Flash Fiction Friday: The Looking Glass

Hello Readers, Writers, and Friends,

Friday is here and so is the flash fiction. I am still using the Storymatic as the source for the prompts, but that might change soon. I’m considering doing a series of what if questions as the basis for these weekly ramblings. We shall see. And if you have an opinion on the subject feel free to say so in the comments.

This week’s prompts: mirror, cartoonist

Photo by Hakeem James Hausley on Pexels.com

Everyone says they want to be Alice. They think falling through the rabbit hole or stepping through the looking glass would be so much fun, but they are forgetting the danger. There’s the risk of madness, of losing ones literal and figurative head, of capture and devour by ravenous, irrational beasts.

These are no joke.

I would know.

I bought an antique mirror at a flea market I thought would liven up my work space. I do a webtoons strip and I’d been feeling a little low on inspiration. A piece of antique furniture with a history, bouncing light around my office sounded perfect.

And I’ve always been a little taken with reflections. Are they real? Do we project them from our own notion of what wee want to see? Or are they moe real even than our perceptions?

So I liked the look of that mirror. The glass was just a little warped so the reflection wasn’t quite right, never quite the same. And the flaked gold paint gave it that feel of glory faded to scraps and memories. And it smelled like ink. That’s the weirdest bit.

I love the smell of ink. I still do about half my drawings by hand and then scan them in. It feels like possibility and work done right when I uncap a pen and get that smell. So when I hoisted that mirror out of a box of other stuff and it smelled like my best days, I had to have it.

The thing is, everyone wants to be Alice. They want to step through the glass to something beyond. But they never wonder what would happen if something stepped out. Like what if Alice, for lack of a better name– her features having nothing to do with the Disney character, steps through your glass and is sitting in your living room, backwards in a chair?

When you say hello and she replies with gibberish that you can only half understand. When you ask her questions she doesn’t understand. And then she starts smashing your mug collection for reasons only she can understand. What do you do when the madness steps out of Wonderland?

When I pointed back to the mirror, suggesting that returning might be preferable to a room full of broken ceramics, she shrugged. Like the destruction didn’t matter. Like she could take this world or leave it.

She tried going at it forwards, but it didn’t work. I, through a great deal of gesturing and slowly spoken direction, got her to try going at it backward. That did the trick.

And I immediately covered that thing in a towel. Can’t step through what you can’t see through right?

Wrong.

So wrong.

They started spilling through, individuals, small groups, each as vicious as the last. I threw the mirror in the dumpster. It returned to its place on my wall. i tried to smash it, break it, burn it. Nothing worked.

“And that’s wh you’re selling the apartment?”

“yeah. I just hope it stays here.”

“The mirror in the study?”

“Right.”

“I didn’t see one in there when we took the pictures for the listing. You sure you left it on the wall?”

That’s it for today. Hope it was fun. I may go fall down a Youtube rabbit hole for a bit. Be sure to post your flash fiction in the comments, or link to where we can read it. And share it with your socials, they might enjoy it too!

~Anika

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