This story for the "Finish The Story" Collaboration is based on a prompt from Sitharaam Jayakumar (http://www.jaispoetryblog.com/).
Prompt: “I woke up with a severe hangover. I made my way to the bathroom lazily. I glanced at the mirror wondering if I looked as terrible as I felt. I stood staring in horror at the grotesque skull grinning at me…”
“Good morning, David.” The voice spoke shrilly inside his head.
“Good morning, self.” David replied into his bathroom mirror. Last night was a haze of bar hopping – his mind was still foggy. He was getting scared – his reflection in the mirror had morphed into a skull several weeks ago, and was getting more grotesque by the day.
“Quite the night you had. You do realize that you keep feeding me energy, don’t you? What you see in the mirror is what you have created.”
“Did you have to come in as a skull? You are freaking me out!”
“The skull reflects who you are right now. You are a person who is losing control of his life. If you keep this up, you and I will be one. I don’t advise that – I come from the pits of hell!”
Shivers of fear went down David’s spine. He took a shower and got ready for work in a haze. As he parked his car and walked into his building, he felt himself changing. His mind was clearer, and he was more focused. This is the way it always was. He could focus on work, and do well, but when he left work all bets were off. He hit the bars, and was never home before the wee hours of the morning.
At noon, he went out for lunch. He stopped at the men’s room on his way to his office. He was suddenly very afraid … what if the skull personality was going to take over his office hours too! Forcing himself to look into the mirror, he breathed a sigh of relief. His hands were still shaking, but the face in the mirror was that of the competent lawyer that was his professional, day self. The eyes in the mirror met his, but there was a questioning look in them. This image might have a feeling that something was not right, but it didn’t really know about the skull.
David went back to his desk, returned two phone calls, and started reviewing the paperwork on his desk. It concerned a will that he was revising for a very important client. His client was in his late 60’s, and in good health, but he was at the point where he was fed up with his two sons, and he was cutting them out of his will. He had divorced his wife several years ago, so there was no concern about her.
David wondered if his career was changing him. He was a principle in his firm, and often had to make decisions both with and for his clients that drastically changed lives.
As he got into his car to drive home, he looked in the mirror. The skull was back.
The "Finish The Story" collaboration was organized by Tanmay Jain (Tanmay_Jain@Bookinton).
© November 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.