He was exhausted. The rain pattered and whistled in the evening air. He could hear the tick of the clock as it moved closer to midnight. His new home held an eerie quiet to it. The floorboards creaked and the fire crackled even as the howling wind began to pick up. He heard thunder strike. ‘One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four, five…’. Another crack, one mile away. The lights flickered and then the lights were out. He made his way downstairs; with each step the floorboards creaked. Thunder and then a flash of lightning. “Was that a streak of green?’, he thought. No, it couldn’t be. Lightning flashes are white, not green. The owls were hooting tonight. On most evenings, he typically only heard one. Tonight, it sounded as though they were hundreds; every owl in the forest must have been awake, watching for some unknown presence in the dark. He heard a light tap on the window. Just a gentle, *tap, *tap*, *tap*. As he walked down the stairs, he stumbled. He caught his fall on something furry. Soft, almost like feathers. It was his trench coat, hanging neatly on his coat rack. At least he had made it downstairs. He walked by his fire, growing dimmer with each passing moment. The flames danced back and forth, illuminating the shadows on the walls. He found his way to the kitchen, where he fumbled to grab a flashlight before heading down to the basement, where the breaker was located. *creak*, *creak*, *creak* went the floorboards. *creeeeaaak* made the door handle as he opened it and peered into the darkness below. Each step was heavy and the sound of wood made the journey tense. Water splashed as he hit the ground floor. He went deeper into the basement. He heard a gentle hoot and his flashlight beam hit glowing, green eyes in the dark.
The Mirror: A short Story by Mike Cole
She looked in the mirror every morning. She would wake, she would go to work, and she would sleep. In the morning she would simply stare. A minute, half an hour, time seemed to have no relevance. Her dreams were shattered and her life was nowhere near where she thought it would be. Now in her mid thirties, going on thirty-six, she was alone. A small apartment, where her diploma hung, unused. She had worked retail since graduation and she no longer had the energy to try to make use of her degree. She would greet the customer, come home, and sleep.
The mirror was old. It was what she had left of her parents and the mirror had been passed down in her Mother’s family for a few generations now. The mirror had a small crack, distorting her reflection just over her right eye. It gave the impression of disfigurement when in reality she was quite beautiful. Long, flowing blonde hair, hazel eyes borderline green, and a long face that had a hint of melancholy to it. If she was sad, it hardly showed.
But she was indeed sad and as she lay in bed, she decided she could not sleep and instead looked into the mirror. Instead of disfigurement she saw herself as a child. She was painting and she was smiling. As a child, she loved art. Drawing, painting, and sculpting, she had done it all. As she grew older, she focused on the practical and lost that creative spark; she had not thought about this in years and wondered what had happened to her.
Beth jolted awake from her sleep. It was 3am. Had it only been a dream? The rain pattered the window and the sound of thunder could be heard in the distance. The rain grew louder, the thunder grew closer. Lightning flashed and hit the mirror. Beth gasped as she did not see a child but a decaying corpse. Tufts of hair had already begun falling out and the strands remaining where blonde. The air in the bedroom began to smell of dirt and some other, strange odor. Spoiled milk? No, that couldn’t be it. Rotten meat? Close, but not quite. She went over to the mirror to get a closer look. The image did not fade. The jaw was disconnected and the flesh had begun rotting away. Beth was frozen. Surely this was a dream. The left eye was faded and all but gone grey. Beth slowly moved her head and examine where the right eye should have been. Instead, a worm began to crawl out of an empty socket. She looked closer and noticed it was crawling through the tiny crack in the mirror. She ran and flipped on the light. Whoever was in the mirror was gone, along with the worm. She felt a faint breeze from behind, a flash of lightning, and the power went out; she was in total darkness.
And thus concludes my October series. A month of short stories and hopefully a couple scares as I experiment with horror. I had a blast writing the short stories and while it was not my typical genre, it was great practice. Next year will hopefully be a little more involved as I work on marketing my content and making it available to more individuals. I’m excited for Halloween and have been ramping up my horror intake all month for the Thirty-First. If you enjoyed this post, consider leaving a like, following if you’re new to the blog, and sharing among your friends. It’s been a great year for the blog and your support makes a huge difference. If you want to support me as a creator, I also have a Patreon and Ko-Fi page:
Thanks for reading and have a spooky rest of your October!