The mirror

Author's note:

Hi everybody! I'm new here and that is the first story I've ever completed and published! I'm very new to writing so this story isn't going to be a masterpiece. Please let me know what you think about it as well as constructive criticism! Have fun reading!

He needed to escape.

Austin ran through the dark forest, leaves and twigs crunching underneath his feet. He ignored his burning, aching legs. The wind was blowing, moving the old trees, making them look like dancing shadows, leaves rustling. His throat hurt from the icy cold air, every intake of breath worsening the pain. But he didn't care.

He only needed to escape from them. They were right behind him. Following him. He could feel their cold, foul-smelling breath and their large, gnarled hands caressing him, making him feel sick. He ran faster, clumsier, tripping over roots and slipping on wet clumps of moss. His clothes were filthy and soaking wet, his jeans sticking onto his long legs, slowing him down.

Can't let them get me, he thought and continued running, towards a small abandoned hut.

He ran into an old bathroom. Panting and shaking from fear he quickly closed the wooden door behind him, locking it.

"This couldn't be happening," he mumbled. "This isn't happening," he repeated a bit more firmly, as if to convince himself.

Austin ran a shaky hand through his shoulder length, sweaty hair and looked out of the window, drawing back the white, dusty curtains just enough to see through. Nobody was there. He sighed in relief. He escaped. They lost track of him. He was safe.

He walked towards the door, making sure it was locked and then sat down onto the dirty green bathtub. It was dark, only the small window allowing some light. The bathroom, small and smelling of mould, worsened his already raging headache. The cold air quickly cooled him down and he shivered. It was completely silent.

Austin stood up and walked towards the dirty sink, turning on the faucet and splashed his face multiple times with. He felt slightly refreshed.

I am safe, I am safe at last, he thought while drying his face with his shirt.

Austin couldn't believe his luck. The whole day he was sure they were watching him. And no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't ignore the constant stares from them. The grins, the high-pitched laughs. The scratching on the window of the library or the constant clicking sounds they made with their tongue. The noises. The constant noises. He couldn't concentrate. And the stares from his friends. From the other students. The worried glances the professors gave him. The whispering. The rumours. It was too much.

He had to escape, and he was sure he wouldn't make it this time.

But now he was safe. And they couldn't hurt him anymore.

Austin looked at himself in the old, slightly damaged mirror. He smiled, turned off the faucet, and touched it, lingering his pale, lanky hand there for a while, minding the cracks. Suddenly he noticed that his reflection was smiling and waving. Waving at him.

Austin gasped, drew his hand back and moved away from the mirror. The reflection laughed and waved again, jumping up and down, its black hair flipping up and down. He approached the mirror cautiously,

his reflection still smiling and gesturing him to come closer.

"No fear, no fear, come here!" it said in a singsong voice.

He stood in front it, inspecting it curiously. Itlooked exactly like him, except that it was much paler. Almost like a ghost, he thought, horrified. He touched the mirror, hoping that it wouldn't grab his hand and pull him into the mirror.

But it didn't. Instead it just grinned and waved again excitedly, this time with both hands. Austin quickly withdrew his hand, and shook his head, turning his back to it.

"No…no…no…no," the student mumbled over and over again.

"No this isn't happening!"

The reflection giggled childishly and clapped. "Don't be shy!" The man slowly turned around. Eyes glistening with tears, glaring.

They found him.

"How did you find me?" he whispered hoarsely. "How!" he repeated more forcibly.

The reflection stopped clapping and looked with curiosity at the young student in front of him, turning its head sideways. "You found me," it replied smirking devilishly.

Austin bit his lip, still keeping a safe distance from the reflection. It was disturbing to see yourself, grinning widely, teeth full on display and creepily white, looking wicked and cruel. Gathering all his courage he stepped directly in front of the mirror, breathing heavily. He looked straight into its eyes. "Piss off."

The reflection looked stunned for a second and then burst out laughing. Its high-pitched laugh resounding in the bathroom, filling Austin with dread. His eyes widened, and he slowly stepped back, colliding with the bathtub behind him, nearly falling backwards over it.

The reflection stopped laughing and looked at Austin grinning. Austin gulped and clenched his hands, slowly stepping towards it:

"Don't play games! Who are you? What do you want from me?"

It simply smiled and shrugged. "Hmm let me think," replied the reflection, stroking theatrically its chin.

Austin grew impatient, his fear replaced with annoyance. He stepped closer until he was again face to face with his reflection. "Fine! Don't tell me." Austin said darkly. "Just go. Don't bother me anymore, you hear!"

The reflection stopped stroking its chin, looked at him, and pouted. "But I don't want to go."

Austin clenched his teeth and raised his fist. "I said go! Go back into the hole you came from or I'll smash this mirror."

The reflection shrugged its shoulders and grinned, raising its hands in surrender. "Okay, okay, I'll go."

Austin sighed and nodded, waiting expectantly for the reflection to disappear. It didn't. "What?" Austin asked angrily, "Need help?"

The reflection just looked at him, eyes twinkling, grin wide and malicious. Austin suddenly felt very cold. "Do you want to come with me?" the reflection asked, grin widening. Austin froze.

"W-what do you mean?" he stammered.

The reflection chuckled darkly looking at Austin with its black eyes.

"You tell me."

Austin shook his head in confusion, stepped back and sat down onto the bathtub. He put his head in his hands, groaning in frustration. He pulled his hair, he wanted to rip it all off, wanted to feel pain, anything else than the slowly growing panic and hopelessness. I don't know what to do anymore. I just want it all to stop, Austin thought desperately.

"Aww. Don't cry." The reflection taunted in fake sympathy.

Austin slowly looked up at the mirror, trembling. "You want me to join you," said Austin, voice shaking. "If I do join you, then what? You'll kill me? Torture me?" he shouted, tears streaming down his face. The reflection put a hand on his chest and gasped melodramatically.

"Of course not! How could you think that?" It asked, feigning hurt.

Austin scowled. "How could I not?" he replied darkly.

"Fair point," the reflection muttered. "But I wouldn't kill or torture you. That's not really my style."

"Oh, I must be so lucky," Austin said sarcastically. "And why, should I ever want to join you?

The reflection suddenly looked angry, surprising Austin. It scowled and started screaming, shaking Austin to the core and he watched in horror as the reflection's eyes started glowing red, its hands growing larger, its skin turning a sickly green. The whole bathroom started shaking, the window shattered, and Austin had to cover his head with his arms to protect himself from the flying shards. He heard furious knocking on the door, and the screams from it got even louder, hurting Austin's ears.

Suddenly it was silent, only the howling wind and the rustling of the trees could be heard. Austin slowly put his arms down, looked around and gasped.