The Woman in the Mirror

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Wheezing, Harold trudged up the stairs and entered the master bedroom. He stopped when he saw his wife—or someone who looked like her—step out of the full length mirror.

“Mabel?”

“Hi, Harold,” the woman said.

Harold slumped to the floor, his quivering legs unable to hold his torso erect. “You can’t be Mabel. I just buried her in the backyard.”

“It’s me,” the woman said, in a high-pitched voice. She smiled, held her arms out to her side, and pirouetted on feet too small for her body. “See?”

“But...”

The woman turned to the mirror. Harold watched, his mouth open, while the impostor fluffed her auburn hair the way Mabel used to.

He slid his body up the wall to a standing position and inched toward the woman. She wore Mabel’s favorite bathrobe, the one with the blue, orange, and pink splotches, and had Mabel’s green eyes and pale skin. Even the birthmark below her left eye looked genuine. He reached out, touched a silky sleeve, and noted her warmth. He siezed her wrist and felt for a pulse.

“I don’t know who you are, but I want you out of my house—now.” He pulled her toward the door.

“Oh, Harold. Don’t be silly.” Mabel freed her arm. She sat on the bed, leaned back on her hands, and crossed her ankles.

Harold felt his heart rate quicken and heat spread across his face, like water leaking from a dam. “Get out of here right now, or I’ll call the police.” He pointed toward the door.

Mabel remained on the bed, lips taut.

“Okay. I get it.” Nubby fingers plowed through his slicked-back hair. “How much do you want?”

“Don’t be silly, Harold. You don’t have any money.” She pouted. “Besides I’m your wife, and I believe in the sanctity of marriage, just like the reverend preaches; and I don’t plan on going anywhere.”

“But you’re not real.”

“You touched me. Didn’t I feel real?”

“But you came from the mirror,” he said.

She shook her head. “You’re such a baby, Harold. It’s time to grow up.”

“Maybe if you’d quit nagging me—”

“Oh, Harold. You are pathetic. You know I would have married Freddie Jacobs if you hadn’t knocked me up first.” Her face hardened. “And it’s not my fault your son is a damned druggie who can’t stay out of jail.”

As Mabel’s diatribe intensified, the pain grew behind Harold’s eyes. He covered his ears, but her whiny voice prevailed. He strode to the bed, grabbed Mabel by the neck, and squeezed. Harold watched her eyes widen and her tongue snake between her lips, as animal-like grunts oozed from his mouth. He continued the pressure until the woman’s eyes disappeared behind her eyelids and her body fell limp. Harold released his grip, and his rage turned to worry once he realized what he’d done. He lugged Mabel down the stairs and out to the backyard, as he had earlier. 

His task completed, he returned to the kitchen, sank into a chair, and picked up the sports section of the morning paper. Unable to locate his glasses, he realized he’d left them upstairs.

Wheezing, Harold trudged up the stairs and entered the master bedroom. He stopped when he saw his wife—or someone who looked like her—step out of the full length mirror.

About the Author: 
Jim Harrington began writing fiction in 2007 and has agonized over the form ever since. Jim's Six Questions For . . . blog (http://sixquestionsfor.blogspot.com/) provides editors and publishers a place to “tell it like it is.” You can read more of his stories at http://jpharrington.blogspot.com.
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Quantum Theories

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U is for ... Uncertainty Principle

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T is for ... Teleportation

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W is for ... Wavefunction

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R is for ... Radioactivity

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D is for ... Dice

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A is for ... Act of observation

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D is for ... Decoherence

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Z is for ... Zero-point energy

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Q is for ... Qubit

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L is for ... Light

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T is for ... Tunnelling

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L is for ... Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

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I is for ... Information

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V is for ... Virtual particles

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B is for ... Bell's Theorem

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H is for ... Hawking Radiation

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X is for ... X-ray

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M is for ... Many Worlds Theory

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N is for ... Nonlocality

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A is for ... Atom

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U is for ... Universe

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S is for ... Schrödinger Equation

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H is for ... Hidden Variables

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M is for ... Multiverse

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S is for ... Schrödinger’s Cat

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C is for ... Computing

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S is for ... Superposition

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R is for ... Reality

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G is for ... Gravity

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E is for ... Entanglement

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Y is for ... Young's Double Slit Experiment

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I is for ... Interferometer

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A is for ... Alice and Bob

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W is for ... Wave-particle duality

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