Where the Mirror Ends and Begins

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I didn't expect my reality to encounter the supernatural. I never thought it existed, especially not from a mirror in the uppermost room of the house. Dear editor of the Daily Supernatural, I am writing to you concerning an impossible event that I encountered on Friday, the first of March. I didn't expect my reality to encounter the supernatural. I never thought it existed, especially not from a mirror in the uppermost room of the house.

Fantasy / Adventure
Age Rating:

The Encounter

Dear editor of the Daily Supernatural,

[I am writing to you concerning an impossible event that I encountered on Friday, the first of March. Forgive my excessive storytelling – I have seen too many amazing things not to explain them all with earnest desire.]

I clenched my black hand luggage tightly as I gazed upon the all too real house that I had intended to keep hidden away in the depths of my past.

I studied the faded numbers painted on the house’s splintered door and let out a sigh. I had promised myself that I would never step foot in that old creaky house ever again, yet here I was, standing idly on the frayed welcome mat that seemed to shout, ‘Go Away!’.

The steeply pitched Gothic roof, decorated with bargeboard and cross gables, gave the house an eerie character, as though it only reflected black and grey when one looked at it from any perspective.

It was a house stuck in the past; like looking at a postcard bought on a trip twenty years later.

I no longer needed to knock or ring the crusty old doorbell. The one I remembered as a child to give off a painful clamour, like the howling of an injured cat.

I could simply enter without any notice about me being there because there was no one who lived in that house. Not anymore.

The house was now mine. Mine to take care of – or to get rid of.

Yes, I had already made up my mind to sell it as fast as possible and to never look back again.

At least, after an extraordinarily less-than-perfect childhood, I was finally being paid back for all my suffering; in the form of a house that would probably be worth more if demolished…

Perhaps it wasn’t a blessing, but a curse from Gran: the last tattoo of mental provocation that she could all-so-gladly send me – even after she was dead and buried.

I thought that all problems would vanish after my grandmother died and I suddenly felt utterly foolish for ever assuming that. All those memories were always there and became too real once again when I took one step into the dim and dusty abode.

The narrow entrance gave way on the left the living room and kitchen, and on the right a narrow set of carpeted stairs that led up to the two bedrooms and one bathroom. Although the house was spacious, as a child, I spent most of my time in the attic.

The attic was where I always felt safe and secure. I would build a fort with every blanket and cushion I could find and lose myself in my intricate imagination among the clutter of stored items.

I was always prone to curiosity, but never really enjoyed the company of others, so my curiosity mutated from external to internal, making it devoid from reality and purely fantastical.

I can honestly say that inward curiosity – not properly tended to – can lead to self-centeredness, while it can be healthy if it leads to self-contentment or self-reflection. But then, simple self-contentment is not in any form the same as refined happiness and self-reflection does not always lead to sound truth.

My experience has always oscillated between both ends of the internal curiosity spectrum. It was only in my adult years that I realized that it had. As a child, I naively gravitated toward self-centeredness and thought it full of goodness and truth. This was why I had no friends in school as well as knowing that the catalyst toward my unhealthy solidarity was because of Gran…

Most flaws in my character were because of her.

[I apologise. I did not expect to reveal so much of my childhood in this informative letter, but I believe it is needed to be uncovered to gain rightful insight concerning the full content of this account on the supernatural.]

I lived with her for what seemed to be all my life, but it was only at the age of nine that my mother dropped me off for the summer and it seemed her summer never ended.

Gran never smiled, which led to the easy assumption that she never once told me she loved me, let alone show any affection toward me.

She had the habit of telling me with her eyes that I was not wanted.

Never wanted.

She would sit on her rocking chair every day and knit, rocking back and forth in a jeering way. She was in that chair for such long periods of time that sometimes I could not tell where the seat began, and Gran ended.

Every time I emerged from the attic or came home from school, I would see her writing in a journal, hiding it from view so that my eyes could never peer upon what was written. I was sure that all the words she scribbled down were complaints about me – taunts written purposefully to my present self that (I would not have been surprised) would be mailed to my house immediately after she had breathed her last.

I never remembered her as middle-aged but far beyond it – that far off point in people’s lives where they have saggy yellow skin and their skeletons are bent into an almost impossible configuration. Her eyes were the worst of all. I loathed any time she would look at me with those beady black eyes – her stare tearing at my soul with deep and agonizing silence.

I’ve realized that silence is the wickedest form of communication for there was never any way to know what Gran was thinking or what piece of my heart she would chip off every time she would stare at me in cold silence.

That was my grandmother.

That was Gran.

That old haggard woman

That witch.

How I hated her.

[But this is not why I wrote to you. Let me get back to the real reason this letter is in your hands right now.]

I had no choice but to do a deep clean of the house and throw away every worthless item it had compiled over the many decades, which was most of it.

I could not say exactly how long it took until I was finished, but it took weeks by myself.

Every room was scrubbed and almost empty and it began to look like a different house entirely. The musty and smoky smell was a fraction of what it was, and I felt like I had the power to scrub away Gran’s memory forever.

All that was left to sift through was the attic.

The hatch in the ceiling that led to the acme of the house presented itself as soon as I walked up the stairs. A string of rope hung low and a ladder came down when I pulled it.

The attic hadn’t been touched since the last time I was up there, which was five years ago – a week before I packed up and finally had the freedom to leave and make a real life for myself.

Not that I have much of a life now.

The entire upper loft was coated with a thick film of dust and I needed to wear a mask to keep it from entering my lungs.

The cushions and sheets that I used as a little girl were still in the same place, bundled together, making a sea of embroidered textiles and knitted blankets. A sea of comfortability.

It was an extremely difficult task to empty the space out, and I was positive that every muscle I possessed were screaming in pain as they tensed and flared up.

[If you have skimmed my letter up to here, I would recommend that you read intently from this point forward.]

I had finished moving everything out of storage, and only a wardrobe remained. I had decided to break it up into pieces because it would have been impossible for me to bring it down alone.

When I placed it on its front onto the floor, I was astonished to find that there was a mirror hidden behind it.

I had never seen it before in my life and I was surprised by that fact due to the excessive amount of time I had spent in that room.

The mirror was simple yet strangely immaculate: in condition and in cleanliness.

It was a fairly large square mirror with a thick silver-plated frame.

At that time, the bottom of the wardrobe had come loose – when I had accidentally been a little too rough with it – and suddenly a handful of mothballs bounced toward the mirror.

I would have never expected them to enter the mirror as though they had been dropped into a body of rippling water.

[As you can see, this is where everything becomes bemusing and wholly supernatural.]

At first, I thought it had been the trick of the eyes – that I had inhaled too much dust and was suffering the consequences.

But it was not so; it truly happened.

At least, it truly happened from where I was standing.

I hadn’t a clue what to do next, so I stepped forward and touched the mirror with the tips of my fingers, as though I was about to shake somebody’s hand.

My hand went right through, and the sensation was like nothing I had ever come across.

If I could describe in the slightest with words, I would say that it felt like electricity and water had become one element. I felt no pain – only a tingling in my left hand which then began to travel up into the rest of my body. The water was refreshing to my skin and gave it a shiny complexion. It was heavy upon my hand but also weightless.

A large part of me never wanted to take my hand out ever again.

Nevertheless, I retracted it a couple of minutes later because I was afraid that I would die.

The liquid lightning never once stopped rippling after I had stepped back (only in the slightest: I could not bear to be too far from the mirror) – its waves struck a part of my soul and left me in awe of its divine nature.

It was as though the mirror was resonating to my DNA structure and was calling me inside it.

If it was not for my fear, I would have processed not one more thought and madly dashed into it.

However, fear gripped me like a shadow to a person’s body; but the fear I had for the awesomeness of the mirror was far greater than the fear I had of death.

So I bravely walked through the mirror as the electrifying water engulfed my form.

Before my eyes could adjust to my new surroundings, all I could see was a blinding white light. The tips of my fingers and toes tingled – a residual effect of walking through the mirror.

After half a minute, I began to understand where I was standing: in a hallway of mirrors.

It was difficult to say if the place was a hallway or an infinite white room, but my eyes could strangely see an outline of a path leading straight on and countless mirrors hanging on the left and right of me. I am using the word hanging, but they just looked like they were hanging. Honestly, I was having a hard time seeing any walls anywhere. However, it did feel like a room with walls because I felt quite boxed in but then I saw with my eyes that my surroundings seemed infinite behind the floating mirrors.

The paradox began to muddle my brain so I decided to forget about it.

The mirrors were not like the one in Gran’s attic. They had no frames and all consisted of different rugged shapes. None were very appealing. Instead, they looked like dusty broken glass in a sea of white sand.

All I could do was walk forward: I did not want to go back. There was surely something ahead. At least, something better than what I had left behind.

As I sauntered ahead, I gazed into the mirrors to the left of me. I gasped with mouth agape when I studied more closely what they reflected.

They reflected Gran.

They reflected that Medusa of a woman.

Every mirror on my left replicated her perfectly with her crooked teeth, snide leer, and stringy mop of hair. Each image was exactly how I had seen her. It was ghastly to look at but I still felt a small tinge of pride. After all, I was able to see through her in the end. Even after all those soulless stares.

“That is exactly right! This is my Gran in all of her atrocious glory!” I spoke out loud. To myself?... I do not really know.

I then felt a deep curiosity to study the mirrors on the right of me.

These, I gathered, reflected lies. All of them hideous lies.

The left ones were downright truth and the right ones echoed despicable fibbery.

It got me fuming, to say the least.

The rugged glass reflected images of me. Not me at that moment, but me at different moments in the past.

Each image resembled me in a certain way, but they were not me. It was like a tainted picture of me. I looked ill-tempered in one, piggish in another, and impish in one more.

Then I strongly felt understanding bubble out from my chest.

“This is how Gran saw me, wasn’t it? How dare she see me with such a distorted perception! Of all the ways she could have seen me, she chose adverse recognition!” I shouted out loud in complete ire.

“You’ve got it all wrong.” A voice spoke softly, as though it need not be loud to be powerfully heard.

I looked up and saw a man dressed in a white three-piece suit. His skin was like the sun and his hair like locks of pure gold.

If I wasn’t fixated on the bright splendour that rested upon him like a dove, I would have fallen in love with him at first sight.

“What do you mean?” I asked, struggling to string a sentence together.

He pointed to the glass on the left. “They aren’t the true representation of your grandmother.”

He then moved his hand to those on the right, “And these aren’t how your grandmother saw you.”

I held my tongue. All words left me.

The man continued, “these mirrors represent your twisted memories on the past. And it seems the only thing you have held onto from the past is your grandmother.”

Now I spoke, my pride not enjoying the feeling of being called wrong.

“I do not understand. This is – this was who she was. I’ve replayed memories of her in my head for years. She was always a-” I wanted to say witch, but the atmosphere forbade me and tied my tongue.

“Memories are not always loyal. They sometimes change the past when you are not looking.” The man replied, his blue eyes filled with sympathy.

At that point, I was even more confounded. Memories were not people. They were not back-stabbing friends or disloyal partners They did not have the power or authority to change the past – things that have already come to pass.

My memories were instances of the past that I went through.

Memories only I knew!

The angelic man seemed to see my confusion and smiled.

“No need to worry. You will understand everything when you reach your destination. I am merely the messenger. Now go, be on your way. You are not too far now. Yes, not too far from Him.”

“Not too far from where? From whom?” I asked but in the blink of an eye, the man had disappeared as though he had never been there.

I looked up and noticed an object in the distance, terminating the path, not surprised to discover it was another mirror, resting above three white ascending steps.

This mirror was the greatest and most majestic of all. It was rectangular in shape and was a little taller than my average stature. It had a beautiful golden ornate frame, which radiated the same splendour as the man dressed in white. As though they both came from the same source.

I hesitantly walked up the stairs and stood before the looking glass, anxious to know the image it would cast back.

This time the glass functioned as a normal mirror would do. It reflected me and as I moved, the reflection of me followed.

However, as I looked upon my likeness, my echo became radiant.

[Please do not see me as vain; my image surprised myself.]

I looked beautiful and my skin glistened gold. As I kept staring at my flourishing reflection, a long white dress settled upon my image.

I looked down at myself: I was still the same old me with the same old pale skin and the same old bleak clothes.

My body began to vibrate strongly and I knew that even though I was not touching the mirror, a part of me was already inside of it: somewhere from deep within I did not know I had access to.

I was nervous but had no fear anymore, which led me to rashly walk through the shining mirror.

As I passed through, the glass from the mirror became malleable like hot metal and enveloped me so that I physically became the beautiful reflection – donned with a white dress and all its golden extravagance.

My metamorphosis burned like a thousand solar beams were piercing out of my body to reveal what was hidden right under the surface of my skin. The experience only lasted a minute and I was thankful it had not lasted one second more or my heart would have surely stopped beating.

Glorious freedom lurked in that place and made my body light and my mind clear.

The new space was this time assuredly eternal. The room was empty, white, and sacred. Too sacred that I dared not speak a word that would disrupt the atmosphere. I had already begun to feel convicted for the words I chose to speak before. I realized that none of them carried much weight or importance.

I was resolute on solely using precise words that would not quench the freedom that reigned in the air.

I wondered why I had been brought to this vacant expanse, but all my wonderings were answered when I had just enough faith to take one step forward into the unknown.

When I had done so, a white throne came into view and a man was seated upon it.

No, I cannot dare say it was a man. The figure was of much more importance than a mere human. All I could say was that he had the same physical attributes as a man but still far from it.

I intently wanted to know who he was and why he wanted to see me. I was sure this was Him, who the messenger had mumbled about before he had vanished.

I walked rapidly toward the throne but with as much poise and nobility I could muster in light of all my excitement and curiosity.

I noticed that waves rippled from beneath the feet of Him and from his pearl-white throne. They reminded me of the phenomenon that had happened at the beginning of my encounter. Every time I closed the distance further, I could feel the waves roll over my feet and up my body, as though they were aligning me with what was about to happen.

It was very hard to explain…with words. It was more of an understanding rather than a feeling. I never thought they could be apart from one another. I always gathered that what I felt what was what I knew to be right.

It was strange how my perspective on things were changing even before I had reached the final point of my journey.

I had finally arrived and stood motionless before Him, studying every part of him to gain greater insight on my purpose for being there.

I could not say he shined like the sun or that his skin twinkled like the stars. That would be an understatement. Instead, his face was the sun and his skin was what gave the stars their twinkle.

I could not bare it any longer and asked Him a question that was burning through the essence of my being.

“Who are you?”

All I wanted to know in that moment was nothing to do with me, but all to do with him. I understood that when one is in the room with greatness, greatness is all that prevails.

“I am The Giver.” The Giver’s voice was like the rushing of waters – a waterfall in a place where time was slowed down.

At that moment, time did not simply slow down, but it stopped completely the moment I stared into The Giver’s eyes.

He only showed me a glimpse of what his eyes contained. But a glimpse was already overwhelming.

He never said one word, yet I learned more truth from him than all the knowledge I had gained throughout my life.

For the first time in my life, my eyes were truly opened.

For the first time, I saw Gran in the eyes of Him. I saw her in a way that my childish self did not have the maturity to notice. I saw her whole life flash before me. Not my past, but her past. Way before I was even born.

The Giver kept on showing me things via his soft gaze, and I felt like I was watching a movie. He revealed to me the abandonment my Gran received as a child and the rejection that had been set upon her by her children. I saw the fear she had for me when I came into her care – that she would not have the ability to be a perfect guardian.

…So she kept away, believing the lie that she was not good enough. That she would have been rejected by me even if she had tried.

I grieved knowing that because I had rejected her: before she even had the chance to try.

The final blow that shattered my heart was my grandmother’s journals. The ones I used to abhor with every inch of my might.

The Giver leaned forward, stretched out his hands and gave me a worn leather book. Written inside the first page was my name. It did not belong to me. It was addressed to me. They were letters addressed to me from Gran. I turned the pages and could not count how many were written.

They started when I was nine and the last one was written on the day she died.

As the first tear dropped upon that last page, I looked up and I was back in the attic.

For a brief second my mind thought everything that happened was simply a dream.

However, it was too real and too incredible to be a dream. My whole self had been so rocked, moved and rattled.

And the worn book full of letters was still in my grasp.

I knelt to the floor and wept.

Her first and last words to me were I love you but the first and last words that I spoke to her was, I hate you.

I believed in that horrid lie. I believed only what I thought I saw and in what I thought I felt.

I received the most important thing on Friday, March 1st – the day my reality encountered the supernatural. I gained the true revelation of not only my late grandmother but also of myself.

I am now forever changed in perspective and truth of the world around me and of the beauty inside of me.

The truth is that I not only love my Gran but have made peace with my past.

I think I am ready to move forward with my life and venture out to find my true purpose.

And it began and ended with mirrors.

[I hope you can publish this in your next issue. It has changed me so much that I do not want to keep this experience all to myself. I believe others can encounter supernatural odysseys like the one I have recounted in this letter. I cannot express enough thanks for reading my letter and wish that you can write back your reflections concerning it.]


Anna Renner

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