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by: Michelle Reynolds

It was the morning of my thirteenth birthday. 2:00am of October 6th, 2011. Everybody was sleeping but me. I’m quite the night owl so of course I would be awake at such a time. I was up, listening to music and writing like I normally do. Every so often, I may have heard a bump or crack and I paid it no mind at first.
By the time I checked again to see what time it was, the clock had just turned to 3:00am. Now, I have always heard that 3:00am was the time that the lines between our world, and the spirit world became blurred. I never paid much attention to such rumors of course. But…the bumps and cracks seemed to grow louder…closer. I shook my head, turning my music up and concentrating a bit harder on my writing. The more I tried to ignore it, the louder it seemed to become until it sounded like it was directly to the left of me, right in my ear. I refused to turn my head, for the more I paid attention, the more I noticed that it sounded like the bump of something against the headboard of my bed and the cracking of bones…as if it were somebody or…or something very clumsy. I forced myself to turn my head but very slowly. I watched my mirror, which was only about 3 feet to my left on my headboard, out of the corner of my eye as I turned my head. My reflection did not move. My heart pounded in my ears as I tried to convince myself that I was only imagining things.
I completely faced my mirror and sat, staring in utter shock. My reflection’s head was still peering down at my laptop, as if I was still writing. But the fingers were unmoving and I could not see her face. My – its – long black hair obstructed my view.
I will never forget what I saw next. Its head turned ever so slowly towards me, and again I heard that God awful cracking. Its face was mine, but it wasn’t. The eyes were black pits of nothing, and its skin was pale, and veiny. Thin as paper. Under its eyes were very dark. I was horrified at this destroyed version of myself that stared me right in the face. Its pale, cracked lips pulled into an unnaturally wide cheshire grin. The lips cracked and blood dribbled down its chin. The teeth were sharp and blood stained. What the hell was this thing!?
“Happy birthday.” It said in a dark, mutilated version of my own voice. In fact it almost sounded gurgly…like there was some kind of liquid in its throat that couldn’t go down, which made me feel sick to my stomach. My heart felt like it would jump out of my chest at any moment. I sat completely still and very silent. Its smile turned into a menacing scowl, and I heard that damned cracking again as it clenched its fists so hard that its palms bled.
“Happy birthday!” It repeated, the tone being a form of anger that I could never utter from my own mouth.
“T-thank you…” I stammered in a small voice, trembling badly. It smiled again and nodded and I turned back to my lap top screen, contemplating whether or not I should tell somebody about this. I could still feel it watching my every move with its dark, empty sockets. Every time I typed or moved my hand, there was that disgusting cracking. With every move I made, there was a bump. It was mimicking me, though its eyes never released that tight death grip they had on me. This wasn’t over and I knew it wasn’t. I was paranoid all throughout my year of being thirteen and everybody blamed my paranoia on the fact that thirteen was a very unlucky number. But no, this was no case of superstition…this was all too real and I felt it watching me wherever I went. No matter what reflective surface I happened to be around, I could feel it. Even in the dark i could feel it…I wasn’t safe and I refused to sleep. I haven’t seen it again but sometimes I can still feel its stare…sometimes I can still hear its voice whispering to me…
“We’ll meet again…and you better not ignore me.”

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