Posts Tagged ‘short story’

Journal 7: Memories Beyond Mirrors

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Journal 7 Prompt:

I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.

Journal Response:

I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination. For in imagination you are safe to believe what you wish with out contest, and so I begin my tale of my adventures on the other side of the glass. In order for you to remotely try to comprehend these writings you must first hear it all from the very beginning. I feel that I must warn you, what I am about to tell you, though it may sound absurd at times is completely and utterly true.

My story begins just like any other. It was simply another tireless day in a week of monotony. I woke up then got dressed and ready for work, just as I always do. I grabbed a mug filled to the rim of coffee on my way out of the door. However, today, I failed to put the lid on my Starbucks Travel Coffee mug securely because as I took three steps out of the door and tilted the cup up to my lips to take the first sip of the robust french vanilla roast, the lid came completely off and spilled all over me and my lavender colored skirt. I rushed back inside my small but quaint single family home to change clothes. After all, I was the top curator at the Ridderman Gallery of Global Art; I could not show up to work drenched in coffee. I threw on the silky magenta wrap dress that was lying across the bench located at the foot of my bad. I had debated on wearing this morning and decided against it, tossing it carelessly on the bench. I tied the dress as I ran down the stairs and back out of the door, leaving the defective mug on my front porch and a mess to clean up later. I really shouldn’t have slept in today. It was Thursday and I had to be there when the truck delivered the new pieces for our newest exhibit, “Empyreal Treasures.” The broachers that the museum had distributed looked amazing and I was really excited to see all the new pieces. However, there was one in particular that I was the most excited to see, Emperor Xi Fu’s Golden Mirror of the Xiouo Dynasty. It was legend to hold the soul of anyone who peered into it.

When I arrived at work Mel met me at the information desk in the lobby.

“Not bad, Dee. Your only ten minutes late,” he said with a sarcastic gleam in his eyes.

I said nothing to him. I was not going to reward his sarcasm with any sort of acknowledgement. He caught onto my mood right away and began to walk with me towards the Empyreal Treasures exhibit space.

“Is it complete, or are they still setting it up?” I asked him as he followed behind my fast professional pace.

“Oh it’s all set up.” He paused briefly then began to speak again, in a more somber tone this time. “Hey, you know I didn’t mean to upset you.”

I stopped abruptly and turn to look at him “Oh sorry, Mel. I just had a late start and a bit of a setback that contributed to my tardiness this morning. I am fine and so are you.”

He smiled cheerfully and we continued to walk side by side towards the exhibit. When we reached the door, he opened it for me and we both walked in. The exhibit was amazing and the designers who coordinated the space really did a great job of incorporating all of the historical elements along with embellishing the space in pure opulence. The entire exhibit was even better than the writers made it out to be in the broacher. As we walked through the entire exhibit I made sure to stop at every piece and really examine what I was seeing. I had read and studied about these pieces for the past eight months and now I was finally able to see them all in front of me. As we neared the end of the exhibit, I realized that something was not right, the exhibit was incomplete.

I turned to Mel, “Wait a piece is missing.”

“You never miss a beat do you? Yeah there is a piece that will be coming tonight. They said it was too delicate to be brought with the others, it’s that golden mirror.”

“I knew it,” I said in an almost inaudible voice.

“So are you ever gonna tell me how you do that?”

“Do what?”

“How did you know that something was missing? I mean there is over 500 individual pieces in that exhibit. How did you recognize one was missing?’

“I have been doing this for a very long time, plus, I actually read and studied all the material we were given about the pieces,” I said as I flicked my eyes to his face dubiously.

“I read and studied just as much as you did, but I still wouldn’t have known that one of the pieces was missing. I mean, you know, if I wasn’t here when they told me.”

The day passed, surprisingly slowly and seemed never to end. Mel had packed up his belongings and went home hours ago. Of course, I had to stay and be here when they delivered and set up the final piece to the exhibit. I began to wonder what time they were going to make it. It was already a little after 8:00pm. I contemplated calling them to check but no sooner than I located the number, the security guards came up to inform me that the piece was being installed. I rushed out of the lounge to the stairs and ran straight to the exhibit. I really must have been excited because shortly after I got to the space, the security guard that had come to get me was panting and sprinting up behind me.

Once it was installed I stood back to examine it, as I had done with the others earlier that day. As I examined the massive mirror the guards escorted the installation crew out. It was beautiful and very ornately embellished with four interlocking golden dragons along the rim of the mirror. The glass of the mirror was not actually glass but instead a large brilliantly cut crystal. I stared at the piece in awe. It was so much more than what I had read about. I could see why I was so drawn to it. As I stared blankly at the piece, I began to focus my eyes on my reflection. I looked so tired. I turned my head right then left then right again, peering into my reflections glazed looking eyes. However, I noticed that when I turned my head a fourth time, my reflection was still. I stopped moving and looked into the crystal surface with unbelief. I must have been more tired than I thought. I turned my head slowly to the left. When my reflection followed suite, I felt silly for thinking otherwise. I reached out to touch the crystal just to be sure. When nothing happened I decided that I had enough excitement for one day and that I should probably head home. As I walked away from the mirror, I couldn’t help but feel uneasiness.

When I made it home, I was exhausted and irritated when I found the mess from this morning waiting for me right at my front door. I stepped over it and headed straight for the kitchen. I placed a large black binder of information on the exhibit that I had taken from work on the cold granite counter and began to cook dinner. I was so tired that I was on autopilot the rest of the night. In a daze I ate dinner, cleaned up the mess, took a shower, and got ready for bed. I must have been exhausted because I kept bumping into thing. As I stood clumsily at the bathroom sink in my warm wool pajamas, I brushed my teeth with slowly sleepy strokes. I looked at my tired expression in the mirror. When I leaned down to spit into the sink, I saw something out of the corner of my eye that startled me. I whipped my head back up to investigate. Nothing seemed to be off. I chalked it all up to stress and pure exhaustion and thought nothing more of it. I walked out of the bathroom and into my luxurious neutral toned bedroom. I quickly climbed into bed and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was asleep. When I woke to the annoying sound of the alarm clock early on Friday morning, I sleepily reached for the clock on the nightstand to the right of the bed. I was startled when my hand fell through the imaginary nightstand and popped my eyes open. There was no nightstand on that side. My eyes darted around the room only to find that the nightstand and alarm clock were on the other side of the bed. The sound from the alarm was getting louder and as I went to turn it off I noticed the strangest thing. The time on clock read “00:6.” What? I didn’t get, this was a new alarm clock I had just bought it only a few weeks ago. I pressed a button that I thought was the alarm button but when it did not turn off the alarm I was confused and looked at the buttons closely. I had not pressed the correct button but that was the lesser of my problems. The entire alarm clock seemed backwards, even the words. I pressed the “mrala” button and examined the room again. I was startled to see that everything was backwards, not only my alarm clock but my entire house was backwards. I ran to the bathroom sink and splashed some cold water on my face. When I straitened my stance and looked into the mirror at my reflection everything seemed to be normal again. I turned my body and looked back through the door to the bathroom into my room, everything was still backwards. I turned my body back to face the mirror and looked at my reflection with confusion. My reflection looked back at me and ever so slowly the edges of my reflections mouth turned upward into a menacing smirk.