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Mirror, Mirror

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I awoke this morning three minutes before my alarm was set to go off.

Grumbling, I sat up in bed. There was no point in going back to sleep, so I decided to get going early.

I turned my head to look at my wife, who was sleeping next to me. She was completely obscured under the covers.

I lifted the sheets off of her head to give her a kiss good morning, and was surprised to discover that it was not my wife.

It was nobody, really. It was a mannequin, of the type you'd find in department stores. It had a smooth featureless head, and was vaguely anatomically female. Its arms had been pulled off.

Shocked, I leapt out of bed. I called my wife's name a few times, my eyes locked on the mannequin that had taken her place in bed. There was no response.

My alarm clock began going off. The alarm's tone was different than usual. It sounded lower.

Confused, I managed to look away from the mannequin long enough to shut the alarm off. When I looked back, the sheets had been pulled over it again.

I ran out of the bedroom, my frightened eyes still locked on the mannequin. I turned away only when I reached the bathroom. I splashed some water on my face from the sink, trying to clear my head. When I looked up into the mirror, my reflection looked off. Its eyes looked cold.

Nervously, I ducked out of the bathroom and back into the bedroom. The mannequin was gone. The bed's sheets were perfectly flat.

I laughed. I assumed that my wife or my son was playing some sort of prank on me. It seemed unlikely, but I couldn't think of any other explanation.

Relieved, I grabbed my towel and headed into the shower.

I stepped into the hot water and instantly felt relaxed.

I faintly heard footsteps outside. I assumed it was my wife walking around.

I heard a voice faintly say my name. It was incredibly quiet and yet incredibly close, like a quarter-inch-tall person was standing inside my ear.

I jumped out of the shower and toweled off quickly. I exited the bathroom and looked down the hall. No one was there. My son's bedroom door was shut.

I heard feet walking down the empty hall.

The voice whispered my name again.

I was terrified by this point, but I had to go to work. I went back into the bedroom and quickly put my clothes on.

I cautiously went back into the hall. The footsteps were going down the stairs now.

I opened my son's door a crack and looked inside. A mannequin was sleeping in his bed.

Nervously, I quickly headed down the stairs. The footsteps had stopped by that point.

In the kitchen, everything looked a little bit incorrect. The refrigerator looked crooked. The counter looked different than it did the day before - it looked like it had been replaced with a different counter that was meant to be identical, but had been assembled more hastily. The wallpaper and paint were peeling off of everything. This was no prank.

I opened the fridge. The door swung open loosely. It didn't feel like a fridge door.

The fridge was completely empty. That was impossible. It had been full just last night. I had talked with my wife about how we needed to clean it out.

I headed into the living room. Everything looked shoddy in there as well. The couch looked like a sheet draped over a pile of cardboard boxes in a vaguely couch-like arrangement.

I wondered again if someone was playing a prank on me.

I decided that was impossible. This was far too elaborate for that.

Out of curiosity, I picked up the TV remote. I would have turned the TV on, but the remote had no buttons. It was a block crudely painted to look like a TV remote. I dropped the false remote and quickly moved towards the door that led into the garage.

I grabbed the doorknob and twisted it. The knob didn't move.

I looked at the door more closely. It wasn't a door at all. It was a piece of wood nailed to the wall in front of me.

I began panicking.

I tried the backdoor nearby. It was also a slab on the wall.

I wheeled around. A mannequin was now sitting on the couch.

Filled with fear and rage, I dashed over and tried to shove the mannequin aside. It wouldn't budge, not even an inch.

As I pushed, I glanced up at the window, once covered by brown curtains. Now covered by dozens of filthy-looking rags stitched together.

I clambered up onto the couch beside the mannequin, parted the curtains, and looked out the window.

The house across the street had been replaced with a giant grey block.

So was the house to its left, and the house to its right, and all the other houses up and down the streets that I could see.

The street was no longer asphalt. It had been replaced with a hastily-cobbled-together surface of wooded boards, sloppily painted black.

My yard was no longer grass. It was a green tarp, nailed to the ground.

The neighbor's car that had been parked across the street was no longer a car. It was a dull red block of wood, about the car's former size.

My head began to hurt.

Before I shut the drapes, I caught sight of my haggard, cold-eyed reflection, faintly visible in the living room window.

It grinned at me.

Credited to dodoman1

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