“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” my youngest asks her Barbie-themed mirror and frowns at me when she doesn’t get a reply.
She’s six and we just finished watching Snow White. It disturbs me mildly that she’s quite taken with the evil stepmother rather than sweet, innocent Snow but I suppose her fascination is more with the mirror.
“Mommyyyy,” she whines, “make it talk back.”
Sensing an on-coming tantrum I swiftly pick her up and tuck her in bed.
“We could try different mirrors tomorrow, sweetie but right now mommy needs you to sleep.” I kiss her forehead and dim the lights.
Sipping from a wine glass I flip through the channels and settle on an old sci-fi. Before I know it the stress of the day catches up with me and I am lulled to sleep.
Sometimes past 4 a.m. I wake up to TV static briefly and hear shuffling from my daughter’s room. Thinking she probably woke up to use the bathroom, I go back to bed. But the shuffles only grow more and more frequent along with whispers that sound like “mirror, mirror”
Sighing, I drag myself out of bed and knock on her door.
“Honey why are you up?” and I am answered with a thump.
“Chloe?” I twist the handle only to find the door locked from the inside.
My gut twists in horror when I hear the unmistakable sound of the glass breaking and my daughter’s yelp of pain. It springs me into action, and I run to my room to grab the spare key.
Once I fully push through the door, I am shocked and horrified. My daughter’s bed is ruffled and slept in. Pieces of her barbie mirror cover the floor along with little drops of blood but what disturbs me the most is that my daughter is nowhere in sight.
“Chloe?” I yell out loud but there is no answer. My heart beats a million miles per hour as I scan every inch of the room, under her bed and in her closet but she is truly gone.
I yell out her name as I run from one room to another but there no sign of her anymore. As a last resort before calling the police I go back to her room, hoping against hope.
“Baby, please come out,” my voice breaks and bounces off the walls. I slide to my knees and let out a few sobs when…
It startles me.
Thump thump thump thump thump
With shaky hands, I pick up the fallen mirror. Crazy as it may sound, I know that’s where the sound is coming from it. As I slowly turn it over, I am greeted with something I will never forget.
Chloe stares back at me, her face caught in a perpetual expression of horror, and I scream till my throat is raw.
Her face contorts and she slowly whispers
It sounds guttural and nothing like my sweet child, but I clutch the mirror tighter.
“Chloe…” I beg but it’s not she who has control.
My eyes tear up once again as I lift it up again.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall,” I sob, “release her and take me if you want.”
Chloe materializes next to me, but I am being dragged far away from her. She screams for me again and again as I fall farther and farther into the void.