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Mirror Images

by magickarps


     Transfixed by his image, Kamilo spread his palms across one of the antique mirrors-the mirrors took up the whole room. He was met with a cold, uninviting surface. And what he saw through that surface was just as cold and uninviting. It was himself.

     He watched as his body moved amidst a group of oddly familiar strangers. Its movements were unnatural and its manner superficial, yet the crowd failed to notice. Every pair of eyes in the room followed each of the impostor’s gestures. They attentively listened to the figure’s glib speech, filled with words Kamilo thought would never leave his mouth: law-abiding words.

     Kamilo protested his own sentences, his cries heard only by the glass surrounding him. Surely the body he saw was his, but the mind inside was not. No one could prove Kamilo otherwise, especially not the supposed authorities.

     He turned his head away, feeling powerless.

     The day before, Kamilo had overheard a gaggle of officers discussing these “mirror images”. They were identical to one’s last gene, but with the conscience of a government sycophant. And Kamilo had found his. He had been replaced, swapped for an obedient version of himself.

     As the memory of the officers’ voices merged with the present, Kamilo returned to facing the mirror. His mirror image appeared closer, as did its followers.

     The heads faced towards him, allowing their features to be seen through the faded glass. The strangers who had once seemed so oddly familiar were no longer strangers at all. They were Kamilo’s family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances. Seeing them on the opposite side cut deeper than Brutus’s knife.

     They had become aware of Kamilo’s presence and reflected his shock. While before Kamilo had been a mere plebeian, he had now become the center of the empire.

     Heat seemed to radiate from the mirror as the traitors took a step further. As Kamilo attempted to back away, his mirror image reached out and pulled him through the wall-mounted object. Kamilo’s mouth was covered, his objections deafened by silence. He knew he would never speak again. He would be trapped in the mirror forever--

     “The Haldol is next to your glass of water”, a woman’s voice interrupted from afar, “I’m going out for a bit”.

     The woman tussled Kamilo’s hair in a sisterly manner. The voice was clear now, “And try not to spend the whole day staring at that hallway mirror”.

     Futilely waiting for a response, she hesitated for a slight second before walking out the door.

     “What hallway?” thought Kamilo, for all his mind could see was a world enclosed by glass.

END


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Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:42 am
PHEONIX RISES says...



Hi, felt like a nice story.Your style of writing is great.At first I failed to understand what it was all about but reading once again helped me to understand your story. You definetly motivated me to work o my story harder than before.
Thanks for sharing your story!




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Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:00 pm
Gurkensalat wrote a review...



You are presenting an exciting play with the concepts of reality and truth. I am amazed by how you skilfully managed to unfold so many different layers in such a short story.

In my interpretation, there are three different manifestations of the protagonist. The first Kamilo realizes that his mirror image has just replaced him. Then, there is his mirror-self, and finally, a third Kamilo is staring at a hallway mirror.

To me, the third Kamilo seems rooted in our reality, imaging his other two selves - but this might not be the interpretation you had in mind. From this viewpoint, Kamilo is a detached personality. He seems at odds with how the world works but is unable to speak up to it. His inability to be (what he thinks is) his natural self convinces him that an impostor must have replaced him—a feeling I believe many of us can relate to. So, I read your story as the touching portrait of someone who cannot cope with his existence and flees into a fantasy world ruled by an absolute government.

But this might be just my superficial interpretation. Your story touches on many other topics. It seems that you have a detailed background story in mind, and I would be curious to learn more about Kamizo's world.

The style of your prose is highly elaborated, and I like to congratulate you to this piece!




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Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:01 pm
jeweljaksha wrote a review...



Hello!
I really enjoyed reading this story! Your style of writing is fantastic and you use such fascinating adjectives. I really love your opening paragraph and the way it draws the reader in. I do think that certain pieces of the concept could be more clear and I would like to see this world built up more thoroughly. I would really love to read a longer version of this story where the main character has more backstory and has to break free of this mirror world. The reveal of the whole thing being in his head is great and the overall concept is so intriguing! Great job and keep writing!
Thank you for sharing your story.
Jewel




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Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:39 pm
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a review!

First Impression: Well this was quite an interesting story. I have to admit I didn't fully understand exactly what was going on, especially towards the end but let's see if that changes when I read more of it. For now, it sounds quite intriguing.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Transfixed by his image, Kamilo spread his palms across one of the antique mirrors-the mirrors took up the whole room. He was met with a cold, uninviting surface. And what he saw through that surface was just as cold and uninviting. It was himself.


Oooh well that is an interesting way to start a story. Looks like our protagonist here doesn't like himself too much from how he describes himself or maybe he's just talking about he appears. I don't know but its definitely making me ask questions and want to know more so I think this is a pretty good opening pargraph.

He watched as his body moved amidst a group of oddly familiar strangers. Its movements were unnatural and its manner superficial, yet the crowd failed to notice. Every pair of eyes in the room followed each of the impostor’s gestures. They attentively listened to the figure’s glib speech, filled with words Kamilo thought would never leave his mouth: law-abiding words.


Well this continues to get even more interesting...you definitely do a great job building up suspense so far.

Kamilo protested his own sentences, his cries heard only by the glass surrounding him. Surely the body he saw was his, but the mind inside was not. No one could prove Kamilo otherwise, especially not the supposed authorities.


Oh dear...well that escalated in a direction that I did not expect.

The day before, Kamilo had overheard a gaggle of officers discussing these “mirror images”. They were identical to one’s last gene, but with the conscience of a government sycophant. And Kamilo had found his. He had been replaced, swapped for an obedient version of himself.


That does sound kind of terrifying, okay, this continues to get more interesting with each paragraph.

The heads faced towards him, allowing their features to be seen through the faded glass. The strangers who had once seemed so oddly familiar were no longer strangers at all. They were Kamilo’s family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances. Seeing them on the opposite side cut deeper than Brutus’s knife.


Okay...looks like we were in the past so far and we're coming to the present maybe, or he's just taking in his surroundings. Either way its sounding a little bit weird at the moment.

Heat seemed to radiate from the mirror as the traitors took a step further. As Kamilo attempted to back away, his mirror image reached out and pulled him through the wall-mounted object. Kamilo’s mouth was covered, his objections deafened by silence. He knew he would never speak again. He would be trapped in the mirror forever--


Okay, now I'm starting to wonder if this is perhaps a dream sequence or if this world involves a few magical shenanigans.

“The Haldol is next to your glass of water”, a woman’s voice interrupted from afar, “I’m going out for a bit”.


Well that was an interesting statement.

Futilely waiting for a response, she hesitated for a slight second before walking out the door.

“What hallway?” thought Kamilo, for all his mind could see was a world enclosed by glass.


Okay...well that was slightly confusing...perhaps I just don't get it...is this person feeling trapped by themselves in this mental prison situation? I have to admit its not easy to figure out.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall this was a pretty fun read. I don't think I've still managed to fully understand what's going on but that's probably just on me. Anyway that's all I've got to say for now.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry





And then, as if written by the hand of a bad novelist, an incredible thing happened.
— Bartimaeus of Uruk