12 Mar Reflections
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Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
I woke up in a room that was all too familiar.
“I’m having the dream again,” I thought to myself, the same dream I’d been having for weeks before that. Each time I had it it, I was filled with the same sense of terror.
I was in a dome shape room about ten feet across. Everywhere I looked I saw mirrors.
Just saying the word gave me the chills. Anyway, it’s not the mirrors itself that scared me, but what was looking back at me from them did. What I saw terrified me more than anything possible. Despite my resistance, I couldn’t help but have a flashback.
The gun. The coffins lined up side by side.
‘It was that person that caused it!’, I thought. I managed to drag my mind out of the flashback. Looking around the room again, I noticed a mirror to my right. It reflected something different, something happy. It was a green hillside with my mom and dad waiting to greet me. Clinging to that last shred of hope, I walked up to it and touched it. The room dissolved around me like quicksilver.
That’s where my dream would usually end, but this time it continued. I found myself watching someone else, a man in his mid-to-late thirties. He was in an abandoned carnival, and it seemed to be very dark out. It was storming, and rain was pouring in through the broken roof. The carnival was lit up by blinding flashes of lightning which were followed by deafening roars of thunder. He was running through a mirror maze, trying to get away from something. His breath was coming out in short, ragged gasps. He was passing by tons of mirrors. I could only see glimpses of the reflection, but whatever it was, it wasn’t the reflection of the man. He made it to the end of the maze, which took him into a large section of the carnival. He stopped dead in his tracks, a look of absolute horror appearing on his face. From the angle I was at, I couldn’t see what he was seeing. However, I could tell it wasn’t good.
“No-o! Please! I beg of you! Leave me alone! Haven’t you destroyed my life enough already?!?’’, I heard him scream at seemingly nothing. It was followed by a chilling, cold laugh that seemed to come from everywhere. I saw the man tense up. “No! NO! NOOOOOO!”, I heard him yell.
Then, the dream went dark.
I snapped awake, drenched in a freezing cold sweat. I panicked for a moment when I saw my closet mirror, expecting to see the reflection from my dreams, but I settled down when I saw my own terrified face looking back. I laid back down, a thousand questions swimming in my head. I glance outside, and it was pouring.
‘Who was that man? What did he see? What happened to him? Is it the same thing from my previous dreams? Did it actually happen, or was it just another dream?’, I thought to myself. I pondered about these questions for a while, but eventually, sleep overtook me.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP went my alarm clock.
‘Morning already?’, I thought to myself, as I dragged myself out of bed to get ready for yet another day of school. After I changed, I went to the bathroom to clean up. I looked at myself in the mirror. For a moment, the smallest fraction of a second, I saw someone else, the man that caused me so much grief all those years ago.
‘I must be tired. I’m seeing things.’, I thought as I finished cleaning up. After that, I went downstairs to find my aunt reading the gossip column.
“Hey auntie.” I said as I entered the kitchen.
“Hey there! You look tired. Have that dream again?”, she said.
“Yep.”, I reply as I poured myself a bowl of cereal and a glass of juice. “Don’t let those dreams bother you. They are just dreams, after all!”, she consoled.
“You’re right. I shouldn’t dwell on them.”, I said through mouthfuls of cereal. That wasn’t what I was thinking, though. I still had doubts about the previouses nights’ dream. ‘What if…?’, I began to think to myself, but my thoughts were interrupted by my aunt ushering me out the door telling me to get to my stop so I wouldn’t miss my bus.
I walked to my bus stop and made it right on time. I plunked down in my seat, exhausted.
“What’s the matter? Scared by your own reflection again?”, said the school bully that sat in the seat adjacent from me.
“Whatever.”, I muttered. I ignored him the rest of the ride to school.
The rest of my day was normal until I got to my literature class. “Okay, class! Today we’ll be working on non-fiction writing!”, said my teacher as he handed out newspapers for the class to look at and analyze. I leafed through it, looking for something interesting to read when an article caught my eye.
Man found Dead in Abandoned Carnival!
Today, at 4:30 a.m., a man was found dead in an abandoned carnival. “He appears to be murdered. The body was located near a broken mirror, so there might’ve been a struggle, even though it’s impossible to say until the forensics tests come back. “The body is yet to be identified.”, says lead investigator Peter Corris. Eye witness accounts say that John Doe was last seen entering the building at 2:00 a.m. “I was trying to find a decent spot of protection from the storm when I saw him.”, says one homeless witness. “He was running extremely fast and looked downright terrified. Since it was the bad part of town, I knew that trying to help him would probably get me killed, so I watched from a distance.” If you have any info on who this man might be or who might’ve killed him, please contact the police hotline.
After the article was a hotline phone number and a picture of the victim.
When I saw the picture, my heart dropped. It looked just like the man in my dream! My brain was frantic. ‘Was it actually a dream? A coincidence? Did I see what actually happened?’, I thought to myself. That last thought sent chills up my spine. ‘If the murder was real…’, I began rationalizing. My brain protested violently against me thinking that. However, I couldn’t shake that thought. I must’ve looked shaken because my teacher walked over and said,
“What’s the matter? You look panicky.”.
“It’s…..nothing.”, I replied. “Just thinking.”.
He gave me a quizzical look, but he left me alone.
I couldn’t wait until lunch., where I would be able to talk to my friends , crack some jokes, and get this whole thing off my chest. Finally, lunch rolled around.
“Hey, buddy!”, greeted my friends as I sat down for lunch.
“Hey.”, I replied as I took my first bite of pizza.
“Is…is something wrong? You look tense.”, said one of my friends.
“I’m that transparent, huh? Alright, I’ll tell you. Last night I had this dream…” , and I described my dream.
“No way!” they said.
“Yeah, I know, right? It’s been bugging me all day.”, I answered.
“You shouldn’t stress about it. You probably just subconsciously overheard a late night news report or something and your brain just made it into something completely different.”, said my other friend.
“Yeah, you’re probably right. I’m worrying about this way too much.”, I replied. I spent the rest of the period talking and messing around.
The rest of the day went by like a flash. It was so much easier to have an excuse to have that dream. Before I knew it, I was home.
“Hey auntie! I’m home!”, I yelled.
“Hello? Anyone there?”, I asked no one in particular.
Curious of what I might see, I went up the stairs and into my aunt’s bedroom. Empty. I searched the rest of the house. Still empty. Confused, I went back to my aunts bedroom. That time I saw a piece of paper on the bed, which I could’ve sworn wasn’t there before. I walked over and picked it up. On it, (in what I hoped was red ink), was scrawled a note.
I’ve taken the only family you have left. Come to the carnival. Alone. Tonight. You can still save her.
I was sickened. I knew with certainty that my aunt was gone. In despite of myself, my brain yet again went back to that dreadful day when I was four years old…
The trip to the bank. The ragged, crazy man. The loud gunshots. Seeing my parents fall over dead with multiple shots to the chest. Screaming, crying for them to wake up.
And the sadness. The deep, overwhelming sadness. The sadness that landed on me like a weight and made me collapse on the bed and cry. Cry until there was nothing left to cry. And as I lie there shuddering, I knew with certainty what I must do.
It was midnight when I finally arrived at the carnival. I was numb with shock.
‘This is actually happening! Everything I saw in my dreams was real! Why am I going to this carnival? Why not call the police?’, I thought to myself. But I already knew the answer to that, deep down. To call the police would assure my aunt’s death. I walked up to one of the carnival windows, ripped off the loose boards, and jumped through.
I instantly knew where to go. The hall was filled with smell of decay and it was very dark, but I could still see it. Across from me was a dusty and cracked mirror, and in the mirror was him. The man who murdered my parents! I noticed every hideous detail of him. Yellow, short and stringy hair, which resembled mouldy hay. Dark, piercing eyes, which looked like those of a snake. closing in for the kill. Thin lips, which appeared to be cold and dead. A body that looked like it was made with sticks. With a cruel smile on his face, he beckoned me forward with a talon like finger. Then, he vanished. I hesitated for a moment, then walked up to the mirror. I touched it and it rippled. Not knowing what else to do, I stepped in.
First, there was blackness. Then, falling. Falling for what seemed like an eternity. With a feeling like being punched in the gut, I found myself in a room. After the pain cleared away and I had caught my breath, I looked up. At first, I was blinded by a glare. Then, I gasped, for I had realized I was in the same room as my dream. Before I could process it all, I heard a dark, chilling laughter.
“Who-who are you?”, I asked, frightened.
Then I saw it. Just like the dream, I was completely surrounded by mirrors with my parents murderer reflected on them. However, this time he was speaking, in a voice that sounded like grinding metal.
“I am your darkest fear. I am your deepest hatred. I am everything you fear and despise.”, it said.
“It can’t be you! You were put in prison for two life terms!”, I yelled at the thing in the mirrors.
“I am not your parents’ killer.” Then it clicked. Everyone sees something different. They see something, or someone, they hate. For me, it was my parents’ killer.
“Where’s my aunt?”, I screamed.
“Foolish person. That was simply a ruse. I simply trapped you here so you could meet your doom, forever to be tormented with your past, again and again…”, it replied tauntingly.
“No! You said I could get her back! You said!!!!’ I yelled.
“Goodbye, petty human. Goodbye.”, it said as it started draining the life force out of me, causing the flashback to loop over and over again. “NOOOOO!”, I cried as I felt the final drops of life leaving my body.
The police found me unconscious and barely alive five hours later. I woke up in a hospital with a doctor standing over me.
“Where am I?”, I asked, sitting up. I had a ponding headache. I had the slightest feeling I had witnessed something, something horrific.
“You’re in the hospital. The police found you barely alive in the abandoned carnival.”, the doctor replied soothingly. It was then when It all came rushing back to me.
“How did they find me? Where’s my aunt?”, I asked, panicking.
To this, the doctor answered, “For your first question, there were reports of yelling and screaming coming from that general area. For your second question, we… well, we found her body about ten feet away from yours. We couldn’t save her. I’m sorry.”
I laid back down, emotionless. It was as if the ability to care was sucked out of me. I didn’t know how I lived, but I didn’t care. All that mattered is that my whole family was dead. I was alone. The next couple of weeks went by like a flash. They performed some tests and deemed me physically and mentally fit to return to society. People have dismissed the things I saw as hallucinations. But I know they’re wrong. Because whenever I look in a mirror, I can still sense it, laughing at me, watching me…
Credit To – mirrormirror/craphunter