Something was off.
It had started as a feeling; a deep turmoil in his stomach that flared up at random times, a pressure in his throat that was erratic and never stayed around long enough for him to figure out what was wrong. But Seán just chalked that up to sickness. It wasn’t that unusual to feel a little under the weather, especially when his sleep schedule was as off as it was right now.
But that was another thing that was off, when he really thought about it. He hadn’t always been the best sleeper, but he wasn’t exactly an insomniac. These days, however, he couldn’t ever seem to get a good nights rest. It was really starting to affect his everyday life. He had some blank spots in his memories, but that must just be the lack of sleep talking.
One day, as he’s passing the mirror after another fitful night of sleep, he catches a glimpse of his reflection. Mussed hair, bags forming under tired eyes, skin even paler than usual….
This isn’t me, this isn’t me, this isn’t me-
“Calling all Irish bastards; you still there, Jack? It’s been, like, 2 minutes since you’ve said anything...” Seán looked up from where he had apparently zoned out to see his computer open to Minecraft, Felix’s voice crackling through his headphones with a barely concerned tinge to his voice. He didn’t remember setting up the game, he didn’t remember setting up the camera still blinking on his desk to let him know that he was indeed recording….
He laughed. “Oh, shut your trap, Felix; the amount of bullshit you just laid on me send my mind into the 10th dimension of idiocracy.”
“What the hell, man? That’s it, your dog is dead meat for saying that-”
He must’ve zoned out… that was fine. Everything was fine.
This isn’t me this isn’t me this isn’t me this isn’t me-
“Keep your arms on your side of the bed, ya great Gaelic gladiator,” a sleep-slurred voice broke into Jack’s mind and, almost like he was waking up from a dream, he was snapped into the present to find himself in his room. The lights were dimmed, the beginnings of the sunrise were peeking through his curtains, and his hand was lightly wrapped around Evelien’s neck. He instantly ripped it away, hands shaking.
THIS ISN’T ME THIS ISN’T ME THIS ISN’T ME
“Have you ever felt…. like you aren’t yourself, sometimes?”
Ethan snorts, then looks into the camera. “Yeah, sometimes I look into the mirror and I see a dumbass instead of the buff genius I know I am.” As he notices Jack’s expression, his laugh cuts off and he quickly clears his throat. “But, uh… I’m not sure. Why? Is something wrong?”
Jack just shakes his head, forcing himself to pick up the controller and put on a smile. “N-No… Just… just wondering….”
THIS ISN’T ME THIS ISN’T ME THIS ISN’T-
And then, one day, Jack looked into the mirror and didn’t see himself at all.
Because, last time he checked, his eyes weren’t a sickly shade of green. His throat wasn’t gashed horribly, trails of blood dripping down deathly white skin and staining his shirt a red so dark it was almost black. His reflection broke silently, as if the surface of the mirror had cracked, and as bloodstained lips turned up in a smile, his reflection’s pale hand raised to wave at the other even though his own stayed frozen at his sides.
It took him a second to realize that it wasn’t the mirror itself that was broken; it was him.
His reflection glitched again, and Jack watched in horror as the other’s mouth opened in silent laughter. A crackling of static built inside of him, and it only got louder and louder around him as he kept looking at his reflection.
Then, finally, as the static got so loud that Seán was sure his head was going to explode, he heard something, almost drowned out in the noise.
The static was then cut off so suddenly that Jack’s ears hurt from the whiplash. And almost as if it had never happened, he was left staring into the mirror, shaky hands gripping the countertop as he stared into his tired blue eyes.
Something was off.
Jack just couldn't ever remember what it was.