On the Other Side

On the Other Side

A Story by Tamme

On the Other Side


A cool breeze traveled through the open window, blowing a soft sent of lilies around the room; a welcomed chill to offset the strength of the sun beaming through it. The window dressed in a precariously hung translucent sheet, created a dreamy glow in the room. The dark wood of the antique furniture soaked up the light and casting deep dark shadows in which anything could hide. A long table in the center of the room, with only two chairs, one on each end, had a light film of dust. One seat was empty. The other seated a young woman.

            The woman was porcelain, resembling a doll in color and domineer.  Perfect blond curls and extra-large blue eyes seemed to dominate her face, making her small pink lips barely noticeable. Her white dress was a similar shade as the window coverings, without the dust. It was light and soft as down feathers.

            She sat, still as a doll in its stand, gazing at a silver vase full of white roses in the same way as someone becomes entranced staring at a flame. In a second, almost like someone snapped their fingers, she popped up to life, looking around. Those large eyes grow wider with fear and confusion. None of this was familiar. With no memory of how she arrived here, how could she leave. Other than the window, there were no visible entrances or exits.

            In the midst of her confusion, she did not hear or see anybody approach, but when she looked to her left, less than two feet away, stood an elderly man. He stood at attention dressed in a formal butler uniform.

            “Madam,” he spoke, “the master is ready to see you.” He extended his hand to help her to her feet. “Follow me.” His legs were long. Every one step of his was three of hers.

            “Wait. Can you slow down?” she asked. His pace did not slow and he did not respond. They left through a door hidden in the great shadows. “Who are you? Who’s this master?” Then a new very pressing question occurred to her causing her to stop for a moment. “Who am I!?”

            The man walked on.

            She wanted to stand her ground to protest, but instead, sprinted into a quick jog to catch-up. Her dress flapped around her as the man lead her to a door. As she went to enter, she caught something moving in the corner of her eye. For a split second, she saw a crazy thing. A tiny woman, in a white tank top and green skinny jeans, sat on the edge of an end table laughing hysterically. As she moved closer, she reached out to grab the lady. When she opened her hand, it was just another white rose crumbling to the floor.

            The butler was out of sight when she looked up.  She hurried through the door to find a long corridor. Six doors lined each side with floor to ceiling mirrors in-between each. The mirrors played optical illusions, making doors appear where there were none, creating long never-ending corridors, and bouncing light all over the place from the giant window at the end with great green curtains. She turned to go back as the door through which she entered slammed in her face. Turning the door knob was impossible, as she found so was every other door she tried.

            Frustrated, scared, and a little pissed off, she leaned on a door and slid down to the floor. So many questions running through her mind, every memory she tried to pull up was black.  She banged the back of her head on the wooden door when the voice boomed.

            “Come here,” the male voice said in a commanding tone that most would not refuse. Again, this stubbornness rose in her stomach.

            To herself she thought, “I don’t know who I am or where I am, but I’m NOT listening to strange voices telling me what to do!”  The resistance was futile, as her legs ignored her brain.

            “Stand up,”  said the voice and her legs obeyed taking steps and bringing her nose to nose with her reflection in the mirror. Her eyes were forced to see into the mirror.

            “Where are you,” she whispered; however instead of the spoken words creating a mist on the glass, they made a smoke into another space, like when talking outside in winter. Her finger tips rose to touch the glass, but the mirror touched her first.

Attempting to jump back, she couldn’t. It was if some large being was standing right at her heels and wrapping around her body. No way to escape as the mirror continued to attach itself to the woman. The coldness was startling, but not as much as being swallowed by one’s own reflection.

She fell out of the mirror on the other side to land on a polished wooden floor. There she would have liked to stay, but again her legs moved as if being tugged by puppet strings. Turning to her left the force stopped her and countered her again when she turned to her right.

“Don’t look back!” the voice boomed. “If you do you can’t go forward.”

“Well, it’s not like you’re giving me much of an option as to what I get to choose anyway,” she said. Trying to turn one more time, she found it impossible.

A candle ignited spontaneously on a table, next to it a chalice. She was pulled to the table, unable to tell if this was by her own choice or not. The flame was beautiful. The tip was pure white, but where the fire met the wick, golden sparks gave life to colors of red, blue and green. Suddenly, an air of familiarity washed over her. It was warm and comfortable. She liked it.

“Drink it and you will be once again," the voice said. The candle tipped to the side, a flow that started as flame and wax turned into a deep red liquid, filling the chalice. She lifted the glass, sniffing as she brought it to her lips. “Mmmm… merlot,” she thought as took a long sip that turned into big swallows. She felt warm and happy. Yes, this what she liked…


“What the hell are you doing?”  a new voice asked. She jumped. The room was dark, lit only by the light flooding from the open refrigerator. In her hand was a child’s sippy cup, without the top, filled with ketchup… and evidence that someone had been drinking out of this cup. That would probably explain the foreign look her husband had fixed on his face. She glanced over her shoulder. The glowing green numbers pointed read two thirty-five a.m. Her last thought was at 11 when she lay down in bed next to him.

“Um, hmmm, I don’t… Why are you sneaking up to scare me!!!” she yelled. “I hate it when you do that!” she slammed the cup into the sink and shut the refrigerator door.

“Honey, relax, I felt you get out of bed and woke up. You sat at the dining room table for, like, 20 minutes,” he said with that stupid smile of his. “You crushed the flower in the vase… But what I’m really curious about is what you were crawling around the floor looking for?” he laughed and went on. “Honestly, if you’re gonna sleepwalk, can you at least do something useful. Ya know, like laundry or washing the car, because otherwise I’m gonna start strapping you to the bed. That could be a little fun,” he walked up to her, putting his arms around her waist, “ya know what I mean?”

“You’re a jerk,” she said pushing him out of the way.


© 2013 Tamme

Author's Note

I've been told the ending is a cop-out, but it's loosely based on fact.

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Added on August 8, 2013
Last Updated on August 8, 2013



Poconos, PA

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