Sad Teens & Young Adult Suspense

      Two eyes, little pinpricks of yellow, peer out from the reflection in the mirror. They were there for a few seconds too long, and Lucy began to doubt that she was even awake at this point. Bending over her sink in the cramped bathroom, she allows the tap to run, before scooping some of the water up and drenching her face with it. The cool droplets drip down her face and onto her clothes, the fabric soaking them up as they fall. In the darkness, Lucy can’t see much, with only the dim light from the window to help her see. The moon waits outside for her, glowing dismally under a sky full of stars, and it seems so windy outside. Just as windy as the night that everything changed for Lucy.

           Looking down at her hands which have begun to tremble, she remembers how she had been coated in blood that night, the air ripped mercilessly from her lungs, whilst blood sprayed out of every crevice in her body. She remembers it like it was yesterday, even though she wishes she didn’t; those same thoughts recur in her mind every day, haunting her. They never stop.

           Bringing a fresh towel up to her face, she wipes it dry, until there is no moisture left on her face. Every day is the same, washing her face in the basin, desperately hoping to feel cleansed, but nothing can wash her of the insane dirtiness she feels.

           Bringing her gaze up to the mirror, she stares at her reflection. Eyes swollen and sullen, the purple tinge to her skin underneath them shows just how tired she really is – the art of sleeping has been wrongfully stolen from her since the accident. Skin devoid of all colour, the rosy tinge that used to adorn her cheeks has long since dissipated. Fingernails always dirty, hair matted, hands dry, Lucy no longer cares about her appearance, for not only does she never leave the house, but she feels guilty showing even the slightest smidge of care towards herself. And that’s just the way it has been for months now.

           Whilst looking at her complexion, her eyebrows furrow as the face in the mirror doesn’t move the same way she does. Moving to the left, she almost screams when the person in the mirror doesn’t follow her. Well, that’s a lie – part of it does follow her: its eyes. Cold and detached, the eyes watch her, until she bites her lip.

           “Who are you?” She asks the reflection.

           “Don’t you recognise me?” A series of flashbacks runs through Lucy’s mind, as she tries to push the haunting images aside.

           “I don’t want to recognise you.” Lucy’s eyes start filling with fresh tears. “I want you to be gone.”

           “You can’t erase the past, Lucy.” The reflection says sternly, raising its voice at her. “So I’ll ask you again; do you recognise me?”

           Swallowing hard, Lucy inhales deeply before continuing. “Yes. You’re me. From before the accident.”

           “Good girl. Still intelligent, I see.” The image of Lucy’s former-self is now ingrained in her memories, and she watches her chuckle. “It took you longer than I expected, but at least you got there.”

           “Why are you here? To torment me?”

           “Of course not. Cut yourself some slack, I’m not here to destroy you; I’m here to help you.”

           “Help me? How can you help me? I’m a train wreck, an empty shell. I’m just a lost cause.”

           “Stop it. You can’t keep up with the self-piteous attitude; otherwise you will drive yourself deep into the ground. Talk to me. Let’s start from the beginning. What happened?”

           “I can’t remember.”

           “Yes you can.” Staring intently at Lucy, here reflection raises her eyebrows at her, demanding that this isn’t a joke. Unsure of what she would do if she doesn’t participate, Lucy racks her brains.

           “Well,” Lucy begins, “I guess the first thing I remember is the way the sun looked that day. It was beautiful it was; it was completely orange – it was like a glowing orb, just illuminating the sky. And as for the sky, well I don’t think I’ve ever seen in that blue. But even though both the sun and the sky were extremely pretty that day, that didn’t mean the weather obliged to that plan.”

           Her reflection nods thoughtfully. “Go on.”

           “I remember it was a Tuesday. It was Tuesday, the last of the month of April, and I was getting ready. I was excited – no, I was ecstatic. I’d just been paid the night before, and my big bonus for the year had just come through, and I was over the moon. To celebrate, I offered to take my girlfriend out to celebrate.”

           “How sweet.”

           “Mhmm. I booked a lovely restaurant – I mean really, it’s all five stars and £100 bottles of wine there – but being finally so content with my life, I thought I’d splash a little for my girl. Looking back on it, I wish I hadn’t now.”

           “And why’s that?”

           Swallowing as painful memories soar through her brain, Lucy tries to remain stoic. “Well, I guess fate didn’t like the thought of us going out to that restaurant. We were in the car a matter of minutes, before the winds became harsh, and baleful. I offered to turn around, to go back home (heaven knows we weren’t too far away to turn around) but my girlfriend insisted that we still went, so we wouldn’t lose our money on the booking. So we did. We kept going. Her in the passenger seat, and me in the driver’s seat, until I found myself through the window-screen and, well, I don’t know where Ellie was.

           “Eleanor Bookman. Such a beautiful name, don’t you think?”

           “She certainly was a beautiful person,” the other Lucy concedes.

           “No, she is a beautiful person. Always will be.”

           “No Lucy,” she corrects, “she was a beautiful person. Past tense, because she died, remember?”

           “Stop it!” Lucy begins to shout. “Just stop it! Stop saying that! Why can’t you leave me alone?”

           “Let’s continue on with the story,” the other Lucy carries on, almost as if she’s ignoring herself. “You were driving along so you didn’t lose your money, then what happened?”

           Deep breaths. “It was like a surge,” Lucy whispers, barely audible over the howling wind outside. A torrent of emotions are swimming through her, and she feels like her head is about to explode. “The mightiest gust of wind you’ll ever see. Driving on a cliff-top, and having the wind push you – like it’s a person, with hands – until you are pushed right over the edge. Two tyres were over, and in another few seconds, the third would have been, and then we would have both plummeted to our deaths.”

           “So what happened? Why didn’t you plummet to your deaths?”

           “I fought against the wind. I wasn’t ready to not have a life, and I definitely wasn’t ready to have a life where my girlfriend wasn’t there, so I fought back. I drove against the surge, my window-screen completely plastered by torrential rain and sodden leaves. Any part of the car that wasn’t affected by the weather was covered in a thick layer of grime. It wasn’t my fault; I couldn’t see anything.”

           “What happened?” She asks so gently, so timidly, that Lucy’s lip begins to wobble.

           “Whilst driving against the wind and fighting the elements, I drove into a car, on the other side of the road. I can’t remember much, but I remember the glass piercing through me as I dive head-first through the window-screen. There was a painful searing in my throat, and there was blood everywhere, but not all of it was mine. You see, if I’m being honest, I was stabbed a million times by those deadly shards of glass, but nothing was as painful as the moment I looked over and realised Ellie wasn’t there.

           “I couldn’t move. My legs were numb, all of me was numb, and the winds were still thrashing against me as I lay on the bonnet, just vulnerable to the exposure. I wanted to search for her, but I physically couldn’t. The couple in the car next to me were furious that such damage had been done to their car, but as soon as they saw the blood and the state of ours, they rightfully were traumatised. They sat with me in the rain, whilst I dipped in and out of consciousness. Ellie didn’t sit with me; I never knew where Ellie was the whole time.”

           “Do you want to know what happened to Ellie?”

           Taken aback, Lucy stares at her reflection. “Do you know what happened?”

           “We know what happened. I think you’ve been ignoring it for a long time in the hope that it didn’t happen, but it did Lucy. To move on, you need to start facing that. It’s a miracle you survived, and you should be living that miracle to the full extent.”

           “What, live it by driving to a restaurant, and then end up being bombarded by winds that leaves both me and my partner fighting for our lives?”

           “Are you bitter about the situation?”

           “Of course I’m bitter! I was dying, and my girlfriend was already dead so she couldn’t comfort me, but all I wanted was for her to tell me it was going to be okay. But instead, she was already hanging in a tree somewhere! Oh my God!” Lucy swivels around in horror, stopping the pacing she had started a few minutes ago. “She was in a tree. That’s how she died isn’t it? It wasn’t the impact of our car hitting theirs; it was the impact of her being thrown into the tree. And with the elements attacking her, she really had no chance as soon as she left the car.”

           “Correct. So you see, although you did try and brave the winds, it isn’t your fault, Lucy. I know you think that, and you might always think that, but these things happen. It was on her wishes that you kept going. You were trying to keep her happy, and you did that to the very end. She’s very grateful for that.”

           “Can you see her?” Lucy grabs onto the mirror. “I mean, can I see her? I haven’t seen her since the accident.”

           “I don’t think that’s wise.” Lucy’s reflection explains. “You will see her how she was in her final moments. And it isn’t a pretty picture. There are plenty of broken bones, mangled limbs, and a copious amount of blood. I don’t think you’re ready for that image just yet.”

           “No, you’re right. Can I see her though? In the future, maybe?”

           “We’ll see. So do you understand Lucy?” Looking up at her expectantly, the reflection smiles. “It isn’t your fault. You are a survivor. Say it with me.”

           “It isn’t my fault. I’m a survivor.”


           “It isn’t my fault. I’m a survivor!”

           “Keep saying it!”

           As Lucy keeps on saying it, she is unaware of the fact her reflection leaves, and she is left with her normal self staring back at her in the mirror. Lucy repeats it continually, long into the night, her voice gradually becoming hoarser. She wakes up the next morning on the floor. Having fallen asleep next to her bathtub.

Having found closure, Lucy feels marginally better, but it’s still a giant step for her. She even manages to brush her hair that morning, tying it into two neat plaits. And as each day passes, she becomes a little bit more confident, a little bit happier with her life. Soon, she is washing and dressing herself, and even standing at her front door. It takes an incredibly long time, with lots of puzzled looks being thrown at her from joggers, but Lucy makes her first step out of her door. The wind petrifies her, but she no longer wants to fear the elements. She smiles into the wind, happy she doesn’t put the blame all on herself anymore, because she now realises that blame can destroy your soul just as much as accidents can. 

July 06, 2021 06:41

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07:40 Jul 17, 2021

I felt like you held me by the hand and led me through the scenes, the present and past.


Abbey Long
06:37 Jul 19, 2021



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Jacen Patchwork
04:15 Jul 10, 2021

If only we all had a reflection waiting for us in the mirror to offer this kind of council. Sadly, those of us whose reflections are waiting to speak to us, often are more than happy to tell us to stay inside. To hide away from the horrible world that's hurt us so many times. Lucy is very lucky and blessed to be able to see it, even if it takes her some time to get there.


Abbey Long
02:46 Jul 14, 2021

I don’t think Lucy feels blessed at the moment, but she certainly will do once she has healed :)


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Alex Sultan
22:22 Jul 08, 2021

I really like the concept of this story. I think Lucy, as a character, is well written, and I like how her arc ends in the last paragraph.


Abbey Long
18:48 Jul 09, 2021

Thank you!


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