Thursday, September 08, 2005
Steve lay quietly on the floor, pressed hard against the carpet. He inhaled and exhaled as inconspicuously as a conscious person is able. Perhaps fifteen minutes went by, perhaps an hour, when he noticed the mirror girls creeping up to the surface of the glass. He threw his entire concentration into the pretense of sleep. Squinting through quivering eyelids, he noticed them at play, tumbling over and under each other like impish squirrels, and with his ear discretely turned in their direction he heard their secretive whispers to one another. They were spying on him, waiting for him to reach that deep phase of sleep where dreams overwhelm the organism. Then they would roll through the mirror, surround him and whisk him away with them, back into the reflection. Now he waited, not daring to move, not daring to squint, for fear of fluttering an eyelid. Without a breath of warning he felt their fingers touching in synchronized choreography. He twisted away and lunged at the girls, hoping to capture at least one of them in a subduing embrace. But each of the nimble nymphs darted out of his reach and back into the other world. Overcome by the lost opportunity, Steve tried to follow them, face pressed against the cold glass, fists pounding on the unresponsive surface. But it was too late. He moaned his lament into the mirror while tears streamed down his cheeks: "You fiends," he cried, "give me back my brother!"