September 5 and I'm five days into the monthly author challenge! Honestly, this feels like a huge accomplishment as it's been such a super busy week so far.
Stranger in the Mirror
by Meredith Loughran
A cold, disembodied voice whispered her name over and over again; and endless echo beckoning her deeper into the abyss of her dream. "Mia..."
Frowning, she shrugged away the familiar chill in the air, a chill that only descended when her midnight visitor interrupted her sleep. "No," she whimpered. The pull of the dark energy was too much and every night this entity seemed to grow stronger.
If she fought off the demon, her body ached in the light of day. She began resorting to wearing long sleeves when the bruises started to show up on her body. But there was one night when she gave in to the darkness and she felt strength pouring into her like molten lava over a pristine landscape.
"Just let go," the dark voice hissed on the evening breeze, raising goosebumps on her arms.
She felt the shadow caress the valley between her breasts.
"My heart! You cannot take it!" The quiver in Mia's voice gave away her false bravado.
The shadow smiled in the darkness, its mouth darker than the deepest black. "I don't have to," it sighed. "I've already got your soul."
The mouth expanded, filling the entire room, then swallowed her whole. She could hear the depraved laugh growing more faint and distant.
Waking with a sudden jolt, Mia sprung from her bed as if that would help her escape the darkness of her dream. On shaky legs she went to the bathroom to splash water on her face, but when she looked in the mirror the face gazing back did not belong to her.
Staring into the eyes of the stranger she searched for her soul but succumbed to the feeling of falling instead.
"Come back!" she cried. Her hand punched the mirror as she reaching for the innocent girl.
Blood streamed down her forearm as the shards of glass sliced through her skin. "No! This is just a dream. I'm still here. I'm still me!"
The vile laugh came from her own throat but it was not her voice. Mia's perception of reality was askew. This was no dream.
The broken shards of the mirror lay strewn about the floor. Desperate, she searched for the girl she recognized, hoping the path to her could be found among the broken fragments, but the stranger in the mirror was the only one staring back.
"Good-bye, Mia," she smiled.