The world had barely stopped spinning for Patrick. It felt like
the room was almost closing in on him. Room? The cage of mirrors?
He was still wobbly when a sharp pain shot up his foot till the top of
his spine. Alarmed but not taken aback, he almost fell to his knees to
closely inspect the source. He had stepped on a shard of glass from the
broken mirror. He could see a part of his face when he pulled out the
mirror piece from his heel. His red, worn-out eye. Bags of fatigue and
fear enveloping it beneath and above his wide dilated pupils. Blood
dripped down his eyebrows and the corner of his jawline. He looked
down to find his mother’s favourite mahogany carpet with exquisite
design imported from India drenched in his very un-rare blood. He was
in fact squatted down in a pool of his own blood. Blood. Blood,
everywhere. It was when he tried to feel the drenched mat with his
fingers that he noticed his knuckles were bleeding, and that too, badly.
He felt a sudden sense of nausea creep up from the bottom of his
bowels and gagged. Now the dry stench of copper in his blood hits the
awakened sense of his nostrils. Even more nauseated, he gagged until
he threw up on the exquisite mahogany carpet, his neck bent down and
extremely close to his own puke. The growing olfactory unpleasantness
starts to blur his vision, like a developing cataract. Slowly, it gets
darker and darker.
The woods were eerily silent as Patrick hurriedly made his way home
from his extra hour of baseball practice. It was getting darker under the
unkind, grey clouds and he wanted to get back to the comfort of his
room. To keep himself company on the empty winding roads, Patrick
turn, he was suddenly blinded by the flash of a bike headlight which
took him by surprise because the roads leading to his house were
usually largely deserted. After his eyes adjusted to the glare of the
vehicle, for a brief second before they passed each other, Patrick
vaguely recognised the postman on the bike from his silhouette. It was
unusual to find anyone near his house at such a later hour and
wondered if it was the weekly letter from Grandma Mia about her
constant body pains.
He pulled into the driveway with his bike and it started raining heavily.
He rushed in to avoid getting drenched in the rain and getting a earful
from his mother. To his astonishment, the house is desolated and his
parents are nowhere to be found. Patrick wasn’t fazed by this because
his parents were usually out late often. He casually goes to his room to
lie down after an exhausting day.
Patrick’s room was something you would describe as peculiar. He liked
to keep his space spotless and each item had its own assigned place in
the room. But there was one thing Patrick detested a lot, and that was
mirrors. Patrick developed a fear of mirrors when he was just five years
old. He had constant nightmares where mirrors used to speak to him,
and this took a huge toll on his life negatively. So Patrick’s parents
decided to remove all the mirrors in their house and took extra caution
to not expose Patrick to any reflective surface. The windows in
Patrick’s room were covered with foil and all the dressing mirrors had
Patrick entered his room and kept his baseball bat and glove in the
corner beside his bed. Letting out a huge sigh, he starts to clean up the
mess he had created in his room in the morning. He was piling and
sorting his books when suddenly he noticed a package lying on his
desk. “Was this the parcel the postmaster came to drop?” he thought to
himself. Grabbing a pencil knife from a drawer, he tried to cut open the
cardboard-wrapped article. As he removed the plastic wrapped around
the article, he discovered what looked like a solid red slab. He threw
the plastic into the dustbin beneath his table. He picked up the slab and
turned it around, and he saw his reflection. A chill ran through his spine
as he looked at his own reflection in the shards of mirror scattered on
the floor. Seeing a mirror near him sent Patrick into an immediate
panic. The colour had drained out of his face and he just froze at his
spot. His mind compelled him to run out of the room and get away
from the mirror, but his feet didn’t budge. Sweat was dripping through
his forehead while the reflection of himself was staring him directly in
his face. Gathering whatever courage he had left in him, Patrick
managed to gather the fragments of the mirror with wavering hands
and bent down to throw them in the dustbin. He let out a relieving sigh
after getting rid of the mirror pieces and turned back to rest on his bed.
But all he saw were mirrors. Multiple mirrors. It was almost like his
room had shapeshifted into a mirror maze. He couldn’t bear the sight of
his reflection in the tall mirrors surrounding him and shut his eyes. Due
to his phobia, Patrick couldn’t even manage to get even a word out of
his mouth. Tears were streaming down his face as he hunched on the
floor trying to convince himself that this was all an illusion. After a
minute of nothing happening, Patrick peeked through his hands to
check if the mirrors were gone. But he was mistaken. It was not a
dream and his room was not his room anymore. It has turned into a
horrendous room with mirrors. With his shaky voice growing with
nervousness by the minute, Patrick tried calling out to his parents or
anyone who could drag him out of this nightmare. But all his efforts
were unsuccessful as he helplessly tried to cry for help. His reflections
in the mirrors were glaring at him as he cried “ Help, someone……..
just someone, please”. No response. Patrick wanted to give up
momentarily and try to avoid the situation at hand but could not do so.
He had to do something.
With trembling hands and unsteady fingers, he attempted in vain to tear
off whole pages from his neatly binded books on the top of his shelf.
He grabs the sports magazines strewn across the corner of his bed-side
table and attacks it like a hungry wolf. Page, after page. Anything to
cover up the mirrors. It felt like a weird hallucination. Mirrors. Just
what he had tried to avoid all his life. They are back for him. Page,
after page. He tore and held as many as he could in his burly hands and
rummaged in the drawer of his desk for cellotape. Pressing with hand
and foot the papers on the surface of the mirrors, on their faces, he used
all his manly force upon it, tooth and nail, to make them stick. He must
have managed to go halfway across the room successfully
accomplishing this inhuman task when he saw in the mirror he was just
about to wrap the infinite reflections from the mirror that came to be
diagonally across. He turned around and to his utter horrific shock and
dismay did he find that none of the mirrors were patched up.
It must have been in the sensory deprivation of this frightful incident
that he missed to notice all the papers and pages in his hands had
vanished. Being at a complete loss to think or make decisions, he
frantically moved his hands and legs as if he were sticking a cover on
the gleamy, wicked mirror. It cost him a good few seconds before he
paused to contemplate over the lack of papers in his hands.
With breath that was growing louder under his flared nostrils, he turned
around to look where on the floor he had dropped it. Standing at the top
edge of the mahogany carpet in all its pomp was his table, above which
remained the shelf intact, with all its book possessions. He immediately
turned around to find his magazine arranged neatly on the top of one
another on his bed-side table. He suddenly felt the need to collapse on
his bed. He moved with caution as would people in darkness. The eyes
in the mirrors should not meet his. The gleamy eyes. The predatory
eyes that looked at him like they had been starving. He tries to grab
something… anything on his bed. There were sheets. Blankets and his
bedsheets. Clothes, bigger than paper. Harder to fall off. Easier to
He flings it off his bed in sudden, regained enthusiasm and courage and
walks up to the mirrors and throws the sheet over it. As majestically as
it should have stayed where it fell, the sheets slid down the mirror
stands as smoothly as slime. He whined like a dog, like a weak wolf.
There was nothing he could do. In fiery frustration he drives his strong
folded fist from above his shoulder level right into the chest of the
mirror. The mirror remained intact, gleaming with its wicked eyes
staring back at him, smiling with its crooked canines looking ravenous.
He flinched in piercing pain that shot a numbness up his hand and
His knuckles were bruised as if they had shards of glass in them. They
were bleeding and blood drops rolled down the tip of his fingers. At
this point, it is not just frustration, it is not just fear, it is a lot more that
Patrick feels is welling up inside him. And like a switch, in the matter
of a moment, flip- and it was gone. He shut his eyes for that very
moment tight, and opened them to reveal crooked, red, angry eyes, like
he was possessed. He growled aloud in his undefinable anger and
looked around for any way out of this craziness.
Patrick, Patrick, Patrick.
Where was the voice coming from? It was a voice you would never
wish to hear in your life. It was so unrealistically smooth and calming.
It was too perfect and annoying, but it sounded like himself, only
better. Or worse?
The blood being pumped to his heart froze in his veins and his heart
thumped loud like crazy, calling out for attention from his brain and his
Hahahah, sweetie. Oh my god, that look on your face, come see, take a
look at me. It was hilarious.
Pathetic Patrick. Just, pathetic.
He could not understand what was happening. There weren’t his
reflections to be seen in all those uncovered mirrors, but his one
reflection, or maybe this living entity that was stuck in the realm of
reflections, in the maze of thoughts and actions, was enough. He felt
weak at his knees.
Portia, is it not? Portia, the woman in a man’s body. Portia, the woman
who no one knows to be existent. Portia, the one that never lived.
Portia, a figment of imagination of Patrick’s.
And the voice continued to grow angrier. More broken.
PORTIA. STOP THIS DRAMA. Be Patrick, that’s who you are
supposed to be. OR OWN UP PORTIA.
PORTIA, screamed some voice from another dimensional world in
Patrick’s ears. She brought up her palms to block out the noise, the
pain, the truth. But she got up. And when she looked around she
spotted the baseball bat. How perfect, Portia. She grabbed it and
walked nearer to the mirror and swung it backward with her full force
and vigour and brought it down on the first mirror with a thundering
crash. The mirror cracks, one after the other. Cracks and a few more
cracks, but no sign of breaking.
Momentarily he thought maybe it died. That I stopped calling him out.
That tiny ray of hope was shattered when instead of one, not two, not
three, but about a dozen of those perfect but higher pitched voices
started calling out to Portia.
You are so fucked up, the echoes cried in glee and laughed hysterically.
Portia, Patrick, Portia, Patrick. Both of you deserve to DIE, DIE, DIE.
The reflection had gone and now there was not a hint as to from where
the entities were speaking.
Various confused voices emanated from here and there. As if they were
moving around, maybe in search of her, maybe to attack her, to murder
PATRICK LISTEN TO ME.
PATRICK LOOK HERE.
They were all over the place. All over the mirror. All over the reflected
room. All over the echo.
The voices kept on incessantly chanting.
“What?”, Patrick did not have the strength to think, to stand up, to
fight, to speak. He felt weak. He felt worthless. He felt incomplete, and
wrong. He felt like he was indeed fucked up.
The voices that were so similar to his, continued.
They did not stop, they continued in a very-Patrick-but-perfect voice.
He felt like he was dead already. He tightens his weakened grip on his
bat and makes a pathetic, gentle stroke on the mirror.
The voices laugh. It hurts. With a deep breath, he hits the mirror harder
and harder and stronger. Without stopping. Keep hitting it. Pain and
ache travels through every inch or his flesh and bone, but he does not
stop hitting. And more and more glass is smashed into tiny shards he
bleeds more. He bruises more. But he does not stop.
The Portia that never meant to be spoken aloud, out of his thoughts.
She gave him strength.
Portia was Patrick.
But the pain was not something she could subdue. After thrashing all
the mirrors to her utmost surprise to a million pieces, she falls down.
In pain, in victory. With bleeding fingers and knuckles and nose and
head, with ringing ears and blurry vision, with wobbly feet injured with
dozens of glass shards piercing into them, she fell down.
Portia fell down.
As did Patrick, all in an illusion that would never be known to you.
She was on her knees. Bags of fatigue and fear enveloped her eyes
beneath and above his wide dilated pupils. Blood dripped down her
eyebrows and the corner of her jawline. She looked down to find her
mother’s favorite mahogany carpet with exquisite design imported
from India drenched in her very un-rare blood. All the blood- she felt a
sudden sense of nausea creep up from the bottom of her bowels and
gagged. Now the dry stench of copper in her blood hit the awakened
sense of her nostrils. Even more nauseated, she gagged until she threw
up on the exquisite mahogany carpet, her neck bent down and
extremely close to her own puke. The growing olfactory
unpleasantness began blurring her vision, like a developing cataract.
Slowly, it gets darker and darker.
A bright beam of light hit Patrick’s eyes as he tried to get up. He found
himself lying on the mahogany carpet of his bedroom. He couldn’t
recollect the reason behind his bizarre sleeping spot when suddenly his
head started hurting. He grabbed his head with both of his hands and
tried to cover his ears as the pain increased. He tried to put pressure on
his head to reduce the pain but it did no good and the throbbing kept
As he looked around his room, he saw that his room was as neat as ever
and everything was in its place. There was a sharp sting in his head
which momentarily blanked him. Fuzzy images flashed through his
brain as he tried to recollect what had happened.
He felt an urge to get up and check his desk for a parcel. His instincts
told him it would be a mirror and to never open it. He slowly climbed
to his feet and moved towards his desk precautiously. As he tried to
look around and adjust himself, he suddenly remembered the voices.
The voices. Everything that had taken place immediately flashed before
his eyes. “It really must have been a nightmare”, Patrick thought. He
was puzzled, but the valid explanation for anything you recollected to
be real but was unsupported by others was that it had been nothing but
So that it must have been.
He pulled out his revolving chair and was about to sit down to finish
off some work when he knocked down the dustbin beneath his table.
And the plastic wrapper inside it. The plastic that had carefully been
wrapped around a red slab. His heart skipped a beat. Patrick’s hands
started sweating as he saw the exact same plastic wrapper in his
dustbin. He didn’t want to believe that his nightmare had actually taken
place. So to prove himself and console his mind, he bent to get the
plastic wrapper out and inspect it. As he bent down, he saw something
shining behind the trash bin. Patrick moved the dustbin a little to see
what was lying behind it. But what Patrick saw almost gave him a heart
A shard of glass was lying on the floor and Patricks reflection was
staring right back at him with a devious smile.