by Joe DiBuduo
Dreyfus got up in the night to use the washroom and bumped into the full length mirror his wife Marie kept by the bed and knocked it over. Seven years bad luck coming up for that he thought, and it started right away as the crash awoke Marie.
“You clumsy fool, that mirror is irreplaceable. I inherited from my grandmother, and she got it from her grandmother.”
“We’ll go to an antique store and replace your mirror.” Secretly he was glad that damn mirror got broke. He hated it all these years and wondered if maybe he had knocked it over on purpose, subconsciously of course.
They went to Galena IL where practically the whole town was populated with antique stores. “I’m plumb worn out from walking in and out of stores all day,” Dreyfus said. “There’s a coffee shop, let’s go in and sit for a while.”
They both saw the mirror at the same time, almost an exact duplicate of the one he broke other than the frame was gilded with gold. It stood in the entranceway to the coffee shop, right next to the coat rack. But it wasn’t for sale. “Go sit down Marie, I’ll hang up our coats,” Dreyfus said. After Marie left he glanced into the mirror and didn’t like what he saw. His seventy year old face looked back at him and he cringed at the sight.
“You don’t feel as old as you look,” a voice inside his head said. “Of course I don’t, in my mind I’m still twenty.” He thought and figured the voice had been imaginary until he heard it again.”Take me home, and I’ll erase years off your reflection.”
Dreyfus looked around the entrance way to see if someone was hidden among the coats and was fooling with him. He didn’t see any one or any speakers either. He started to worry about his sanity when he heard the voice again, “I’ll make your wife young again too,” the voice said. “All right asshole, come out from wherever you’re hiding, I’m not falling for this bullshit.” As he looked around he glanced in the mirror and the reflection was him, only younger, much younger. Hearing voices and seeing things isn’t a good sign, he stuck his head through the door and called for Marie to come quick.
As soon as she stepped into the vestibule where the mirror and coat rack were Dreyfus looked at her reflection in the mirror. Sure enough she looked much younger too. “Do you see what I see?” Dreyfus asked. Marie stood staring into the mirror with her mouth open in surprise
They turned and looked at each other and quickly turned back to the mirror to see they had gotten younger yet.
He heard the voice again, “Take me home, you won’t be sorry.”
“Let’s buy it,” Marie said. Isn’t it worth whatever we have to pay for the mirror to have it in our bedroom? You know for those times I still get frisky?”
Dreyfus remembered how beautiful she had been and if the mirror showed them as they used to be it would not only be a miracle, but he’d be more than willing when Marie got frisky. “Now you’re getting an idea of what I can do,” the voice said. Dreyfus realized it must be the mirror talking to him. Maybe this was one of those magic mirrors he used to read about in fairy tales. He knew better, but seeing is believing, so he offered the coffee shop owner a large sum for the mirror. They delivered it the same day.
Once home Dreyfus constructed a frame with wheels on it for the mirror so that he could wheel it to any position around the bed, and it wouldn’t fall over if he bumped into it. He put a sheet over it and set it at the foot of the bed. He’d whip the sheet off the mirror once they got undressed and they’d see their youthful self’s once again.
He couldn’t wait to have Marie’s beautiful image in his sight. Bedtime came, and both changed into nightclothes. Marie jumped into bed. Dreyfus ripped the sheet from the mirror and they both stared into it. Neither could believe nothing at all reflected in the mirror. They both heard the voice this time, “Come closer so I can make the years disappear.”
“Is that the mirror talking to us?” Marie asked.
“Let’s get closer like it asked us too,” Dreyfus said, they walked up to the mirror and he put his hand to the mirror and felt its warmth. Suddenly, his hand and then his arm were drawn into the mirror. He grabbed Marie to anchor himself. Instead of anchoring him, she was dragged into the mirror too as he was sucked deep inside by some irresistible force. Once the force let them go they both turned and looked the way they had entered and could see through the mirror. They saw their youthful selves lying on the bed in a romantic embrace. Young Dreyfus said to young Marie, “sixty more years before we have to replace those souls in the mirror”
“Can’t you cover it and lock it away in the cellar so I don’t have to be reminded of those people trapped in there?”
Dreyfus banged on the inside of the mirror and tried to break through the glass, to no avail as the young Dreyfus approached the mirror with a sheet. Dreyfus and Marie looked at each other knowing they were tricked into exchanging places.
“I know you can hear me, let us out,” Dreyfus screamed. Then he heard an answer in his head, “I live off your life force, stay with me for sixty years and you can once again have your youth.” The mirror told him.
“Did you hear that Marie?”
“What should we do?”
“Sixty years isn’t so long, is it?” she asked.