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The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online


Drawing by Natalie Merhib

Story written by Sophia Miller

Innsomnia struck again. The ghostly reflection of my own face peers back, desperate to return to the carefree world of the dreaming. Large circles under my eyes appear more hollow in the dark, as if I were a Tim Burton character. Cold water splashes on my face. My brain restarts, but only halfway. The realm of sleep continues to slip over my eyes similar to a wrong glasses prescription; the world blurs and loses reality. I turn the ceramic tap off, and just as I am about to leave the bathroom, I glimpse movement. A flash of eyes, cold and pitch black, from a mounted mirror. Blaming my imagination, I swiftly shut the door. 

My tread echoes softly down the wooden stairs, and into the living room. This house is one of millions gracing America with its white gables – the picturesque house of the American Dream. Old furniture from time immemorial decorate the tan walls. My grandmother was quite the impractical interior decorator. Too bad she disappeared. My footsteps briefly pause at a bookcase crammed with old classics from a long-gone era. I often wake up at night in this house. Unescapable  blackness creeps into my sleep, and eventually it becomes too much to handle. In an attempt to utilize this undesired wakefulness, sometimes I read, and sometimes I cook in the crowded, turn-of-the-century kitchen. Sometimes I dream of what could be. Tonight I selected a hardcover: Audubon’s Birds of America

The porch connecting to my late grandmother’s house is faded yet loved. A wicker chair decorated with paisley cushions slumps next to a pot of old daffodils. The old seat creaks under me as I crack open the dusty book. I find myself staring into the darkness beyond, too tired to read the faded sentences. The outlines of trees sway in the distance in the cool fall wind. My mind drifts off into sleep, until the upstairs faucet turns on. 

I gently close my book. Water must be just moving through pipes. And yet still I find myself rising from the seat with a sigh and trodding up the creaking steps once again. The faucet remains off, just as I had left it earlier. I crouch down and open the cabinet under the sink, checking for possible leakage. Nothing. Cue the ice-cold breath on the back of my neck. Whipping my head out of the cabinet I find a figure leaning out from my mirror. Darkness seeps from It, and clouds the room into evil. Its eyes fixate on me, pull at me. My remaining energy drains into this thing. A ghostly hand stretches towards my face. Escaping Its grasp, I run out of the room, and attempt to slam the door behind me. 

It does not leave the bathroom as I lean exhausted against the end of the hallway, hands grasping my head. My eyes seep sticky, black ooze. It must be confined to the mirror. I quickly scramble to the garage for weapons. In the dusty dim recesses I could only find a hammer. I would have to break the mirror… the mirror. My mind drifts in the abyss of exhaustion. 

I somehow creep up the stairs, hammer in hand, and shove the door inwards. The bathroom … is back to normal. The mirror is just a mirror. What… this cannot… be. There is only one thing to do. The hammer slams down and smashes the surface. A jagged crack divides the mirror into two slices. Glass shards rain onto the tile floor. I stumble back to bed… my body collapses. 

A hand reaches out from the bedside mirror, a grin in the reflection. 

        The grandmother was a much weaker victim.

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About the Contributor
Michaela Horan
Michaela Horan, Copy Chief
This is Senior Michaela Horan's second year on staff at the Lancer Spirit, and this year she is the position of copy chief. She's the author of the Rolling Hills series, the first of which was published in 2021. She enjoys writing music and doing theater and loves being on staff.

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