Friday, March 14, 2014

Reflection 2.0

Well, the promised rain hasn't shown up yet, it's pretty nice so far, overcast with sunny breaks.

15 minutes to write 200 words, including a quick Google search ;) to rest my arm and get some heat on it.

I toyed with two different directions to go with this... hope I chose right?

It’s unnerving the first time you look into a mirror and don’t see your reflection. 

You tell yourself, ‘everything has changed’, you tell yourself, ‘the old you is dead’, but you’re still surprised. You still start when the familiar brush of dark stubble isn’t there, the angular jaw, the prematurely thinning hair. 

Most of all is the unhappy eyes. You’ve looked at them so long, they no longer belong to you, rather, they’re like a partner you’ve woken up beside for ten, maybe fifteen years. 

God, has it been that long?

Did you really wait that many years, dulling the despair with alcohol and daily prescribed serotonin boosters?

How did you manage, every morning, to talk yourself out of the relief a steady hand and a blade would bring, when you knew that, every night, you would desire it more than the whiskey, more than the dwindling bottle of Prozac? You would ache for it all to be cut away, everything wrong, everything painful, everything ‘you’.

You smile, and the reflection is unfamiliar. It’s beautiful. It’s happy.

It wasn’t you, but it is now. Along with the long chestnut hair, and the swell of breasts nestled in the pink negligee. 


  1. good direction - at first I thought it might be an addict who is recovered (my friend Steven is going through that)
    what did you have to google?

    1. had to google anti-depression medication :)

    2. Hah! Very nicely done; I thought addict too, at first. I have known transsexual people going through various stages and it's always interesting. Just how one can end up IN the wrong body and how people deal with it in so many and varied ways.

    3. Me too :) ...which partially why I was really interested in writing a character like 'N' (as you called him/her).

      In my mind, the physical body is just outer packaging. Who you are inside is still the same.

  2. Let's try posting this again without the last paragraphs being in the wrong tense; short story for the magician series coming in at just under 500 words. (499, to be precise)

    It’s unnerving the first time you look into a mirror and don’t see your reflection. If you are a magician, it means someone has stolen your face – identify theft can be very literal where magic is concerned. If you are not one, it is a yelp of shock and Jay running out of the bathroom.
           “My fathe ith gone!”
           He pointed to his head, then grabbed my hand and pulled me into the bathroom, pointing his left hand at the mirror. “Look!”
           I stared at the mirror, ran my right hand over it. No hint of magic, no sense of anything awry in the world. My reflection was visible in it, and made faces at me until I raised an eyebrow. Jay’s wasn’t visible at all.
           “Huh.” I drummed my fingers on the mirror, then glanced down at Jay. “Nightmares again?”
           He shook his head. “Nope,” he lied.
           I didn’t press him and walked back into the motel room. The beds were clean, which was more than could be said to the rest of it. Jay followed me to the window and looked out at the city, then back at me when he showed no reflection in it either.
           “Honcho?” he said after poking it with a finger and making faces closer to what my reflection had done in the mirror to me.
           He blinked, then nodded and hurried to his bed to get dressed. Jay looked human, even to magicians, as long as he wasn’t naked: few ten year old boys are as sexless as a ken doll. He pulled clothing on and hurried to the door, not hurrying into the hallway on his own even though he hadn’t had breakfast yet.
           I grabbed the duffel bags with out stuff and placed them sideways from the world. it took half a block for us to find a decent puddle and Jay peered into it, knelt, ran his fingers through it and stood up after. “I don’t have a reflecth – that.”
           “No, you don’t. And you’re good at hiding your nature, and very good at hiding.” He grinned pridefully at that; when you don’t have many talents, you appreciate what you have all the more. “Which means you’re hiding from your own reflection. Because?”
           “I don’t know,” he muttered.
           “It wath a bad nightmare,” he whispered, trembling a little as he stared up at me. “Thomething ith coming out of the placeth the dark ith thsared of,” he said, not trying to avoid a single ess.
           “Magic can come from places the light is scared of,” I said, and he relaxed visibly at that, not even trying to suck on his thumb to comfort himself this time. His reflection hasn’t returned, but I figured it would in time. I headed toward the nearest coffee shop and he hurried beside me, humming happily and tunelessly under his breath.
           Jay wasn’t good at lying to me at all; I could still manage to lie to him just fine.

    1. Okay, you immediately had me at "...someone has stolen your face." :D

      I love that Jay is hiding from his own reflection! SO CUTE!!!

    2. Heh, thanks. It was originally going to be about someone stealing the magicians face and Doing Things, but I realized that would be too long for the prompt. And that this worked better as a lead-in toward another story I've done in the series. The stories are slowly building toward another novel but I *am* hoping to hold off writing that until next nano :)

    3. YOU, holding off on writing until NaNo...?

      ...colour me unconvinced ;)

      And stealing a magician's face... oh, the trouble someone could get into with that... :D

    4. Yeah :) I'll probably do a longer story about that idea soonish. And I *am* trying to hold it off, via doing Other Stuff. Currently the entire plot for it is one line of notes:

      "Continue the magician series novels. Jay breaks his cell phone and they try to get out of the contract for it. "

    5. ...sorry... I don't think even YOU, Alcar, can make a 40+ minute wait on hold with a cell phone company interesting...

    6. It's more about the fine print of said contracts. And the Entities they're actually made with :) It's been a running joke in the series that the internet isn't what people think it is -- and that magicians avoid the internet, cell phones etc. because of that, so it makes a giant blind spot in what the magician knows. Plus, if the internet is really some awful entity from outside the universe, the question of why no magician has 'dealt' with it becomes interesting.

      I am, however, now tempted to someone make a scene around that, too. Magician is doing Stuff. "Jay, I could use an extra set of hands." "I'm on the phone." Later: "Jay, do you mind....?" "I'm thtill on the phone." etc. It could be quite fun. Especially if a crater or two results and the magician is understandably cranky with wait times.