Here’s my entry to this week’s Author Aerobics. In adherence to the rules, it’s a new genre called Skewed Reality. This genre focuses on a slightly or morbidly skewed viewpoint. It points out details that normal people would ignore, or adds things that aren’t really there. Things don’t appear as they truly are. This story is about a girl who thinks that staring into a mirror for too long will produce undesirable results. It might be obvious what she thinks will happen, or it might not. It depends on how well read you are. 🙂
* * *
As Cynthia passed the front window of CARDER’S, she glanced away. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see her own reflection. But she stopped herself from looking…everyone knew what would happen if you stared too long into a mirror. Cynthia walked through the sliding doors, scanning the racks of clothing. Where was that girl?!
“Over here!” called May, her cousin. May was holding a sweater she had taken from a rack, and was standing by a tall mirror. She held up the green knit article and asked Cynthia’s opinion.
Cynthia nodded. “I like it. It’s springy.”
May shot a furtive glance into the mirror.
Cynthia shook her head. Why hadn’t people invented mirrors yet that would turn off when it could sense you looking into it for more than five seconds? It was a scientific fact that magnetic beams came out of your eyes. Why couldn’t they somehow put magnetic sensors into the mirror that started a timer…?
Oh well. Cynthia wanted to be an inventor, and perhaps that would be her great masterpiece. It would spare so many people from…well, from you-know-what.
“I think it’s spiffy,” May said, folding the sweater over her arm, oblivious to the obvious danger looming everywhere. She took one glance into the mirror for less than a moment, as Cynthia tugged her toward the checkout counter.
The cashier was nice enough, but she didn’t seem to care—or notice—that May’s sweater was on sale.
“Hey,” said May. “That’s supposed to be fifty percent off.”
“Huh?” The cashier pulled something from her ears…what Cynthia realized were earbuds. “Oh, sorry. Yeah.” She punched something into the register quickly, before diving back into her music. “Have a nice day,” she said distractedly, handing May the crinkly plastic bag. May tucked it under her arm and she and Cynthia walked out the sliding doors into the hot parking lot.
Everywhere, Cynthia could see her own reflection in car doors, rear-view mirrors, and in the puddles on the hot pavement. But no, she refused to look into the reflections for too long. Because…
Well, everyone knew what would happen. She shuddered, hurrying May past a spray of yellow flowers in a planter.