The Face in the Mirror

The shadow first appears when he was born. The day is cold with April snow, and the mirrors of the house are all fogged over. The midwives and the husband are too busy with the delivery to notice a small, pouting figure in all of the mirrors with deep black eyes. The wife, and soon-to-be mother, is obviously occupied with having a baby.

Her screams cut the air like knives, and soon another feeble voice joins her. A small boy with skin as pale as alabaster arrives into the world, eyes closed and lungs shrieking. The midwives cheer, the husband cries with the wife as she gingerly cradles the newborn child. They wrap him up in blankets and the exhausted woman, Azure Rune, smiles down at him.

"What should we name him?" her husband, Arren, whispers to her as to not disturb the fragile soul in their arms.

She looks up at him and says, gently, "Evan. Evan Rune."

He nods, "Then your name is Evan," Arren says to the baby. The newly christened Evan looks up into his father's eyes and blinks. Blue looks into blue, and both close in a moment's bliss. Arren's open while Evan falls asleep.

He hands the baby back to Azure, and wipes away a tear. He knows that it will soon be over. His deal with the witch was to survive to hold his son, and then to unravel into shreds. His fingertips are already beginning the transformation, and he is glad that the midwives have already left to go on other rounds. Only his wife is here to witness his death.

"It's time?" she asks, even though she knows the answer. Choking back tears she hugs the baby close as she witnesses her husband's death.

"You know that I could only live for so long," he sighs. "Don't cry, Azure, it's not right for Evan. He's sleeping, correct? He won't remember me. He'll live a happy life, away from witchcraft, away from magick. The art will be lost with him and maybe the entire Mir-"

His eyes catch a glimpse of the girl in the mirror and he freezes. She smiles and bows in mock respect, and then claps gently as Arren let out a startled cry and then dies. It must have been the witch's curse to leave this world at the sight of the girl, at the sight of the demon who will haunt his family's lives.

Azure lets out a terrible wail and collapses on the ground to her husband's remains before they blow away on the wind. The candles are snuffed out by a sudden breeze; the house plunges into darkness. Amid the woman's wails there can be heard a maniacal laugh, like a blue jay's chortle. She turns and for the first time sees the girl in the mirror, giggling like the child she looks like. With a startled shriek she throws a candlestick at the mirror, smashing it into pieces.

The laughing continues as a disembodied voice in the darkness. Azure shudders at the thought of her family being cursed from her son's birth, but it is the truth. It was no figment of chance for the girl to appear at her husband's death, and she also knows that no amount of exorcism done by crooks and frauds will rid them of the girl.

Only time will tell if Evan will conquer this shadow in the mirrors.