The mirror stared in disbelief

The walls trembled and shook with the force of the blast. The portal closed barely missing his limbs. I’m sure its eye winked. He jumped up, brave-faced but shaken.

“Who are you!” he shouted.

The mirror stared in disbelief. Delicate fingers swiped and bent vainly in revolt.

“This cannot be,” he crowed confounded. “What are you, I demand to know!”

His quenchless urgency advanced to his head as if grappling for a latent crown. The looking glass stayed mute. He spun a revolving door turnaround and then he noticed me.

“Daphne?”

He gaped at the muddy footprints and then at his feet. He hissed at me, but I knew it was his terror that wanted to speak. I led him to water, but the hullabaloo from the lane was beyond the precipice of his sound tolerance. The quiet neighbours long departed, the new ones party on, relentless, uncaring, disturbing. This place had changed while he’d been gone.

He fluttered his hair and grains of gold tumbled out. The gold glowed like a hedonistic soul had been disintegrated and cast into Gehenna. Dirty with hate and rot, the shrapnel of an unholy legacy. The hair disappeared back inside his scalp. He smothered the candle and beseeched the sun to guide him. He looked to the East, but the syringe of light cast was feeble, hidden away in a case of thunder, shrouded, clouded as he. If only I could tell him straight what he is.

I’d tried to warn him about the portal, but he’d been doused with all-encompassing greed. His Mentors had sold him on the wrong riches. The wealth that isn’t real. The pot of gold over the rainbow was whatever you most needed. Those who coveted returned with their inside showing out. Had he learned what he needed? Would his form restore itself? Or will he live out his days with his true face broadcast, betrayed by his ill-conceived hankerings and percolated dark deeds.

What is left of his pure being behind those haunted eyes? If only he could remember love for its own sake, he’d shine with its luminous face: The gift of friendship, kindness, generosity, love bonafide; without limit, unabashed, free. But my intervention is not permitted. He must find his own way.

short story, dark, mirror, portal, supernatural, horror,
Created from words in Sunday Whirl 173, Wordle 21, and for Climbing the Walls

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