Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mary in the Mirror

You recite the spell once at a party, hold your breath, and then… nothing.
Nervous laughter.
She never comes when others are around.
Years later you pass a mirror in the dark, see yourself in eclipse, and you remember. Maybe you smile. It’s then that you don’t say the name. You only think it, and that is so much worse.
She doesn't appear right behind you in the glass, a woman in a bridal dress, eyes torn out of their sockets, nails rimmed red. That’s not how she works. That’s not how she kills you.
Instead you might stiffen. You might hear breathing in your ear. Someone’s strange thoughts in your head. But they’re easy to dismiss. Once again you forget about Mary.
And for weeks after you walk across busy streets. You drive your car. You handle knives, razors, electrical wires. You cook oil in a pan until you can smell the meat sizzle. Every time you’re careful, of course. Isn’t everyone careful?
It isn’t a ghost, or a voice, or a seizure. It’s so much simpler. A nudge. A slip. A forgetful moment. When the truck is close. When the pan is hot. A single terrible movement of the wrist, and the screams bring them right to your door.
You scream alone, but there are thousands like you. And no one ever knows.

2 comments:

  1. Well when we played Bloody Mary, we were always told there had to be one lit candle in the room. And then you chanted Bloody Mary 13 times. She was coming to get your blood, because she supposedly bathed in the blood of young girls to stay beautiful. Not sure why we then wanted to call her out, but that's what we did:)

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  2. Thanks so much! I've heard about that aspect of the legend, which connects it to the true story of Elizabeth Bathory, the Hungarian countess.

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