The Broken Mirror
The Broken Mirror
Ms.Sen sat down on the floor of the bathroom, stupefied, the rectangular framed mirror still held in her hands.
She never knew that she had forgotten to latch the entrance door. Besides, who would’ve thought that dirty minded psycho would come stalking her up to her room.
She had hardly taken off her clothes ( in fact, she was admiring her well-shaped figure in the mirror) when the toilet door creaked open on its hinges. On looking up, she found herself staring in those lecherous eyes of the lunatic.
She had never felt so disrobed before. In a flash, she scurried up the steps to the attic.
She next found herself floating in the air after she had flung herself out of the window… ..
Nilu picked up the wooden-framed mirror. She had a cut the first time she tried pulling it out from under the legs of the plastic chairs. Her mother actually wanted her to dump it in the municipal basket. She couldn’t. There was something about the mirror with the Belgium glass that held her captive.
The mirror had belonged to the previous occupant. It was amongst the junk on the veranda. Nilu pulled it harder with all her might then. That’s when she felt the prick in her index finger. Before the trickle oozing out could get any worse, she straight away put her finger in her mouth. The taste of raw blood felt bitter.
She later left it up in the attic. It was nearly after a week that she climbed up the iron staircase again to get to what had been at the back of her mind since the last time she went up. It was around 2 PM and there was a lull in the air. She picked up the mirror from the corner before getting closer to the open window in the wall.
She slowly turned the mirror face to herself. For a second, a very brief second, she thought there was a wavy ripple in the glass. Before it settled down, Nilu got surprised at her reflection.
Whose face was it!? Couldn’t have been hers! Her face was not that oval-shaped! Hers was rather plumpy. Much to her relief, she could see herself in the mirror next. She broke into a smile and kept it back in its place.
That’s when she tripped before ending up in hospital with a broken tooth!
Some days later at school, the bits of pieces of a conversation in the ground came to her ears. She gathered that the previous occupant of the quarter they – her mother and herself- were staying in now, was a History Teacher. Ms. Sen, the teacher, stayed alone and took her life under mysterious circumstances.
She plunged herself from the attic one night and met with a pathetic end. She didn’t die immediately after hitting the ground though. Unfortunately, no one heard her groans as it was a wintry night. She lay there groaning and moaning through the night with a broken ribcage and a hemorrhaging head! She kicked the bucket while being rushed to the hospital in the ambulance.
Shipra noticed how quiet her daughter had been since coming back from school. She didn’t worry much as she linked it to Nilu missing her friends from the previous school.
She was in the kitchen preparing dinner when she heard the blood-curdling wail. It was Nilu shrieking like she was bent on bringing the house down. It took her sometime to realise that the shriek was coming from the attic. She raced up to find Nilu lying in a pool of blood. Shipra, petrified, was in a fix. There was no way she could bring her daughter down on her own. She hurried down the steps desperately instead to call the school driver.
Nilu slipped into a coma the same day though the injuries she had suffered didn’t seem all that serious at first. She died three days later!
Everything happened so fast. The farewell, the funeral – all happened like in the movies. People kept coming in to offer their condolences.
It was almost after a month that a broken, battered Shipra went up to the attic again. The scene of Nilu lying there came to haunt her back. There were still traces of blood strains in the middle.
What happened? How did Nilu, in the prime of her life go like that? How could she?
Something flashed through her mind. Nilu, face down on the floor that evening, had something gripped in her fist. She found herself tiptoeing to the corner. What was that with that broken thing in the corner? Didn’t it look like a mirror? Where did it come from? With heart beating faster, her pulse racing, she knelt down to pick the object up. Didn’t she ask the silly girl to dump it? These broken mirrors were no good. They always brought bad luck.
Then she turned the mirror face towards herself. There appeared what looked like a wavy ripple in it before the glass settled back to normal. But whose face was that in the mirror? Nilu’s? She had hardly recognised the face when she saw another face in the mirror..no wait, was it behind her? She had no doubt about it. Why did the face seem familiar? Where had she seen that face before? At her previous school? In the school here? In a framed photo in the staffroom?
Then the terrifying realization that there shouldn’t have been, couldn’t have been a face behind her, hit her. Panicky, she tried to turn around and flee to the ladder.
Too late. Someone, something got hold of her from behind and lifted her like she was made of hay. She was flung out of the window then like fury was letting loose because of her having taken liberties with the mirror. .
Her mutilated body was found almost in the same spot where the body of the History Teacher was found!
The broken mirror still lies in the attic awaiting its next victim.