Written by Erin Nust
She had begun gaining her consciousness. The previous hit had sent her sprawling onto the marble floor and knocked her out instantly. The first feeling when she opened her eyes was the one people have after napping in the middle of the day. For a moment, Kellie forgot where she was, but the thick, impenetrable darkness around her reminded her. The room’s temperature had fallen close to zero and her heart raced in her chest. Too frightened to move, she remained lying on the floor in a ball, trembling on the freezing marble surface. Kellie Kalmar was waiting for the next hit and a hunch in her promised it would be a strong one.
A bright spotlight turned on and broke the blackness of the room. Her eyes were instinctively drawn to it, like a moth drawn to fire, but it hurt her head. Kellie saw a full body mirror with its glass reflecting the poor image of her on the floor. Something called her towards it, an urge too strong to fight with her common sense, which was screaming to get out of the house. She stood gingerly and walked towards the mirror, pausing at the sight of her reflection. The urge commanded her to pull up her light blue sweater and reveal her snow-white skin. Purple marks dotted her stomach, all in different shapes and sizes. Terrified, she looked down and realized the bruises were only reflected in the mirror: in reality, her skin was clear white. Seconds later, just before the chilling atmosphere crawled into her skin, purple marks peppered on her belly at the same spots her reflection did.
Panic rushed through her. She thought she had left of the past and her marks behind. There were not much she could do as a child, she answered, the few times she decided to reveal her most traumatic past to a friend. She could only endure the pain and live by the rules someone else made for her. When someone asked her why she never reacts when people treated her degradingly (like Professor Trevor did when he decided to expose her bad essay as an example of bad writing in the whole class), she answered there was not much she could do but to live by the rules the world made for her.
Kellie let the sweater down immediately and drew a step back. The only thing audible was the crescent rhythm of her breath. The spotlight turned off, as though the house could read her inner thoughts and grant her wish to disappear into the darkness. It didn’t last long. Seconds later the light turned on again. Kellie’s mouth was half-open. She moved her hand, waved to the mirror just to check what the new reflection would do. The little girl with ribbons in her hair did the same things. Her left hand was raised and then she waved back. As time went by, she realized that the girl looked familiar. She reminded of herself when she was a child-
She didn’t manage to follow the conclusion in her head when the spotlight turned off and on again, but instead of the cold white light, the dark room was illuminated with a red one. A gasp of agony came out of Kellie’s mouth when the image in the mirror showed the shape of a strong woman’s body, with messy curly hair and a wide forehead. The cold, angry eyes were nailed on hers and it was only then that she wanted to run, to run as fast as possible and save herself from this nightmare. But she was paralysed.
“Don’t ever dare to talk to me like that again! You stupid kid! I’m your mother! Don’t ever forget that.” The voice of the reflection seemed so real that Kellie covered her mouth to swallow her own scream. The woman in the mirror grinned at her, a grin crooked and wicked that fit perfectly on the face of a demon.
“Kellie, how many times have I told you to clean up your bloody room?” Sounds of wooden furniture moving against each other, glass objects crashing and human hands striking another body surrounded Kellie. It was like she was watching a movie and she was standing in the middle of the act.
“Come here, Kellie! I’m not finished with you yet!”
A well-shaped, muscled arm came out of the mirror, like the reflection of her mother was striving to get out of her entrapment and jump into her reality to catch her. The previous stifled sounds crescendoed into a scream that filled the room and echoed back from the invisible walls of the house. She didn’t have many options. She had been inactive human flesh, welcoming hits and punches.
(much like when you were a little girl with ribbons in her hair isn’t it, Kellie?)
Images bombarded her, flashes that played tricks with her mentality. She wasn’t even sure why she was going through this nightmare. Visiting the mansion was a joke she simply made with her friends, a bet she had to pay for not being brave enough to tell them she was scared. Now it had turned into a self-torture game. And it had to be over.
She took another step back and ran towards the mirror, driving her left shoulder into the fleshed-out arm. Shattering pieces of glass impaled her skin, oozing blood while the fleshed arm shaped a fist and tried to hit her. She grabbed it and used all of her power to break it. The vanishing screams of the demon filled her ears while she grabbed the body of the mirror and dropped it onto the floor, breaking every piece of glass that remained on its surface.
The red light faded and the room sank into darkness again. Kellie’s breast was heaving. She stood in the middle of the room, lost in the blank waiting for another punch to hit her over. Only this time she was ready to fight.