Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.
This is Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
We’ve got stories by:
- Tura Brezoianu
- Norval Joe
- Planet Z
By Christopher Munroe
I’ve replaced the ceiling of my bedroom with mirrors.
The walls too.
My quilt and sheet set are now made of reflective material, and I’ve covered what furniature I have with mirrors as well. This way, wherever I look, I can’t escape the vision of myself, reflected back at myself, all the way to infinity.
It’s been suggested that this will drive me mad, and it might. There are days where I feel like it’s driven me mad already…
Nonetheless, it is necessary.
Something, after all, had to be done, to compensate for my own lack of capacity for self-reflection…
Life in the Fast Lane
by Jeffrey Fischer
The Porsche 911 rocketed down the highway, effortlessly exceeding the speed limit by 40 miles per hour. The car was Larry’s gift to himself, purchased with his annual bonus. His life was in the fast lane; he deserved a commensurate car.
As Larry glanced in the rear-view mirror, he saw a Corvette rapidly gaining on him and pushed harder on the accelerator. For several miles the two cars weaved through traffic, playing a high-stakes game. Then Larry looked in the mirror again to see the ‘Vette drop back substantially. Larry chuckled. Life in the fast lane, loser.
Only then did Larry see the police cruiser coming up quickly, lights flashing and siren wailing. Larry knew what next year’s bonus would buy: a radar detector.
by Jeffrey Fischer
Hand in hand, Connor and Aileen entered the funhouse, which turned out to consist of but a single room. This contained nothing but two mirrors, about ten feet apart.
Aileen stepped in front of the first and saw a grotesque, bloated reflection. The image had bad skin, bulges in unsightly places, and a rats’ nest of hair. The second mirror displayed a much different Aileen: lithe and pretty, with an inescapable feeling of *lightness* about the image.
Connor took his turn. The first mirror showed a handsome, athletic man, and he smiled at his reflection. The second mirror displayed a mean-looking version of Connor, whose smile was a cruel sneer. Try as he might, Connor could not make the image change.
When the couple left the fun house, a carny passed them a card that read, “The mirrors reflect how you see yourself and how you really are. It is for you to decide which is which.”
Have you seen the experiment where scientists leave a mirror in the jungle and film the reaction of passing animals in order to measure the level of self-awareness of various species?
Personally, I’m not that impressed with the findings that such experiments reveal – I don’t think that observing an animal react to its own reflection is any real indication of self-awareness.
Take me, for example: I have an absolute loathing for mirrors and if I should happen to pass one, I’ll take great pains to ignore it at all costs.
I don’t want to see my reflection – I’m painfully self-aware!
I don’t like mirrors.
They embody so much of what is wrong with our society.
Why do we even need mirrors?
So we can make sure we measure up to other’s ideals of beauty?
So I can obsess over my crow’s feet, the acne scars that will never go away, or the extra chin that seemed to just appear one day?
When I think of mirrors, I think of the evil queen in Snow White and the story of Echo and Narcissus.
Can you imagine a world without mirrors?
No mirrors, no more bathroom selfies.
The antique Victorian mirror had a silver handle, beautifully carved. It glowed each time someone picked it up. Every single person thought that was good, after all everybody secretly wished to be special. The problem was that the more the mirror glowed, the more dangerous it became. No one knew that as soon as the mirror reached a state of glow overload, the first terribly unfortunate soul to hold it would turn into a cranky shriveled old witch. Darn bad luck that Harry was the one who grabbed it. And yes, he is now officially a cranky shriveled old witch.
I fear mirrors, for always he is there, facing my seventy-three years with an indeterminate prime of youth. I suppose I looked like him once, but did I have that air of contemptuous superiority?
His tailored clothing is not more expensive than I could once afford, but more than I ever cared to. The face behind his face hints at vices much indulged, yet it is I who weaken with the years.
I speak, but he never replies. I think he will not until I lie dying, to tell me that this world was the reflection, and his the reality.
Great Aunt Franny’s mirror was the only object she kept from the old country. My Great Grandfather bought it at a market in the Jewish ghetto Vienna. The story goes that the merchant had acquired it from a sufi who had to flee Istanbul. It was said it had been stolen from the Khedive Palace that hugged the Asian coast of the Bosphorus. The silvering at its edge had clouded considerably so her father had gotten it for a little more than a hand full of Maria Theresas. After her wake I searched for the mirror, but never found it.
It looked old and neglected in the gym mirror. She was 22, and she asked me if I liked the tramp stamp she had for a couple of years. She pulled down her bikini bottom. I saw a big ass and a horrible tat. I asked her, pointblank, where has that ass been? It was a forty- year old ass on a girl only half that age. I’m sorry. That’s no way for a college, swimming coach to talk. I’ve got my own problems. After the areola reduction surgery, I’ve been far too conscious of body images, and I apologize.
When I studied communications, I concentrated on the unit and practicum that dealt with Neurolinguistic Programming…specifically the technique of mirroring a person to induce in them a frame of mind that allowed control of behavior with my actions, breathing, speech, etc. I put my studies to work the first time I sold a used, British sports car. I kept eye contact while I slowed down the pace of my speech, my movements, and my breathing. In a few moments, I had my customer mirroring me…even as I reached for the contract and the pen she would sign the contract with.
You need to step away from the mirror every once in a while, and look for another reflection, like the one in the eyes of the people and your dogs, who love and admire you. I know a guy that takes selfies of himself every chance he gets. He takes pictures of himself driving, eating, at work, on the commode, etc. He loves himself. Few others do, since he is a boorish clout, and a self-important twerp. When the door closes in the morning, his wife breathes a deep sigh and drinks a big glass of white wine before breakfast.
I went on an effective communication skills course to build closer relationships with the people I had to work with. It was there that I learned how to mirror non-verbal communication, in order to establish rapport.
I became very good at it, and before long I wasn’t only reflecting mood and temperament, but I was beginning to mirror attitudes, opinions and thought-processes too. Empathy became sympathy and, over time, I gained an understanding that went far beyond professional interest.
Recently, I’ve started mirroring behaviours and activities… not such a good thing when you interview murderers and serial-killers for a living!
John exits the restroom squinting.
“Have you seen my sunglasses?” asked John.
“Who do you think you are, Corey Hart? It’s the middle of the night.” replied his roommate.
“Have you ever heard of a mirror universe?” asked John
“Like in Star Trek where everything that is good is bad?” said the roommate.
“Well not in this case. I found a portal under the bathroom sink to a place that everything is reflective. I tried exploring but nearly every time I shined my flashlight at something the reflection nearly blinded me. Here they are. Now to explore brave new worlds ”
Carina and Katrina were twins, mirror images of each other. Everyone thought they were identical, but that would be impossible. The mirror, remember, reveals your true opposite.
Carina was right handed. Katrina was left.
When Carina had a witty thought, her right eyebrow rose of its own accord.
Katrina’s was her left and her thoughts were devious.
Carina was pure hearted and good and when she smiled a deep dimple formed in her right cheek.
Katrina had a dimple as well, but as you’ve surely guessed, it appeared in her left cheek, and something truly wicked was about to happen.
The General’s assistant has been caught with the rebels.
The rebels were dead, and a firing squad had been assembled for the assistant.
“Any last words?” asked The General.
“How can you stand to look at yourself in the mirror?”
The General smiled.
“I don’t. If you remember, I have people like you to shave me, check my hair, and make sure that my tie is straight.”
The General game the command to fire.
The firing squad took aim, turned, and shot The General.
“And command your troops,” said the assistant.
The firing squad reloaded, turned, and shot him, too.