Reflection

Here is another story that hit the Preditors and Editors poll. This one was posted on The New Flesh in February, 2010. (See the link to vote here: http://critters.org/predpoll/shortstoryh.shtml ).

Enjoy the story:

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Reflection

By Lori Titus

Wait a minute. What am I doing here?

Take a deep breath.

I stare into the mirror and am surprised at the image who stares back. Long blond hair. Wide green eyes. A face that doesn’t look at all like what I remember it to be. But as I touch my face, I see the reflection do the same.

What are you waiting for? The woman in the mirror says. Don’t you remember why you came back here?

I shake my head no, and she looks at me like a dumb child. For all intents and purposes, that’s all she thinks of me. The way its always been.

Clutching the sink, I look down at my hands.

You need to finish cleaning up, she said.

There are still streaks of blood between my fingers, but much more is in the drain. My dress, once white, looked as if some artist had spent the day throwing red paint at me.

It wasn’t paint, of course. I could smell it.

Shivering, I turned the water up, and reached for a towel, scrubbing my hands with frothy soap and hot water . I pulled my dress off and scrubbed in the shower.

The dress seemed to have absorbed most of it. There wasn’t much blood on my body. Once I turned off the water, I could hear the television still blasting in the other room.

I put on a robe and stumbled into the hallway.

Wait a minute. What am I doing here?

I paused.

The walls in the hallway were blank. Not so much as a picture, and thankfully, not a mirror. I could feel her green eyes watching me. Threatening me to fuck up like I always do.

We are just bits of each other. But she seems intent….

On putting you in your place, she hissed.

The living room is a big and bright. A fireplace, a large television mounted on the wall, and a couch.

My husband is still, staring at the television screen.

He’s sitting on the couch, eyes wide. The game has been off for hours now, and I fumble for the remote, because he doesn’t like this show. The one where the girl begs the guy to chose her. When all along he’s snickering, because his choice has been made. She just doesn’t know it yet.

“Honey?” I said.

He turns to me slowly, blinking.

Of course, its impossible that he could do that now. I see the gash just beneath his Adam’s apple.

My hands seem to have a memory of their own: the skillful arc I made as I came down with the knife at the base of his throat. Looking down, I could see the knife peaking out from under the sofa. Sterling caught the light and gleamed cruelly.

I shake my head, and squeeze my eyes shut.

When I open them, he’s not moving anymore. I see now that the blood is dry, cold, and turning black.

Don’t you remember what happened? my reflection said, now staring down at me from the television screen. Her eyes are like cold flame. And her lips are twisted. She’s holding back her laughter.

I didn’t think you’d really do it, you little prissy bitch, she scolded. You always say I’m only a fucking voice in your head. You never listened to me before.

Reflection
Copyright: © 2010 Lori Titus
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