You don’t choose to play the Mirror Game - the Mirror Game chooses you. At the edges of your consciousness you’ll feel a presence, darting just outside your line of sight. You’ll experience a slight darkening around the corners of your vision, forcing you to turn your head in full. You’ll hear a second set of footsteps, just a beat out of time with yours. When you experience these three phenomena on the week of a full moon, you will know that the Mirror Game is nigh.
In order to play the Mirror Game, you will need the following tools: ● A full-length mirror, perfectly polished, without any cracks or imperfections ● A candle or flashlight, suitable to hold in one hand ● A knife or alternative blade, which you hold in the other ● A sheet or blanket large enough to cover the mirror in its entirety
During the day before the first night of the full moon, find a place to hide your sheet or blanket. You may choose one of the little nooks and crannies in your home, or perhaps a secret spot outside of your house. What is important is that you hide it safely, and hide it well. Once you have done this, forget where you’ve concealed it. Scrub every last thought, every last trace of that place from your memory. No sense in giving your opponent an advantage. When you’ve done this, then prepare to play.
Ensure that you are the only person in your place of residence that evening, and that no one will arrive during the game’s duration. The consequences of involving an outside in the Mirror Game would be dire. Dress in comfortable clothing - things that are easy to wear, well-worn and well-used, whatever provides a measure of comfort and security. Tell no other person the nature of the undertaking you will embark on - THIS IS CRUCIAL. To do so is to invite tragedy into your home.
When the moon finally rises, kill every light in your house and approach the full-length mirror. Shine your light source upon it, and regard the image reflected back at you. You will see yourself, but do not be distracted by the differences, however subtle or drastic they may be. Disregard what actions they take - do not mimic them, or else you may forsake your victory. Wave if you wish, or bow, or clap or cry so long as what you do is done in complete silence. Whatever you do, do not speak to your reflection. Let no words pass between you, lest you forsake your victory.
Instead, turn around and walk backwards through the mirror. It is alright to be afraid, but the glass will not shatter. What was once there will be there no longer, as you press through the mirror’s surface until you find yourself facing your mirror from the opposite end. Look around you. Take in every last inch of the dusty tables, the peeling paint, the smell of mold and rot that permeates the air. This is the Other Side. It is here and now that the game truly begins.
The objective of the game is to search for the twin of the sheet or blanket you hid, bring it back with you through to the other side, and then cover the mirror once again. Should you be able to do this, the game is won and your wish will be granted. Do not, for a second, believe that this will be a simple task. The Other Side is not a place for the foolhardy and gumptious. Keep your weapon at the ready and stay on your guard.
Start by exploring the living space. It will be much different from what you remember - worn, rotting, and filthy despite the best efforts of its residents to keep it clean. You may, if you wish, take the time to reflect on the ways your life has deviated. Peruse the photo albums and scrapbooks you find, go through the shelves and dig up the memories of the life lived here. After all, what is yours is still yours. Search thoroughly, then search twice. While you remain in this house you will be relatively safe.
Should you not find what you seek, brace yourself with the weapon at your side and head into the outside world. Unlike the world that you have just departed, this one is fraught with danger. There are men who look like men from a distance, unless your eyes are keen enough to notice an appendage too many or an eye too few. There are women who look like women, until you catch the way the light filters through their dresses and skin. Then there are… well, it is difficult to call such things children. Skulk in the shadows, keep to the side streets, and always make sure that your trusted light shines before you.
Once you find the sheet, the game has entered its final stage. To win, you must bring the sheet back with you to the mirror. Retrace your steps quickly, quietly, taking care not to alert the residents to your victory. When you find yourself before the looking glass once again, step on through back to your side and cover the mirror. Kneel before it and pray, harder than you have ever prayed before, for the wish you want to come true. It is then and only then, when your prayer has concluded and the sounds of approaching footsteps have stopped, that you have well and truly won. You may now carry on with the rest of your life, provided you never uncover that mirror again.
One final warning, before the game begins. In the case that the light in your hand sputters out and dies, you are a step away from losing. You must trace your way back from whence you came, in order to try and return back to the other side of the mirror. Take heed, because its residents now know that you are not one of them. If you are careful, clever, and quick, you will find yourself back at the mirror. Dive through it and back to your own time, then quickly retrieve the blanket that you hid and cover the mirror.
There have been no recorded cases of what happens should a player fail to make it back from the other side.
(if you do not have a mirror or the above formatting did not work for you, click here)
Kyle is a dreamer, writer, and full-time complainer from the Philippines. Her fiction has been published in Idle Ink, Mineral Lit Mag, and Analogies & Allegories among others. You can find her on Twitter at @PercyPropa, or follow her work at whatkylewrites.carrd.co.qlɘʜ ɿυoγ bɘɘn I ˎƨiʜt bɒɘɿ nɒɔ υoγ ʇI