Updated date:

The Me in the Mirror - Response to a Brenda Arledge Word Prompt


I’ve enjoyed writing for many years. I'm dedicating more time to the craft in my retirement days.

Word Prompt = Mirror

Brenda Arledge, fellow writer here on HP, put this prompt out there nearly two months ago now. I started this piece all the way back in early July, but only got around to finishing it up these past two days. Enjoy, and have a good weekend, everyone!

“The Me in the Mirror”

His reflection in the glass beckoned, lips moving, forming the words, as his own mouth kept perfect time:

“Come on. Try it. Enter.”

So, he did. He stepped right through, right into the glass reflection, eye melding with eye, finger pushing into and through finger, into mirror glass, ten digits each dissolving into one and then the other, feet and knees and toes and all the everything else sliding through and then all the way in, passing through some barrier that was no barrier at all.

He gasped, looked down at his hands, turned them palm up, palm down, repeated these movements thrice more.

He then wheeled ‘round in time to catch himself wheeling ‘round, turning back to give glance at the him behind him. And there he was…looking like a jackass staring at a new gate, as his father-in-law would say. Or, better still, like a pig looking at a wristwatch, maybe. This was a favored debriefing room phrase after a go or two of air-to-air engagements. It happened often enough: a pilot lost situational awareness in the midst of a dogfight, turned into dried sage tumbleweed blowing aimlessly across a lonesome northwestern highway. He grinned unconsciously, saw his reflection do the same, noticed the look came off as more smirk than smile.

“Can I do that again?” he asked of himself, touching fingers to the glass, his likeness doing the same from its now-reversed position.

“Not likely, my friend.” He could feel and see his lips moving in the reflection, but he did not speak.

He didn’t understand how or why, but he was then compelled to turn, and did so. He walked out of the room, around the corner, out of sight of the mirror. He was still working on the how and why when suddenly he was once again standing in front of the mirror, looking at himself, grinning, holding by its cocking lever in his left hand a Model 1938 Red Ryder BB Gun.

Before he knew what was happening, the trigger was pulled. Mirror glass splintered, crackled, tinkled to the floor in hundreds of shimmering shards.

“You’ll put an eye out,” he said, as he looked down at the myriad pieces of his reflection scattered in the mirror mosaic around his feet.

Then he laughed maniacally, turned and walked out of the room into the unfamiliar house.

“Hey, honey, where do we keep the broom and dust pan?”

© 2021 greg cain


greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on August 30, 2021:

Sha Sha - guess we can thank the muse for that ride. It was one of those that starts out with only a beginning, and then sits for quite a while…until one day the ending shows it’s face, so to speak. It was a fun write.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 29, 2021:

Box, that's one helluva tale! The ending took me by surprise. Seeing his reflection in pieces on the floor must have been freaky. Even freakier that stepping through the mirror. What an imagination you have, my friend!

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on August 28, 2021:

Brenda - yes, indeed. It’s been more than a decade since that happened. I’m happy to have it never happen again!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 28, 2021:

Thank you for sharing your wonderful muse with us all.

I loved it.

Let's hope nothing like that happens to you again.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on August 28, 2021:

Brenda - yes, I think if we're not selective and thoughtful, someone—or something—could exert undue impact on our life, our house, our livelihood, our heart. In this case, it's such a back and forth the head spins at the end. Still, you got it exactly right: he doesn't know how the house is laid out (unfamiliar rooms, etc.) and he doesn't know where the broom and dustpan are located. The last time something like that happened to me—I didn't know where things were, couldn't remember what my job was, etc.—I had a terrible concussion from a bike crash. No recollection of what happened to me...I woke up in a hospital bed 10 hours after I left my house. Not my favorite day ever, nor my wife's.

Thanks for the challenge/prompt, and also thanks for posting the link, as always. Good day and good weekend, Miss Brenda!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 28, 2021:


What a story!

You have gained our attention with this one.

I am hoping this might be the meaning:

Sometimes in life we get trapped like we are in a mirror.

If we're not careful, someone we don't know will take over our life.

Either way. .your words were intense in this thriller.

I can see the shards of glass & the confused look in the face left behind.

The tell-all sign was walking through a room he didn't recognize.

I will post a link in the word prompt.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on August 28, 2021:

Thanks, Bill. It probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that I didn’t know where I was going with it, either, until I arrived. And so it goes. Good weekend and thanks for the words.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2021:

That was a fun ready, my friend. I had no idea where you were going, but I was hooked from the get-go. Well done!

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on August 28, 2021:

Thanks for reading, Sankhajit! Hope you have a lovely weekend, my friend.

Sankhajit Bhattacharjee from MILWAUKEE on August 27, 2021:

l enjoyed your account up to the brim. Thanks for posting.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on August 27, 2021:

Thanks, John. Kind words, as always, and much appreciated. Be safe and be well, my brother.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on August 27, 2021:

Hi Pamela - thank you also for the kind words. Brenda's prompts always leave lots of room for the imagination to roam alongside (or inside?) the muses whims. I appreciate you taking the time to read the tale, and hope you have a wonderful weekend.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on August 27, 2021:

Hi Misbah - so glad you enjoyed this short little account. I think the what happens next in a story like this is always best left to the reader's imagination. So...doesn't have to be violence coming around the next corner.

Thanks for the great words, and thanks for the well wishes. You be safe and be well, too. Good weekend.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on August 27, 2021:

An excellent story, Greg. You kept my attention right to the end.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on August 27, 2021:

Hi Liz, it's so good to hear from you! Thanks for the kind words. I love, "sting in the tail." So true. This turns out to be a very weird day for this guy, no?

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 27, 2021:

This was such a fun story to read, Greg. I really enjoyed reading it, and I am glad he killed the mirror. This is a great response to Brenda's prompt. You have a great imagination.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on August 27, 2021:

Greg, that was such a lovely read. It was very enjoyable for me. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I'm sure the next scene was supposed to be a broom fight... Lol! It's a good idea to censor it... ;) Isn't that violence?

A Wonderful response to Brenda's Prompt. Full of creativity. Stay safe and healthy!

Blessings always!!!

Liz Westwood from UK on August 27, 2021:

This is an imaginative tale with a sting in the tail. I admire your creativity.

Related Articles