A mirror of questionable origins appears out of nowhere in a shipment of furniture. It calls to those it finds compatible. The owners soon find out why, and wish they hadn’t. Can a mirror actually be possessed? What happens to the people it encounters?
This chilling story takes place over several decades as the mirror becomes the possession of many different people. Who is immune from the call of the mirror, and what is it in the mirror that beckons? Pray you don’t find out…
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: In Mirror, Mirror by Leonardus G. Rougoor, everyone who comes into close contact with an ebony-framed mirror is in danger of disappearing forever. Over the decades, the mirror calls to certain people, who have no idea of the danger they are in. Buying the mirror comes with a price far more than any money paid for it—a price no one would willingly pay if they knew the true cost.
Well written, fast paced, and chilling, this is, in my opinion, one of the best books the author has released so far. A really great read.
REGAN MURPHY SAYS: Mirror, Mirror by Leonardus G. Rougoor is an excellent example of how very talented and versatile this author really is. The story follows the ownership of an unusual mirror, which is made of smoked glass framed in ebony. What the buyers of the mirror don’t realize, until it’s too late, is that the mirror is evil and means them harm. Can they resist it? And what happens to them if they can’t? Is the mirror possessed, or is there something evil inside it? Beautiful and unique, the mirror ensnares many innocent victims, who thought only of how beautiful and exotic it was, and what a great deal they got on it, not knowing the real price was yet to be paid.
I was very impressed with Mirror, Mirror. Chilling, intense, and compelling, the story grabs you by the throat and holds on from beginning to end. You won’t be able to put it down.
New York, New York, 1912:
Come on, Bobby, we have to go. Mom and Dad are leaving,” Jenny yelled. “Hurry, they’re getting me a new dresser.”
“Awright, awright, I’m coming. Gee whiz, what’s the big rush? It’s just a place to put your stuff,” Bobby returned with a sigh.
Out the front door they went, with Jenny, thirteen years old, bouncing up and down with excitement. Bobby brought up the rear at a much slower pace. They got into a shiny two-year-old Packard. This vehicle was their father’s pride and joy. He owned several stores that sold ladies clothes and was fairly successful so he could afford this kind of luxury.
All the neighbors were so envious when Father drove it home for the first time. Jenny thought as she got into the back seat with her younger brother. Because of the success of the ladies stores, Mother always dressed quite stylishly. Others had to pay full price for clothes, but Father acquired them wholesale and sometimes for even less if he could find a defect. Father, of course, didn’t let Mother know there was a defect.
Father drove slowly making sure everyone around could see him in the black 1910 Packard. It was 1912, and very few people could afford an automobile such as this. It was wonderful living in New York City. Now and then when he had time, he would drive the family to Central Park to spend the day and sometimes they even ended up at Coney Island, if the day started early enough.
That day they were going to visit a friend of their father’s who sold furniture. The two men bartered back and forth, giving each other far better deals than regular customers got. The streets were a little rough, but it was far nicer in the automobile than it was riding in a horse-drawn carriage like they used to do. It was also far quicker getting to their destinations.
After half an hour of navigating the streets to the store, they finally arrived, parking in front of the sign, Benson’s Furniture. The usual people stopped to admire the car, but Father walked right past them without a word.
“Come, come, children, we don’t have all day you know. I have a business to run,” he said as he opened the door leading into the large store.
“Good morning, Marcus. How do you do, Abigail?” the store owner said as the Weatherbys entered.
“Good morning, Franklin. We’re here to look at a dresser for Jenny. Can you show us what you have?” Marcus asked.
Leading the family to the section reserved for bedroom furniture, Franklin chatted with Marcus about business. Bobby, ten years old, got distracted, as usual. He stopped in front of a bunk bed set. He wondered if he had a brother, who would get the top bunk.
Jenny was shown the inventory of dressers available. She inspected each with a critical eye. She knew what she liked and what she wanted. As Jenny checked one after the other, she dismissed most and reserved judgment on only two.
Coming back and opening drawers in each she finally decided on one, except there was a slight problem, as far as this young lady was concerned.
“Mother, may I speak with you please?”
“Yes, dear, what is it?” Abigail asked her daughter.
“I like these two,” she said, pointing her finger at the ones that were her favorites. “The problem is that the one I really want doesn’t have a mirror. A mirror is such an important thing as you well know, Mother.”
“I’ll speak with Mr. Benson. He may be able to help you.” Turning to face the proprietor, she asked, “Oh, Mr. Benson, may I have a moment of your time?”
“Why, certainly,” he replied as he walked over. “Have you made a choice already, Jenny?”
“I have, sort of. I like these two here,” she said, pointing again to her favorites. “But I really, really like this one. The only thing wrong with it is that there’s no mirror.”
“Oh, I see. That does present a problem, doesn’t it? I have a few in the back that might do. Why don’t you come with me and you can decide if any will suit your needs,” he said as he led the way to the storeroom.
Abigail and Marcus followed the pair as they went to inspect the much-needed mirror. Marcus thought, Gosh, twelve years old and she is already so much like her mother.
Franklin made his way past the crated items that would soon be put into the showroom. At the side, off to the right, were several mirrors that he proceeded to show Jenny.
“The dresser you have chosen is made of a rather dark wood, so in my opinion, a dark mirror would be the best choice. Do you agree, Jenny?”
“I do, Mr. Benson, sir.”
“I have two here that may be suitable. Do you like either of them?” he asked the well-mannered young lady.
“Oh, they are beautiful, but do you have any others?”
“I’m sorry to say that—” He stopped in mid-sentence and thought, as an idea came to mind. “There is one that was sent here by mistake. It is a rather odd mirror, and I wasn’t sure you would like it. Here let me show it to you.”
With this, he moved a crate out of the way and pulled a mirror from behind a piece of packing. Holding it in two hands, he grunted with effort as he lifted a truly unique mirror.
“This one is made from a wood imported from Africa. It’s called Ebony and is a very strong exotic wood. As you can see it has a very different style to it and almost looks a trifle lopsided. I checked it over, and it really is uniform. It’s the texture and coloring of the wood that makes it look odd. The glass is also unique as it has a smoked effect in it. Kind of spooky, don’t you think, Jenny?”
A warm feeling came over Jenny. “I absolutely love it. Can we get this one, Father, please?” she asked as she gave him that special pleading look, the same one that worked so well when Abigail used it.
“Gosh, Jenny, it is a trifle different. Do you really think it will look good with the dresser for your room?”
“Oh, yes, indeed it will, dear Father,” she said with a smile.
Turning to Franklin, Marcus asked, “Do you know anything about it?”
“I’ve checked it over and there are no markings indicating who made it or where it was produced. It is of very good quality. The piece came here by mistake, and even the shipper doesn’t recall anything about it. It’s almost as if it appeared in the shipment out of thin air. I can let you have for a very reasonable price,” he said.
The two men bartered back and forth and came to an agreement. The mirror was brought out and placed on the dresser, just to make sure it looked all right. Jenny squealed with delight as she visualized it in her room. Delivery preparations were made, and Jenny was one happy young lady.
It took several long days for the dresser and mirror to arrive and be carried by two workmen up into Jenny’s bedroom. The men had been instructed to mount the mirror on the wall above where the dresser was to be placed. Jenny had decided ahead of time the best spot for the dresser and so it took very little time for the mirror to be hung in its proper place.
When it was all finished and the packing materials were removed, Jenny sat on her bed. Looking at her new treasures. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a slight movement in the mirror. She was actually looking at the dresser when it happened. Stunned for a moment, she approached it and gazed at her reflection in the smoky glass. Taking a hard look at this beautiful mirror, she realized that the open window off to the side must have had a light breeze come through it and rustled something in the room. This must have been what she saw in the glass. Funny thing was, she never felt the breeze.
Her friends would be so envious of her. None of them had anything quite this exotic. “I love my mother and father,” she said softly to herself.
The door opened and Bobby entered the room.
Jenny scowled. “You’re supposed to knock before you come into my room. You know that, Bobby.”
“Ah, geez, I forgot. What’s the big deal anyway?”
“You’re just supposed to, so please do it from now on,” she retorted.
He looked at the new dresser and then the mirror. “Why did you pick this one, it’s so dark? How can you see anything in it?” His head reached just high enough to see his face and that was about all.
He saw nothing special there so he left. Jenny walked over to her doll house and played make-believe with her favorites. In the mirror, a shadow moved, but Jenny was unaware of it.
“Jenny dear,” her mother called. “It’s time to come down for supper.”
Off she went, closing the door behind her. Bobby was already at the table, but his mother had a word to say.
“Bobby, your hands are filthy, please wash them, and use soap this time.”
“Awh, Mom, I washed them a little while ago.” Receiving a look, he said, “Okay, okay. I’ll do it again, geez.”
Supper consisted of roast beef with potatoes and carrots. Marcus and Abigail chatted as the children were silent and ate. Desert was a slice of apple pie and a glass of milk, accompanying the evening meal. Marcus had a business acquaintance coming over shortly, so the children were asked to go upstairs.
“For heaven’s sake, please be quiet.”
School was out for the summer, which made Bobby happy, although Jenny missed her friends. As the two ran up the stairs, Jenny announced that she was going to have a bath, and Bobby occupied himself in the temporary tent made from a bed sheet in his room.
Once the water was drawn, she got in and relaxed in the fragrant bubbles. Now and then she scooped up a handful and blew them into the air to land at the other end of the tub. After half an hour, she was eager to cast her eyes on her new dresser and possibly rearrange her clothes in the drawers.
Drying off and putting her nightgown on, she entered her bedroom. There it was, the beautiful new piece of furniture and the wonderful mirror hanging on the wall directly above it. She studied the looking glass, inspecting every detail. She could see that it was a very-well-made item and wondered how it came to be included in the shipment to Benson’s Furniture. There must have been a mix up when the workers loaded the other things to be shipped.
As she walked toward the closet, there was the movement of a shadow in the mirror. Looking back quickly, she studied it intensely. She was sure she had seen something move. Looking around the room to make certain Bobby wasn’t in there trying to frighten her, she saw that she was alone. Again as she turned to look at the glass, she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. By the time she was actually looking at it, there was nothing out of the ordinary to be seen.
“I think my imagination is getting the better of me. I’m sure that the light hitting the glass is making me see things that aren’t there,” she said to herself.
The door opened and Bobby stuck his head in asking, “Who are you talking to?”
“Oh, nobody, I’m just playing.”
The door closed again, and she was alone once more. “It had to be Bobby that made the movement in the mirror,” she mumbled.
Picking up a book, she lay on the bed and read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. This book was almost as entertaining as Anne of Green Gables, which she read a short time ago.
Getting lost in the book, she read till her eyes started to close. She put the book down and cleaned her teeth before retiring for the night.
Hearing her daughter upstairs, Abigail came into her room and tucked her in, saying, “Goodnight, dear.”
“Goodnight, Mother, thank you so much for the dresser and mirror.”
“You’re welcome, dear.”
With the lights out, Jenny closed her eyes. Just as she drifted off to sleep, she thought she heard a soft whispering, but couldn’t be certain. Falling into a deep sleep, she woke in the middle of the night having to make a trip to the bathroom. As she was about to get out of bed, half awake, there was a faint whisper again.
She couldn’t make out what it was and wasn’t even sure that she actually heard anything at all. It might just have been the sheets rustling as she was about to get out of bed. This, however, was doubtful as the soft voice seemed to speak just before she moved.
Wow, this has been a strange day. First shadows moving in the mirror and then sounds in my room coming from nowhere. What is going on?
© 2019 by Leonardus G. Rougoor