On The Mercy Of Monsters

It was Saturday night, and Barry was bored.  Again.  It certainly hadn’t been the first time he found himself in this predicament, and would undoubtedly not be the last.  What was a first was finding himself standing in the bathroom staring at the mirror above the worn pedestal sink in the apartment he shared with his roommate,  a roommate who was currently busy doing anything else besides being a roommate, judging from the fact in the last month Barry had seen him precisely twice.  Seeing as his invisible friend had taken off for parts unknown when he was six, he had a lot of practice finding everything and anything to keep himself occupied.  Usually this involved a movie theater, a bag of popcorn, and an innate ability to luxuriate in  loser-dom, but no funds for the first two and an overwhelming excess  of the latter lately, caused his evening entertainment to be of the shut-in variety.  Or the loony kind, Barry thought to himself as he continued to stare at his own reflection.

But here he was, facing the mirror about to partake in a game even his six year old self would no doubt disdain as the work of a man poised for an eternal life of virginity.  But a non-working internet connection  made the idea of potentially invoking a demon in a mirror the stuff of inescapable necessity.  He took a few deep breaths, and with a low, quiet voice he began the familiar incantation.

 

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

 

He waited.  Outside, the sound of the dog from across the street barked once and then nothing.  Leaves, picked up from a sudden gust of wind, rustled against the closed sliding glass door leading to his balcony.  He watched intently for any change in appearance from the mirror, but all that greeted him was the same tired sight of his bespectacled face, growing darker and darker red as his sheepishness grew.

 

Bloody Mary!

Bloody Mary!

Bloody Mary!

 

Nothing but the growing sensation that a straitjacket was in his near future.

 

BLOODY MARY!

BLOODY MARY!

BLOODY MARY!

 

He practically screamed the words, no doubt making his first floor neighbors, who already passed him by like he was a ghost whenever they met in the hallway, further encouraged to call in an exorcist.  But still, no company was forthcoming, demonic or otherwise.

He waited a few more seconds, and then let out the air he found himself reflexively holding in.  This is what I’ve become, he thought as he shook his head.  Reduced to pleading for the mercy of monsters to solve loneliness.  He reached for the tap, turning it on to scoop a few heaping helpings of water against his face.  Blindly, he reached to the right to grab the hand towel hanging on the bar next to the light switch.  He patted his face as he turned off the light, while his mirror image turned to watch him walk out the door in the split-second before the room plunged into darkness.

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