Have you ever spent so much time looking in the mirror that you’re not sure if you recognize yourself anymore?

The world dripped.

It melted from the mirror into a pool of disjointed reality formed from your brain. Or was it your brain anymore? The reflective metal pool now at your feet showed you a monster over your shoulder. A shadowy figure that roared silently with intimidating energy.

You turn.

Nothing is there.

The bathroom is in existence again. Back to the mirror. It was normal again. The clamshell sink stared at you with beige curves. The shiny reflective portal above it displayed… you. No shadow.

You rub your hands through your hair, squinting eyes at the gently hooded lights above the sink. The world is revealed again.

There are yellow little rivers along the walls. Tiny trickles, an awful color of cigarette use shedding away from the vertical plaster sheath. Years of it exposed. Not you, but the previous owners. They left you this melting gift as the humidity drew it forth.

Warping, the mirrored figure taps the metal from the other side, startling you out of your focus on the streams. It’s just you again. Oh.

Are you really sure that’s you?

You finish what you had been doing before. Was it washing up? Or were you brushing your teeth? You took your hairbrush out of the medicine cabinet and dragged it through your hair. It snapped tangles here and there as it tortured and pleased you all the same. In your blissful ignorance of close-eyed scalp scratching, you didn’t notice quickly enough.

Feeling the error in your ways, your eyes snap open again.

“Not fast. Not fast!” A voice teased you from the portal.

Distorted and twitching, a hand was nearly at your face. The pale, discolored flesh caught across your mouth before you could scream. It pinched your maw closed, and while there was no face, there was definitely still a grin. Imagined teeth, sharp as needles that aimed to pierce the very thoughts in your mind.

It felt crushing, long jagged nails digging into your cheeks. You felt the warm seeping essence trickle down to your jaw and chin as you were helpless to this force. It tried with a quick motion to drag you into its silvery mirror-realm. Your head rammed into the mirror’s surface with a loud smash, your ears and head pounded from the force, and you were sure you were bleeding more.

It took a while for you to wake up. You lived alone, a shame since this would be a lot easier to deal with if you had anyone else to rely on. No, no. No one was willing to live with you, and this was only a reminder of that fact. The last time that anyone dared come into this hell-realm, they didn’t last two weeks. The record was a month.

You’ve moved. You’ve moved so many times that you forget what moving feels like. You don’t think of it as an event that people do out of want, you do it out of need… need to escape that pale demon.

Did you leave the water running?

You stand, looking at the same beige sink, now with lines of blood to compliment the stained wall trickles. The mirror is broken. Crap. You’ll need to get that replaced. Many images of your face stare back at you blankly, without care for what just happened. How long had you been out?

The broken bits tinkled, scraping together the same as broken glass. Was a mirror metal or just glass? Hmm. No matter. In the paper bag it goes to dispose of it. The blood was easy to wash down the curves, into the dark drain. It had sat for long enough that they left itty bitty little river banks without their centers.

Turning, you grab a piece of toilet paper and pivot right back to wipe the trails away. The bathroom was right again… partially. You glanced back up at the remains of the mirror, the non-reflective brown backing gazing at you. At least it wasn’t a face, your face, or a hand for that matter. Much better than a hand.

It was night now. What time was it earlier? Day. Sometime during the day since the sunlight had screamed into your eyes. Now there was no screaming. For now. Screaming always comes sometimes.

Taking a deep breath of regretful thinking, you wipe down your face, cleansing it using what bits of mirror still clung to its skeleton. Just like stone flesh, you think as you put band-aids on two of the larger cuts. Food didn’t seem like a good idea right now, even though it was probably past dinner time.

All you wanted to do was just get some sleep.

How long has it been since you got a good night’s sleep?

You turned off the light in the bathroom and shivered as you were bathed in an enveloping darkness. It wanted to eat you. Why did everything want to eat you? What the hell made you so interesting to these things? Why didn’t they just kill you already?

No. None of that thinking. You trudged through the darkness, slamming your toe into the corner of something. Your dresser, maybe? It was hard to tell since you couldn’t see more than what was right next to your illuminating alarm clock to the left of your bed. This was like a lighthouse to your shuffling form. No more toe-bangs. No more toe-bangs.

Yes. Made it.

Tucking your exhausted form under the covers, you didn’t care about the clothes that clung to your flesh. It would be sweaty in the morning, probably half from nightmares and half from the warmth the blankets wrapped you in. Ah, safety… or some semblance of it at the very least. No mirror wanderers here.

As you closed your exhausted eyes for sleep to take you, lying on your back as though you had been placed there from a coffin, as tired as a corpse, you felt the tingling feathery sensation of movement on your shoulder.

Ominous white hands clawed and gripped at your sheets, rising from the depths of the dark void beneath your bed. There must have been over a dozen of them trying to get to you from both sides of your lifted, sheeted comfort turned prison. No faces, only hands.