Instead of running away in search of a phone, Blair stormed into her room and slammed the door shut with the click of the lock. She slid against the back of the door until she hit the ground, panting. It’s not a big deal, she told herself. He died for a good reason.
Deep breath in, then let it back out. She’ll be okay. It’s not like she’ll be arrested for it; it was basically self-defense. What if the judge doesn’t agree?
Blair let her head fall back on the door with a thud. “Fuck.”
Her labored breathing began to slow; when did that start? She looked around the room for a distraction and eventually landed on her own reflection from across the room. A sweaty face with exhaustion-filled eyes stared back. She studied the bloody clothing that clung to her body and frowned as she realized how sticky it felt against her skin. She slowly got up and walked over to the mirror. The sunlight from the window exposed her, catching glimpses of the blood on her hands and glimmering each time she moved. Blair didn’t want that vile substance painting her skin; it mocked her. She fisted her hands in her hair and tugged.
“Get off,” she whispered. Again, and again, repeated like a personal mantra. Her panicked hands grabbed and pulled, temporarily ridding herself of the guilt. A striking pain washed over her scalp as she mercilessly tugged. Her eyes snapped open and glanced at her reflection. Her entangled hands had returned to the pale color she’s so familiar with. Blair turned her head from side to side, dumbfounded. Her hair was now a dark red color as if the blood had simply drained from her hands and dyed it.
Red. Her hair was red. She ran her fingers through the locks of hair, expecting a different texture. She gaped as her reflection in the mirror didn’t copy her actions. Blair took a cautionary step back, hoping the reflection would follow suit. Alas, she stared at the now stagnant version of herself. Same pale face, same small body, same bloody clothes, but different hair color. Blair
squinted and walked forward, thrusting a finger out in curiosity. Instead of feeling the cold glass against her fingertip, she was met with nothing. There was no barrier between herself and the figure. She drew her hand back in a hurry, afraid of whatever trick was being played on her mind. The figure’s face changed as it met Blair’s eyes and raised an eyebrow.
Blair stumbled back and fell to the ground in shock. She crawled towards the door as fast as her numb body would allow. Her throat began constricting as she struggled to breathe.
The figure toppled over in a fit of laughter, but Blair couldn’t figure out what was so funny.
“You need to calm down,” laughed the redhead.
Blair managed to slip out a quiet “excuse me?” before she was silenced by the girl’s daunting gaze. She looked Blair up and down before smiling. The girl stepped through the wooden frame of the mirror and out onto the carpeted floor. The mirror shattered into a million pieces behind her. Blair struggled to her feet and closed the remaining gap between herself and the door. She put her hand on the doorknob and looked over. The redhead was standing with her arms crossed, expectant.
“You can’t leave,” she stated.
“And why is that?” Blair asked as she began to turn the doorknob. Staying in the room with this mysterious, possibly dangerous creature wasn’t something she was interested in doing.
“Blair, I said you can’t leave.”
Accepting that as a possible threat, Blair turned the doorknob and opened the door. She was prepared to run out and never look back, but something stopped her. She tried and tried again to step into the hallway, but to no avail. It was as if an invisible wall was built in the
doorway. Blair pushed against the open space yet didn’t feel anything pushing her back. Her body was incapable of moving forward, trapped in a room that used to feel safe.
“It’s almost as if I told you that would happen.”
“How did you even get here?” Blair snapped as she turned around to face her.
“Don’t ask me, you’re the one who owns the mirror. I’m just the one who walked through it,” she shrugged.
“Why are you here?” Blair asked with a tired sigh.
“Finally, a good question,” the redhead said as she smiled. She took a seat on Blair’s bed, making herself comfortable before continuing. “You know that haunting feeling of guilt that keeps you up at night? That tiny inkling of fear when you know you’ve done something wrong? That’s me. In case you forgot, murdering someone is immoral. And illegal.”
Blair glared at the girl. “It’s not like I woke up this morning and decided I was going to do it.”
“Doesn’t matter.” The redhead shrugged. “You still did it.”
“So what, then? Are you a character of my conscience, here to remind me of my crime?”
“Call it what you want, Blair. Freud’s not here to judge,” the redhead said with a teasing grin.
Blair’s eyebrows furrowed as she looked away from the girl. This couldn’t actually be happening. It’s beyond impossible, right? She just needs to calm down and clear her head for a bit and it’ll all go away.
“Don’t think too hard over there,” the girl said. “Your brain might explode. That wouldn’t be good for me.”
“Shut up,” Blair murmured.
“What, are you replaying how you murdered that guy?” The redhead swung her feet off the bed and stood up. She slowly walked over to Blair as she talked. “How you dug that broken glass bottle into his skin until he crumbled to the ground? How you loomed over him as he struggled to breathe because it gave you power? But you didn’t stop, did you? You dragged him to the kitchen and kept stabbing him.” She pointed her finger at Blair’s chest and began to whisper. “Just,” poke, “like,” poke, “that,” poke. “You even left him there! How cold.” The redhead scoffed before turning around.
All Blair saw was red.
She simply wanted to push her. It’s not her fault that the bedpost was metal and positioned there. How could Blair have known the girl’s head would hit it?
“No, no, no!” Blair screamed. She fell to the ground as everything began to ring. Both hands were thrown over her ears as she rocked back and forth. Tears blurred her vision and raced down her cheeks. Everything felt fuzzy.
Why does this always happen? That orange bottle sitting on her kitchen counter was worthless. What’s the point of treatment if it doesn’t treat? Blair never means for this to happen, so why is it always her? Why can’t i-
Loud banging on the door pulled Blair from her thoughts. How much time had passed?
“LAPD!” a stern voice shouted. “Present yourself.”
Blair panicked, looking around. The redheaded girl was nowhere to be found. She glanced up in the mirror that was fully intact. Her hair was still brown. Her clothes weren’t bloody. She continued to scan the room, confused.
Someone opened the door behind her, and Blair quickly stood up.
“Ma’am, I’m with the LAPD.” Blair turned around to face the officer as he spoke. “I’m here after some noise complaints from your neighbors. They’re concerned because they heard screaming.”
Blair looked blankly at the officer. He gave her an uncertain look before speaking again.
“There’s nothing else of concern in the rest of the house, but I noticed a broken bottle in the kitchen when I walked in. Are you okay?”
Blair let out a sigh of relief before smiling at the officer. “Everything’s great, sir. I must’ve been daydreaming.”