Happy Hump day everyone! For this evenings blog post, I had the privilege of collaborating with the incredibly talented Caitlin McCarthy. I found Caitlin on Instagram and fell madly in love with her hauntingly beautiful drawings. For those unfamiliar with my collaborative series, I write a story inspired by the artist’s body of work and the artist then in turn creates an image inspired by my story. The idea is to inspire and be inspired, to get each others creativity flowing and push each other to create something outside our usual remit. Caitlin’s work usually contains ethereal women and I was so inspired I found myself writing my story Reflections in mere moments. If you want to see more of Caitlin’s art, you can visit her Etsy store here, where both originals and prints are available, or you can visit her Instagram here. Leave Caitlin and I a comment to let us know what you think of our collaborative efforts and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to keep up to date with my latest posts. Happy Reading lovelies!
I live in the world behind the mirrors. I don’t know if it has a name or not, there is no one here to ask. I call it the darkness, because that’s all there is here. I vaguely remember, as a child, fearing the dark. Now, having experienced this place, I know it wasn’t the dark I feared, or what may hide within it, it was the loneliness and isolation it created. In the darkness, you are alone with your own imagination and thoughts, like I am now. I am a poor companion.
The only light comes from the rooms beyond the windows. They are dotted around here and there, willy nilly. I have tried to decipher a pattern or a logic to their locations, but there doesn’t seem to be one, not that I can see anyway. Some are round, some are square, some are big and others are very small and would fit in the palm of your hand. I thought at first they literally were windows into the next room, and I banged the glass for hours, screaming for help. No one can ever hear me, or see me. They see themselves in reverse, staring back at them, mimicking what they do. I realised they were mirrors when I noticed what people did in their presence. I watched women painting their puckered lips, curling their long hair, or I saw teenage boys squeezing spotty faces. But this is not a movie, merely frames cut from the celluloid. Once they leave the edge of my window, they disappear from view; their lives continue unwatched.
I don’t know how I got here, or where here is. I have vague memories of living on the brighter side of the glass. Their actions, bring back images, blurred and out of focus, of me curling my eyelashes with my tongue stuck out in concentration, or splashing water on my face or brushing gritted teeth. I too stared at my reverse self. There are no mirrors for me here. I no longer know what I look like. Am I the same? I wish I could remember my name. I think it began with an A, Alison? Amy? Anna?
I have had time to think about why I may be here. I have nothing but time to think. Sometimes, I believe I am in a coma, trapped inside my own head. Perhaps I suffered a head injury, and these windows, these reflections, are my mind’s way of trying to remember, to wake up. But then, why would they be other people? I know I can’t remember much, but I feel no pang of recognition for these people. I will find objects familiar, like a dress worn by a tanned, smiling girl which I too remember wearing, spinning in front of myself, checking it’s fit. But those sudden links to my past never occur when I stare at those faces.
Perhaps, I am insane or on drugs. This is a hallucination, and the people are just random faces gathered by my subconscious on my journey through life, stored away in my memory for future use. But there are no breaks in the hallucinations, no disembodied voices of doctors or concerned relatives. Perhaps, then, it is a dream? Dreams have no sense of time, no linear lines of is and was. If it is a dream, it’s a nightmare. I wish I would wake up soon.
But, the theory which I give the most weight to, is that this place, the dark, is my hell. My own personal hell. Punishment for sins committed in my life on the other side of the glass. I try hard to remember what I could have done to make myself worthy of such punishment, but I see nothing but the black. Whatever I did, it must have been terrible. This place is torture.
The only solace I have, the only break from the torture of my mind screaming, is the boy with the green eyes. I discovered his looking glass when I was feeling particularly alone. He didn’t preen himself like a vein peacock, he would simply stare into, sad, forlorn. I leaned down to the glass and placed my face so his eyes met mine. Perhaps, he could see me. He has dark brown hair, with pale freckled skin and he bites his lip when he concentrates on his homework or phone.
I watch him constantly now, afraid if I wonder around as before, I will lose his mirror. There are after all no markers here, no discernible directions or landmarks. Just the black. I also want to see everything I can of him. If I leave, I could miss one of my fleeting glances into his world. I have decided his name is Marcus. I don’t know why, he just looks like one.
It’s sounds pathetic, but even though he cannot see me, even though he is unaware of my existence, I feel less lonely when I am with him. I wish he could come here with me, although when I do think this, I immediately reprimand myself. This place is soul destroying, I shouldn’t wish it on anyone. But my heart yearns for company, a conversation, the feeling of another persons weight on me. Things I took for granted in the before.
I pray. I pray every day, to whatever may be listening, that my punishment, my nightmare will soon end. And in the mean time, I watch. I watch the lives I cannot live, and the people I cannot know, and the boy I cannot kiss.