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The Lesser of Two Evils

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3897025V

I never used to believe in Der Groβman, much less that I would end up as one of his victims. As I lay here on the cold, hard ground, bleeding out, all I can think about is that damned mirror. I can’t see a thing in this darkness. All I hear is the crunch of boots on the fallen leaves out in the dark growing ever closer. This is it.

Let me back up a bit. My name is Christopher Wallace. I was on vacation in the upper part of Bavaria when all of this happened. It was a dark night, just like tonight, when I was exploring one of the few Red Light districts in lower Germany. For the most part, it was like any other: prostitutes, vendors, and of course, your drunken crowd.

As for me, I was simply enjoying the nightlife. It wasn’t long before I came across an antique shop. I was instantly intrigued by this old mirror I saw in the window. It was ornate and gave off an aura. It’s hard to explain. I was drawn to it, and I had to have it.

I haggled with the merchant down to thirty Euros, and it was mine. I had it wrapped up and I took it back to my hotel, a small local place in the heavy forests in the mountains that Bavaria is known for. This is where things started to get…weird.

I got back to my room, and plopped the mirror down on the bed. I unwrapped it and looked at the fine decorations around the edges. But…they were different. In the shop, the mirror was encased in a light wood with white pearls and beautiful carvings curving out from the mirror. Now, the wood was a shade darker and the carvings seemed…reversed. But at the time, I was so excited to have such a beautiful piece of art, I paid it little mind. I put the mirror aside and cut out the lights. Within moments, I was asleep.

That night, I had the weirdest dream. I don’t remember much from it, which is probably for the best. What I do remember, however, I will never forget. There was a face. A horribly disfigured, ghostly face which came from INSIDE the mirror blew through the glass into our world. It took on a misty, black form, and cold, gray arms strangled me, while four more began tearing me limb from limb. I awoke the next morning just as I was reduced to a pool of blood in my dream.

I looked at the alarm clock. 7:03 A.M. I guess I could get up anyway. I picked up the mirror to admire it some more before I went out sightseeing in the beautiful Alps. What was weird was the mirror was warm to the touch, especially the pearls. In fact, they almost seemed to glow. At the time, I dismissed it as the sun shining in the room at a weird angle.

What was weirder was my reflection. It was slightly warped, kind of like looking into a fun house mirror. And not only that, I appeared to have red marks all around my neck. But when I looked at other objects in the room with the mirror, they appeared fine, and when I brushed my teeth in the bathroom that morning, my reflection from the hotel mirror looked perfectly okay. I figured my imagination was messing with me, so I tucked the mirror under the bed and went sightseeing.

After a fun day of checking out the mountains, I returned to my room around six. It was a cold September night in Bavaria, but the hotel was a quite comfortable seventy degrees. My room, however, couldn't have been much more than half that. I kept my jacket and gloves on and turned up the heat. The cold dissipated rather quickly. I had been walking around all day and was exhausted, so I didn't bother to look at the mirror before I went to sleep. I wish I had.

I was exhausted, but it took forever for me to fall asleep. I figured it was my aching leg bones. But something felt wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. That night, I had a much more unnerving dream. I saw a man in a raggedy business suit. At least I thought it was a man until it got closer. All I remember was being engulfed in black, formless tendrils and my life being sucked right out of my body.

Not long after that, I awoke in a cold sweat. It was freezing cold in the room, and I had the unnerving feeling that I was being watched. It was around three in the morning. I got up to turn up the heat, but the unit said the room was a comfortable seventy five degrees. When I turned to return to bed, I saw it. A tall, dark lone silhouette in the corner of the room. I took off, still in my nightwear, down the hall and out to my car. I drove all the way into town and slept in my car in some parking lot that night.

I woke up some time around noon. The first thing I did was head to the local library. I hopped on one of their computers, and looked up what I feared the most: Der Groman. What I found confusing was that he supposedly takes you to the underworld before a horrible death. But what could he possibly be saving me from? Then I remembered my dream a few nights before. The face in the mirror. I had to find out more. I returned to the shop in the Red Light district and spoke with the shop owner.

She told me that the mirror had come from an auction house down the road, which at the time was auctioning off items from the mansion of a deceased, disturbed old man in the mountains. The old man practiced taxidermy, and it was discovered later that some of his works were…human. That sent a sharp chill down my spine. I had to get rid of the mirror, but as I was told, the mirror was so difficult to sell that she refused to take it back. It had to be destroyed. As I left, the woman noted that there were red marks around my neck.

It took me until around five to return to the hotel. I went to my room and looked all around. No sign of anything off. I grabbed the mirror from under the bed and looked at it. I appeared to be terribly warped now, and the mirror was almost black on the sides. I wrapped it up and took it out to my car. The plan was to toss it out and forget. I drove back into town and tossed the covered mirror into a dumpster. The drive back to the hotel was fine. I watched a bit of TV and then went to brush my teeth before bed. As I brushed in the bathroom, the mirror warped ever so slightly. I reached out and touched the glass. It was warm. I faintly heard “too late” behind me. I jumped, slinging toothpaste everywhere.

There was no one else in the room with me. I turned back to the mirror to finish brushing, and saw clearly the face from my dream staring me down. It had an old man’s complexion, but the eyes were blacked out and bleeding. The mouth opened and emitted a terrible guttural shriek. I leap out of the bathroom to see the black form burst out of the mirror. A gray, rotten arm reached out and scratched my arm as I slammed the door behind me.

I darted out of the room and sat in the hallway for a good hour, unable to catch my breath. I finally gained the courage to go back in. I opened the door and peered inside. Just the dark hotel room. I turned on the light. Nothing was out of place. I eventually returned to the bathroom. The mirror was fine. I figured I was going crazy and sat down on the bed. Some funny sitcoms calmed me down, and I decided it would be best to sleep it all off. I cut off the light and shut my eyes.

I awoke to the stench of rotting meat. Disgusted, I turned on the light. To my horror, the words Not Alone were written on the wall in blood. I let out a yell and looked up. You’re next was splattered across the ceiling, still dripping. Drops of blood fell on the lampshade and began to illuminate the hotel room in a deep crimson. I grabbed my suitcase and barreled out of the door. What compelled me to glance down the hallway, I will never know. But I did. And I saw a tall dark figure at the end of the hallway.

I fled the building, taking the stairs in order to leave faster. I got to the lobby, which seemed to be dimly lit, unusual for any hotel. I saw the old man’s face in every reflection, staring menacingly with the black holes for eyes. What’s worse was the dark figure was waiting for me by the door. Its tendrils reached out for me. I beat them aside with my suitcase and darted out to my car. I tossed my suitcase in the trunk and got in the driver’s seat. I saw the old man’s face in the side mirror. I punched it out and sprinted out into the forest to get away. This was the biggest mistake of all.

The forest was cold and misty. I couldn't see a thing. I tripped over a fallen log and landed face first into a puddle of mud. I coughed and wheezed the brown gunk out of my lungs and continued on. Low branches and bushes ripped my clothes to shreds. I tripped again, but caught myself. I stopped for a split second to catch my breath. Behind me in the distance I could hear deep footsteps crunching leaves. As I stood to take off, I ran right into a large pine tree. I fell right onto my back. I could feel blood run down my face and shoulder. I tried to stand but fell back over. I could hear the footsteps growing close, very close now. This was it. That damned mirror. I never should have bought that da-


Police Report – 9/26/98

The body has been identified as 24 year old Christopher Wallace. The victim was found covered in numerous self-inflicted cuts and bruises. A heavy blood trail was found leading for a quarter of a mile from the Schweiger Hotel. The body was drained of blood and there is strong evidence of constriction, with the entire skeletal structure shattered. The cause of death is unknown.

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