp body off the floor, glaring at him with demonic eyes full of hatred. He raises his hand in a closed fist, doing the bidding of the demons but a voice stops him.

“Why hello there.”Simon’s possessed father turned to the source of the voice and found he was staring at the mirror, but the mirror did not reflect his image… no, it still reflected the dead gaunt reflection of Simon, a small deathly smile on its lips.

“Who the hell- or what the hell are you?!” he bellows at the mirror, the reflection smiled and pointed at Simon with its semi withered and death persevered hand.

“That is who I am.” Spoke Simon’s reflection confidently. The anger faded from Simon’s father’s face and was replaced with daze and confusion

“Wha-?” is all he managed to mumble. The ghostly visage of Simon’s reflection smiled and said nothing, just locked his gaze with Simon’s father’s hazy eyes. At first it was just a staring contest to him, but soon he started to panic, he was paralyzed in place, Simon’s limp body slipped from his fingers, he tried to blink but nothing. His eyes were burning but he couldn’t relieve the sting. Soon this was the least of his worries, he felt the strength fade from his body, his body withering excruciatingly as the life was slowly being drained from him. Droplets of blood were slowly squeezing out his pores until there was a slowly continuous trickle of blood coming out of every available orifice and pore. His vision finally fading to black and the final audible sound other than the blood gurgling out his ears is the sound of every bone splintering in his shriveling crumbling form.

Finally the reflection blinks letting Simon’s father fall free from his gaze. His body collapses to the blood soaked floor in a crumpled heap of empty skin and bone splinters.

Hours passed until Simon finally woke up, sitting up slowly he wiped away the blood from his mouth, and his eyes focus on the ruined form of what was left of his father. Yet he doesn’t scream, he doesn’t cry instead he smiles softly, a blood chilling smile turning slowly to face his reflection in the mirror the smile not leaving his lips he whispers:

“Thank you” His reflection returns the same cold, eerie smile embracing Simon in its gaze.

“You’re safe now Simon, I will protect you from anyone who dares try bring harm to you, but I need you to do something for me” Simon’s smile slowly fades and his brow furrows in confusion, hesitantly he asks:

“What do you want me to do?” His reflection smiles tracing its finger lightly over the mirror.

“Now, where’s your mother?”

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