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The droning sound of my alarm clock roused me from my sleep.
I really do regret taking the early classes at my university. I’ll admit, it takes me longer than most guys to get ready in the morning. But hey, I pride myself in not looking like I had just rolled out of bed wherever I go. I groggily retrieved my bag from my desk and shoved my textbooks into it after I finished my morning ritual.
First thing in the morning I have Chemistry. I strolled into class a minute or two before the lecture began. Most of the seats were filled, so I resorted to sitting in the back row. I don’t particularly like the back, considering it’s normal populated by hungover, napping fuck-offs; the kid I sat next to looked especially shady. He had greasy brown hair and a blank 1000 yard stare, accompanied by dark bags under his eyes. He wore a scent I would call “three days of missed showers”.
The lecture was a relatively easy one, we were exploring the applications of transition metals in everyday life.
“What is something we all use that would not be possible without transition metals?”
A few moments of silence.
“Mirrors,” the greasy gentleman to my left stated in a sleepy, monotone voice.
“Yes! You see, the reflective effect can be achieved by using liquid silver, copper, or tin…”
He continued on.
I translated the professor’s tangent into my own shortened version (it’s not like I need everything he says). While I scribbled into my notebook, I caught my strange neighbor looking at me a few times. I could just barely see him out the corner of my eye. I turned to face him.
“Can I help you?” I asked.
Just more staring.
“Like what you see, huh?”
I ignored him (I just wish I could say the same for his odor). Class was just about over anyways; I began packing my things. I reached for my textbook at the corner of my desk, and I nearly pissed myself when my wrist was grabbed by the freak seated next to me.
“What the fuck?! Get off me!”
I quickly tore my wrist from his grip. I could feel the impressions of where his fingers were on my skin as if they were burned in. He had a mean grip.
“What’s the matter with you?!”
He just looked at me. I back away and briskly made my way the hell out of the room. I could only imagine how many drugs that kid was on. College was an interesting place.
While walking down the hall, the strangest sensations overcame my body. I began to feel deathly fatigued. I nearly collapsed against the wall, but I was able to keep an upright position. You know that feeling you have when you stand up too fast? It was a little like that. I felt lightheaded, weary, and vaguely numb. Not like physically numb but... emotionally.
Oddly enough, I had regained the feeling in my body almost as quickly as I had lost it. I had no explanation for it. Fuck, maybe I just needed a cup of coffee.
The rest of my day went on as normal (I got that cup of coffee by the way), and I had just returned back to my residence. I flopped onto my bed after my long, exhausting (and weird) day. I fell asleep rather quickly, but I had the most vivid dream I think I’ve ever dreamt.
I dreamt that I was alone in a large, dilapidated room with nothing but a large mirror and a few candles in a circle around me. The mirror had a tarnished silver frame. Intricate silver serpents weaved in and out of each other on the outer edge of the reflective glass.
I could tell the space inside the room was vast. It reminded me of an old church, as I could faintly see destroyed pues and the ground beneath me was smooth, polished stone. The candles lit up only a small portion of the room, and I could just barely see my reflection in the mirror. The scent of burning wax engulfed the air around me. The space just beyond the threshold of the candlelight was empty and black. I walked over to the edge of the light and the beginning of the darkness. I could feel the bitter cold as I stepped further from the glow of the candles.
I heard my own echo, it seemed to go on for miles. I turned back around and faced the mirror. My reflection was still standing before me.
I noticed that as I moved closer towards the mirror, my reflection didn’t. It was still standing the exact same way. The exact same menacing, statuesque way. With every step I took, my reflection grew more and more bizarre. It had faint grey skin and sparkling vortexes of color where the eyes should be.
I became so enthralled with looking at myself. I couldn’t look away. I reached out to touch the being in the mirror, but the reflection rippled like water when my finger made contact with it. The ripples of the reflection began to get larger and more violent. At one point, I couldn’t see myself anymore.
Then the mirror shattered and spilled onto the ground, only the elegant frame of the mirror remained.
And the man in the tattered robe standing behind it.
I jolted upright, now fully awake. Cold sweat clung to my body, and my heartbeat was on overdrive. I don’t think I’ve ever been so physically disturbed by a dream before. I was also faintly sore, for whatever reason.
I quickly noticed the change in my surroundings. When I awoke, I wasn’t greeted with the poster-covered wall of my room. The wall, as well as the floor and ceiling, were cement. Waking up in a cement room with no memory of how you got there does not exactly prelude a good day. I felt like I was in a horror movie.
“Hello?! Where the fuck am I?!”
The only response I received was that of my own echo bouncing off these god-forsaken walls.
“Is this some kind of joke?! Somebody better explain this!”
The room was about the size of a janitor’s closet. It was empty save for the beat-up mattress I was occupying and the rusty door on the opposite wall. The door looked heavy, and I’m in too much pain to even try moving it. My body ached horribly, I must’ve been roughed up pretty hard by whoever brought me here.
I sat against the wall of my prison for what I figured was around two hours. My eyes were fixed on the heavy metal door a few feet in front of me. Suddenly I heard shuffling outside, accompanied by multiple voices. The thickness of the door impaired any chance of hearing exactly what was being said just beyond it.
Suddenly I heard multiple clicks and the loud creak of the door slowly opening.
Two men stood in the doorway. They both wore tattered maroon robes with hoods concealing their faces. One of them spoke.
“Very sorry to keep you waiting sir!” he spoke with great excitement, “Many preparations had to be made.”
“What kind of preparations? Who the fuck are you people?!”
They looked at each other. At least I think they did, with those hoods and all. I was not given a word before they hauled me onto my feet and led me out of the room. A black bag was placed over my head. I could reasonably infer that I was being led through a series of winding cement hallways: I was directed around many twists and turns and the echo of my footsteps had been the same echo I heard in my cell.
Suddenly the echoing trailed off, as if the space I had entered was vast. We continued walking, and after a few minutes I was forced to my knees.
The bag was removed and I was facing the mirror from my dream.
“My faithful followers,” a gruff, old voice began, “our lamb has arrived.”
That didn’t sound good.
“The mirror requires but one more life, before He can join us in our realm.”
He began preaching to his “followers”. Suddenly, he was cut off by a younger, angrier voice.
“Let’s get this show on the road old man. We have other business to attend to.”
The voice came from my right. I turned to see the source of it and I hardly caught a glimpse of a man in a sharp black suit before I was promptly kicked in the chest. I let out a pain-stricken cough as I fell onto my side.
“Keep your eyes forward, son,” another man in a black suit said. His tone was melancholic, as if he was sorry that he had to introduce his boot to my chest. I noticed he was dressed almost identical to the impatient black suit I got in trouble for looking at. They both had those secret agent-esque radios in their ears. They looked like CIA agent cliches from an action movie.
“As our less-than-welcome guests wish, we will ‘get this show on the road’,” the leader announced.
I had a burning curiosity regarding the men in the suits. From what I could gather, the men in the robes follow the old man, but who were the men in the suits? Why were they referred to as “unwelcome guests”? I quickly remembered that I had much more important things to worry about.
The old man in the tattered robe began to speak in a way I couldn’t recognize. My first guess was Latin, but the structure of his sentences didn’t sound quite right. I think he was speaking backwards. The robed followers began to encircle me. One at a time, they lit candles and placed them on the floor in front of where they were standing. A strong smell of burning wax infected the air. The old man’s strange incantation grew louder and louder. He was moving closer to me.
I began to feel extremely nauseous and lightheaded. I was sweating profusely. Never in my life have I experienced such a burning sense of fear in the pit of my stomach. My eyes were flooded with tears. I guess this is how my life ends.
The man was now right over my shoulder. He forcibly took hold of my neck and made me face the mirror. His grip was exactly like the kid from my class, I felt my willpower being sucked from me. What I laid eyes on in the mirror gave me a feeling of dread that dwarfed every other feeling thus far.
My reflection looked otherworldly. I’m not even sure it was me anymore. The facial features were all there, but there was so much that was different. What I was first drawn to were the eyes; their appearance was akin to dark marble. I couldn’t tell if He could actually see me, but when I looked into his eyes I felt like I was the center of attention. His gaze instilled a feeling that turned my dread to tranquility. I couldn’t rationalize it, but I felt safe.
Tarnished iron armor adorned with serpents covered his dusty grey skin. The cuirass was brilliantly crafted; a scene of a man and a woman sharing an apple in front of a tree was masterfully carved into the breastplate. Tattered, damaged wings jutted from his back and idly flowed.
The men in the suits were panicking, asking the old man what he had done.
“What the fuck is that thing?!” the arrogant leader-type one blurted out.
The old man responded proudly, “It’s Him, we’ve finally done it! A new age is upon us my children!” he turned to the man in the suit, “This is the power you wished to harness, is it not? You come here with your threats and demands, you dabble in something your tiny, unenlightened mind cannot handle. No matter, you will not be a nuisance much longer.”
The man in the suit brandished his gun and shot at the mirror. The bullet ricocheted off and hit one of the men in the robes. The being in the mirror was unfazed, his eyes were still affixed to mine.
“Ignorant swine, you cannot stop what has already been set into motion. Our Lord is awakened and he will wipe your sorry organization off the face of the planet. This is His kingdom now,” the old man yelled.
The men in the suits must have been FBI or CIA from what I could gather, now that he’d said that. I thought they just did evil shit in movies, but this... this is all too real. I could hear visceral noises and panic behind me. The old man was laughing heartily. Gunshots rang out, but less and less of them by the second.
Suddenly I was released from the being’s captivating stare. I got up and turned.
I turned to face the mirror, which made no sense, I had just been looking at it. The room around me was empty, but in the mirror was a gruesome scene. The agents were all brutally gutted or torn apart, not a single one was left intact. They had taken most of the robed men with them. The old man had been shot in the gut, the being from the mirror was standing over him.
“I give my life,” he coughed blood, “and so many others’, so that you may return, my Lord”.
The being exchanged no words with him, and the old man bled to death before the mirror. “He” turned to face me, brandishing an ancient sword dripping crimson in his hand.
He brought the tip of the sword to the glass, and tapped it ever so gently.
The mirror shattered and spilled onto the ground.
Written by TheInfamousProject