Sasha woke up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. There was sunlight filtering into the room already, and she knew she had overslept.
“Damnit,” she grumbled, hauling herself up from the bed and attempting to pull an undershirt over her head and a brush through her hair at the same time. She failed in both endeavors.
Before Sasha was a mirror; she stopped and looked into it wearily, and forced herself to breathe. From the mirror her face looked back at her, but it was not hers. Not really.
“You should have set an alarm,” her reflection chastised. This happens every time you don’t set an alarm.
“Shut up,” Sasha barked, “I don’t need to hear from you today.” She resumed brushing her hair, and the reflection followed suit… Well… Most of it did. The mouth of the reflection continued to move of its own accord.
“You do this every day,” the reflection grumbled as hair was brushed and makeup was applied to its face. “They’ll fire you this time. I can tell. We have ways of knowing these things.”
“Yes, I’m sure,” Sasha snapped as she struggled to force a contact lens into her eye.
“Sometimes I wish you weren’t here at all.” The reflection frowned, and stepped away from the mirror, while Sasha remained motionless. “Stop that!” Sasha whined, “Get back here, or I’ll be even later.”
“Did you mean that?” her reflection asked, sounding hurt. “Do you wish I wasn’t here.”
“I mean…” Sasha started, and stopped. Her own face stared back at her in the mirror, but it wasn’t her. Not anymore. “I sometimes wish I couldn’t hear you. I wish you were like other people’s reflections.”
“If you don’t want me here, then I’ll go,” her reflection said, and it turned and walked away. Sasha stood dumbfounded before the mirror, and looked at her room in the glass, but she wasn’t there.
“What the…” Sasha whispered. She touched the glass, and it seemed colder somehow. Harder.
Sasha hurriedly opened a drawer and pulled a hand mirror out of it. Empty.
She sprinted down the stairs to her can, and bent beside the side mirror. Empty.
She got in the car and hauled herself up to the rearview. Empty.
Sasha felt hot tears streaming down her face, but she couldn’t see them. She hurriedly wiped off her face and started the car. She hardly noticed the drive. Someone cut her off, probably, but she was numb to it. She couldn’t shake the feeling that she had somehow done something terrible. She felt wounded deeply, and every piece of glass cut deeper. She would never see herself again. Like Narcissus in reverse.
Sasha arrived at work and there was a car in her space. It looked like her car, ironically. Same model. Same color. Had they hired someone new? She didn’t have a chance to even get mad at the slight. She was two hours late now, and still carried the bowling ball in her stomach of having lost her reflection.
When she reached the front door and pushed it open, she was expecting a rude remark from the receptionist, Stacy, but it didn’t come.
“Hi, Sasha,” Stacy chirped, “that’s funny I didn’t see you leave.”
“I… Didn’t leave” Sasha answered hesitantly. “I’m just getting in today. I had some… uh… car trouble… Made me late.”
“Oh?” Stacy blinked, and looked toward Sasha’s cubicle as though something in Sasha’s story wasn’t adding up. Stacy had always been a busybody, so Sasha dismissed the look and hurried to her cubicle. She didn’t have time to fret over that woman. Not today.
Sasha saw that in the conference room there was a meeting already underway, and she was in such a rush that when she dropped her purse on her chair, she didn’t see the identical purse already on her desk. She burst into the conference room in a huff.
“Sasha,” her boss said, smiling, “that was fast… you don’t look well, is something wrong?”
Sasha blinked at him, and looked down at herself, then back to him. “What… was fast?”
“You just left…” the suited man murmured, “to go to the restroom. Are you alright?”
“Y’know.” Sasha managed around a forced smile, “I have been a little out of it today, and believe it or not, I forgot to go. Excuse me.” She turned and went back out of the room in a panicked hurry. In the window she saw the reflection of her boss and coworkers in the window, but not her.
Sasha pressed through the office with her head down. What was happening to her? What had she done?
She opened the door to the ladies room, and there was someone else already there. A familiar face stared back at her. It was her face, but it wasn’t hers. Not really.
“Hello, Sasha,” the face smiled. Its eyes were empty.
“What the Hell,” Sasha murmured. Her reflection was here, but not in the mirror. It was right here in the open air looking at her.
“I’m here to make your wish come true, Sasha,” Sasha’s voice purred menacingly from the reflection’s mouth, “your reflection is going to be just like everyone else’s.”
The woman lunged at Sasha and grabbed her by the throat. She was strong. Stronger than Sasha. How was that possible? Sasha wasn’t sure. She wasn’t sure of anything anymore. Was this real? Could it be? Sasha was already almost unconscious as she was dragged into the bathroom stall. She only passively noticed that there was no reflection in the water in the instant before her face was plunged into the toilet. Somewhere in the distance her voice was laughing, but she couldn’t laugh. She couldn’t breathe. She kicked and fought, but there was nothing she could do. The white porcelain grew more faint as darkness closed in and the sharp pain in her chest and her head told her that parts of her that needed air weren’t getting it. Soon enough there was nothing left but darkness and her own sick laughter echoing in the distance, and then there was just darkness.
Somewhere, in the darkness, Sasha heard the sound of an alarm going off. Relief filled her. It had just been a nightmare. Then her eyes opened. Had she opened them? She didn’t think so. Sasha felt her body moving, rising up out of the bed, but she was not moving it. What was going on? She tried to make her body stop, but she couldn’t it moved of its own accord toward the mirror, and once there it stopped.
Sasha felt herself pulled toward the glass, and in the mirror was her face, but it was not hers. Not really. The face smiled, and a horrified Sasha felt her face contort without her consent into the same smile.
“Like other people’s reflection.” Her voice purred, turning this way and that in the mirror, and Sasha felt herself pulled into whatever pose her reflection chose. She stood there, trapped in her already dead body, and watched through the mirror, while the imposter lived her life. But it wasn’t hers. Not really.
Inspired by a prompt on Reedsy.com – https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/