Monday, May 30, 2011

The Reflection

I'm a little late with Thursday Tales this week. I kept jumping all over about how I wanted to write this story. Finally chatted with a friend and he inspired me to write something a little different. I actually had to cut some stuff out to keep it below 777 words. Hope you all like it.

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Never have a staring contest with your reflection from a body of water when you're holding a balloons. This was common knowledge in Ella's family. But she knew the secret, and he was ready for anything.

Ella sat by the river with her five orange balloons. Desperation had finally seized her. She was going to get rid of it once and for all. Then it would finally stop bothering her. She stared at her balloons for a few minutes, mustering up what little courage she could.

The young woman closed her eyes for a minute, knowing she wouldn't be able to blink for a time. Then opening them, she looked into her reflection's eyes. Nothing happened immediately, but after ten seconds, the balloons in the reflection began to rise, And then the reflection's hand began to float out of the water.

Ella stood, never taking her eyes off the reflection as it rose from the water.

The reflection spoke, "Do you know who I am?

"I do. You're my personal demons, and I'm tired of thinking your thoughts. It's time for you to go," replied Ella, still gazing into the reflection's eyes.

"What thoughts? That you're not good enough? That your family doesn't love you? That you're friends talk behind you're back? That's not me. That's all you and your own observations," laughed the reflection.

"No. Maybe I've seen those things happen, but you're making me paranoid and I'm finally tired of it. You have to leave now," said Ella, her body trembling.

"Why now?" sneered the reflection.

"Because I'm afraid of what could happen if you don't." A tear ran down Ella's cheek.

The tear brought a smile to the reflection's face. "I see you're ready for the big gamble. You know the rules, right?" Ella stared. "I'll take the silence as a 'no.' The first rule is simple. You can't look away. If you do, I'll be with you forever. The second rule is that I'm allowed the first strike. After that, anything's fair game. Are you ready for that?"

Ella nodded, accepting the rules, never once looking away. The reflection floated towards her and landed on the river bank.

"Time to dance. Are you sure you're ready for this?" teased the reflection

"This day couldn't have come any earlier. Do your worst. Then it's my turn, and I want to make you hurt," said Ella with a little more courage.

The reflection circled Ella. The young woman kept her gaze whole time, never wanting to lose sight of the eyes.

The reflection stopped and made it's move. Ella knew The reflection was going to slap her, but she was ready for it. She promised herself she wouldn't look away. An open hand cut through the air and hit Ella's wet cheek.

Ella didn't flinch. "You'll have to try better than that to hurt me ever again," she said, reaching into her pocket, still staring.

The reflection's face turned to stone. "What are you doing?"

"Something my grandma used to tell me when I was little." She pulled a pin from her pocket and popped the first balloon. "That's for making me think my mom's boyfriend is going to hurt her again. My mother's strong and can take care of herself."

This stopped the reflection dead in its tracks. "No! Stop!"

Ella continued staring into the reflection's worried eyes. The next balloon popped. "That's for making me think my brother will do something terrible some day when I'm not there. He knows I love him and would never do anything to hurt me."

The reflection only gasped.

The third balloon popped. "This one was for making me think Mary was gossiping about me to Marcus. She is a little gossipy, but she would never do a thing like that. It would ruin our friendship, and that means too much for the both of us."

The reflection shrank back. Ella pointed before she pricked the fourth balloon. "This balloon? It's for me. I am good enough! I'm a great person. And I can't see that because you're standing in the way." Pop!

Ella moved the pin towards the last balloon. The reflection attempted to hold up a hand. "Please, stopped," it gasped. "You need me. I've always been there for you."

"You were always there for me, but not because I needed you. You only played tricks on my mind." Ella pointed to the last balloon and her mouth tightened. "This one I was saving for you. I don't need you. You almost ruined my life. And I let you take it way too far." Pop!

The reflection immediately began to fade, but before it completely vanished, it whispered, "I'll be back someday. You'll see."

Ella finally closed her eyes and smiled. "No you won't. Not ever…"


  1. oh..killing inner fears!!
    A wonderful thought...liked it :)

    Hope u'll take time to read out my simple story here...

  2. Thanks for taking some time to check it out!

  3. Oh, that is so beautiful! A balloon for positivity.. Absolutely different.. and I loved it!