Story on a theme: Mirror

Simon wandered into the bathroom and gazed in the mirror as he began his morning routine. He examined the creases stretched out across his forehead as if they had just appeared. “That’s odd,” he thought to himself, “I swear I look ten years older than I did yesterday.”

“And these can’t be my clothes,” he mumbled in a frantic search for his favorite cardigan sweater. None of his clothes looked familiar but finding nothing else recognizable in his closet he went ahead and put some on. They fit perfect.

Time was running late, he had to get going or he’d be late for his classes. The campus was within walking distance but even still he worried that there wasn’t enough time to make it into class. When they start class, nobody goes in late and he couldn’t afford any more absences if he wanted to do well on the final.

“What the hell?” Simon stared through the sun’s rays into a world he didn’t recognize.

“What is that?” he asked a stranger as a car passed by.

“You kidding, buddy? That’s a Mustang Convertible. Wish I had enough to get me a new one of those!”

Everything looked different. The people walking the street were dressed unusual. Crewcuts gave way to longer hair that hung over ones eyes. Skirt lines shortened.

“Am I in the future?” he thought as he made his way on to campus. Though everyone around him dressed and acted foreign, he nevertheless made his way to his first class. The classroom was empty.

“I’m sorry sir, the class you’re asking about hasn’t been offered here since the late 50s!” said the admissions assistant shaking her head.

Simon left the campus, his head whirling with confusion and questions. “The mirror,” he thought, everything made sense until I looked into that damn mirror.

“I’ll bet if I look into it again tomorrow morning it’ll propel me into the future once again,” he thought as he slipped into bed for the evening.

Sure enough, when he woke up in the morning and inspected himself in the mirror he was shocked to see more wrinkles. And he was getting gray hair. Again, his clothes were completely different. His favorite Turtleneck was nowhere to be found. He had bell bottom pants and a polyester shirt in his closet. With nothing else to wear he went ahead and tried them on. They fit perfect.

“That mirror is teleporting me into the future. My life is slipping away before me!” he screamed as a giant jacked up Cuda passed by on the street. Afraid to go anywhere, he stayed inside, mesmerized with the TV offerings.

The next morning he was afraid to go to the mirror. Where in the future would it take him? But after going to the bathroom, his autopilot routine kicked into gear and the next thing he knew he was getting ready to brush his teeth while gazing into the mirror. The very same mirror he was trying to avoid. The reflection back was shocking.

His hair had receded back and was nearly white. His face looked aged and care worn, as if it had been paid back for years of hard labor outdoors on a fishing vessel. He seemed more hunched in his reflection and it made his back ache.

In his closet he found that his favorite bell bottoms were gone, replaced by brightly colored parachute pants and designer exercise outfits. He tried them on and they fit perfect. “Must be the stretchy material,” he grumbled as he peeked outside the window to see a DeLorean drive by. He stopped going outside. The future was too much for him to handle.

Each morning was the same. No matter what he tried to do to avoid the mirror, somehow he managed to find himself standing in front of it without realizing he’d even gone there. Habits and routine are hard to break and he felt it was costing him his whole life.

By the seventh morning his reflection showed a bald, hunched over old man in the mirror. He had to be in his 80s. Saddened by the reflection in the mirror, he spent his day wondering why the mirror had taken so much of his youth and propelled him into his own future without the benefit of experiencing everything in between.

He drifted off for the final time and wasn’t discovered until his sister came by with her husband that evening to check on him.

“It’s such a shame about Simon’s memory condition,” she lamented to her husband, “Something in the house seemed to be an anchor that wiped his recent memory experiences clean as if he were still living his life from ten years prior.”

“I remember that,” said her husband, “He always seemed to be at least a decade or more behind the times, as if he thought he was from the past or something.”

“I tried to get him to move but after awhile he refused to even leave the house. Years went by like this,” said his sister, “the doctors never could determine what was causing the condition.”

On his tombstone they placed, “Here lies Simon Coother, he lived 30 years of his 82 years of life.”


Nessa said...

I enjoyed this. It sucked me right in.

Made me think of how we go through life on autopilot, never really living in the now. And then we're dead.

A New Old Fairy Tale

Brian Miller said...

great story...thoroughly enjoyed it and the tombstone punch line as well. happy tt!

Leah said... sad and eerie!

I agree with Nessa, it's an excellent metaphor too. Nice work.

Alan Burnett said...

Yes, the tombstone line will long stay in the memory. Great TT post.

e said...

An engrossing read! Happy TT!

Mrsupole said...

Really enjoyed this story and was sucked into trying to figure out where it was going.

Great tombstone saying. And I really thought the story was about someone with Alzheimers.

God bless.

JeffScape said...

Alice in Wonderland in reverse, mixed with a bit of Rip van Winkle.

RIP, Simon Coother.

Baino said...

So glad I finally found this blog. Such a departure from the other but stil 'twisty'

ShAKirA CHOONG said...

Great fiction!
Love the idea of teleporting!

Mine is here

(means WISHING YOU PROSPERITY! in Mandarin, Chinese)