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.