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The Smudge On The Mirror

by WillTurner 

Posted: 03 August 2005
Word Count: 343
Summary: A man tries to rub out a smudge on his mirror- but sees more than he expects.

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I've got to catch the bus in fifteen minutes time. it is a measure of how far I have sunk that my few minutes in the shower have become a luxury.

As I forced myself out, I stumbled blindly
into the steam and wiped it away from the mirror.
There, standing in front of me, was a smudge.

He was a big, fat, gormless smudge, the colour
draining from his features. The neat peach bathroom
was spoiled by his presence with no place in the Aryan
interior decoration.
As I rubbed against the glass, I got a more
vivid picture of the smudge. From the bags under his
eyes, I saw his bitter regret- Sabrina wasn't there,
she was never coming back.
In his eyes were tears, the frustrastion of
the never-was-been and all his unfufilled dreams. The
twinkle in the eye was fading, replaced with the grey
inertia of gritty coffee and meaningless figures.
I looked down, past the mountainous globules
of fat toward the hunched shoulders and abused groinal
area. You're nothing, I say.
I rub harder, but he won't go away. I am
sweating now. Sod work, I think. I'll get to the
bottom of this if it kills me.
My bones ache with the effort, but all I see
now is the grotesque smudge wobbling up and down.
Finally, I give up. The image fracturing in my tears.

"NO!" I yell.

Ignoring the gushing claret and
cracking noises, I fling my body towards the mirror.
I'll find it. Someone in there is a riverside
apartment, a film career and Sabrina by my side where
she should be. No wow, Jasmine had told me. If only
that ungrateful little shit could see me now.

I fell on my knees. I looked like I had
fought a giant food processor...and lost. But it was
worth it to see that...BLACK SPACE?
All that effort, for nothing? I spat and
cursed but nobody heard me. I looked into nothing and
then looked down.

A million smudges on a million shards of
broken glass....

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