Potion & The Other Self

The thing behind the mirror beats against it as you prepare your salvation, strangely colored liquids bubbling through twisted glass and gases shimmering with heat's haze condensing down through concentric silver rings. It took so long to prepare, so many failures!

But now it's ready.

You know it can't make any noise, not here, not from behind the mirror, yet as its face contorts in fear and rage you can hear it screaming. It echoes through your mind, wordless and thought-devouring, making thought all but impossible—

You swallow another pill, choking it down with a mouthful of oily water, and the scream stills.

It's still there, just behind the mirror, the glass cracking as it beats its fists into bloody paste, but at least you can't hear it. That's enough. That's all the time you need.

The final product is hardly anything, just a few drops trickling down into the collecting vial, hissing with heat. Ice would ruin it, make it too cold too fast, so you gently blow on it, hold the burning pearl tight between your hands and offer up your body to its heat.

It almost seems to squirm and clamber into the needle as you suck it up, eager to fulfill its purpose. Not a single bubble disturbs the syringe's barrel, just beautifully smooth fluid patiently waiting as you switch needles and prepare your thigh.

The mirror shatters as the needle slides home, as you begin to press the plunger down—the thing behind it screaming, lunging at you in a cloud of glass and fear.

But it's far too late for it.

It can't touch you any more.

And as you feel the liquid within you, as you feel yourself begin to change, the broken mirror drops to the floor in a puddle of splintered reflections. No longer your reflection, no longer your pain made manifest; just something from long ago, ready to be forgotten.