The Darkness Reflected
The only words my mother ever spoke to me whenever I visit her at the asylum were: Do not look into the mirror at nights.
Everyone thinks my mother is crazy, hell once upon a time, I thought she was crazy. But one moment in life, even if it's for a second, could change your outlook on someone or something completely.
That moment came when the woman with soulless black eyes gazed longingly at me one evening when I was twelve years old. Her mud-stained teeth gleamed as her lips spread into a wide grin. I still shudder at the look, that look of complete… wanting as she licked her cracked lips with the reddest tongue I'd ever had the discomfort of seeing.
"At last," She'd whispered, the voice echoing hauntingly in the mirror. "You're mine."
Her declaration should have had me stumble backwards, running for the fucking hills to escape her, but instead I was nailed to my seat. Dread washing away the colors from my features, fear sealing my breath as I fought for control over the loud pounding of my heart.
Her long, bony fingers tapped leisurely against the mirror, eyes widening with excitement.
Then the unthinkable happened.
Ripples formed against the mirror like a disrupted lake. The humming of excitement had the woman breathing harshly through her nose. When her fingers began to ripple against the surface, a strangled scream refused to leave my throat. My mind screamed for flight, but fear had me rooted to the spot. My eyes blurring with tears, praying to whoever was out there to save me.
Save me from what exactly, I didn't know.
When those bony fingers slid against my throat, I gasped, sucking in the necessary air, but finding myself rejecting it as I choked on the very air I needed, tears splashing against her dark hand.
"Don't do thi –…" Words escaped me, her head titling to the side as if inspecting an innate object.
The spell shattered by the angry yet frightened cry of my name. I shifted my eyes to look into the dreaded mirror.
The woman I thought crazy.
The mother I'd disobeyed on a whim now held a lamp as she marched towards me.
"You cannot have my daughter!" She screeched.
The lamp connected with the mirror.
The dark abyss narrowed with anger and resentment, her lips chanting a slew of curses and warnings.
Shattered pieces connected with my body.
I crumbled to the floor, the bonds releasing me from my prison.
Then darkness came.
And I welcomed it.
My mother always told me that thing has been with our family for as long as she could remember. Lurking for the right time when it could take one generation away from this world. No one knows where she came from or why she chose the Higurashis – but she was here and the only way to avoid her was to ignore her and to stay away from mirrors at nights.
Darkness that rises at nights is when it's strongest.
The sleeping form knows not the difference between reality and dreams, thus making us susceptible to lies and cajoling.
For safety measures I decided to simply have no form of mirror in my home. I opt for walking rather than driving. My makeup is done by share dedication and time. Ever since that encounter so many years ago, I refused to slip back into that moment.
It was difficult but I've long since learned how to cope.
Then the unthinkable happened.
I fell in love.
His name is Inuyasha, and despite my weird hatred towards mirrors and seeing my own reflection, he still fell in love with me. He accepted me as I am, adjusted to my fears and became the rock I look to for protection. Inuyasha still didn't hide the fact that he didn't understand my phobia towards mirrors, but he never once teased me or dismissed my fears whenever I'd clung to him in the dead of night, whispering incoherently as I felt those eyes boring a hole into me.
He'd simply hold me close, humming a broken tune that always lulls me back to sleep.
I found out last week that I was pregnant.
I had an anxiety attack in the doctor's office when I'd first heard my baby's powerful thumping heart. Life was growing within me, a part of Inuyasha was in the making and all I could feel was dread.
Fear for my unborn child.
I never wanted this – even if Inuyasha was happy, I didn't want this child growing within me. A life as a Higurashi couldn't possibly bring anything but turmoil and insanity. Just look at my mother; locked up and amped up with drugs while being labeled as an insane old coot simply because she wanted to protect her only child from the darkness shrouded the mirror. Her spoken fears were interpreted as preposterous, and because it couldn't be explained – she was dubbed crazy.
Her life, my life – I didn't want it for this baby.
I wish Inuyasha could understand that. See that it's not that I don't want a family, it's that I can't have one. His patience is growing thin however, and my sanity is wavering – indecision casting unwanted thoughts deep within.
"I'm on suicide watch now?" I asked bitterly, my eyes glued to the small bump where my once flat tummy was. "Over one stupid panic attack?"
"You said you wanted to kill the baby."
His voice had an edge I've never heard before. Guilt washed over me at what I'd let vomit past my lips when he tried to calm me out of my panic attack.
I know it wasn't the right thing to say, but it's the right thing to do. I was more sure than anything now, especially with the awareness of those damn abyss pricking at my sanity. Ever since I found out about my pregnancy, her presence has been overpowering my dedication. Even now as Inuyasha sat in front of me, his eyes burning holes in my forehead. I felt her.
I fucking felt the lust, the excitement slamming against me, rattling against those reflection for an escape that won't come.
She's been watching me for hours.
I'd often catch glimpses of her reflected on the blank television, or the windows in my house. The same wanton look, excited blankness pricks at my senses, and I have to force myself to ignore that feeling that once trapped my movements. Whenever I feel those eyes gazing at me, I force my eyes to stay glued to the floor, to burn a whole on my arm – the nasty wound that marred my once perfect skin so many years ago.
I dare not acknowledge her.
"She can't have my baby, Yasha." I broke off on a sob, my hands moving to box in the whimpers. "You don't understand…."
Flinching from his touch, I looked up to find the pity in his eyes.
"You think I'm crazy." I sniffled. My eyes shifted behind him, and I saw her.
She was fucking smiling.
"Look at me, Kaggie." I early rushed to look into his searching orbs. "You are not crazy baby." My snort was my only reply. "You aren't!" He growled, cupping my face as he pressed his forehead against mines. "You have to trust me."
"I do Yasha." Sobbingly, I kissed his lips softly. "I trust you more than anything. It's just –…"
"We'll get through this." He hissed. "I won't let anything happen to you or our baby."
I believed him then. The look in his eyes, the steel in his voice gave me no reason to not to believe him.
I was fucking naïve and stupid.
After giving birth to a beautiful baby girl whom we named Izabel, I'd successfully shielded her from the darkness from beyond. Over the years, I'd been strict in the policy of no mirrors after hours, educated her as much as possible for her little mind to cope as she grew. Even Inuyasha chipped in his authority, expressing his disapproval towards her if ever she was to disobey the rules.
Overtime, the darkness shrunk and a sense of peace fell over my family and I. Eight years has passed and everything was going as smoothly as one could expect. I use to question if there was a catch, if I was dreaming and Hell happened to be patient.
I should have never questioned God's good grace.
That same night I heard my daughter giggled.
Then the chill would quickly followed.
I tried to ignore it, but the thought of anything bad happening to my daughter wouldn't allow the blissfulness of ignorance. And I suppose she couldn't keep her little mouth shut either way.
Venturing down the hall towards Izabel's room, I opened the door just in time to see the image sliding off of the window's reflection.
"Mama, look," Izabel's innocent giggle fell on deaf ears as the woman glided closer to my daughter. "The lady told me she knew you and grandma!"
"Don't you dare touch my daughter!"
Her disapproving tisk echoed loudly in the darkness and before I knew it, she'd flashed into existence a breath away from me. Her dark eyes gleaming with mirth as her bony fingers took it place around my neck. My feet rose from the ground and I felt the pressure of the wall against my back.
Seconds passed before Inuyasha was in the doorway. His mouth hung open in disbelief. Warring with wanting to help me or Izabel. Tears sprang to my eyes, the vision of Inuyasha being blocked by the entity before me.
Her red, long tongue slithered out, gliding against the side of my face before ghosting over my ear. "You know what I want."
It was simple.
I clawed at her arm, my feet knocking against the wall. "Promise me you won't hurt my daughter." I coughed out.
Her smile turned into a dark scowl. "Don't presume you can tell me what to do you little bitch." She hissed, peeling me off of the wall before slamming me back in place with such a force, my vision began to blur.
Her head snapped to the side, knocking Inuyasha's advancing form on the opposite side of the room. "Impudent fool." She breathed, dropping me in favor of focusing her attention on Inuyasha.
"Stop!" I screamed, louder than the cries of my daughter. "I'll give you what you want." I cried, crawling slowly towards my baby. "Don't hurt them…Please –…."
"Don't Kagome –…" His voice was cut off as he coughed up blood. The thing substance oozing from his lips.
Making my way towards my daughter's bed, I notice a small mirror peeking out from under her bed. Horror and regret reflected from her eyes. I cried for her, cried for myself. But I couldn't hate her. "I'll always love you Izzy." Gripping the damn mirror I focused my attention at the image before me.
The darkness drew closer in the reflection as the seconds ticked by.
Looking up once more at Inuyasha, I cried as he cried, pleading for me to stop. But I knew I couldn't. It'll never end for my baby girl if I didn't. "I love you." I whispered to him, feeling the sudden pull into the abyss.
Darkness swallowed me slowly, dragging me further into the rippling mirror.
This time, I didn't welcome the darkness.
I simply allowed it.