Reflection by Alanna J. Rubin

For Holley Rogers

Slowly and carefully he turned the key; the door creaked as it opened to…nothing.

The room was completely empty and it only seemed more hollow by the reflection on the stainless-steel walls. Marcus walked in, dumbfounded. The walls only showed his own brown eyes, staring back at him. But how? He had chased the three-legged creature into the abandoned hospital and could have sworn he heard the creature’s wail from within this room. He stood in its center, forehead scrunched in contemplation. Where is it? He asked himself. He made a slow circle seeing nothing, but his own blue shirt, two hands and feet on every surface, when the door slammed shut. He turned abruptly, his heart racing as he pulled on the handle to no avail. He banged on the metal walls, desperate to find a way out, his hands leaving sweaty palm prints on their surface. Marcus sank down against one of the walls, pulling his knees to his chest trying hard to hold himself together.

On the other side of the door, two men in white jackets observed Marcus through the two-way mirror. “Great job, luring him back, Lex,” one of the men commended.

The three-legged creature responded, “It’s my job to wrangle the runaways, Garrin. Especially the delusional ones. Do you think he’ll recover?” Lex inquired, genuinely curious.

“I hope so, but his delusion of being a human seems to run deep. This is the third time he’s escaped. And even surrounded by reflective surfaces, he never seems to see his own image.”

Garrin and Lex both looked on a weeping Marcus with pity as he clutched his three legs to his chest.

 

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