There was a new boy at school last month. I looked up from my desk as he walked in. His black hair covered his eyes partially, and he slouched with his hands in his pockets as the teacher introduced him. He wore a baggy short sleeved T-shirt and somewhat ripped shorts, both dark colors. He silently stood waiting to be given a seat, bored eyes roving around the room. Two black eyes settled on me, and my heart raced as our eyes connected. I wasn’t good with people, and I quickly looked back down.

The boy was given a seat next to me. He nodded once to me as a sign of greeting. I nervously smiled at him. Nobody ever noticed me very much.

Before I knew it, the bell had rung, and it was time for lunch. I slowly got out of my creaky chair and pushed it in carefully, walking with my head down to the cafeteria. I heard a voice, and I looked up, startled.

“W-What’s your… name? Mine is… Koru.”

The new boy was speaking to me? How odd. Nobody did that. His voice was low and soft, and he paused frequently during his speech. I felt a bit sorry for him, and I replied with my name, wondering again why he noticed me.

We sat next to each other at lunch. Koru was quite an odd boy. But then again, many considered me to be as well. We quickly became friends… or something like that. All I know is we stuck together.

One day, something odd happened. I noticed that my companion was acting strangely, and I asked him about that. He replied with a somewhat frantic tone in his voice that he was fine, and I noticed a reddish mark on his hand. He thrust his hands into his pockets, however, and I was unable to ask about it. I thought it would be better not to upset him further, and we went about the day as normal.

But before we went home, Koru turned to me with a forlorn look on his face, eyes downcast. “Will you… come with me… to my house? I… need to… talk with you…”

“Oh… of course, Koru.” I quickly agreed, but I was somewhat hesitant for no apparent reason. I told myself it was nothing to worry about, that it was just Koru’s house, but still a nagging voice in my head told me to refuse, to go home. Still, I followed the boy on his way home.

Koru’s house was much larger than I expected. It was a rather large mansion hidden on a rarely traveled road, surrounded by tall trees and plants. It seemed run-down and old, but I didn’t comment as we silently trekked up to the old doors. Koru put in the key and opened the creaking door.

We stepped into the large foyer, and Koru led me up the stairs, still not saying a word. We eventually reached what seemed to be the door to a bedroom. Koru confirmed my suspicion by muttering, “This is… my bedroom…” He took a deep breath for some reason, and slowly opened the door.

I took in the sight before me. This was his room?

The old, empty room contained only an ancient looking bed and table, and a large, ornate mirror with strange markings on the frame. I examined these markings from afar. Red eyes with little plus signs in them?

A realization suddenly hit me. That marking was on Koru’s hand!

Koru slowly walked in the room, taking his hand out of his pocket. He made a sort of gesture towards me, and I assumed he wanted me to follow. We walked in front of the mirror, and I looked at our reflections side by side.

Koru let out a breath and looked in my eyes. “I… I’m sorry. You don’t… deserve this…”

My eyebrows furrowed in confusion, but as I opened my mouth to speak, Koru lifted the hand with the red symbol and slowly touched it to the mirror. What happened then was horrifying…

The reflection began to warp, twist, and distort itself in a dizzying manner as colors and shapes swirled around as if confused. The image slowly settled back to normal, and I gasped at the reflection.

My reflection had disappeared. As for Koru’s… It looked almost exactly like him, but… It was like a monster.

The reflection had deep crimson eyes with blood seeping from the corners, as though it were crying. The psychotic grin revealed razor sharp teeth, oozing blood on the pale face. The creature was in the same position as Koru, touching the surface of the glass. I could see the claws on its hand, sharpened like a knife. The same red liquid was staining the claws, as well as the clothes and hair of the monster.

I could not speak, nor could I move. I was frozen in complete and utter terror. Koru turned to me. “This is… my other half. I can only… keep him trapped… if I give him… blood. I bring my mirror… to different places… and find people… to feed to him… when I see the symbol… on my hand. Then I… go find… someone else. Please understand… I need to keep him… in here. He would… destroy everyone.”

The clawed hand suddenly reached through, the glass rippling like water around the creature’s arm as it grabbed me. It shrieked as if in pain when it pierced to the other side, and it quickly pulled me in as I screamed madly, struggling and kicking.

I fell with a thud on a hard concrete floor as the… thing dropped me. I was disgusted and horrified to see that I had landed in a puddle of blood. As I looked around, scared out of my wits, I could see that bloody matter and gore covered much of the floor, walls, and ceiling. The monster slowly sauntered over to me, crouching to my level and raising my face with blade-like claws. I winced as they cut through my skin, allowing fresh blood to flow freely from the newly created wounds.

“What do we have here, hmm? A new victim? Oh, but you’re a pretty one. It’s almost a shame to kill you.” The voice was not like Koru’s. It was higher pitched, almost giddy, and it spoke in a disgustingly pompous manner. The horrible creature withdrew its hand and slowly licked the red substance.

“P-Please… Do-don’t kill m-me… Let me g-go…” I stuttered, pitifully trying to plead for my freedom. I knew it was no use, but I had to try.

The monster threw back its head and laughed, sending chills down my spine. More blood escaped onto the floor as it continued to laugh, mouth wide open. “You weak, pathetic creature. You really think I’d let you go simply because you asked politely?” It chuckled again, shaking its head. “No, silly human. I need food, you see, just as you do. Your kind mercilessly kills lesser creatures to survive, does it not? Well, to me… you happen to be a lesser creature.” The monster slowly licked its lips and stood above me, dragging me to my feet. I could barely stand, with legs shaking horribly under me. I leaned against a blood-stained wall, trying my best to ignore the red liquid.

“There is no escape, human. You will die here. I hope you enjoyed your last few minutes alive.” I closed my eyes, accepting my fate. Tears ran down my bloody face. I knew it was true. I would die, just as many before me had, and just as so many after me would. I felt the sharp claws pierce my neck and slice across it. And everything went black…