Every morning it’s a part of my routine to check the mirror. Never have I missed checking. It had never taken so long for the image in the reflection to change, and instead of showing me a version of myself I’ve yet to become, the glass went black. Something is wrong with the mirror. I don’t know what it is—it has never done this before.
Yesterday the image that unfolded revealed me looking worried. I wasn’t concerned. The version of myself it showed wasn’t too far off from who I am now.
It’s all I could think about all day
In the journal I log every day’s vision, I followed last year’s notes. Under today’s date it said I go to the shops and buy new bedding. After reading the passage I immediately noticed a hole in my fitted sheet.
I did as the mirror said.
I checked the mirror first thing this morning. After what happened yesterday I’d hoped it was all a farse, that today the mirror would work again. I hoped in a year’s time I was just blackout drunk and that’s why the mirror didn’t work. I hoped maybe I was sick and spent the day sleeping.
But blank again. It can’t mean anything good. The mirror is all I have left of Nana. It can’t have broken.
One year in the future something happens. It’s my death, I know it.
I don’t want to die.
It’s been a week since the mirror betrayed me. Every day it has shown nothing but nothing. I’ve tried everything to fix it. Shaking the mirror, tapping it, hitting it. Just leaving it aside and hoping it will change is a waste of time.
No matter how many times I check it, the mirror doesn’t change.
I follow last year’s journal every day. Each passage hasn’t failed me. I fulfill the task written under each day’s date.
I’m grasping at straws trying to come up with ways to try and make the mirror work again. How else will I be able to prepare for what’s going to happen.
I thought maybe if I try to change the predicted future, the mirror might change back for me.
Under today’s date was a few lines about having coffee with Jessica. When I got a call from her asking to catch up, I lied and told her I couldn’t. But when I jumped in the car to run some errands, my car broke down on a side street near a local café. When I got out, Jessica of all people was walking by and offered to buy me a coffee and wait with me for a tow truck. We sat inside at the same table the mirror had revealed to me.
There’s no escaping my fate.
I don’t want to die.
I can’t die. I’ve got my whole life to lead. I’m only young. I’ve yet to fall in love. Never had I seen myself on a cute date in the mirror. My one wish was to see myself hooking up with a hottie.
I can’t die. I have to live to see my life fulfilled.
I finalised my will today. Seeing as though there is no escaping my fate, I might as well be ready for it.
The mirror’s reflection never lies. Just as my notes disclose, I had coffee with Sarah. It was nice seeing her. Though I couldn’t help but feel sad knowing I’ll never see her again after tomorrow.
I wonder if she’ll care that I die.
The whole time I couldn’t focus. Not on her or the one-sided conversation she was having with herself. I don’t think she noticed I was zoned out the whole time.
I imagine all the ways I could die. Microwave exploding, tripping down the stairs, hit by traffic, an asthma attack, a home invasion goes wrong. I can’t help but imagine it won’t be kind.
I’m not leaving this house. Leaving increases my chances of getting into an accident or a hit and run.
It’s been a year since the mirror broke. Something is going to happen today.
I’m not leaving this house.
I want to take the mirror in my hands and shake it. Throw it across the room. Stomp it. Smash it.
I can’t stand this waiting.
Not when death is staring me down.
It mocks me.
If it’s going to take me, let death be quick.
Author: Ella Witney is a Brisbane-based writer and poet. Currently she is studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at Queensland University of Technology and works on the content team for ScratchThat magazine. As a third-generational member of Brisbane’s folk scene and an Irish Fiddler, Ella is inspired by traditions and lore, and is always on the look-out for what can be amended to better suit modern audiences. Her works include elements of fantasy, psychological, and horror, and explores the way mental health affects individuals.
Artist: Zoe Hawker is a multi-disciplinary student artist working with sculpture, installation, and painting. Her self-reflexive practice aims to decode the absurdities of our current culture.
Editors: Bea Warren and Euri Glenn