The End?

(... continued from “The Usual Suspect”)

No matter how hard I scrub, I can’t get rid of this feeling. Somebody- or something- is watching my friends and I. Stalking us. Hunting us.

Eventually I leave the comforting embrace of the hot shower. As I towel off I catch myself in the mirror. I trace my fingers along the scars from my surgeries. My eyes are drawn back up to my face. My reflection smiles at me. Except, I’m not smiling.

I don’t think I’ve run so fast in my life. In a blur I have on sweatpants, a t-shirt and sneakers. I don’t even remember getting into the car, but my still-wet hair drips onto the seatbelt as I pull out the driveway. We have to return to the heart of darkness.

I pull up outside Cheeks’ apartment building and she hops in. “What’s wrong?” she sounds reasonably panicked, “you didn’t say much on the phone. Is it Rum?!”

“No. It’s me,” I make eye contact with her in the rear-view mirror.

Next stop is Rum’s house. He clambers into the back with Cheeks.

“My reflection was weird,” I begin explaining. But Cheeks interrupts me: “You mean like not doing what you do?”

“How did you know?”

“I was trying to practice my cat winged eyeliner and my reflection... she... she ripped her face off.”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” asks Rum, “my reflection shot himself!”

I’ll have time to be mad at my friends for not sharing this information later.

We arrive at the skull- it looks the same as we left it. The sand sucks us downward. Car and everything. The landing shatters my windshield and probably breaks something important. Miraculously, we’re uninjured. We stumble out of the car and make our way to the glowing room. I make sure to grab the strange coin from the glovebox.

Entering the alien-like chamber, we see the walls pulsing with a heartbeat that we didn’t notice before. Suddenly, we hear footsteps. Rum, Cheeks, and I emerge from a chamber. Or should I say our reflections do?

Immediately they charge towards us, and to the crystal skulls it must look like identical twins fighting each other. I take one of the sparkly buggers and smash my face in. My reflection bursts into shadows. I look over and see Cheeks snap her evil reflection’s neck and it too collapses into a dark mist.

Rum’s has him pinned to the ground. Cheeks and I rush over to help, but the two of us struggle to yank the 6’2”, 200 pound force that is Rum off of himself. Eventually, the three of us succeed and Rum stabs his reflection in the heart with his pocketknife.

Panting heavily, we smile. Then we laugh. We laugh until we’re breathless on the ground. I wipe the tears from my eyes and look up. The reservoir water reflects nothing of the struggles that occurred beneath it. I throw the stolen coin into the darkness.

Comments 1