October 25, 1962
I don’t blame anyone for being unmarried and childless at my age. I don’t because it’s my fault. I worked at sea all my life and we don’t allow women in the ship. Everyday it’s always the same old bastards. I’m also not good with women. I tend to be very shy and try to keep my distance whenever I’m at land. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not a homophile. It’s just that I don’t meet a lot of women and I don’t think they would want a fool like me. Especially at my age. Maybe I’ll die a lonely man.
As a result of extreme waves of back pain, I was forced to be sent home. As much as I miss being on land, my problem is I don’t have a place to stay. The only family I have left is Uncle Tom, in which he invited me to come live with him and be of help at the bakery. But I don’t want to be under one roof with his wife, Aunt Maria. She’s a nagger, only my Uncle can bear her.
I told Uncle Tom that I would like to live in his abandoned house near the farm. As a child, I’ve visited that place with my parents when they were still alive. I had lots of fond memories basking in the sun, playing in the cornfields. He refused and said it’s dangerous to live there considering that it’s deteriorating and is infested with deadly rats. I understand where he’s coming from, it’s been deserted for more than 35 years but I’m sure a rat poison and some cleaning up can handle that.
Carrying my luggage, I went to the forsaken house despite the warning of my Uncle. I was thinking of going through the window but to my surprise, the door was unlocked. It was so dark I could hardly see anything. I was expecting a horde of deadly rats will greet me at the door but all I saw was cobwebs and some dusty furnitures. I lighted my lamp and made my way through the chalky sofa. It’s weird because everything still looks the same as I last saw this place years ago, except that it’s unkept now. I prepared the rat poison, whisked the sofa and situated my blanket on top of it. As I lay on this timeworn couch, sad thoughts started entering my head.
How I wish I have a wife. If only I have a woman, I’m sure she would prepare me a delicious meal, a warm bath and would shower me with lots of hugs and kisses. But I’m alone in this ramshackled house and will probably die of bubonic plague. It started raining hard and I could hear drops of water leaking from the ceiling. I called it a day and started dozing off.
When I woke up, I remember the dream that I had. I dreamt of a woman. I couldn’t recall her face but I could recall her voice. She was calling my name over and over. It seems she was asking help. I quickly got up and checked the rat poison, it puzzled me because it was not reduced. I got some water from the nearby well, took a bath and went to town to buy food and some house necessities. The house was located away from the community, it was dark when I got home.
I checked the rat poison and it’s still untouched. I joked to myself, maybe I scared the rats. It was a long day, I also tried to get a job across the municipality. Just when I was about to sleep, I heard a womans voice calling my name. I recollected it’s the voice that I heard in my dream. It keeps on getting louder and more clearer. I traced where the voice was coming from and think that it must be from the attic. I’ve been to this house several times as a kid but I’ve never went up there.
Holding my lamp, I made my way to the attic. I opened the squeaky door and saw cobwebs, old furnitures piled on top of the other and a large mirror at the center. I asked if she’s here and but heard no reply. I must be imagining things. I turned around and was about to go downstairs when I heard her voice.
“I’m here.” I looked behind and saw a woman in the mirror. A beautiful woman, I must say. The most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my entire life. She’s wearing a white dress with a pink bow tied around her waist. She has long blonde hair, blue eyes and porcelain skin like a doll. She smiled at me and asked me to come nearer. I couldn’t believe what I’m seeing. How could a woman be inside a mirror! I was thinking I must be going crazy. I told her I need to go downstairs and try to get my head clear. She told me to come back and accompany her because she’s alone and afraid. I refused and went back to the sofa and tried to close my eyes. I know I’m just hallucinating. This can’t be real.
I woke up with a dizzy head. I remembered the incident last night, it was crystal clear like it really did happened. I went to the attic just to assure myself that I was just having visions. I opened the door and saw the mirror. I walked towards it and suddenly, the beautiful woman appeared inside it. “You came back.” She spoke with a sweet voice and gave me an angelic smile. I was shocked and confused of what I’m seeing.
She brushed her long blonde hair with her fingers as tears started to fill her big blue eyes. She spoke to me with a voice full of despair. “Please, don’t be afraid of me. I just wanted someone to talk to. I’m alone.” Sure this is scary but something in me wanted to comfort this young woman, something in me feels like she needed help.
I pulled an old, rusty chair, sat on it and started talking to her. She said her name was Lucy and this is the first time she has showed herself to someone due to feeling lonely. She was bound in the mirror for eternity and that she wanted to get out. She talked about wanting to wear beautiful dresses, scarves, hats and pretty shoes like the sophisticated women who used this mirror before. She dreams of putting on dainty earrings and knowing what a perfume smells like. She also recalled a man and a woman making love infront of the mirror and dreams of having a man of her own.
I told her about my life as a sailor. That life at sea was sad and sometimes dangerous when we’re near countries with pirates. I also told her that I’ve been wanting to have a wife and children now that I’ve grown tired of my life as a bachelor. That I’m miserable and I feel hopeless. She said she feels the same way and longs for a family of her own but by being a captive of the mirror, it’s impossible.
As the days go by, we fell in love with each other. Everyday I would go up in the attic and talk to her about my adventures and misadventures at the sea. She would patiently listen and laughs with my stale jokes. I would also show her some travel magazines so she would see what the world looked like outside the mirror. I watch her eyes widen with amazement as she looks at the city lights and dancing children. For the first time in my life, I felt happy. I felt that someone understands and accepts me. She often asks me if I trust her, I always give her the reassurance that I do.
I finally had the courage to write a telegram to Uncle Tom. I apologized and came clean about living in his abandoned house. To banish his worry, I told him that since living in this house, I have never seen a single rat. The cats might have scared them away. I also wrote about meeting a woman. And that her name is Lucy and she is wonderful. I told him not to worry about me and send my regards to Aunt Maria.
I love my Lucy, my dear Lucy. I trust her with all my heart. If only I can set her free.
One night, I saw my Lucy crying hard. I asked her why and she said she feel gloomy. She expressed her gratefulness for my presence. But she wanted more. She’s longing for a loving touch from the man that she loves, a caress from me. She wanted to escape the mirror so that we can finally be together. She asked me again if I fully trust her and begun telling me that there’s a way out but I must believe her. I told her that there’s nothing that I want in this world than her liberty. She requested a silver knife and some herbs that I’ve never heard before. The morning after, I went to the market as early as I can. These herbs are hard to find but I was determined to do so, if it will set my Lucy free.
Upon reaching home, she instructed me to burn the herbs in a bowl. Shen then begged that I scrape my finger with a knife and pour blood on the burning herbs. She recited a chant with a foreign language and asked me to repeat it back. Just when I was about to speak, I heard the door downstairs creaked open. Next thing I know I’m hearing loud footsteps running towards the attic. Lucy screamed and told me to repeat back the chant but Uncle Tom yanked open the attic door and demanded I stop.
I hesitated and told him that Lucy and I are in love. I repeated the chant then Lucy told me to touch the mirror. Uncle Tom tried to stop me by grabbing my arm but I broke free. I touched the mirror and looked at my Lucy in the eye. Finally, you will be free, my Lucy, my love. Lucy looked at me and spoke in her loving voice. “Finally, my love…”
I must have fainted because I found myself on the floor. I opened my eyes and tried to search for Lucy and Uncle Tom but they’re nowhere in sight. I don’t know where I am, all I see is darkness. I coughed hard as I smelled a foul stench of decay. I turned around and saw the mirror in front of me. I looked in the mirror and saw the attic. What’s more eerie is that I don’t have a reflection. In a corner, I saw Uncle Tom crying. He walked towards the mirror with teardrops in his eyes. He looked in the mirror while sobbing, he doesn’t seem to see me.
“I told you not to go here nephew. You didn’t listen. If you can hear me, you’re on the other side of the mirror now. The demon who seduced you is a soul eater. I’m afraid… There’s no way out…”
I don’t understand what my Uncle’s trying to tell me. I shouted and started banging on the mirror but he doesn’t seem to see nor hear me. I turned behind me when I heard a low disembodied voice calling my name. It seems it’s coming from beneath the floor. It was pitch black and my only light source is the one coming out of the mirror. At far, a silhouette of a woman appeared wearing a white dress with a pink bow tied around the waist. As she come nearer, I saw that she has long blonde hair. My Lucy! I walked towards her with excitement but instead of seeing Lucy, what I saw was…
A rotten cadaver…