(excerpt from My Mother’s Mother’s Mother, "That Sadie Thing and other stories", print edition)
I sit on the floor in front of the full length mirror in the hall, with my candle, with a box of matches. Behind me is the unlit dining room, and I perversely recall every horror film I’ve ever watched; every psychotic murderer, vampire and green-skinned alien is waiting for me unseen in the gloomy corner of the room. Get a grip, I tell myself sternly.
The room in reverse reminds me of Alice before she stepped through the looking glass. An alternate room; an alternate me. I wonder what she’s like, this other me. If she’s a direct opposite, she’ll be extrovert and idealistic, she’ll be lazy and flaky. She’d go out of her way to help a person in trouble; and always try to save people, even those who don’t want to be saved. I’d probably find her as exhausting and frustrating as I find myself on this side of the mirror.
The flame flickers as I breathe slowly in and out, wondering whether I’m supposed to be chanting, or counting down from twenty to zero… or something else entirely. So I simply look at myself in the mirror, watching my expression alter in the flickering shadows. In this half-light I look quite pretty, although the more I stare, the more distorted I become.
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