Welcome to my blog. Today I have a little flash fiction for you Writerly Wednesdays 38. I've been playing with points of view and since I have been banging on about vampires recently I decided to combine the two. I do hope you enjoy it, many thanks for visiting. This is a horror tale not suitable for the very young.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall
by Natasha Duncan-Drake
It has been a very long day and you've just cleaned your teeth ready to fall into bed. Nothing is going to get between you and the wonderfully comfortable mattress you spent far too much money on. Not even Bethsheba, who was curled up right in the middle of the duvet last time you looked. For once the cat will not get her way ... probably.
All that remains is some night cream and then you are good to go. Opening the bathroom cabinet, you pause. The hairs on the back of your neck are standing up. Your hind brain is trying to tell you something, something you missed. A small tendril of ice-cold fear curls around your spine.
Of course you know you're being irrational. It's late, you're tired, that's all it is. You reach into the cupboard and grab the night cream, but you hesitate before you close the mirrored door. Instinct says you don't want to look.
It's an old fear, one you are used to in the middle of the night. Yet, this feels different. When you wake up and pad to the bathroom for water or to use the loo you're half asleep; wild fancies are acceptable. Now you're tired, but you are awake. This doesn't feel imagined.
You tell yourself you are being ridiculous. You're in your own home. There is nothing to be afraid of. Only it takes a lot of will power to push the cupboard door closed.
That's when you see her: black hair; blood red mouth; bottomless, dark eyes.
Adrenaline lets you turn, heart jumping into your throat.
But there's nothing there.
Your rational brain says you are making things up. The rest of you can feel the chill in the air.
Slowly, so slowly you barely breathe, you turn back to the mirror. It is as if you have no choice. The sensible thing would be to run for the bedroom or even downstairs. The sensible thing would be to leave, but you can't make yourself do it. All you can hear is the blood rushing in your ears. Your stomach is twisted in a knot. It's hard to catch your breath.
You don't want to lift up your eyes. You fix them on the plug hole, desperately trying not to look. Inside you know if you look it's over. If you look something terrible will happen. You need to keep your eyes down.
But you just can't stop.
Millimetre by millimetre your gaze rises: first the edge of the sink, then the tap, then the tiles with their pretty black and white pattern. Your will is crumbling. All it took was one glance and you were caught. You fight, but it is hopeless.
For a few seconds you manage to stare blankly at the edge of the cupboard. It takes every ounce of control in your body and it does not last long. Like a prisoner being led to execution you bring up your eyes.
She's still there, between you and the shower. She hasn't moved.
She is staring at you with those dark eyes. Now you are looking you can see they are dark red, not black and you know they are your undoing. There is no humanity in them, no mercy, only want.
Her skin is pale, with a sickly yellowish tint and her hair is wild. She is gaunt, her flesh pulled taught over skull like someone starved. You can sense her hunger.
Now she has you, she smiles. Long, sharp, yellow teeth fill her mouth as it opens wider than a human's should. It splits her face and renews the cold terror sparking through your body.
She lifts one hand, as if holding it up for you to see. Long nails tip too long fingers. There is dirt under those vicious talons and you can't help but imagine them digging through newly packed earth.
You whimper as she reaches out to you, stepping closer. She carries with her a chill that seems to sink into your bones.
Those long fingers settle on your shoulder. You are allowed one small moment of freedom as you eyes dart sideways, but there is nothing there. Only when you look back in the mirror can you see the deadly nails so close to your vulnerable neck.
At least she has stopped smiling.
Her touch makes your skin crawl. It is as if your very cells understand the corruption they are being exposed to. You cannot suppress the shudder that makes your legs feel weak. You grip the side of the sink. Your mind is screaming at you to run, but your body will not respond.
A tear leaks out of your eye, travelling down your ashen cheek. You would beg if you could, but your voice is as lost as your will.
Her touch is like breaking a barrier between you and with it comes a smell. It is vaguely fruity, but like fruit that has gone over. It is sickly and causes bile to rise in the back of your throat. You've smelt it before at your grandmother's funeral, covered by chemicals, but there nevertheless; it is the scent of death.
You open your mouth to scream, but there is no sound as she lifts one finger and pushes your head to the side. For just a moment rebellion fills you and you try to resist, but that skeletal digit digs into your neck and you acquiesce with a gasp.
She is close now, all but leaning against you. Her presence leaches all the heat from you. You would shiver if you were capable of that anymore.
This time when she opens her mouth there seem to be even more teeth. Her breath is fetid. It smells of rotten flesh and death. Your stomach churns.
Every move she makes is slow and deliberate, building the terror. It is calculated; you can feel it.
As you become weaker, she becomes stronger and you know what has to come next.
You are made to watch as those needle sharp, filthy fangs lower towards your vulnerable flesh. Another whimper is all you are allowed.
Part of you is screaming that this is impossible, but the primal part, the bit that evolution just can't get rid of, that knows evil. That understands.
The pain is excruciating as teeth slide into your neck. For a moment you can't breathe as white hot agony lances down your nerves. Your heart beats wildly, desperately trying to keep you alive as her mouth clamps on to the wound she has made. The only sound she makes is an obscene sucking noise as she steals away your life.
The pain fades, but so does your strength. Soon she is holding you up and yet still you stare in the mirror. You are dying and, yet, you still have to look.
When she wrenches back, her face seems nearly all mouth, a long, forked tongue flicking over her blood-soaked lips and teeth. Only slowly does that huge maw close, shrinking back to normal size.
It's a shock when she drops you.
There is no strength left in you and you hit the bathroom floor with no way of stopping yourself. All you can do is lie there, empty and close to death. You blink, about the only movement left to you, and between one and the next you see dirty feet walking away. There are muddy footprints on the tiles, one right next to your head. You blink again and they are gone. Yet again and they are back.
Soon they are more there than not. It occurs to you that as you near death you are allowed to see your killer.
Eventually you realise she has stopped in the doorway. With the last of your strength you turn your gaze up, just a little, and you can see her watching you. Breathing is hard, and even when you manage it there does not seem to be enough oxygen. There under her gaze you gasp your last gulp of air.
"Sister," is the last whisper you hear.
Your mind screams in denial, even as everything goes dark.