Mirror, Mirror

Written by: Sumanda Maritz

Alice walked past the little shop ironically called, The Attic, where it was tucked away in the corner of the strip mall. The antique shop did not look busy since no customers entered or exited. However, the framed mirror in the window caught her eye and made her stop dead in her tracks.

“Can I help you?” A little old lady asked Alice, the moment she stepped through the tinkling door. Alice walked to the mirror, but there was no price-tag.

“It’s really a lovely piece, don’t you agree? We got it from an estate sale just the other day. It has a lovely reflection of a sleeping old woman…” the old lady started, “Oh, that’s strange. The reflection is gone,” she continued in a flustered voice.

To stop the old lady before she could start rambling again Alice asked her what the price was. On a sudden whim, Alice decided to take it.

***

After three months Alice still hadn’t finished the setup of her new home. She had moved from Sandton to Bloubergstrand in Cape Town. The relaxed atmosphere in the Cape infected her and she was in no hurry to finish. She purchased new items only when she found something that she felt spoke to her. Like the mirror that was hanging in her hall now.

Her weekends were spent going to the various cultural centres and she collected an eclectic assortment of home furnishings. The mirror was her favourite when she bought it two weeks before. 

Then a strange reflection appeared in the mirror, but she couldn’t make out what it was. The first time it happened, she decided it must be the lighting despite the vaguely uncomfortable feeling that she got. The reflections increased in frequency and she no longer denied the uncomfortable feelings it gave her. 

She moved the mirror to the guest toilet, but the feeling of dread intensified to the point that she felt unwanted in her own home. The next move was to the garage on the Sunday morning before her usual jaunt to the craft market. 

Returning that afternoon, she found the mirror hanging back in the hall. She couldn’t find the courage to move it again.

***

Nervously she went back to The Attic first thing the next morning. The old lady wasn’t there, only a young petite girl who was in the process of boxing up everything in the shop. She got tears in her eyes as she explained that the old lady was her grandmother and had passed away in her sleep just over a week before. Alice asked her about the origins of the mirror, but with a sad smile, she motioned towards an old chest filled with slips and scraps of paper. “I’m sorry, that was Gran’s best attempt at keeping records,” she explained, “The Antique Society in the Pink District might know something.”

Frustrated and slightly frightened Alice left as she started to plan her research.

Writing order: Priya Rajvansh (India), Hemali Ajmera (India), Anna Zhigareva (Scot), Sumanda Maritz (S. Africa), Sameer Nagarajan (Dubai), Rosemary Wakelin (Aus),  Donna McTavish (NZ), Linda Alley (Aus), Suraya Dewing (NZ), Jasmine Groves (Aus).

Comments

Loved the preface Sumanda. Mirror, mirror on the wall, how did you come back in the hall? There is so much intrigue in this starter. What will Alice discover? Will be pleasant or unpleasant? I am signing up to see what is in the mirror.
This is a very interesting and different starter, Sumanda. Magic? Mystery? I'm in! Love it.
I'm thinking ghost story, poltergeist or horror :)
But, I'm happy to go wherever the writers take it. I just thought it would be a nice change in genre.
Oh yes, I had to be up for this one to stretch the imagination to somewhere I've never been before. Great starter.