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"Inside" part II
I was all alone. And yet, not. Every direction I turned filled my irises with more and more versions of myself. Two things I was certain of: one, I was in a long, dark hallway filled with mirrors on all sides. And two, these mirrors were not from your average Wal-Mart.
The pieces of glass filling my vision were all different shapes, sizes, styles and, - how do I put this? - eras. I glanced down at my clothes; ripped faded jeans and a loose T-shirt that hung off of my shoulder, just to make sure they hadn’t changed.
They were changing in the mirrors though.
In a large vintage mirror off to the left of me, I saw my reflection in a baby blue riding habit, freezing as snow fell around my shoulders. At least, I should have been freezing, but the mirror’s reflection of me was still a reflection; doing exactly the same thing I was. It too was staring intently at the other version of itself, though instead of looking through the water-stained surface of the glass, it looked out of it. At me.
Frightened beyond belief I quickened my pace, shifting my eyes and twirling in a sort of ballet as I tried to take in all of my manifestations.
A ballerina mimicked my actions through a modern, red tinted mirror. Her twirls were fluid-like, almost inhuman as she smiled wickedly; her mirror’s red-tone reflecting off of her teeth, making them appear as if they were stained with blood.
I hurriedly moved on.
A girl with brilliant red hair and green vines covering her short, strapless, yellow dress reached out to me. I quickly withdrew the hand I had unconsciously lifted towards her sparkling glass and continued my frantic search. For what? I did not know, but at the same time, I did.
A maid, a queen, a mermaid, a dwarf, a clown, a nymph, a druid, and so many more; all of them dancing my terrified dance, all of them searching as I searched. Tears began streaming through my eyes as I stopped in front of a full length mirror, hoping to see my face. All I saw was a girl dressed in all black, tears dripping from her un-sad eyes as she smiled; a pleasant smile it most certainly was not. It was twisted, irregular, and lifeless.
I screamed as I realized what these reflections resembled; they were dolls.
I was their puppeteer.
Falling onto my back I looked up, trying to find a single spot in this place that was not infested with me.
I didn’t find solace glancing at the ceiling.
Covering the ceiling for as long as I could see, was a giant mirror. Another blood-curtailing screech rose from my lips as millions and millions of dolls stared down at me, seemingly suspended in mid air, trying to mimic my lying-down position.
“Please, stop!” I yelled, standing up again and running. Whether it was the direction I had come from or not, I did not care. I simply ran, and, with every step I took, a piece of hope evaporated from my chest.
And then, suddenly, it hit me.
The literal sense of this left me breathless.
Oo-mph. I grunted as I hit something very solid and very much real. It was a mirror, and in the mirror, behind the rippling green and pink surface, was my very own face. I gawked at myself in an emotional torrent of glee and confusion. I was wearing my faded jeans, my too-big shirt and my yellow converse. This was me.
I touched my nose with my hand, as did my reflection; it felt swollen and broken, and it looked blue, black, purple and orange. My lip was cracked and bleeding, my arm was bruised and my head was spinning, but I was so relieved to see my own reflection that I didn’t care.
Though this mirror seemed to be the most normal in the bunch, there was something magical about it. I glanced around; all of the creepy dolls had stopped mimicking me. They were simply staring. I caught a glimpse of the ballerina in a large, golden-framed mirror and wondered how she had gotten to this end of the hall. My eye averted back to the mirror in front of me.
“What should I do?” I asked, just loud enough for my reflection to hear. Surprisingly enough, this room I had found myself in did not echo. My voice simply stayed at the edge of my lips for a moment, and then sunk into a murk of nothing, not even a whisper daring to stray behind. Instead of copying my words, the transparent version of myself smiled. This smile was real, for I had smiled it many times before. It was not mocking, or spiteful, or lifeless. It was a smile one might possess when hearing something that they wanted to hear after waiting so long to hear it.
“Look inside your heart, and your answer will appear.” The image spoke softly, it too wanting only me to hear its words. This cheesy, riddle-filled line might have drained someone of all energy, but not me. I smiled back at the figure and then lifted my tingling fingers to the ice-cold glass. Standing perfectly still I slid my hand across the mirror until it was placed over my heart. Then, with a glance back at the lifeless dolls, I raised my fist and brought it down upon the glass. A ripping sensation ran through my chest and a petrified shriek of agony rang through my brain.
“Don’t leave me!” The dolls cried in unison, their lifeless eyes growing wider and wider as an invisible force pulled me through the shattering mirror and into to… something.
“I need you!” again the dolls’ voices blended together, growing deeper and deeper until it was almost a man’s voice.
Fiercely the images grabbed at me, trying to smash their mirrors in an effort the break through. The mirror on the ceiling finally shattered and those millions of puppets fell on top of me. Twisting their cruel arms and legs into a rope, they began to suffocate me, dragging me away from my mirror with a fierceness I could not imagine. “Please, stay with me,” me, wearing a white nightgown, whispered into my ear, sending warnings up and down my spine.
“No!” I screeched, pulling away from the suppressing bodies and trying desperately to make it through the hole in the glass. “I have to leave.” I whispered almost apologetically.
“No, you don’t,” came a reply in the same man’s voice I heard before, “hang on, Cody. Hang on.” The voice slowly faded as I disappeared into darkness, leaving the nightmarish scene of shrieking dolls behind me.