The Shining

Yesterday I had feathery wings, red and yellow. My legs were long and spidery. My hair glowed in a thousand colors and my nipples ended in diamonds. I was androgynous and so beautiful my heart nearly exploded out of my chest the moment I looked into the mirror.

I have a wall full of mirrors. Magic screens, I call them. They are of all shapes and denominations. The one I peeked into yesterday is an oval, plain looking, plastic-framed mirror. But she’d never seen the light before I came into the picture.

This mirror had been living in an elderly home, on the wall of room 237. It was where the ancient clients were moved to spend their final days. Most of them knew where they were being taken and who had been there before. They insisted the mirror be kept covered, old people believe in ghosts and reflection-trapped spirits. For those who were unaware of their surroundings, the nurses kept it covered out of respect. That and superstition about something living inside, something that looks like you but belongs to a stranger. I took the risk and, after my grandfather died, I took off the black cloth and presented myself. I knew there would be no ghosts coming out but I did not expect what came next.

My first glance into it felt like blindness. This particular mirror felt a thousand deaths but never saw the faces of the people dying. Now that gives character. It makes the mirror wiser by depriving it of its main sense: taking in reflections. It makes it aware of everything.

I usually avoid it but yesterday I felt good and powerful. You see… it’s not me looking into the mirror but the mirror looking into me. And the reflections are so complete and perfect they’re hard to take in for more than a couple of seconds. She can give you the whole world and the next second take it away and transport you to hell. I got lucky.

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