Tag Archives: mirror

How to write a NoSleep Hit

Now, let’s get down to business. I guess I need this; to clear my conscience and clear my mind.

I lied to you.

I’m sorry. I think.

But this is the cure. The revelation. The big attempt to clean my samskaras as the Hindus would say. Clear your samskaras, your ballast, and you can free yourself from the eternal and painful cycle; the suffering; the punishment of rebirth.

This is how you write a NoSleep story. Or any horror story.

The first step is to have an idea. A concept, let’s say a man that appears behind your reflection.

You have to feel yourself into the moment. You have to stand in front of the mirror, with all your intention and all of your heart, and you have to stare at that empty space behind your reflection and you have to see him, there, with a straight nose and a perfectly symmetrical face and this smooth haircut, the hair, perfect, completely without hair loss, the way only actors in Hollywood can have it, combed to the side.

And you imagine him, standing there. Imagine what he looks like. How close does he stand? Does he keep his distance at the beginning, but then, over time, he steps closer?

A good horror story takes time. You cannot just churn it out in a few minutes. You have to feel it over days; you have to make the fear real – grow it, feed it, let it nourish and consume you at the same time. Continue reading

Caught in the Web

Noah J. kindly narrated this story. Listen, read, or both:


My parents gave me the car on the 8th of March. My birthday. I remember running my hand around the car. When I finally grabbed the door handle I felt the silky touch of a spiderweb on my fingers. That day I just threw it out.

The red color was partially peeling off, there was a crack in the back window and dents on all four sides. But it drove and on the inside the car looked well maintained. My parents had even asked a mechanic to check it out – he changed the oil and then sent them on their way. On the way to me.

Of course there was an agenda that came with the car. It was a sign that I was old enough, that I had to take care of something and organize my own life. It was an aid – a chance to find work outside our suburb.

That night I took Catriona for a ride. That night, sitting in the car with burgers and softdrinks stored between our legs, we had our first kiss.

She had to be home by 11. I dropped her off and brought the car home. It was freezing when I finally slammed the door shut and hushed inside. Continue reading

Life in the Mirror

The apartment seemed as if it was made just for me. I had a bed and two shelves. The apartment lacked bed and shelves but had everything else – tables, chairs, a sofa. My bed was exactly 1.6 meters in width – and the tiny bedroom a perfect match.

There were two things I didn’t like. The first, of course, was the lack of a dedicated bathroom. The shower cabin was in the kitchen and the toilet in a small room off the balcony. The second thing I didn’t like was the mirror in the bedroom.

It’s not that I don’t like mirrors. But in a room just barely big enough for the bed, with walls to all sides, there was something disturbing in having one of the walls as just one large mirror. It felt misplaced and odd like a lone, smiling stranger standing in the middle of a desert road.

The first night I was tired from the move, every muscle in my body seemed to be aching and my body was still sticky and sweating even after two showers and four hours since the last box. Still I first lay awake for two or three hours, rolling from one side to the other and hoping for the salvation of sleep. Continue reading

The Woman in the Mirror

I came home, stumbled against the sofa and regretted another night of drinking too much. I drink when I feel the world is too heavy; when I need to just get out of my life for a night. That night, with my girlfriend going overboard in a swirl of emotions and memories and blame addressed at me – I needed the drink. If I had known that she would die that night I would have listened more; likely I would have drunk more too.

I went out after our far-too-long video call. Then I got drunk. Then I came back and stumbled against the sofa; finally I found myself in the bathroom. The light was on, but my eyes were closed; bright lights confuse me when I’m drunk. That’s one of the things Dana always complained about – that I do stupid things when I was drunk; like ignore the sound of pee splashing on the seat.

I flushed and walked over to the sink; the cold water ran over my hands, then I lead some in my mouth and splashed it in my face. My hands were freezing and stiff when I wiped the water off my face.

Only then I raised my head and opened my eyes. I’m not sure what I was looking for, maybe whether my hair was wet. But I didn’t even notice my face. I only noticed the woman behind me.

I whirled around, grabbed a shaver to defend myself.

“Who –“

There was no one behind me.

I ripped the shower curtain back, looked around the room and finally turned back to the mirror.

She was smiling back at me. She was standing behind my mirror image and smiling at me.

I stumbled backwards, threw a stack of towels off the shelf. My mirror image did the same. The woman stood next to my mirror image. But she didn’t look at my mirror image, she looked at me. Her smile turned into a grin.

Then she stepped forward. My mirror image was still in the same position as before; still pressed against the wall just like me.

The woman stepped closer to the glass. She looked familiar and at the same time as if I had never seen her before.

Her features were those of Dana – but her expressions were wrong; her smile wasn’t Dana’s, her eyes weren’t Dana’s, not even the small wrinkles in the corner of her mouth were Dana’s.

“Who are you?” I asked.

She moved her lips. I didn’t hear a thing.

For a moment I felt my body pulling forward; felt a strain on my arms and chest and head. Then it stopped.

I was still in the same place, in the same position, confused and mesmerized.

But I think my mirror image had pushed himself away from the wall. I only saw her lips; I only saw her mouthing the word “Future.”

She said other things; I didn’t understand what she was trying to say. But I think my mirror image heard it; he heard what she said.

I’ve never seen myself when I’m angry. And never in my life have I hit a woman.

I saw her screaming and falling on the floor; I saw how he jumped on her chest; I saw how his fingers closed around her neck.

I screamed at him to stop, but he didn’t.

She tried to beat and grab his face, but she did not manage to do more than break his skin before her hands fell to the ground.

He held onto her throat; then he got up. He kicked her body – the head, the chest – and stepped on her arms and hands.

Then he looked at me and smiled.

I felt myself being pulled; felt my body moving to where he was in the reflection; I stemmed my feet against the ground, grabbed hold of a shelf – but he just stepped to where my reflection should have been. He smiled for a moment, then he stemmed his feet against the ground and grabbed hold of a shelf.

The pull was gone.

I waited for him to move, but he didn’t – until I took a step. He stepped just like me, the same moment, the same movement. For a moment I had a feeling he was still smiling, but when I stared at his face he looked just like me.

The woman in the mirror was still lying on the ground with blood slowly forming a ring around her body.

I went to bed. I swore to drink less, if ever again.

I broke that promise the next day shortly before noon; when the phone call woke me up.

I listened to the deep voice explaining Dana’s murder. The phone call ended; the metal lid bent in my hand; I didn’t even take a glass.

The questioning took hours. I was the prime suspect; the door wasn’t broken – and only I and the landlord had spare keys – and the chat logs suggested a fight.

The security in my building saved me. The guard remembered helping me to the elevator; the tapes corroborated his statement. I, officially, didn’t remember a thing.

It’s been months now. Still, when I look in the mirror in my bathroom, I see the dark stains on the floor. It’s not an illusion, I’m sure of that, but it doesn’t show up on photos.

What worries me more are the scars; the scars are not like the blood on his pant legs and shoes that I can only see in the mirror in my bathroom.

No matter in which mirror I look; the scars are not just on his face; I can also feel them on mine.


This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.

Autopilot

Gavin thoughtlessly picked on the bandages around his right arm.

“I’ve done this job for so many years, but I never experienced something like this.”

He used his left hand to brush the light brown hair out of his face.

“I’m sorry if I’m rambling random stuff. I just can’t get her face out of my head. Whenever I close my eyes, or whenever I lie down to sleep I only see her, staring at me with this anger. This strange woman, I mean, I know she is dead, but why do I need to keep seeing her face? It’s as if she’s haunting me.” Continue reading