There is an old home, more decrepit than any of the others on Wellington Street. I have talked to the current owner, who is living with a local relative, about the condition of the home and their plans for it. When it was in its prime, the house must have been quite beautiful. So to see it in its current state was puzzling to me, especially considering the well maintained manner of the other homes around it. It was a Thursday when I talked to him, and the owners face tightened when I mentioned the home. The following story is what he shared with me, though he would not give me permission to enter the home to investigate.
I purchased the home ten years ago with the hope of renovating it. If you look outside the building you may notice some of the abandoned 2x4's I had bought for the project. I had first come upon the building quite by accident. I was driving through, heading towards a local restaurant. Somehow I became lost, and ended up along side the building. I pulled over, trying to sort out where I was. I looked around, trying to find my bearings, when I noticed the house. At the time it was still in relatively good condition, the paint fresh and the garden well managed. Something about the home drew me in, and even after I managed to find my way I couldn't help but think about it.
After about a week I contacted the local residential listings, and was thrilled to find that the home was being put up for purchase at a steal of a price. I checked out the place quickly, and found that everything was in good condition. At the time, the explanation I got was that the previous owner had moved away, and that payments on the home had inexplicably stopped, causing it to come into the possession of the community.
It wasn't until a couple days after purchasing the place that I managed to move in. The place was a dream, and though there was some things that needed repairing I was surprised at the condition it was in. It was during late fall, leading into winter that I moved in, so the first thing I did was check the radiator and make sure it was working properly. It was a old Victorian one, and though everything seemed in order it wouldn't turn on. And so I went to the basement to check the fuses.
After going downstairs I went to work finding the fuse box. It didn't take long, and after a little time I found the one of the fuses was burnt out and replaced it. I was just about to go upstairs when I noticed something in the corner. It was a tall mirror, oval in shape with a patterning of leaves along its edges. It looked like it was very old, and the mirrored surface showed some level of deterioration.
I looked at it, and tried to figure out why it was left, when I noticed that the base was bolted to the floor. Puzzled but distracted by other projects, I went upstairs, and put the mirror out of my mind. I didn't view the mirror until late the following winter. I was heading downstairs to move down some boxes, when once again I noticed the mirror in the corner. Curious, I went to make some calls to see what I could find out about it, only to find that my phone had no service. I went to go upstairs, only to discover that after I was a couple of steps away from the mirror my service returned.
I turned around and stepped forward, looking at myself in the mirror. I was...thrilled. Exhilarated. Without explanation I felt a deep sense of jubilation seep deep into me, in a way I had never felt before. So I stood there and stared. For...I couldn't tell how long. I just looked into the mirror and felt drawn to it. After some time I finally left and went upstairs, discovering that I had spent over a hour in front of that old thing.
I knew it was strange, but I had no way of accounting for the way I felt. As the winter deepened, so too did my time at home. I found myself sitting in front of the mirror more and more. It made...me feel good. I wanted to tell someone, to explain, but I knew I would sound crazy. So I kept it all to myself, and so as days turned into months I continued to find my obsession growing stronger, each time the feeling of connection growing more and more.
One day though, the feelings of joy stopped. I was looking in the mirror when I noticed that in one of the corners of the basement, there seemed to a deep shadow. At first I dismissed it, and then I noticed it move. Instantly, I bolted from the basement, and did not return for a week. But I did return. I had to. I tried not to, but I began to get sick, my skin becoming dry, and my sleep restless. Soon, the shadow was no longer just a shadow but a full figure. Its skin was pale, and its eyes were always closed. Its mouth was always in a frown, needle like teeth visible within its parted lips. Every time I looked into the mirror, it would be standing there, swaying back and forth, breathing in deep, ragged breathes. Soon I saw it standing right next to me, like it was in some family photo. Then, one day without any reason, it disappeared completely.
Time went on, and it seemed that the mirror was again as it was. The same feelings returned, and I again found myself spending long hours in front of it. But, then I began to see myself. I saw how my skin was drying out, and my nails were yellowing...and my teeth were falling out. But, I couldn't move. Every moment I spent away from it was torment. It was only through my growing sense of horror that I was ever able to escape.
One day, I was looking into the mirror, a bucket next to my chair for waste, my cheeks sunken and drawn. I looked into the mirror and I saw my eye begin to tremble. I leaned in close, examining myself in the reflective surface. My eyelid began to bulge, and then from under the edge I saw five small fingers reach out.
The events that followed were a blur, though my neighbors said I ran out into the streets screaming before I passed out. I have never returned to the house, and to this day I fear looking into any mirror at all. I have...put on weight. Things seem to be close to normal. But even now the house vexes me. In my day to day life. And in my dreams.
Further discussion with the man revealed that he had plans to have the house torn down. This left me feeling optimistic for the man and his situation. It wasn't until I talked to his family that I changed my opinion. As mentioned earlier, it has been ten years since he left that house, and every year he mentions its destruction. And at the end of every year, despite his words and conviction, the house still stands.