Another Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction challenge. For this one we had to randomly pick two words out of two different columns that would serve as the title and write 1,000 words to fit it. I have to admit that I did a random number generator on-line on Friday and came up with something horrific. I was still mulling it over when I was hanging out with my sister at her house on Saturday and she got excited and pulled out a d20 and told me to roll. There’s just something about rolling a dice that isn’t quite the same as clicking a button on the computer to generate a number, so that’s the one I’m going to go with. I got Mirror and Curse when I rolled, which I was actually able to work with.
I’m honestly surprised the story went in the direction it did. It’s funny what happens when you mull two words over in your head. Below is approximately 900 words.
I probably need to do some sort of trigger, but I’m not sure how to do that without giving it away, although I don’t think it’s very subtle. Perhaps it will help to say I want to dedicate the story to my nephew Mikey who would have been 12 this year.
The sound of shattered glass crashing onto the tile floor echoed through the room. Reggie wrapped her arms around her, trying to stop the shaking. She hated mirrors. She couldn’t look into one without seeing a future event in her life. Sometimes it happened in days, sometimes weeks, sometimes months; but each time she saw something, it eventually manifested in her life.
Most of her visions were benign; simple things; things that normally happened in a person’s life. She was walking on the stage in a cap and gown. She was smiling at the beautiful, dark haired man on the park bench who was now her husband. She didn’t like knowing things before they happened. It was a strange reality in her life, but she had learned to cope. At one point, she had removed every mirror in her home and studiously ignored them in public. It was harder than she realized. She could go weeks, sometimes months without looking, but she eventually found herself in front of a mirror. The hardest part was it didn’t always reveal something. Sometimes it was just her reflection staring back at her.
It had been several weeks since she had looked into a mirror. She didn’t even mean to do it this time, but she had. She wanted to believe the shattered pieces of the mirror would in turn shatter the vision she had just seen. Maybe it was wrong. Maybe, just this once, it wouldn’t actually happen.
It’s not like she could have children. They had tried. After two years, they had resigned themselves to not having a child of their own and maybe even adopting. They hadn’t decided yet. The reality of never feeling a child growing inside her was still an ache she hadn’t come to terms with. She wasn’t sure if she ever would. The doctor’s said there were ways, but with the vision she had just seen, she wasn’t sure she wanted to test fate, or whatever it was that let her see things in mirrors.
“Are you sure?”
“Positive. You are going to be parents in a little over seven months.”
“Oh my God, baby!” Reggie threw her arms around Damon, crying and laughing with him. It had been years of tests and trials and more money than they had, but it was happening. They had created a life and it was growing inside her.
She had tried to come to terms with never having a child of her own. They had even filled out multiple adoption applications only to be told no each time. In the end, she realized she wanted a child; wanted to feel what it was like. Damon wanted it too. He had supported her decision to stop trying, but she had seen it in his eyes – the longing she could feel as well. He didn’t make her or tell her she had to. He didn’t have to. She wanted it just as much, maybe even more than he did.
Even after the decision was made, there was still a part of her that didn’t really believe she would end up pregnant. It hadn’t been easy. And as each year passed, the vision she had glimpsed in the mirror faded. With the fading memory came the rationalization, and finally she convinced herself it had been a mistake. It’s not like she didn’t have visions anymore. It happened with the same regularity it always had, but none had taken so long to manifest. All the others had happened in a relatively short amount of time. But it no longer mattered. Nothing was going to take away from their happiness. They were finally going to be parents.
Their perfect miracle was born in the fall. He came into the world like most babies do, wailing and thrashing arms, searching for the safety and warmth of only moments before. The first thing everyone in the operating room noticed was the orange red hair plastered to his head. It was the same orange red hair that they couldn’t bring themselves to cut until he was over a year old and it was flying around his head like one of those troll dolls that were popular with kids.
People smiled when they saw him. How could they not? He had sparkling blue eyes and an ethereal smile that lit up a room when he was in it. He was an angel.
Reggie and Damon were happier than they could have ever imagined. Their beautiful baby boy filled their home with laughter and wonder. He drove them crazy, too. He fought naps and cried when he was tired or hungry. He did normal baby things, but somehow, to them, he wasn’t like other babies.
One day, Reggie was slowly pacing up and down the hallway rocking him to sleep when she happened to glance in the hallway mirror. It was just her reflection this time, but she was reminded of the vision she had tried to shatter so long ago. Faded and distant, she stayed firm in the belief that by shattering the mirror she had broken the vision’s hold on her reality.
Exactly one year, six months and 14 days from the day he came into their life, Reggie watched in horror as the mirror’s vision played out.
They weren’t given an entire lifetime with him, but there was a lifetime in each smile; each touch; each baby giggle that made them laugh; and every single small word he had learned. They would cherish every moment they were able to have and he would always be a part of their life. Their perfect miracle.