Mirror Excerpt

Mirror Excerpt

A Story by Jenkins Writings

This baneful world shattered Rick's childhood innocence for the first time. Life unfolds and snatches our disillusioned ideals as we age.


At the time I did not know anything. I remember always peering into the living room as a kid; Ma always curled up on the couch with a bottle beside her and a blanket covering her lap no matter the season. In my memory, she was always there looking up at the ceiling. Sometimes I would see her taking sips from the bottle. I cannot remember a time where a bottle was not beside her.

I watched you, Dad. A few minutes after you tucked me into bed I would sheepishly wobble down a few steps from the 2nd floor. Every night I saw you sit with Ma. Not only were you beside her but your expression would mimic hers. When I started nodding off, you would get up and collect the bottles on the table beside her"as if you knew I was there. That was when I would scramble off back to my bed.

The room was mostly empty, especially considering its enormous size. A black couch stood up against the western wall. Two small tables stood on each side of the couch, covering the empty space between the couch’s sides and the walls. A small lamp rested on one of these side tables, only being lit when you or I entered the room at night. A coffee table was centered a foot in front of the couch. A small cabinet rested at the other side of the room, the eastern wall. There was nothing else in the room"no phone, no T.V., no radio"besides for Ma and her bottles.

Notably, there were no windows in the room, depriving the room of light. The atmosphere shivered with an empty feeling. It felt like walking into an abandoned cemetery; pain of melancholy pinging an eremitic misery which ascended from my feet, through my spinal chord to my neck stinging mercilessly. But at that age I only could describe this feeling as a dark sadness overwhelming me.

I did not go into the room very often anyways, but when I did, I only stayed for a few minutes at the very most. She would call me in once awhile to grab a bottle from the refrigerator or bring her a snack. She never really looked at me, especially in my eyes. I couldn’t even remember a time when she hugged me. I guess in a way I was just “there”. At that age, I didn’t really care or thought about about the lack of attention. I was just there.

The night before I entered first grade, I remember creeping down the steps like usual but, this time, a conversation commenced. You asked if she could walk me home from the bus stop. That was the first time I saw her turn her head and stare into your eyes.

Her deep blue glassy eyes glistened just for a second. At the time I thought the glassiness twinkling in her eyes refined a sort of delicacy. I thought her eyes were just absolutely divine. I did not know any better though.

In a timid voice voice she responded, “sure”.

I started school; every day she would come and pick me up from the bus stop just like all the other mothers and fathers that picked up their kids. She never muttered a word when we were walking but I did not care, I thought she felt happier.

A lightness arose in the living room’s atmosphere; I could walk into the living room without choking.

Towards the end of the school year, my teacher assigned us to write or draw something about the school year. Something compelled me to draw a picture of Ma and I walking home from the bus stop.

After our assignments were graded and handed back to us, I could not wait to show her.

Before the bus stopped, I took out the drawing from my backpack and gently folded it. I was so proud and excited; I pranced down the bus steps. I tossed my head around to look for her.

One Second, two seconds… 30 seconds…

I kept tossing my head around but she was no where in sight.

A minute passes, another minute passes, and another minute passes.

All the other kids left with their parents.

I was deeply confused. I did not know what to think. All I knew was that I stood at the bottom of the bus steps alone.

For the first time, I felt isolated, desperate, confused, rejected, alone"a real sadness. For the first time, I felt a sincere tear drip down my face. I tried to move but all I could do was stare down the sidewalk hoping for Ma to come walking down.

Legally the bus drive was responsible for me; I was not dumb, I knew this. He got off the bus, walked in front of me, and bent down to my eye level.

He looked at me and said, “it will be alright”.

I discerned that he did not really care.  He had to say it was alright because he had to look after me"there were no other adults around.

I crunched up my face to stop crying but I only wept more. All I could think about was how this man did not really care for me. I reasoned to myself that it was just apart of his job to care.

After some time he brought me back on the bus and continued to drop off the rest of the kids. Every one of them walked home with someone. Someone was there and waited for them and took them home.

He talked on his walkie-talkie about the unexpected situation with me. I dazzlingly stared at the folded piece of paper.  All that lingered in my mind was a dark storm cloud. This deep sadness moaned in my chest and eyes for the first time.

After he finished talking, he came and sat next to me.

“I can drop you off at home now, your dad is home waiting for you. You got nothing to worry about,” he said cheerfully.

Naturally I nodded in agreement. I felt annoyed, especially how he said it so cheerfully. He went back to his seat and drove me to my house.

I stuffed the folded drawing into my backpack, swung it over my shoulder, and walked down the bus steps to my front door.

I opened the front door; the wind gushed inside. Before I stepped in, I sensed a darkness seep out. I now would describe it as a throbbing murkiness in the atmosphere. I continued inside as the darkness slowly sewed its threads into me, prickling my skin.

I tried to yell out for you, Dad. But my voice could not glide pass my vocal chords.

A darkness protruded the atmosphere. I was compelled to walk into the living room.

I walked in; you were crouched down on the couch covering your face with your red beat palms. I remember you motioning towards me to come closer.

The air was thick. I could barely breathe.

I slowly pushed myself next to you.

Do you remember?

You quickly grabbed a hold of me and hugged me as tight as you could. It felt like you were never going to let me go. I could feel your uneven heart beat; I could hear it crackling. Your body was burning.

I remember your soft broken voice as you whispered, “She’s gone.”

A long paused followed but not a single deep breath was taken.

The intense murkiness and your melancholy aura flooded my being.

I wept with you. My tears soaked your nice collar shirt.

All of a sudden you took a deep breath. You tried really hard for your voice not to crack.

“She’s really gone.”

Another long paused followed.

You loosened your grip. You gently ran your hand through my hair to my neck.

You then quietly said, “Rick, your grandma is picking you up. I am sure you don’t mind staying for a few days.”

You again pushed me into your hot, wet shirt, hugging me as tight as you could.

This was my first real heart break. This wasn't yours. But this shattered what was left.

Eli Jenkins, @JenkinsWritings

© 2014 Jenkins Writings

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Not bad at all, but it does require some heavy editing. You switch from past to present tense quite a lot throughout the story and you had a couple floating quotation marks. The characters felt a bit too stiff and didn't develop much personality throughout the story.

You need to use contractions. I formal writing that is a no no but in something like this saying cannot and do not all the time just sounds fake and doesn't allow the conversations to flow at all causing it all to just sound stiff.

I do like the premise and with some work this could be something good.

Posted 5 Years Ago

Jenkins Writings

5 Years Ago

Thank you. It's an excerpt from a series so I understand the lack of personality you commented on. I.. read more

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1 Review
Added on August 28, 2014
Last Updated on August 29, 2014
Tags: fiction, childhood, adulthood, depression, family, short story, relationship, mother, thoughts


Jenkins Writings
Jenkins Writings

Hi, the name's Eli Jenkins. I am a blogger and, oh imagine that, a human being too! My depictions often reveal an emotional connection, something we all as humans can relate to. My bog inspires me to .. more..