Billy loved living in this part of town. Mom hated it and his sisters were afraid to go out after dark. Too bad Dad hadn’t come with them. Billy bet Dad would have dug it here, too, especially the sounds of what had to be gunshots late at night.
The very best thing around here was all the trash.
There were mountains of it, spilling out of rat-chewed bags. Old furniture rotting in the rain. And mirrors. Mirrors and window frames with the glass still in them. True, most were broken by the time Billy saw them, but every once in a while he’d come across something that he’d get to be the first one to break. Glass was ok but mirrors were the best.
Even though he was only eleven and had moved here from the suburbs where both his parents had their own cars and everything, he wasn’t some softie. He knew the score.
Which is why he was all set to obliterate a huge fancy mirror he’d found lying flat on the ground just in time for a certain three high school dropouts to see. As Mace, Andy, and Juicehead were turning the corner, Billy raised the bent tire iron he had for the job.
Looking up at him was his reflection, but in the reflection he was wearing glasses. And behind him were trees, not walls of tenements.
He didn’t quite hesitate, it was too late for that, but before the iron met the surface of the mirror he saw his reflection throw up his hands to protect his face. The explosion of glass was tremendous and from the corner, the boys stared in disbelief.
“Whoa, look, I’m sorry. I mean, I don’t know, I didn’t mean to like…that one cut looks really bad.”
The other Billy, the one in glasses shot the real Billy a dirty look and pulled out a large white handkerchief to wipe his face.
“You idiot. Proud of yourself now, are you? What does breaking mirrors do for you anyway?” Four-eyed Billy’s voice was almost identical to Real Billy’s. It was confusing.
“But it’s what everyone does here. There. Where am I anyway?” Real Billy looked around at the cobblestone lane lined by large trees.
Mace, Andy, and Juicehead were not snitches. They were also not hopped up on anything when that kid fell forward into the spray of breaking mirror and disappeared. There was no need to talk anything over. They weren’t saying anything to anyone.
“It’s boring here.” Real Billy was talking to himself. Four-eyed Billy had gone running at the sound of a woman’s voice, calling him for dinner. Real Billy was hungry, but clearly was not going to be invited anywhere for supper.
Warm light spilled out of windows in nearby homes. Billy briefly wished he could go to one of them and be welcomed.
But more than anything he really needed to find a good big mirror to break. That might get him out of here.
© Remington Write 2020. All Rights Reserved
In August 2020, AleXander Hirka set himself the challenge of creating a daily digital collage based on an image and a concept. The image is that of the antique Omega watch that belonged to his Mom and the concept is Time. In September 2020, the Anomalous Duo is challenging themselves to write a short piece of fiction for each collage — the Our Hours project.