I See You in the Mirror

Rueben liked their new house. He couldn’t wait to tell all his friends at school about it—it had tiled floors, high ceilings, new-looking kitchen benches, two bathrooms, two car ports. The rooms looked so big with hardly anything in them; he paced around with his little sister, who poked her nose into the boxes, calling him over now and then to see something from their old house, so strange to see it wrapped in newspaper and with the other things, and not on the shelf or in the cabinet.

Through the open window Rueben watched the moving man help his father carry the fridge. They both were sweating—his father had a big pointed streak of dark wetness on his back; it looked like an arrowhead.

Rueben went to the entrance and tried the dial for the ceiling fan. The regal-looking light attached to the fan came on. He brightened and dimmed it several times.

“I wonder…”

He tried the other dial. Smoothly, soundlessly the fan began to spin.

“Cool!” he said, “This is my room!”

He expected Daisy to complain and fight him for it but she was distracted, dancing in front of the mirror which leant with a dishcloth buffering its edge against the wall.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m saying hello!” said Daisy, giggling.

“Hello!” said Rueben, waving.

“Rueben, let’s change!” said Daisy excitedly.

“What do you mean, ‘change’?”

“Let’s change with them!” she said, pointing at their reflections.

“We can’t!” said Rueben, “We’re we and they’re—” He pointed where his sister pointed.

“Yes we can, Rueben, I figured it out! All you have to do is close your eyes. Come here,” she said, ordering her brother to stand next to her. “Close your eyes, Rueben.”

He did.

“Close them very tight so you can’t see anything.”

He did.

“Okay,” said Daisy in the dark, “now you have to say, ‘I see you in the mirror, I see you in the mirror, I see you in the mirror.’ You have to say it!” Daisy prompted.

“I see you in the mirror, I see you in the mirror, I see you in the mirror,” said Rueben. He imagined seeing himself in the mirror. He got scared. He reached and held Daisy’s hand, protecting her, but didn’t open his eyes.

“Do you feel it, Rueben?”

“Daisy we should stop,” said Rueben. He opened his eyes, and in that split second he saw Rueben in the mirror, opening his eyes, too.

Thanks for checking out my short story.

Did I tell you I wrote a novel? You can read it here for free, or get it for your e-reader on iBooks, Amazon or Kobo. Or you can just say you read the book, and donate five bucks down below. Go on.

Gabriel Muoio


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