So we all went to House of Mirrors in Czech Republic for my thirteenth birthday. April 17th 2008, my parents, little sister, and I approach the doors of a huge castle-like place. The battlements were old and worn but for some reason the door and some of the surrounding bricks were brand new. As we entered, there was a short reception with some more huge doors behind it. We had booked the entire house for half the day and I was certain that it would be a blast. Besides that, Jenny, my sister, was easily scared so it would be a lot of fun to jump out at her. She has a fear of surprises which astounds me. She would even get scared when we yelled surprise on her birthday. Dad was easily scared too. He was a famous business owner and it was rare that we got the chance to do family stuff. But I was real happy he came over just for my birthday. My parents never really got along with each other at all since the divorce, but getting together once in a while was good for us and they both seemed to put differences aside to get together a few times a year. And just so you know, my name is Derek. Yep, it sucks.

So we proceeded into the House of Mirrors after confirming our reservations and it was exactly as I thought. I couldn't stop walking into my own reflection. Sometimes I would reach out toward a reflection to see if it is a mirror and almost fall over trying to grab thin air. Then, of course, there is the moments that I was waiting for, scaring the living hell out of my sister and Dad. Growing up I always enjoyed scaring people but more so I enjoyed being the victim of a good scare. I would jump, feel the swelling feeling of fear, anxiety, shock and a mixture of many more negative feelings and then feel the relief of coming to terms with what just happened.

I loved experiencing that. So I figured I had a great experience ahead of me. There was, however, something rather ominous about these mirrors. Sometimes, when walking through the halls, it feels as if the reflections just aren't reflections. Almost as if they were alive. Sometimes it would feel as if you weren't watching them but they were watching you. Like they were studying every move you make and just waiting. No agenda, no motive, nothing. They would just follow and wait. But I knew that was silly. In my experience as a horror fan and avid scare master, there's no such thing as ghosts, ghouls, vampires, werewolves or any of that crap. Anything I saw was either a reflection or one of my family members.

The day was progressing and the mirrors were getting boring. After a lot of posing in front of various mirrors like a has-been Hollywood diva and scaring the life out of my sister, I decided it was time to move onwards. However, something happened which took my thirteenth birthday to a grinding halt. Whilst traversing through the illuminated maze I heard an earthshattering scream echo through the hall. There was only four of us there so I deduced that it was either my mum or Jen. The scream was then accompanied with the sound of shattering glass. I ran as fast as my terrified legs could carry me, frantically traversing the maze to find the source of the scream.

I then heard crying sounds coming from the right, it was definitely Jen. I ran faster than I had ever ran before, bumping into various plastic mirrors. On the last passageway, I ran into another mirror but this one was different. It was glass. The mirror shattered into a thousand shards, glistening under the blue light. After picking myself up and wiping the blood away from the cut on my cheek, I saw my sister sitting on the floor crying with her head down. I stared in terror as I looked at her arm and the broken mirror in front of her. She looked up at me, tears and blood flowing from her eyes. "He tried to take them," she cried. "He wanted my eyes," she enunciated.

Her arm was completely snapped in half from the elbow, her forearm seemed to hang from the joint and I could see a ragged combination of flesh and bone sticking out of where her elbow should be. It was massacred as if the bone and flesh had been torn at by a wild animal. I reached down to try and comfort my sister but I hit my head and was petrified. It was a mirror. But it looked so real, she looked like she was right there in front of me. I turned to see if she was opposite the mirror in the space next to me but all I saw was the broken mirror, I looked back and "she" was gone. I had never been scared like this before but this time there was no exciting feeling. I was scared for my life. I kept running and running, I didn't care what happened next, I just wanted to get out.

I then saw dad, he turned to me with a face I had never seen before, pure fear. He tried to say something, but then turned and faced forward and his face sunk into a pale white. All I heard was him scream, "Run." We both ran back and forth, left, right but we couldn't get away. Then he appeared, a tall, thin figure in a white suit. It had a giant black head with two big gaping holes and blood spattered across the bottom in order to represent some kind of mouth. Dad refused to move, the creature reached out toward his face and proceeded to drag him into the mirror. I grabbed dad by the torso, hoping to keep him away but my strength wasn't enough and he was gone. I wanted to just cry to myself for a while but I knew I had to find mum and Jen and get out. Jen needed a hospital by now, was that even real?

As I kept running through the maze, as a lost lamb would on an endless field, I happened across dad again. He was dead. Hung up by two giant glass shards on a broken mirror, cuts and gouges all over his chest, face and legs. Various glass pieces sticking out of his torso and mouth. The worst part was his face. His eyes had been forcefully torn out of his head and replaced with two jagged pieces of glass, covered in blood and flesh. I took a few seconds to silently cry to myself whilst also vomiting all over the floor and my new Vans shoes. I was in a horror story, and there was no escaping it. I had to find everyone else. I had to, before he collected me too.

Mum was gone and Jen was too, I was so scared until looking in a mirror in front of me. They had met the same death as dad. Both hung from the ceiling by giant glass shards, no eyes to cry from. I couldn't think straight, I was helpless until I saw the door. This was my chance to get out and be free. I sprinted toward the door and tears flowed from my eyes as I got closer and closer. Then my nightmares drew in on me as I crashed at top-speed into a giant plastic mirror. I refused to believe it. This couldn't be the end for me, but it was. He came to me and darkened everything. My eyes were gone. It's my birthday now. I would be nineteen years old today. My eyesight is fading quickly but I heard new visitors. This is my lot, this is my curse. I have new eyes to harvest, then I can live to see another year.