Almost Seventh
By: Kate MacDonald

I stepped back to admire the beautiful baroque gilded mirror. It looked perfect hanging on the wall between the two large windows. It was a family piece that had belonged to my Grandma. I had lusted after it for years. There had been a special relationship between the two of us.

When the mirror hung in her bedroom, she and I would dress up in her wonderfully stylish clothes and hats. I don't think she ever threw anything away. For me, the day was always brighter when I remembered her beaming mischievous smile and her twinkly eyes.

When I told my mother I had decorated my new flat to complement the mirror, she finally caved in and allowed me to have it. As I looked fondly at it again, the room seemed to become colder.

The glass was clouding over. Within seconds my heart was beating fast, my breath came in shallow gasps. The feeling of sheer panic was overwhelming. The air around me was icy against my skin. Even though every instinct told me to move, what mattered now was to see past the mist. Someone, or something, was in that mirror. I felt an urgent need to communicate, to understand.

I took a step forward, and as my hand reached out towards the bevelled glass, the mantel clock began to chime. The everyday sound brought me back to the moment. Whatever connection there had been was broken.

As quickly as the panic attack had started, it stopped. The clock chimed seven times. Back in the real world, I was going out and I still did not know what I was wearing. Before I left the room, afraid of what I might see, I glanced again at the mirror. The glass was once more crystal clear. Somehow, I managed to dismiss what I saw. Perhaps I thought if I pretended it had not happened, then it had not happened. Within thirty minutes, I was changed and out the door.

After dinner and a catch-up with my dearest friend, I arrived home quite late. As I walked into the living room, moonlight illuminated the whole area. I saw movement from the corner of my eye.

There was the figure of a girl in the mirror. She looked a lot like me, but her dress was in the style of the 1920s. On her face was a look of total abject terror.

Her mouth was open in a silent scream. Frantically she pointed behind me. I could see her mouth forming the words "Run, run!"

I felt propelled out of the room, out of the flat, and into the street. I ran across the road to a neighbour's house and hammered on her door.

I must have looked deranged but she was brave enough to let me in to use her phone.

The Police told me later that he had still been in the flat, hiding and waiting for me to return.

He had attacked and murdered six times in six months., I would have been his seventh victim.

I moved in with Mum and Dad for a few days before returning to my flat. I didn't know how I would feel, or if I could still live there after what had happened. I needn't have worried.

I stood in front of Grandma's mirror, and at that moment all I needed was to feel her arms around me. As my fingers touched the glass, I whispered "I miss you so much."

Although the mirror remained empty, I could feel her presence, comforting and warm, like a hug. Grandma was watching over me still.


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