The Mirror


While I’m sifting through the plot and direction of Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors, I appreciate your patience. Here’s a piece for reflection … #FlashFictionSaturday

The Mirror

The mirror hung upon the wall,
A symbol in a darkened hall.
The path on which the living stall;
A madness lurking came to call …

No person knew from whence it came,
Or who had placed its wicked frame
Upon the space, no more the same,
As evil soon became its name.

A woman of an elder sort
Refused to leave her haven’s port,
Her roof beholding horror’s sport;
The mirror and its queer retort.

Her house was once a cheery home
Where merriment agreed to roam
But days as those had come and gone
And sullen silence summed the tone.

The frightened neighbors couldn’t see
The house was plain as plain could be.
Of wood and brick and cobbled plea;
They harbored vile insanity.

The ones who heard the story told,
The residents whose aim to scold,
Examined, coming to behold …
But their reflections shivered, cold.

The woman tried to usher out
The ones who came in wearing doubts
Continuing to plague and clout
Her manor with their frightened shouts.

Intent to hide and to protect
The mirror’s power, so abject,
The woman held out in respect,
Despite of what it would reflect.

She never tried to move it, nor
Allowed those passing through her door
To touch it; only to explore
The image seen, and nothing more.

The more the mirror came to show,
The more she felt the evil grow
Until at last the falling snow
Reflected through the window’s glow.

And though the knowledge caused her pain,
The woman proved she would abstain
From letting go for freedom’s gain,
And left the mirror to remain.

The residents from the poor to rich
Decided she must be a witch.
The rumors dug a sordid ditch,
Encasing truth, a pass to pitch.

A rally and a feuding horde
Became what rumors could afford.
But they relinquished flame and sword
And opted faith within their Lord …

They called the vicar down the way,
A man of pride intent to fray
The woman, putting on display
Her sins, his means to make her pay.

He reached her home and entered in,
An exorcism to begin
For what he thought must dwell within.
He chided her and named her sin.

The woman shifted, white and chalked,
As down the hall the vicar walked.
He didn’t listen as she talked.
Instead, the mirror’s face he stalked.

At last she’d taken way too much …
She cried aloud, “You mustn’t touch!”
But egotism’s ardent crutch
Ignored her and he did as such …

Religiously in his romance
With tempting fate and circumstance
He held aloft his sudden chance
To catch his image in a glance.

Because his hands began to shake,
The mirror dropped, but didn’t break,
The vicar made a grave mistake
And slammed his foot in anger’s wake.

The mirror’s glass flung all around,
Releasing evil in a bound.
The vicar screamed a horrid sound
And dropped before her to the ground.

The woman, seeing pride repressed,
Observed the man who’d been obsessed.
The vicar madly there confessed:
“Be gone from me! I am possessed!”

He jumped and ran out in the night,
A soul depraved and full of fright.
His actions had been done in spite,
And wrong surpassed his view of right.

A burden lifted like a veil.
The story that she came to tell
Is known to all; to all quite well:
The way she seemed to conquer Hell …

Her home, in warmth, became endowed
And welcomed freedom from its shroud.
The darkness parted like a cloud
Allowing what was not allowed.

There are two sides to every soul.
The mirror placed it in control
By making half of every whole
Of he or she whose life it stole …

The truth, too much for some to bear,
Diminished them with just a stare.
At last released into the air,
The daemon crept up slowly there.

The woman’s features, frail and thin,
Contorted with the monster’s grin.
And coming thus to dwell again,
The two of them embraced her sin.

No longer trapped behind the glass,
The woman’s warning came to pass.
And now the daemon would surpass
The others in the witch’s class …

“Beware this wisdom shining clearer.”
Prays the woman that you hear her.
“Darkness might be coming nearer
Next time you look in the mirror.”

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC in both Kindle and special edition paperback. James designed and illustrated the cover and interior art for his debut novel at SSP, where he works as an in house illustrator. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. James has recently won two Prose Challenges at His poems, “More Gravy” and “The Raven Redux,” both took first place. He continues to write prolifically, supporting anyone who wishes to place their hammering fingers to the keyboard anvil, becoming a polished wordsmith in the process.

Find James Matthew Byers at:


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