The Woodlow Mansion
Shannon put Tyler in the first bedroom at the top of the stairs so they would be able to hear him if he needed something. There was a huge bed and an old dresser with an oval-shaped mirror, all covered in dustcloths, which Shannon promptly removed and tossed into a corner. She left him on his own for a moment while she went to the car for a fresh pillow and blanket.
Upon her return, she said, "At least most of the filth is on the dust covers."
Tyler sat on the edge of the mattress and watched her tidy the room. It seemed like a lifetime since he'd slept on anything larger than a hospital-issue mattress. His insides were wound tighter than a ball of yarn. He didn't feel comfortable in his own skin.
"Is there anything else I can get you?" she asked.
Tyler looked at her, prepared to say no, but then his eyes drifted to the visible mirror. Something rippled deep in the silvery depths. He wanted to tear his eyes away before the monster revealed itself, but every muscle in his body froze in fear.
He saw the outline, an unfinished shape, move closer to the surface.
"Are you sure you don't want to eat?" Shannon asked.
It wasn't the monster; it was much worse. A ghostly apparition appeared in the mirror and stared straight at him, a smirk on her face. It was his twin sister, Lisa.
Part of him wished he was still in the asylum.
Tyler wanted to point at the mirror and shout for Shannon to look at it, but he knew from bitter experience what would happen if he did. Shannon would turn to find nothing more than her own reflection looking back at her. She would probably conclude the doctor was right and lock him up forever.
He shook his head slowly. "No thanks. I don't need anything."
Lucy lifted a ghostly finger and wagged it at him, silently scolding him for lying.
"Well, if you change your mind, just holler," Shannon said as she headed for the door.
In his mind, he begged her not to leave him alone in the unfamiliar bedroom. He considered saying the words out loud. Maybe he could tell her he was hungry after all. Or he could ask her to stay while he fell asleep. Surely she would understand if he didn't want to be alone. She'd seen the asylum. She would understand.
His lips parted.
She closed the door behind her, leaving him alone with his demons... the ghost of his sister.
Lucy seemed pleased. Her dead mouth formed a smug smile, and her eyes held a malicious glint the living Lucy hadn't known. But this was not Lucy, not the sister who had loved him. It was the 'thing' in the mirror, and it hated him beyond reason.
Tyler jumped up, tore the quilt off the bed, and raced to the mirror. He covered her image, careful to tuck the edges in around the side so it wouldn't slip. The entire time he worked, he kept thinking her hand would shoot out, grab him by the wrist, and drag him into the mirror.