I am not a very courageous man. In fact, as I grow older, I feel as if I’m becoming more cowardly by the day. I fear being out in public and being attacked, mugged by younger people. I imagine myself constantly as a victim of some crime that is perpetrated upon the elderly.

This morning as I was shaving, not intentionally, I assure you, I happened to look into and around the edge of the bathroom mirror.  Something I’ve never done before.

I was shocked to see an old, balding woman standing there in front of her own bathroom mirror, her few greasy strands of black hair, hanging down around her eyes. She was brushing her teeth very slowly, the white foam seeping out over her red lips, dribbling down her chin.

Before I could look away and pull my face back from the mirror, out of the corner of her eye, she saw me before. The expression on her face appeared to be what I imagine evil must be.

She spat into her sink, looked back at me, bared her teeth and growled, a low threatening noise.

I managed to step back so that I couldn’t see her, but she followed me, slid into my mirror, which, of course, meant she was standing right beside me.

There was nowhere to go.  I stopped breathing, closed my eyes, not knowing what might be coming next.

Expecting the worst, I waited. Nothing happened.

I opened my eyes, slowly, saw that I was standing there alone.  I breathed a sign of relief.

I looked at my chin. A small trail of blood was seeping from a wound where I’d nicked myself with the blade.

Although I knew it was insane to do so, but in the same way we will pick at a scab or continue to scratch a mosquito bite even though it’s already raw and painful, I moved my face nearer and nearer the glass.  When I was close enough, I peeked around the edge again.

The hag was there, her eyes closed.  In her gnarled hand she held a small silver cross.  She was praying, chanting something low.  I strained to hear what it was she was saying.

Suddenly her eyes flew open.  She turned her head toward me, glared at me and moved toward me.

At this point I dropped the razor in the sink, turned and ran from the bathroom.  I slammed the door behind me.  Then stood there, panting.

There was a sound, soft but audible.  A scraping, like a fingernail scratching at the wood.  Locks on bathroom doors are on the inside.  I didn’t know what to do.  The handle turned slowly.  I looked around wildly for some kind of weapon.

Then the handle stopped turning.

I listened, heard nothing but silence.

I’m tempted, but I’ve not worked up the courage to open the door yet. Even as I sit here at my desk writing this, I keep looking over my shoulder, think I hear her breathing, wondering if she’s standing behind me, about to strike.

* * * * *

Today’s #WritingPrompt is


Use it to inspire a piece of writing of any kind, any length, and then post that piece as a comment below. I would love to read it : )

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