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Drama Teens & Young Adult Fiction

  Nathan winced as the sludge flowed down his back and zig zagged towards his chin. The putrid concoction: of milk, applesauce, and carrots slicked his hair to the side and made the perpetrators visible. Their malicious laughs evoked various emotions out of those that witnessed the horrific, but all too familiar scene. Behind many of those fake laughs were kids that were glad that it wasn’t them, glad that god didn’t choose them to be the brainiacs of the high school.

“Loser, next time give us the answers faster, we barely finished the quiz.” one of the bully’s said.

An empty milk carton was chucked at the side of Nathan's head and the tyrants walked off and became one with the cafeteria hysteria. Nathan became the zoo animal on display, laughs and finger points were riddled through the various crowds. The main attraction of a sick routine.

“Here you go pal”, a hand with paper towel sheets reached out. Nathan was reluctant until he moved his slimy hair away from his ears and turned to see the face that made the generous offer.

It was Nathan's best friend Brent. Nathan grabbed a few sheets and swiped at the liquid that was on course to the corner of his eye. “Thanks Brent.”

“I wish I could step in, I really do, I jus–”. Nathan stops his pity. “Stop it, I don’t want you getting hurt, I will be fine; I’m used to it. Nathan smiled at Brent, but Brent knew nothing but sorrow was behind that  cheap smile. 


 A ride was offered from Brent’s mom considering it was raining violently, but Nathan respectfully declined. He was only 5 minutes out. No umbrella, just heavy thoughts weighing over his head. The rain was washing away the sour stench of tainted applesauce. Before Nathan knew it he was standing at the front door of his house. A few heavy knocks on the door summoned movement on the other end. The door opened and revealed a elderly woman 

“Geesh, come on in, where's your umbrella Nathan?”

“I forgot it on my way out this morning”.

“Go take those wet clothes off before you get sick, I’m going to warm up some tomato soup and some crackers, you want anything else with that.

“That’s fine nana, I’m not hungry right now,  I’m just going to take a nap.”

Nathan walks past her and walks up the staircase, each step squeaking and plopping with water droplets. She was an innocent soul, and Nathan wanted to keep it that way. She didn’t need to know her brilliant grandson was going through hell weekly. Nathan walked into his cluttered room and let the hefty bookbag off of his shoulders. He stood in-front of the body mirror leaning on his wall, the black shirt he was wearing stuck to his body and exposed his gut and love handles, these two parts made him a target for bullies. Frustration was bubbling and Nathan balled his fist. He hated who he saw in that reflection. A human doormat, that was being trampled . He was a master at addressing the outside wounds while the internal ones festered. He just wanted to win at some point. Nathan swung at the mirror…

His reflection flinched.

Nathan's heart dropped into the wooden floor, he leaped back towards his bed. He could hear the concern in his nana’s voice, asking about that loud boom from his room. Nathan couldn’t keep still, his nerves were firing off.

“Calm down, it’s okay Nathan, I mean no harm.”

Nathan couldn’t bring himself to utter a single word. His reflection was standing straight up, while Nathan remained seated. Slow footsteps ascended towards his room.

“Tell her everything is okay.” 

The footsteps ceased at his door. 

“Nathan,  is everything okay in there?” his nana asked. The door knob started to wobble, but it was locked.

“Yea, yea everything is good, I…I just dropped my bookbag by accident, sorry about that.”

The footsteps started to descend down the stairs.

“I know what you're thinking, Yes, I’m a talking reflection.” The reflection took a seat on the bed behind it. “I’ve seen enough Nathan, I can’t see you like this anymore; you come home, throw your bag down, cry yourself to sleep, rinse and repeat. I watched your life crumble and waste away after your parents died…after our parents died I should say.” The reflection stands back up.

“Let me show you something.” Before Nathan could blink the mirror was reflecting a clean version of Nathan's room. Doing curls in the mirror while shirtless was a fit Nathan, his shoulders square and abs defined, something he could only dream of. Nathan analyzed the  charm bracelet on his upgraded self.

“Guess who gave you this bracelet Nathan? Trish. the hottest girl in your class.”

Nathan's shaken state began to pacify. He slowly got up from the ground and tried to process what he was seeing in the mirror. 

“Take a good look at what we can become. Work with me, and I can transform you into this.” his reflection started flexing. Kiss the weak you goodbye, I will make you a god amongst mortals.”

Nathan wiped the tears that were now leaking down his face, some seeping into the corners of his mouth.

“I care about you Nathan, I don’t ever want to see you cry yourself to sleep again, ever! 

The flood gates opened and Nathan tried to stop the streams with his forearm, but they wouldn’t stop.

“Let it out, do you want to change and become the cool kid for once?”

“Yes,” Nathan pleaded with a sniffle.

Listen carefully, I just need a drop of your blood, it will allow me to teleport to any mirror you're in; I will be there for you anytime.

“Blood?” Nathan said with reluctancy in his tone.

“Yes, a drop of blood is all I need, I have more powers such as allowing you to communicate with those from the dead, but one step at a time.”

Nathan's eyes widened and his heart started galloping. The thought of receiving a sign from his parents trumped any previous speculation. He ran to his cluttered table and tossed papers aside and revealed scissors.

“Go easy, I just need a drop.”

Nathan parted the legs of the scissors and sliced the face of his index finger, revealing pink flesh. Red plasma slowly filled the cut until a bead of blood hid the cut; It started to run down his pale palm; Nathan walked over and stamped his bloody finger on the mirror. The blood outlined his finger print.

“Good Job Nathan.” 

The blood stain on the glass gradually disappeared. 

“We are truly one my friend, as long as a mirror is present, I’m with you.”

Nathan wiped the crust that the streaks of tears made. We


“How much longer do I have to wait, it’s been four weeks?”

“Have patience Nathan, it takes time to chip away at greatness, It took Michelangelo roughly three years to complete the statue of David.”

Nathan took a sip out of his half water bottle nodding in agreement.

“You know what, maybe I am holding you back. Hurry up and start your walk to school before Nana catches us, it’s bad enough she heard you talking to yourself last week.” 

Nathan grabs his backpack and runs down the stairs and out the apartment door.


Homeroom was rowdy as usual: The girls banded together, a few boys stood up and discussed superhero movie spoilers and our homeroom teacher Mr.Dennis was writing positive affirmations on the board. 

Nathan raised his hand and asked if he could use the bathroom, Mr. Dennis motioned his hand in approval. Nathan was walking past a few desks and was clipped by a foot. He fell and banged his knee on the white tile floor. A few kids burst out in laughter. 

“Alright guys knock it off, be careful where you step Nathan.” said Mr. Dennis.

Nathan stumbled to his feet and gingerly walked out the classroom. He made sure the bathroom was empty, he checked under the stalls and listened for any approaching footsteps. Once he felt comfortable, he stood face to face with his reflection in the square mirror above the basin. 

“Why are you making that face”, his reflection said with a hand on his chin. 

“I was tripped on my way here and banged my knee on the floor.”

“Let me guess, it was Todd this time.”

Nathan nodded.

“Today’s the big day, are you ready?”

“Yea what do I have to do.” 

“I need you to punch Todd or one of his bandits directly on the nose.”

Nathan thought he heard footsteps, so he spoke softly, “Punch?, I can’t do that.”

“You can, trust me… your life will change for the better.”

Nathan held his head down in shame. The sound of footsteps took him out of his despair. 

The bathroom door squealed open and Nathan met eyes with his friend Brent.

“Everything good with you Nathan, you've been very distant these past few weeks?”

“Yeah everything's good.”

Brent knew something was off with Nathan, his weary eyes and suspicious stance gave it away.

Nathan walks past Brent and taps him on the shoulder, “I will see you back in homeroom.”

The first few classes of the day went by quick, the school year was winding down, important tests and assignments were over. Summer was right around the corner. Nathan sat with his lunch group in the cafeteria. He monitored Todd and his henchmen closely. Todd caught Nathan staring. Nathan's eyes draw down towards the tray of spaghetti and meatballs. His anxiety spiked. Over all of the cafeteria commotion he could hear Todd’s voice nearing. 

“Something wrong with your eyes Nathan?” a demanding voice said.  Nathan felt a hand grip his right shoulder.

He turned and launched out of his seat with a leading fist. The commotion in the room ceased. Several kids yelled out, “oh shit.” Nathan could hear the murmurs of those that couldn’t believe what they just witnessed. This was the first time anyone has seen Todd on his back. He was covering the lower half of his face with his hand, but that didn’t stop the blood from making its grand entrance. Droplets were seeping into his khaki pants. The rest of Todd’s crew walked up to the scene in disbelief. It’s as if the tether Todd had on them was snipped. 

Nathan fled the cafeteria and sought sanctuary in the bathroom. He didn’t even bother checking to see if anyone was in the stalls.

“He’s going to kill me, why did you have me do that?”

“I didn’t have you do anything that you didn’t want to do. You wanted to punch him in the face my friend.”

Nathan turned on the faucet and splashed his face. 

“I don’t want to do this anymore, I don’t need you.”

The bathroom door opened.

“Nathan, who are you talking to?” Brent looked at Nathan with dread. 

He looked under the stalls and locked his eyes back on Nathan.

“Push him, you can’t be seen with him anymore.” 

“I can't Nathan.” cried out. 

Brent grabbed Nathan's arm, “You can’t what?”

“Do it, now!”

The mirror was now showing Nathan's parents at an older age. Nathan grabbed Brent's arm, shoved him to the ground and walked out, too gutted to even look at his friend's face. 


Nathan sat through the barrage of questions his Nana was asking. He zoned out a few times and thought about Brent. His Nana was now in tears getting ready to pray over him. Not once did she expect her grandson to be suspended. Nathan couldn't look her in her eyes, it would eat him alive. 

“Your parents wouldn't want this for you Nathan, whoever you talk to on the phone before bed  is leading you astray.”

Nathan waited until she was done airing out her frustrations and he ascended to his room and stood in-front of the mirror.

“What’s with the long face buddy?” his reflection said while eating a burger.

“Your a liar, everything you've told me has made me look like a shitty person. I lost a friend, my nana is torn and–”

“Shhh, you must trust the process.”

Nathan grabbed a history textbook from his desk.

“I’m done trusting the process.”

“Nathan you do realize I’m with you forever, you gave me access. By sharing your blood you not only gave me access to the other mirrors, but I live through you. I lied to my friend, I see everything you see. I can’t control what you do, but I can be in your business whenever. So go ahead destroy the mirror, you can’t destroy all the mirrors in the world. I can make your life a living hell, imagine you get your license and you're driving on the parkway and get spooked when looking in the rearview mirror, now all of a  sudden you're seeing headlights. Don’t be difficult Nathan.

Nathan's eyes were glossy and his grip on the book was tighter. “So me talking to my parents was a lie also.”

“Now you're starting to think, Nathan, I was your fathers handler for most of his life. We worked well together until he had you, he started to kill a good thing. I decided to make his life hell and it worked. I drove him to insanity and your mother was in the crossfire. So you decide if you want to suffer like our father.”

Nathan chucked the textbook at the mirror and it shattered. He ran to the bathroom that was across from his room, and banged the book against the rectangular glass  like a mad man. A arm grabbed his shoulder and he swiftly turned around. It was his nana who was bawling , what she was witnessing was all too familiar.

November 22, 2023 10:44

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1 comment

David McCahan
08:18 Dec 05, 2023

This one has a good Twilight Zone feel. Could clearly see it all unraveling. Well done. One quick note, your verb tenses change between present and past. Otherwise, a great cautionary tale.


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