Terrifying Tales Contest Notable Mention #2: 12-14

Shatter

Shatter by Madelyn K., 12-14 category, from the Issaquah Library.

On January sixteenth at eleven thirty-five at night, the old cabin shook. The windows shattered, one by one, as if a giant fist punched them in. All the mirrors flew up the stairs, into the smallest bedroom. All the glasses, plates, and bowls also flew up the stairs into the same room, clipping the walls and shattering as they went. Every shard of glass in the house flew into that room, gathering into a pile of glass. The pile grew and grew, and as it grew, it started to float up off the floor. It floated higher and higher until it was in the exact center of the room, and it just floated there for one second. Two. Three. Then, it all exploded.

My name is Kaylee. That’s all you need to know. That’s all I remember. That’s all that is important, except what happened on February 6th. The year does not matter. Just February 6th. On that day, we got in the car and started the six hour drive to my uncle’s old cabin. He hadn’t been there in years, and he was letting us stay there for a couple weeks.

“Just to help with your loss,” he had said, with a kindly smile on his face. I did not like him, smile or not. He gave me a bad feeling. Was the smile genuine? His expression seemed too plastic, too perfect. Not right. I told Mom. She scolded me for not being thankful for his “gift”.

“Don’t you want to get away, to leave all of this behind?” No, I don’t. But that does not matter. I am a child, only nine, and I must follow wherever Mom goes. So here I am. In the car. Trees fly by, shadows of arms stretched out to try to slow us down.

“Thank you, but there’s nothing you can do,” I whisper to the trees. They withdraw their clawed hands tentatively, as if they really thought they could stop Mom. I shake my head, and they fall back. I can feel the eyes of Sara on my back. I do not move. She thinks I’m strange, but she’s fourteen. She cannot hear the whispers of the mirrors, cannot see the shadow arms of the trees, cannot feel the burn of people’s eyes on her arms. Only time will tell if little Evie, only six, will have the senses. Probably not. I got them when I was five. A strand of my black hair falls into my face, but I do not move. I continue to stare out towards the trees, not really caring if Sara stares. Her green eyes can keep staring.

We are here. I open the door and step out. The road had gotten more winding, more narrow, more steep, until we reached the house. I did not mind. Sara definitely did. She still looks a little green. Her hair seems darker than its usual brown. I stand outside, staring at the cabin. It was nice, the wood seemed sturdy. I looked at the windows and stared for a little. They were gone. Mom muttered something about stupid teenagers and their parties and Sara shook her head. They were stupid. Couldn’t they see how neatly the windows were shattered, how not a single shard of glass lay outside?

Now we’re inside. I note the lack of glass objects, anywhere. Mom opened the cupboards in the kitchen and frowned. No plates, no bowls, no glasses. Nothing. I did not really care. I walked into the living room and sat in the middle of the ornate rug. The leather couches looked lumpy and comfy. I preferred the hard floor.

Sara finally gets her suitcase inside and Mom stops rummaging through the obviously empty cabinets.

“Okay, do you want to go pick out your rooms upstairs?” Mom asked. Evie scrambled up the stairs excitedly and Sara followed.

“Come on,” Mom said with a pointed look towards me. I got up and followed her up the stairs. First room was Mom’s, because it was the biggest and adults always get the biggest room. Evie was sleeping with Mom because there are only three rooms. And because Evie’s too scared to sleep on her own. Sara claimed the next room, “for the view,” she said, but it was obviously because it was almost twice the size of the last room. I go towards the room at the end of the hallway and pause. I had my hand on the handle and I could feel something on the other side. Something strange. I turned around and everyone was behind me.

“Hurry up, I want to see your room,” Sara muttered. Mom gave her a look and she looked away from Mom. I just blinked and opened the door. Mom inhaled sharply as she took in this room. Sara froze, staring at the floor. Evie brushed a strand of her brown hair away from her face.

There was glass all over the floor. Everywhere. It looked like it was blown out from the center of the room, arranged like a crater. Evie started to cry, tears streaming from her green eyes. I turned around.

“I’ll clean it up.” I said. Mom just nodded and herded Evie back to their room. Sara lingered for a bit, but eventually left.
I stepped into the room and shut the door. Slowly. As soon as the door clicked into place, I felt something shift. Something change. I turn around and in the center of the glass crater lay a hand mirror. I blink. It’s still there. I open the door a crack and the mirror disappears. I close the door. It’s back. There are no windows in this tiny room, just a twin sized bed and a small desk. I take a step closer to the mirror. I don’t like it.

I kneel down and start picking up shards of glass. I get halfway before I find myself right next to the mirror. I stare at it. At my reflection. I stare for sixteen seconds before my reflection blinks. I did not blink. I keep staring. The reflection smiled and waved. I waved back. Then I grabbed the mirror and put it face-down, and continue to pick up glass. I picked up ten more pieces before I cut myself. I don’t even blink, just stare at the drop of blood running down my finger. I continue to pick up glass.

I am by the mirror again. It’s face-up. I’m waving at the reflection. It just smiles. I reach a bloody hand down and touch the surface. It’s cold. Very cold. I start to pull back but I can’t. My hand is stuck. For the first time in years, I felt something. Something. I do not know the word. I think-

“Panic.”

I look down at the mirror. It spoke. It spoke a perfect replica of my voice, but deeper. Darker. Smoother. Blood starts pouring out from underneath my splayed fingers. My breathing quickens a little bit. The blood circles my arm, climbs up, up, up, onto my neck, my face, and I can’t breathe. I can’t see. I can’t feel. I can’t smell. I ca-
Hush.
On February 6th, at eleven-thirty at night, the world exploded.

The woman is dead, I think. I do not know. All I know is glass. All I feel is glass. I step down the stairs, into the living room. I am holding the mirror. I frown at the rug, ugly thi-

Focus.

I snap to attention. The rug does not matter. The people on it do. A girl, older, with another girl, younger. I do not know who they are. Glass swirls behind me. I think. Twenty-three shards of glass sail into the older girl. She falls to the floor. The little girl trembles.

She speaks. I cannot hear the words. All I hear is glass.

“Come,” it says. But my lips are moving. Mine. It holds out a hand. My hand. Glass swirls. The little girl reaches up. Her hand shakes. I think. She brushes my finger. That’s all it needs. The glass stilled, then flies towards our hands, just the little touch. She screams as a few cut her hand. A few cut mine. I do not feel anything. Glass shoots towards our joined hands, every little shard there until the last shard slides in. Then, we shatter.

On February twenty-eighth, at twelve-eleven, the police came. The family was missing. A mother and her three kids. They had visited the uncle’s cabin after the father’s death. They entered, expecting nothing. A murder scene. A note.

Instead, they found a million pieces of glass.

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