Through a Glass Darkly

In 1978, a student at Mabel Fletcher's College was passing the window of Olivier's Antiques shop, when something caught his eye. He stopped and peered through the window and saw a strange dark mirror next to an old violin. Matthew had read a lot of books on Occultism, and he immediately recognised the looking glass for what it was; a McGee's Mirror. He paid thirteen pounds for it, because it was genuine obsidian. Matthew took the weird mirror to the Penny Lane home of his friend Robin, and claimed the looking glass could summon forth any dead person. Robin was very nervous, and advised his friend to throw the obsidian mirror away. Matthew called his friend a coward and convinced Robin to hang the blankets of his bed over the drawn curtains of the room. The bedsit was soon in complete darkness. Matthew lit two candles and put them on each side of the mirror. He uttered several strange words that were incomprehensible to Robin, then kept saying the word "Hitler" over and over. Robin started to worry about his friend, because he kept chanting the name and staring at the jet-black mirror. Then suddenly, a face faintly appeared. It was a haggard looking face, and it resembled Hitler, but he looked older than the photographs of him most people are familiar with. Robin felt faint when he saw the ghostly face appear. The eyes of the face kept rolling upwards and the mouth opening, as if the apparition was trying to speak.
'Listen,' Matthew whispered.
The two young men could hear the faint sounds of someone speaking in German. Robin trembled, and rushed to the light-switch. He clicked on the light and the apparition vanished. Matthew was very angry. Robin could speak German and said he had panicked because he had heard the guttural-voiced apparition of Adolf Hitler ask: 'Why have you summoned me?'
Weeks later, Matthew told Robin that he had been scrying with the mirror, and that he had seen the faces of such notable historic celebrities as Marie Antoiniette, Henry VIII , Abraham Lincoln and Jack the Ripper. Matthew maintained that he had even conjured up his idol, Marc Bolan, who had perished in a car crash a year before.
Robin listened to his manic friend, then told him: 'You've gone too far Matthew, please get rid of that mirror.'
'No. Now I know why Adam chose forbidden knowledge,' Matthew replied.
A few days later, Matthew met up with Robin at the college canteen. Matthew looked white as a sheet. His friend asked him what was wrong, and Matthew told Robin that since he had started messing about with the mirror, he had seen the face of several living people, and each had died over the last few weeks from accidents, illness and suicide Each face had turned into a grotesque skull in the mirror, and what’s more Matthew had seen his own reflection turn gradually into a skull. Matthew had asked the mirror how he would die, and the smiling face of a white-haired man had appeared. Matthew had never seen this man before. The student became so scared he decided to return to Surrey to stay with his family. About a week later, Robin received a letter from his troubled friend. In the letter, Matthew said he had seen the man with the white hair walking down the street near his parent's home. Matthew had asked his parents who the man was, and they had told him he was a surgeon at the local hospital.
Robin wrote back to his friend and reassured him that he was just being over-anxious. After all how could a surgeon kill him?
No letter of reply ever came, so Robin telephoned Matthew's parents. They told him right away that Matthew had died. He had been admitted to hospital after collapsing from severe chest pains. He was treated for a suspected heart attack, and a surgeon later discovered that Matthew had a serious heart defect. He operated on him, but during the open-heart surgery, there had been complications, and Matthew had died during the operation without regaining consciousness. His mother said the surgeon who had treated him had only lived a few doors away. Robin attended the funeral down in Surrey, and during his stay down there, Matthew's parents introduced Robin to the surgeon who had operated unsuccessfully on their son. The surgeon had white hair, and Robin suspected it had been his face that Matthew had seen in the obsidian mirror.

©Tom Slemen 2005.