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Reflection

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Sam Grover had just moved to Detroit, Michigan to take a job as a veterinarian. After looking at the bare walls of his new home, he decided to go buy something to liven the place up a bit.

"Can I help you?" the eager clerk asked.

"I am looking for a decoration, such as a painting to hang on my wall," Sam answered.

"I can't help you with a painting, but I have this antique mirror you might consider," encouraged the clerk.

After careful inspection, Sam decided to purchase the mirror.

Once home, Sam placed the mirror in his bedroom. Happy with the way the mirror looked on the wall, Sam decided to lie down and read for a while. He heard thunder and saw lightning in the window. Suddenly, the electricity gave out as booming thunder rocked the house, turning the room pitch black. Sam remembered a candle he had in his dresser to use in just such an occasion. He lit the candle and returned to bed. Sometime later that night, out of the corner of his eye, Sam noticed movement in the mirror. Sitting up slightly, he peered in. Looking back at him in the mirror was what appeared to be a lady dressed in old fashioned clothes dancing at some sort of ball. As he lie frozen in terror, staring at the mirror, the lights flickered again, coming back to life. As the lights returned, the image in the mirror dissipated and Sam saw only his own pale, white face looking back at him. Sam wasn't sure if he had actually witnessed the scene in the mirror, or if his imagination was running rampant from exhaustion. He decided to move the mirror downstairs, until he figured out what was going on.

The next morning, Sam returned to the store he purchased the mirror from.

"Good morning," smiled the clerk. "How's the mirror?"

"It's beautiful," replied Sam. "Where did you get it?"

The clerk began to explain how he found the mirror in the basement of the store, and thought it would be a good piece of merchandise to sell.

After listening to the clerk, Sam decided to return home.

That evening, a very similar storm brewed outside his home again. Sam heard the rumbling of the thunder outside, and the rain pelted the roof vigorously. He began to think of the lady in the mirror and, sensing an opportunity to get to the bottom of things, crept out of bed. As if on cue, the lights in the house flickered out as they had done the night before. Sam fumbled in the dark until he lit his trusty candle and ventured into the hall. As he slowly made his way down the stairs carrying the candle, he could hear the walls of his old house creak and moan. An irrepressible feeling of dread filled him as he continued toward the mirror. When he was finally within eyeshot of the mirror downstairs, he allowed the glow of the candle fall over it. Sam shrieked in horror when, standing in the mirror, was the clerk of the store. Sam bolted up the stairs to his bedroom, locking the door behind him, and jumped into his bed. After what seemed like an eternity of attempting to catch his breath and regain his composure, he actually managed to get to sleep, the sound of the rain helping him relax.

Around 4:00 A.M., Sam was abruptly shaken awake by an explosion of thunder - the events of the night flooded back into his memory. He kept telling himself it was a dream, but he knew what he saw had to have been real. The power was still out. Sam got out of bed, grabbing his candle, and went into the basement to check the breaker. As he was going down the stairs, he began to tremble at the thought of the clerk's face in the mirror. With a gulp, Sam gathered the courage to let the candle light fill the room. The luminous glow fell upon the mirror.

Sam gazed into the glass, expecting the worst. All he saw was his reflection staring back at him. Sam's nervous laughter echoed throughout the room.

"It really was just my imagination," Sam said to himself.

Sam looked back toward the darkness of the hall, dreading the return trip to his room. As he glanced back to the mirror one last time, he froze. His reflection began to move and act on its own. The image of Sam began to convulse and contort itself into a grotesque mass of dark flesh. The being within the mirror was absolutely inhuman, holding no resemblance to its former self. A twisted claw wrapped itself around the frame of the mirror as it lumbered forward. Sam dropped the candle and the room went black.

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