For years, I’d noticed unnatural things about my own reflection. Sometimes I saw a slight delay in movement, or an odd twitch that I didn’t feel. The eyes would blink maybe a second before I did, and I’d catch some strange expression in the corner of my vision as I turned away from the mirror.

When my mirror image finally spoke, I felt relieved that I hadn’t been imagining it all this time. There was another person there, or some other version of me.  We became good friends, in the end, understanding each other so perfectly. I began to feel sorry for people who didn’t have a reflection who could talk back.

Months went by, and then he asked me a question I couldn’t answer.

“What do you do,” he asked, “when you’re not being my mirror image?”

The question rolled in my head, and I realised I couldn’t remember where I was before I came to this particular bathroom mirror, I didn’t know what laid beyond the door behind me. When my mirror image walked back into his life, I was surrounded by black fog.

I was nothing but his reflection.


Bad Decisions

“If it wasn’t for the fact it felt so good, I’d never make bad decisions, ever,” Caroline slurred. She was almost lying down on the couch opposite me, as listless on her fourth glass of sauvignon as she’d been energetic on the second.

“I never seem to have the opportunity to make half the bad decisions you do, at least be grateful for that,” I replied.

This seemed to pull Caroline half upright.

“But you are happy, right?” she asked.

Yes, I was happy. I’d lived in that sleepy town for six years, and made some friends that weren’t as dysfunctional as Caroline, and was one year into a relationship which seemed gloriously uncomplicated to any that I’d been in before. Caroline, meanwhile, floated along wherever the winds took her, and if there was any kind of storm, she sheltered here with me for a few days.

Last time it had been regrets about changing her job and working with a new company. This time, it was a broken heart, which had been the likely outcome from the moment she had fallen in love with her boss.

“I would let you know if I wasn’t happy, it’s definitely my turn to sit on your couch and drink your wine until I cheer up.”

Caroline walked over and sat next to me.  She took my glass of beer and put it on the table. Before I could ask why, she kissed me hard on the lips.

“Sure you’re not suffering from the lack of opportunity to make bad decisions?”

Valentine’s Day Quickie: The Tragic Romance of KitKat and Oreo

In the fair land of Sainsbury’s, a foolish KitKat from the house of Nestle did an unspeakable thing. She lost her heart to Oreo of the house of Mondelez. Across the biscuit aisle, she yearned know of the soft centre beneath the dark biscuit. Oreo reciprocated KitKat’s love, and longed to be with her.

Alas, Oreo was betrothed to Dairy Milk. When KitKat saw the promotional materials, it hurt her to her wafery core, and she felt as if she were being snapped in two.

One fateful afternoon, an angel in the form of a determined shopper made their way to biscuit aisle. She had in her hand an eccentric cheesecake recipe that called for the marriage of two very different chocolate biscuits.

As she carelessly tossed them into her basket, KitKat almost exploded with excitement. She lay face down, able to feel Oreo’s curves through the thin foil. She was surprised her chocolate robe wasn’t melting due to the tension.

The moment they were pounded together to form the cheesecake base was ecstatic, and there were a few beautiful hours where they remained as one.

Although they met their tragic end that night, swallowed by dinner party guests, their hearts were satisfied. The diners declared it to be a match made in heaven.

A Fairy Tale With No Fairies, Just A Mildly Disappointed Cleaner And A Guy That Looked A Bit Like Neil Gaiman

Once upon a time, there was a girl who worked as a temporary cleaner for her university. She was assigned to work for three days in a hall of residence that was much like the other halls of residence. It was neither grand nor squalid, it was just alright.

On the first day, she worked alone. It was a tiring job, but the time went by quickly so she didn’t mind too much. She cleaned bathrooms and mopped floors and dusted and hoovered, and she was very proud of how nice it looked when she had finished.

On the second day, she worked with one of the permanent cleaners, who was a very kind lady and let the girl take a coffee break at eleven. The girl wiped bathrooms and made beds, and the guests were quite pleased that their coffee sachets had been replaced.

On the third day, she came to work and noticed another temporary cleaner who she hadn’t met before. He was shy but handsome, and he looked a lot like a young Neil Gaiman. When the other cleaners asked if he had done this before, he mumbled, “Oh, erm, I’ve done some shifts on University Park…”

The girl laughed inside, because that is exactly what she told them when she first arrived, in the exact same apologetic tone of voice.

She only saw him once after that. He was carrying a heavy load of linen, and her cleaning trolley was in the way. She stammered and apologized as she tried to move the cart out of the way, but he just smiled at her, and she smiled back. She had hoped to see him again when they clocked out, but her hair was frizzy, her face was red, and she was quite sweaty in her ill-fitting blouse from Primark, so she probably wouldn’t have tried to talk to him anyway.

She got home, and was so (mildly) disappointed that she would never see him again, she wrote a whole blog post about it the next day, in fairy tale form.

And there wasn’t a happily ever after. (Not this time, anyway.)

Friday Fictioneers – Shrooms


Copyright – John Nixon

I’m glad I had this particular piece to write about this week. I just got back from a compulsory tour yesterday and as amazing as it was, I was really exhausted. I was struggling to get into a writing mood or even think about what to submit for this photo. When I thought about this concept, it was the perfect answer as I found I could just write, and the less I thought about it, the better it was. If you want to take part in Friday Fictioneers, click here.


She couldn’t figure out where the drumbeats came from but they pulsed through her body, creating red and white circles in front of her eyes. They bled into everything, mixing into a grotesque pink that shimmered over her memories. The images in her past were colliding too. That damn piano, sticky with last night’s vomit, came into her view. She laid on the ground, helpless, as the clown came over. His breath was coloured purple and the fumes clouded the air. She closed her mouth and the drumbeats became faster.

Eventually, he climbed into the piano and everything went black.