On Past Reflection

Submitted into Contest #101 in response to: Write a story that involves a reflection in a mirror.... view prompt


Mystery Suspense Science Fiction

              On Past Reflection

  It was just another working day for antique dealer Alan Cummings. He was hunting for some bargain antiques as he browsed in an antique shop in Essex.

“Hello, I’m interested in that large Georgian mirror over there.” Alan pointed to the large mahogany framed mirror in a corner by an old bookcase.

“Yes, sir, let me check the price tag on that.” Answered the proprietor as he lifted the mirror.

 “Oh, this is an absolute bargain, sir, at £365 for a Georgian mirror, you won’t get a better deal than that!” For a moment, Alan pondered, and at this stage, when buying an antique, he would usually start to barter down the price; but he paid the manager the asking price without hesitation. 

After driving back home to Chingford, Alan toyed with the idea of either selling the mirror for a profit to an American dealer online or keeping it for himself. 

He took down the Victorian mirror from above his fireplace and set up the Georgian mirror instead. Just then, his wife, Carla, came home after working at the local estate agents. 

Her eyes lit up as she spotted the mirror in the sitting room.

 “Oh, Alan, that’s beautiful; it’s much better than that victorian thing we had up there.” “Are we going to keep it?”

“Well, I’m in two minds; there’s this American dealer online who might be interested in it!” “But as I look at it now, it’s growing on me!”

“Go on, Alan, you know you want it!” Carla said with a crafty grin.

“Ah, well, I suppose I could always find another mirror like this somewhere else for the American.” Said Alan, shrugging his shoulders.

Later that night. “Alan, I’m off to bed, Said Carla kissing him on the cheek. 

“Alright, love, I’ll be up soon!” He said as he looked over his specialist antique book checking on Georgian mirrors. He re-checked the value of the pre-fret mahogany wall mirror he had just bought from the antique shop. If he wanted to, he could sell the mirror for double the price he had paid for it. 

Before going to bed, Alan stood up from his chair and walked over to the Georgian mirror admiring its mahogany fretwork. Just then, momentarily, Alan caught sight of a reflection in the mirror; as he got closer, his heart raced when he saw a man wearing a powdered wig and old-fashioned clothing of the Georgian period. Averting his gaze for a moment, then hesitantly turning his head, he shyly stared back in the mirror again, only to see the man had gone. 

Somewhat tired, Alan put the experience down to a hallucination and finally went upstairs to bed.

“So, Alan, what will you do with the victorian mirror?” Asked Carla, ready to leave for work. 

“I will see if any local antique dealers would be interested in it,” he replied. “See you after work, Carla.”

As Alan went into the kitchen to make some tea, he suddenly heard some music playing. It seemed to be coming from the sitting room. As he went to look, the music suddenly stopped. Shrugging it off, he sat at his desk, checking on his laptop for any antique dealers who could be interested in the Victorian mirror. Suddenly he felt an icy tingle run up his spine as he heard the same music again. But this time, it was much louder. It seemed to be coming from the mirror! 

Alan gingerly walked over to the mirror to investigate when his face turned white as he saw the reflection of a Georgian man in a wig sitting down playing a harpsichord piano. When the man stopped playing, a lady in a powdered wig suddenly came over to him and clapped, shouting: “Bravo!” “Bravo!” For Alan, it was like watching actors on a television screen. Without warning, Alan saw the mirror mist over, and the people gradually vanished.

Overcome with shock; Alan sat down to try and process what he had just seen. Was he going nuts? Or is this thing for real? He thought, leaning over, with his hands over his face. Should he tell Carla and risk frightening her? The whole thing is just too fantastic!

Moments later, Alan had an idea, “what if he could photograph the images in the mirror if the phenomena happened again?” He wondered. Keeping his phone in his pocket at the ready, he impatiently waited for something to happen again in the mirror.

Unfortunately, Alan waited and waited, but nothing occurred again until two days later, after a buyer for the Victorian mirror; a French lady had contacted him by email, offering him an attractive price for the mirror.

 Alan had just looked up from his computer when he caught sight of a light emanating from the Georgian mirror. Moving over to it, he sat down in front of the mirror and took the phone from his pocket, preparing to film any new experiences happening in the mirror. Seconds after, a fog began to slowly form in the mirror, then Alan heard someone giggle. The mist slowly cleared, and then he saw the same young lady he had seen before clapping the man at the piano. She was walking towards a door; upon opening it, she suddenly spoke:

 “Oh, Alan, I didn’t expect you to come today!” Said the lady. 

“Aren’t you going to let me enter, my dearest?” 

“I’m afraid my head is hurting today, Alan; I am in no fit state to see anyone now!” 

Just then, in the woman’s room, Alan spotted a man hiding, crouching down behind a settee. Unexpectedly, the man moved slightly and kicked over a small table with his leg. 

“What was that crash?”Asked the man named Alan.

Stroking her forehead and grimacing, the lady answered,

“Tis, nothing Alan, but my cat,” “Please leave now; I feel faint!”

“But Carla, you have no cat!”

 By now, Alan felt goosebumps as he sat back in the chair, stunned at what he was witnessing in the mirror.

“Let me in, Carla, I say!” 

The man then pushed open the door and confronted the young man behind the settee. 

“You have betrayed me, Carla!” “Who Is this scoundrel?”

“Please, Alan, Robert, and I are in love!” explained Carla.

“But, Carla, What about us?” 

“You do not please me anymore, Alan!” Please leave me now!”

By this time, Alan had forgotten about his phone; he was too engrossed in the scene he was watching.

“You, man, are a coward and have stolen my love!” With that, the man smacked the young man around the face with a  white glove.

“You have dishonoured me, and for that, I challenge you to a duel at ten o’clock tomorrow morning, outside my manner!”

“But I have no wish to fight you, sir.” Said the young man.

“If you wish to have Carla, then sir, you have no choice!”

“Or are you a sniveling coward?”

Suddenly, Alan saw the mirror starting to fog over again, and the scene gradually melted away.

“OMG!” “What just happened?” Thought Alan. He tried to make sense of the experience, but there was no logic to it. Getting up from his chair, he grabbed a strong whisky from his 17th-century globe drinks bar. He sat wracking his brain; what should he do about this? Then he pondered, why is the man in the mirror named Alan and the woman named Carla? What a strange coincidence! Should he tell Carla when she gets back from work? Would she believe him? Very doubtful, he thought. And with things somewhat strained with him and Carla the past couple of days, Alan thought it best not to mention anything about these odd occurrences.

“How was your day, Carla?” 

“As if you cared?” Shouted Carla, getting back home from work.

“What have I done now?” Shouted Alan. 

“That’s It, you do nothing but sit at your laptop at home all day!” Carla moaned.

 “But that’s my work!” Replied Alan. 

“We don’t go anywhere! We don’t do anything!” Screamed Carla, rushing upstairs: “I have had enough; I’m going to stay with Mum until I can find a place of my own!”

“Listen, we can talk this through, Carla!” Said Alan pleadingly.

“No!” “I’m done talking; we are finished!”

Moments later, Carla came down the stairs carrying her suitcases. “Goodbye, Alan!” Carla opened the front door and stormed out.

“I’ll get the rest of my things in a few days!”She said

With that, Carla got in her car and drove off, leaving behind her handbag on the drive.

 Alan quickly picked it up, got in his car, and followed her.

After a mile or so: “That’s not the way to her Mum’s; she lives in Epping; where is she going?” He wondered.

 Alan continued to follow Carla as she drove towards Chelmsford.  After about an hour, Carla stopped outside a large, posh, detached house, and a young man walked out and greeted her with a kiss. Alan then soon pulled over and stopped behind Carla’s Mercedez.

He went up to the house and rang the doorbell. Carla opened the door. 

“Look, Carla, you dropped your handbag!”Said, Alan.

“Oh, oh right, thanks!” Said Carla sheepishly.

“This isn’t your Mum’s place?” Alan inquired.

“No, no, your right. I’m staying with Robert!” At that moment, Robert came to the door. 

“Hi, thanks for bringing Carla’s handbag!” 

 Just then, as Alan stared at Robert, he had a strange vision; he was in a duel and had just fired his pistol and saw Robert fall to the ground. 


July 07, 2021 13:26

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