It’s Halloween today and the culmination of the Coffin Hop. Prizes will be released soon! Check back to see if you won! In the meantime, enjoy my entry for BlogFlash Halloween on October 31st, cohosted by Terri Giuliano Long and The Indie Exchange!
Grandpa’s Spooky Mirror
By Erik Gustafson
A crash of thunder accentuated the closing prayer of a gray-haired priest.
“Time to say goodbye to Grandpa, Rachel.” Fat blobs of rain smacked onto the canvas funeral tent as people scurried back to their cars.
The portly pastor held an umbrella as Rachel, wearing an identical black dress as her mother, waved at the shiny coffin covered in streaming beads of water.
Later that evening, Rachel was playing with dolls in the hallway—the same spot where she had discovered her grandfather sprawled at the foot of an antique mirror.
“How about we play somewhere else, sweetie?”
Her mom’s voice startled her. “Grandpa likes it when I play with him.” She sat one of the dolls on the marble shelf attached to the mirror. In the dim lighting, their images were faint ghostly reflections. The imperfections in the old mirror resembled slivers of gold.
Connie rubbed her arms. “Rachel, you found him right here and that’s why you think he is still here.”
The little girl shook her head. “But the grandpa in the mirror didn’t fall down, mommy.”
The next morning, Rachel was in the bathroom, brushing her teeth and smiling as she worked the toothbrush. She cocked her head toward the hall, her mouth a frothy blue. “What, Grandpa?”
“Break the mirror.”
She spit into the sink and rushed out to the looming hallway mirror.
“Break the mirror.”
She slapped the tall mirror with both hands; it swayed and groaned. Feeling guilty, the little girl looked around.
Her grandpa appeared next to her reflection; smiling and waving. Rachel looked to her left, but he wasn’t there. She gazed back at the mirror and realized he was in there.
“Rachel, what did I tell you about playing in the hallway?” Her mother called down the hall. “It’s time for school.”
Rachel blinked and her grandpa vanished.
As she skipped toward the kitchen, she heard his voice again. She screeched to a halt, grabbing a candy dish off the counter. Colorful pieces of candy skittered across the floor.
She bolted back down the hallway, lead crystal dish balanced over her shoulder like a shot-put. When she got close, she chucked it.
The collision sounded like thunder. Black cracks splintered in all directions.
Momentum propelled her into the fractured mirror.
It rocked wildly, dropping a huge sheet of glass down like a guillotine blade. It exploded on the floor. Shards rained down from the frame.
Her grandfather emerged from a jagged piece of silver; his translucent form was parallel to the ground, and then righted itself in one motion. He smiled.
Rachel was splattered with dots of blood and crying, but returned the smile anyway.
“Dad?” Connie gasped.
He pulled them close.
As the reunited family embraced, a fowl stench oozed from her grandfather’s cold flesh. Rachel tried to squirm away, but he held them tighter with his dirty fingers. Her lungs felt like icy hands had squeezed out all the air.