A Story by biankita

I´m sitting on a bench and wondering why did I come here. I live on the opposite end of town, so why am I here? I have no clue.

I was just sitting and watching. I was looking at people passing by in front of me; women walking the dogs, men coming back from work, children playing on playground, young couples, old friends who encountered each other.  Gloomy faces perfectly fit in this cold, dreary autumn. They look tired; tired of work, tired of life.

I stood up from the bench. It was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, and I decided to roam. Fall has coloured all leaves yellow and red. Almost all of them have fell and covered the ground with a thick layer of wet something, suitable only for breaking my legs. Gazing on the ground and paying attention to the treacherous leaves I almost did not notice something strange. Suddenly, I saw a light reflection in front of me. The sun was hidden behind the clouds, so where was the reflection from? It was not just a small speck of light than I thought at the very first moment; it was a strip of light extended from my feet up to the tree. Frankly, the light was coming from a huge mirror leaning against the tree!

I walked directly to it. Oval glass, brass embellishments, rustic tint, and two massive legs the mirror was standing on. I looked over it; moreover I bypassed the whole tree to make sure that I was not dreaming. After all, it had to be an incredible effort; it seems that the one who left it there needed at least four well-built men to transport it! I mean, who would let such thing in the middle of the park? But I was not dreaming. It looked like it was standing under an old oak tree with yellow and red leaves for ages. If the Snow White fairy tale had been true, I would have supposed this is the Queen´s mirror!

I looked into it and surprisingly, I saw myself. I was looking at a man in a long black coat, dark blue jeans and black shoes, with a grey scarf, pale, sunken cheeks, blue eyes and dark brown hair with increasingly emerging silver hair. The man in the mirror, who was strikingly resembling me, was smiling; trust me, I had no reason for doing such thing. The man in the mirror stood on the sidewalk. I looked at my shoes and realized there is no sidewalk under them, only leaves alarmingly trying to throw me down if I move. The man was still smiling, and then he turned on the heel. I blinked, looked around and again looked in the mirror. The man was showing me his back! I raised my hand; the man in the mirror did the same. I raised my whole arm, then my leg and the man was doing all the same! I had to look like a mentally disturbed doing such strange dance moves, so I quickly stopped and looked around me if any curious eye of inquisitive retiree was spying. Nobody noticed; no one gave a s**t.

I raised my hand and touched the mirror. It took me a few seconds until I realized that there is nothing to touch and my right hand´s fingers are behind the mirror… I should quit drinking.

I pulled my hand back and I looked at it. Nothing special or extraterrestrial, the same fingers as they were before. Again, I reached out my hand, this time I slipped it into the mirror up to my elbow. I jibbed; in my head I heard the voice of my teacher talking about all the physical laws that do not allow such things. Doesn´t matter how confused I was, I closed my eyes and I made a step forward.

After a while, I opened my eyes. In front of me there were the same park, same trees, same leaves, and same benches. Anyway, something was different. There was anybody. I had my hand still outstretched, so I slowly hung it down. I looked to the left and I saw an old carousel. I was approaching to it very slowly because I could not believe my eyes. When I was little, one whole day I have helped my father in his shop to earn some money for the pilgrimage which came to town. There I saw this carousel. Friends went to other attractions, bumper cars, pirate ship, haunted house, but I spend all the money I have earned on that carousel.

Here I circumvent it around; I was looking for a horse I sat on back then, and acted as a cowboy in the Wild West. Ah, there it is. I stood in front of it. "Perhaps it wouldn´t break if I sat on it," I muttered.

Then the carousel started playing the familiar evergreen; the lights flickered and shone, the animals were put into motion. I grabbed the horse's reins firmly and I tried not to fall.

Then I started laughing. How funny it must be to see a mature man sitting on a small artificial carousel horse, laughing and shooting from the gun constructed of thumb and index finger, and shouting quotes from the most famous westerns. After a few turns I was out of breath and I was coughing. I looked ahead and suddenly I saw the house nearby. I put my fingers into imaginary binoculars and applied it to my eyes. But the carousel continued his way, so I lost the sight of the house. I tried to turn, but I only managed to fall down on the leaves. At least I had a soft landing. I stood up, throwing off the leaves from my clothes, when the carousel stopped with my horse on my left. I patted him on the head and went towards the house.

It was a two storey building with bricked up windows and doors. It was my grandparents’ house; here I was spending all summer holidays until college. In front of the house there was a mailbox like in the American films; red flag was raised, which means a letter in it. I opened the mailbox and pulled out a sheet of paper. I looked at it, but nothing was written. I picked up a leaf from the ground, and I wrapped it in the paper. I put it in the mailbox and I let the flag raised. I was doing this with my friend who lived three houses away down the road from my grandparents’ house; this way we were sending letters to each other and we always laughed at that. I returned to the carousel when I heard voices. I looked back and saw the mirror, exactly the same as the one by which I got here. I was standing in front of it, and I watched the scene that was happening on the other side.

An elderly woman was screaming and pointing at the boy, who was barely fifteen, with a purse in his hands; the purse probably belonged to that woman. People were staring at the lady and the boy, but they did nothing. I stretched out my leg and was prepared to catch the boy, but I remained standing with my leg in the air and I cannot go anywhere.

I looked back. I saw the carousel; an old house with a mailbox, and the sun was shining. Suddenly, a strong wind blew; I had to cover my eyes with one hand. In front of me was a path on which formerly stood the man who strikingly resembled me. I was standing on the path the same way as I saw him.

I was reluctant. Return or follow the path to nowhere. I know the other side of the mirror; this side is completely new for me. I was curious and in fact, I had nothing to lose. I did not know what to do. I was standing and pondering about my options. The wind began to blow.

I turned around. I put my hands on the mirror frame and I pushed sharply. The mirror shook and fell to the ground. It shattered into thousand pieces, held together only with the frame. Last time I looked into it. I saw thousands of eyes, noses, lips, sun in the mirror glittering like diamonds.

I raised my head and walked towards the path to nowhere.

© 2016 biankita

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Added on April 30, 2016
Last Updated on August 9, 2016
Tags: path, mirror, house, nowhere, carousel, change, happiness, moral



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