Little Gavin released the sides of his pants that he was clutching as the last of the words he heard left the tale with an ominous open ending. He realized he was tense and shook his shoulders to assure himself he wasn’t paralyzed like the man in the story. Listening intently to the scary tales that the gown ups were sharing was not as frightening as the other kids had told him, but the atmosphere around him, along with the tense anticipation at being caught, was wearing down on him. a little. So far no one had noticed him hiding behind the carcass of an old convertible car grandma had turned into the biggest and ugliest planter he had ever seen. Gavin wasn’t much for appreciating old rusted cars full of flowers, but here in the dark, the shadows that they reflected behind him against the wall of the storage shed, sure inspired in him a little more respect for the whole monstruosity. The bon fire in the middle of their backyard, illuminated the front of his hiding place, but flowers or not, their shadows did look a bit menacing, especially when the breeze would sway the tall hollyhock stems to make it look like tentacles were reaching out for him. After settling down once more, he prepared for the next story which cousin Sienna had promised to share with them.
Gavin began to listen to a horrifying tale, one which grandpa had also sworn it was true. Of course, he was sure that Grandpa would have said anything to scare them all. He listened to the story, but started to have second thoughts about being so close to the side view mirror that hung broken on his side of the car. The little reflective pieces that were left, made Gavin look away promptly to dismiss any threat of attack from the creatures that he heard were lurking behind the reflection. But then again, now that he thought about it once more, the pieces were so little that nothing big could get through and he was sure that shadows or not, they would be so tiny that he could take them down, or at the very least escape their clutch. At ten years old, Gavin was a self assured, adventurous kid who challenged everything and got away with way more that he ever got caught for.
He didn’t know that the creatures lurking behind mirrors only needed to make a subtle touch. He didn’t know that the shadows were darkness was most obscured, penetrated the reflections so deeply that they became an extension of their own world. Gavin continued to endure admirably the details of the story that begun to build uneasiness around the grown ups. He had just realized that Elena’s expression was not one of horror but of pain because her husband, Professor Julian was painfully squeezing her hand. He continued to listen as cousin Sienna described her own account of the experience she had with these evil creatures a few years back. However, the sudden assault of ominous dread that he felt did not come from the words that he heard. A scream of horrified awareness got caught in his throat when he noticed demonic tentacles reaching out to him. Too late he realized that they were not from hollyhock shadows, too late he noticed the unbroken side view mirror from across the other side of the flower bed.
By Margarita Morgan
September 24, 2014