Did you ever stare into a mirror for a long period of time?
I don’t mean for a few minutes, not to check out your body, but for a truly long time.
Try, for example, if you will, staring at your own face. At the beginning it might be normal, you might laugh because it feels silly. Soon, however, things will turn weird.
At first, the humor of it will go away. You might even get bored. But if you stick to it, things will eventually become creepy.
I started doing it after I read about certain urban legends online. When I first tried it, I couldn’t do it for long. Seeing my dumb face in the bathroom every morning was hard enough, but staring at it for longer than necessary was a chore.
The more I tried, though, the more I got used to it. I’d sit down in front of my bathroom mirror and stare at myself.
I told myself more than once that this was stupid, ridiculous even, but I liked creepy stuff and I enjoyed scaring myself. So I stuck with it.
It was one of the weirdest experiences I ever had. I laughed, I groaned, I yawned, but before long I started to study the intricate landscape of my face more closely.
Every once in a while, I stared deeply into my own eyes, scanning my pupils and my irises. Before long, I got the feeling that something was changing. I began wondering if I was the one staring at my reflection, or if it was the other way around.
What if it was the other way around? What if that person in the mirror wasn’t truly me?
And then, for the blink of an eye, I thought I saw my reflection wink at me. I scrambled back in shock, cursing at it before I started laughing.
“Jesus Christ, this is stupid!” I cursed at myself and the fear that had washed over me.
Still, when I looked at the mirror again, at my reflection, I wondered if it had all been my imagination or if something had actually happened.
I stepped up to the mirror again, pushed myself closer, and stared right into my reflection’s eyes.
“Did you just wink at me?”
Of course, I didn’t get an answer. No, all I got was my reflection mimicking my every move. His lips moved when mine did. He blinked when I did, and he laughed as stupid as me.
No, it had been nothing but my overactive imagination.
But then, in that moment, my eyes grew wide. My reflection did the same, but I didn’t care about it anymore.
My attention was drawn to a weird little object behind me. Resting on the bathroom floor behind me was a small black cube. What the hell, I wondered, as I brought my face closer to the mirror. Why’s there a-?
My thoughts stopped because the moment I turned around, it was gone.
I cursed, telling myself I was still imagining things and that my brain was acting up, but when I turned back to the mirror, I saw it again. It was right there, on the bathroom floor, close to the wall.
I pushed my face closer to get a better look at it, only to block it out.
When I turned around, though, there was still nothing there.
“All right, what the fuck?”
Slowly but steadily, I moved back, away from the mirror. I watched as I pushed myself against the bathroom wall, right next to the black cube.
Then I reached out to it with my foot, bringing it closer towards the object.
In reality, nothing happened. I didn’t feel the sensation of touching something. My reflection, however, began pushing the black cube to the right.
This was the weirdest thing ever. It had to be some sort of optical illusion. There was no way any of this was real.
Well, of course it wasn’t real, it was only happening inside the damned mirror!
With that I told myself to forget it and go to bed. It was getting late, and I’d have to get up early tomorrow morning.
But how do you ignore something as strange and fascinating as what was happening here?
Of course I was lying to myself and of course I couldn’t just forget about it. And so, I got closer to the object again. Or, to say it better, I brought my reflection closer to it.
When I leaned down, however, I wasn’t able to make it out anymore. My head, or better, my eyes, was too low to make out the reflection of the bathroom floor anymore.
I cursed, but got an idea. I stepped up to the mirror, making sure the cube was still there, and took it down.
Then I propped it up against the cupboard below the sink and turned it until I could make out the black cube again.
Finally, I went back to the wall. When I was there, I reached out for it once more, this time with my hand.
Once more I couldn’t feel a thing, but I watched as my reflections fingers got closer and closer before they eventually made contact with the cube.
I watched in stunned fascination as my reflection’s fingers brushed against it.
A cold shower went down my spine. What the hell was this? Was this really just an… optical illusion?
Before long, I had a rough idea of the cube’s dimensions. Each side was about an inch and a half. Then, with the most delicate of movements, I made my reflection close its hand around it. Then I lifted my hand.
I watched as my reflection held it in its hand. For a moment, it almost slipped from my hand before I got a better hold of it. This was the strangest sensation. I had no feeling for it, and yet I was holding something. Or better, my reflection was holding it.
With a few careful steps, my eyes glued to the mirror, I brought it closer towards it.
I carefully placed it in front of the mirror and began studying it.
It was nothing but a solid black cube. I stared at it from all dimensions, leaning left and right, standing up and laying down.
Just what the hell was this thing?
Then I brought my finger against it again, this time not delicately. Instead, I pushed it closer to the mirror.
For a moment I wondered what would happen if I kept it up.
The thought of it sliding through the mirror’s surface appeared in my mind.
I laughed, calling myself an idiot, telling myself again that this had to be some sort of optical illusion.
And of course, it didn’t slide through. Instead, it was pressed against the mirror, hard and slightly croaked together.
At that moment, I saw that its top was slightly pushed upward.
Did it mean that I could… open it?
Almost in a trance, I reached out with my other hand, my left hand. I couldn’t help but curse in frustration as I tried to make sense of the cube’s dimensions and my movements being flipped.
Finally, after two futile tries, I managed to push my fingernail into the small crack. Then I delicately began pushing it upward.
It took me another few tries before I succeeded in opening it.
Where I was, however, I couldn’t see a damn thing. So I stood up, brought my face close to the mirror and stared down at it.
That’s when I noticed that there was… something strange and whitish inside of it. My hand went forward again, getting a hold of it to lift it upwards so I could get a better look at it.
I closed my hand around the now open cube and lifted it, bringing the opening closer to the mirror.
At first I saw only white, but then I made out delicate red lines in it, saw its round form. A moment later, whatever was inside the cube started moving and turning.
I watched in stunned horror, and after a few seconds, I stared at an eyeball.
I screamed up in shock and disgust, scrambling away from the mirror and shaking my hand as if something had gotten a hold of it.
Inside the mirror, the black cube crashed to the floor. It bounced once, twice before it came to a rest. The eyeball, however, rolled out of it.
From where I was, I watched as it rolled closer to the mirror. I expected it to hit the surface, to bounce back, but it rolled on.
My eyes grew wide in shock and disbelief as the eyeball passed through the mirror’s surface. It rolled on and came to a rest right in front of me.
I cringed back, but I couldn’t stop staring at it. This thing… this eyeball. It shouldn’t, no, couldn’t exist, but here it was.
And as I sat there, slumped down on the bathroom floor, I couldn’t stop staring at it.
And as I stared at it, it also stared at me, and with each passing moment I felt it staring deeper and deeper into my eyes.