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The Image in the Mirror

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Broken mirror by jmottola
It is said that 3:00 AM is the most wicked time of all. The time when the night is the darkest, and fear and hysteria sinks in the fastest. When the clock struck 3 AM, my life took a turn for the worse.

I had just arrived home from work, my throat was strained from yelling my lectures. I tell you, I never really realized how much I have to use my lungs when teaching in a large auditorium, but I digress. I removed my outdoor wear, and walked towards the stairs when I heard a knock from the upstairs. I stared up the staircase, There was no one there, just the plan old hall that led to the bathroom, the guest room, and my room. I laughed the worry away, and walked to my room. There I was greeted by my cat, Meowzers. She was awake, but barely. I figured the sound was just her, playing in the bathroom, as she often did. She gave a yawn and stared at me as I entered the room.

I sat next to her on my bed, and petted her gently. The strange thing is, she was looking in a very certain area. She was staring at the mirror on my nightstand. Curious, I glimpsed at the mirror. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it, but something about it struck me as... off. I looked over at my clock, it read 2:45 AM. I laughed, I must have spent quite a long time at the bar. Very suddenly, Meowzers stood up, and bolted out of the room. I shrugged it off, thinking nothing of it. She always did have hyper personality, like most young cats.

I rested down next to a window, and stared out it, watching cars pass by, watching people walk by. After a while, I stopped. Something wasn't normal, something in my gut was telling me something was wrong. There was something about the reflection in the mirror that was a bit askew. I examined the mirror closely, and all I saw was a reflection of myself.

Down the hall, I heard Meowzers start to meow. Not a meow like I am used to from her, but a low, harsh, painful, bellow that sounded more like a hiss. Curious, I walked down the hall into the the second room on the right, the guest room. She wasn't there, however, I did here a crash from downstairs. I began down the steps, only to her Meowzers hisses once more. I caught a glimpse from the railings at Meowzer... it was horrible. In fear, I ran to the bathroom, and checked for Meowzer. I opened the door, and stepped inside. Meowzers stopped her hissing, and I turned on the light.

Meowzers was just sitting on the sink counter. Her long gray fur looked mauled, and there was a look of pure pain and agony on her face. I stared in horror at what had become of my cat. I ran to grab her, when the reflection in the mirror caught my eye. It was not of me, but a man who appeared sick, and in awe. I couldn't believe my eyes. He seemed to reach out at me, as if he wanted to tell me something. I reached my hand out, and touched the mirror, mesmerized. I stood there for at least three minutes, gazing at the reflection, until I forced myself to concentrate on finding out what had happened to my cat.

I shifted my vision to where I believed Meowzers had been, but she was gone, vanished without a trace. I looked back to the mirror. I saw my same old reflection. Swallowing hard, I shook off the feelings of dread and left my bathroom. Telling myself over and over that all I needed was sleep. Sleep would cure this. I was sure of it. I entered my room again and stood in the doorway.

Suddenly, Meowzers ran in through my bedroom door! I entered the room, and saw her, curling herself into a ball, preparing for sleep. She looked perfectly fine, much unlike what I had seen of her in the bathroom. I smiled, and laughed off my previous notions of the horror. I must have just fallen asleep, and dreamed the horror. I laid on the bed, next to Meowzer, and closed my eyes. Out of the silence I heard my front door slam shut. I went downstairs to inspect. What I saw surprised me. It was someone who looked just like me.

I stared in horror at my Doppelganger, watched it take off its coat, its scarf, placing it's bag down where I normally would place mine. I ran downstairs, and screamed at the top of my lungs at the Doppelganger, only to realize it had vanished. Its scarf remained, its coat remained, but the being was gone. I began walking back up the stairs. The metallic railing felt cold and bitter against my chilling hands. My emotions darkened when I reached my room. There sat the Doppelganger, petting Meowzers. Rage filled me and I charged ay the man, but to no avail. He just ignored me, I passed though him, like nothing. got up, and sat at the window. Once Meowzers had noticed me, she wouldn't take her eyes off of me. I knew she knew about this thing, and now, I was desperate enough to ask her.

“Meowzers... who-- what is that thing?” She stared at me, like she was telling that I was crazy. I laughed pitifully at myself. Here I was, once a great teacher, reduced to the level of cat whisperer. The fall was so shocking, I began to cry. I stopped the tears, and stood up, there was no use crying. I needed to figure out what was going on.

I looked into the mirror on my headboard, the shock hit me. The Doppelganger... it wasn't a Doppelganger at all! It was me. I was in the mirrors, back in time, watching previous events go by. I sat on the bed, shocked, trying to comprehend what was happening, when Meowzers jumped up, and ran.

I wouldn't skip a beat this time, I sprung up, and followed Meowzers.

She led me to my backdoor, which was busted open. I looked in the reflection on the floor tile to see the reflection of the blood. I reached down to touch it, wondering if it was real. I tapped the tile, and brought my hand to my face. It was covered in blood.

Then, something fell onto the tile. I examined the reflection closely, soon realizing it was the mangled body of Meowzers, barely alive. I covered my mouth, shocked, trying to fight back the urge to vomit. I saw the mangled cat get up, and start to hobble away, as the murderer began to proceed. Now, Meowzer was gone, and I knew where she had gone. As fast as I could, I sprinted up the stairs, to the bathroom, just as my other self entered.

I saw myself panicking over the mangled Meowzer. I saw myself, just as before... I reached my hand out to the back of the mirror, my reflection turned to me, and put his hand on the glass. Tears swelled in my eyes as I looked behind me, to see the madman, just out of view of my others view. My astonishment turned to horror, as the madman approached, brandishing a kitchen knife. I tried to yell at him, and tell him to get out of the room, but he didn't listen to me. The madman raised his knife. I looked at the clock, hanging behind me.

The clock read 3:00 AM.

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