James was filled with horror. If mum didn’t write this note who did? The realisation of what he had done kicked him in the stomach. Had he just killed someone who really loved him? Had he been duped into killing somebody innocent? Was the second note still the truth? His mind was exploding with questions. He ran into the bathroom, lifted the toilet lid, dropped to his knees and began to vomit.
He fell backwards when he was done, trying to suck in as much precious oxygen as his lungs would allow. He felt alone, confused and scared. He crawled to the sink and dragged himself up, resting his elbows on the rim. He turned on the cold water and splashed his face, hoping it would revive him and somehow make everything better. It did help suppress his gag reflex and stop his mind racing. The questions were no longer bombarding him.
He closed his eyes, stood up straight and took a deep breath. The truth was undoubtable. He had taken a life. It was time to face the demon, see the evil that he had committed reflected in his face. He slowly exhaled and opened his eyes, ready to see the murderer in the mirror.
It wasn’t his face looking back at him. It had similar features, but it was someone older, it wasn’t him. The Reflection was laughing, laughing maniacally. James wasn’t laughing. How could this supposed reflection appear as someone else and not reflect his actions?
He finally reacted, jumping backwards and almost tripping over the toilet.
“Well done James. I knew you could do it. You just needed a little nudge in the right direction,” said the Reflection.
“Who are you?” James shouted.
“Of course – you won’t remember me.” The Reflection hesitated, just in case James could remember. He was greeted with silence. “The therapy did a good job on you. I met you the day you were born. Your mum did her best to keep me away and I must admit she did a pretty good job. Then she died. She left you all to myself, well — until that bitch Helen thought I was a bad influence. She put you in therapy and drugged you up. That was no fun for me so I waited and watched. Thinking that they got rid of me, they reduced your medication and your therapy. Well, guess what? — SURPRISE, here I am and no-one is left to save you.”
James still looked confused although he sensed some familiarity in those words.
“See, when you are asleep, you let me in. One night when I was having a look around I found that silver box and that letter. That’s when I had the idea. What if I write you another letter, a hidden letter from your mum telling you all about that bitch Helen? It wasn’t true of course but I just needed to give you the motivation.”
The mention of “that bitch Helen” again caused an avalanche of memories to crash into James’ consciousness. Dissociative Identity Disorder they called it. The apparent cause of this thing that shared his mind and body; this thing that forced him to do nasty evil things. He was horrible to Helen after his mum died. All she did was give him love, but he paid her back in hate and anger. A voice would drip-feed him poisonous thoughts, that voice. It would constantly call Helen a bitch. It wasn’t until after James’ therapy and medication that he and Helen finally found peace. Now Helen lies downstairs, motionless and silenced.
James walked calmly into his bedroom and picked up his mobile phone resting on the chest of drawers. He matured in that moment, just like an alcoholic suddenly sobering with the gift of bad news. The Reflection followed and stared at him from the chest of drawers mirror.
“What are you doing James?” asked the Reflection.
James dialled and waited for an answer. “Police please.”
“No James, don’t be stupid.”
James stared at the Reflection whilst he gave his details to the operator.
The Reflection held his head in his hands for a moment before slowly raising it. A smirk filled his face. “You still don’t get it do you? You still don’t know who I am. I’m part of you. I’ll always be part of you. You could say I’m your Daddy’s demon seed.”
James was put through to the police. Holding eye contact with the Reflection he said “Help, I’ve killed my Auntie Helen.”
The Reflection’s smile dropped from his face, replaced with disgust. “Don’t worry, you’ll learn good. Daddy’s home, son.”