Written by Caleb J.
He didn’t know how his family somehow got a hold of this thing. He didn’t know why his dad told him it was something both important and scary. Whenever he held it he felt odd, every time he tried to hold it he put it down because he hated the feeling. Whenever he tried to lose it, the next day it would be on his desk without a scratch, like he had never tried to lose it in the first place.
“Josh get down here,” said his Dad.
“Ok Dad coming,” said Josh.
“Your breakfast is ready; what are you doing today?’’
“Nothing as usual,’’ said Josh.
“Ok, then after you’ve finished your breakfast go upstairs and do something so I can drink my coffee and read my newspaper in peace.’’
Josh finished his breakfast and went upstairs.
“What am I going to do?”
The first thing he thought of was to go look at that thing that his dad said was off limits. His life was so boring he really needed some excitement. He went to his dad’s room and saw the “Thing” as he liked to call it, in a glass case that was obviously locked. He remembered his Dad used to show him this when he was little and even let him hold it sometimes. But then one day his Dad came home with a glass case that they usually have in stores to display locked up items they want you to buy. Once his Dad had put the case in his room, he put the “Thing” in it and locked it up and hid the key.
Josh shook his head so he would stop day dreaming and started to look for the key. He started looking on the top shelf of his Dad’s closet, but he didn’t see anything there. Next he tried under the bathroom sink, still nothing was there. He tried to think where his Dad would put something like that. He thought about his sock drawer. There might be a chance it could be in there, but he saw just a bunch of socks. He sighed and he started to close the drawer. But wait, there was one sock that was in the back of the drawer by itself, he reached for it and stuck his hand into it. There was something in the sock. It was a key! He grabbed it very fast and walked to the glass case the “Thing” was in, and unlocked the case and took it out. Then he ran very quickly and carefully to the bathroom and locked the door behind him.
“This thing is so weird,” he said.
It was a weirdly shaped star with a little red square in the middle. It felt cold. He picked it up and pressed the red square on it. When he did he felt odd and backwards; he felt like doing things backwards. Like he should walk backwards or talk backwards or his eyes should be facing into his skull.
“What in the world is that mirror doing,” He whispered to himself. “Should I touch it?” he thought.
He reached out his hand and touched it. He couldn’t see his hand! He screamed!
It took a moment to recover from the shock of what just happened. He tried to run out of the room but the door was jammed! Now he was really panicking. Once he had finally calmed down and stopped yelling, he thought to himself that maybe the door would open if I touched the mirror again. (Little did he know that if he had just turned the key on the door he would have been able to get out!) So he touched the mirror one more time; he stuck his hand in pretty far this time, and then something grabbed his hand, pulling his whole body in the mirror!
Ahhhhhhh!!! He screamed, hoping it would somehow help him. Something or someone was pulling him down some stairs. He started to scream and then a fist came flying out and hit him in the mouth. He stopped screaming. Finally whatever it was that was pulling him stopped. There was a beam of light coming from a crack in the building he was in. The building was totally run down and everything was broken inside of it. Then he heard someone. He asked in a quiet and curious voice, “Who are you?”
“I’m Josh,” Josh stuttered.
“But my name is Josh,” said the voice. And then he stepped into the light.
He looked almost exactly like Josh! It was creepy though because he had boils all over his skin and cuts and bruises. His nose was smashed, he didn’t have any hair! And then Josh realized that the guy was completely opposite to him. The other guy didn’t have long messy brown hair, or healthy skin. The other Josh was the bad version of himself. Of course The Real Josh could still do bad things but this other Josh was like a complete zombie or something!
Then it started mumbling and walked outside not even caring anymore if that guy that he had just dragged down the stairs got free. As soon as the other Josh had shut the door, the real Josh made sure that he was totally out of site then ran up the stairs. He ran to the bathroom. But wait – did he hear footsteps coming up the stairs? He had no idea what the other Josh would do to him. So he hid behind the bathroom curtain. The footsteps stopped. Now it was really quiet. Once he thought that the the other Josh was gone, he climbed out of the shower curtain. Then he pressed the little red square in the middle of the “Thing” as he started to climb into the mirror. Then someone started to run upstairs! He scrambled into the mirror and got through. The other Josh was in the bathroom uglier than ever. Then he saw the real Josh and started to climb through the mirror and stuck his hand through.
Then Josh remembered the thing! The other Josh was half way in! He pressed the little red square and the mirror closed. The other Josh burst into a million little pieces and was gone! Josh barely escaped.
His Dad obviously heard all the racket upstairs and came running. “What on earth happened?” his Dad asked in a demanding and worried voice. He broke open the bathroom door and saw the pieces of dead skin all over the floor. Then he looked at his son and he looked fine except for a couple bruises on his face.
“Josh, do you want to explain what on earth this is all about?”
“Alright I’ll tell you about it,” said Josh with a worried voice. Josh explained everything that happened, how he had stolen the “Thing” and how he had gone through the mirror and found that a clone of himself was in the mirror world or whatever it was and how the clone of him was like a zombie and was crazy and how he had so many wounds and so on.
After he finished the story, his Dad told him all about WHY he had locked up the “Thing” in the first place.
“Josh, the whole reason that I locked the “Thing” up was because I had the same experience as you did.
“What?” said Josh in a surprised voice. “You saw the other version of me?”
“No, the reason I locked the “Thing” up was because I saw MY other version. He had cuts all over his body and was crazy too, but I didn’t kill him with the mirror. I escaped, I was climbing out of the mirror and was just about through when I heard him yelling and saying “I’ll find you.” I got through the mirror but not before he saw me . I closed the mirror before he got a chance to go through. After I was safe I knew I had to lock up the “Thing” so you and anyone else couldn’t get through that mirror and see my distorted clone and risk getting killed. After you came back through the mirror and told me what happened, I knew that anyone who went through the mirror would not see me but see themselves in a horrible way. That’s why you saw the other version of you,” said his Dad.
“Oh, so how do we keep anyone else from getting in the mirror?”
“Well, I guess we have to destroy it.” said Dad.
“Well how do you do that? You can’t just break it in half, it will come right back together,” said Josh.
“How do you know that?”
“Well, when I was little you let me play with it, before you found out what it could do. Well when I was playing with it one day on the stairs, I dropped it and it shattered into bits. Then when I went to clean it up it was all together with no scratches!
“Really?” said his Dad.
“Yeah, it was really strange, but I have been thinking, you know that red square in the middle of the Thing?”
“Yeah,” said Dad.
“Maybe if we stab it, maybe we could destroy it!”
“Well, I guess we can try.”
They went down stairs and went into the garage.
“Alright Josh, can you get a knife?”
Josh came back with the biggest knife he could find.
“Okay, I’ve got one.”
“Okay, now give it to me, okay in 3-2-1!”
“Where did it go?” said Josh.
“I don’t know Josh, I don’t know.”
Where it went, well, no one will ever know for sure. But what we do know is that it didn’t get destroyed, it got “teleported” somewhere. It could be in the depths of the ocean or another country. It would not be recommended to look for it though. Because if you do, and you find it and you go through your mirror, there is no telling if you will ever come out alive again.
Caleb’s story is the SEVENTH in a series of stories written by kids in Malawi, Africa. These stories came out of a 2-day Workshop on Writing that I taught to 3rd-7th grade home-schooled kids. They listened to the teaching and and used a lot of their own imagination to come up with their stories. I am really proud of them. Caleb’s cautionary ending was especially well crafted to leave the reader wondering…and a bit chilled!
Leave a comment for Caleb if you can. I know it would inspire him to keep writing!