You walk into the bathroom. Alone in the house, but you close the bathroom door. The dim golden hue half lights the room from a long bulb over the mirror. Through the mirror, the door to the bathroom is a silhouette, but the sink is a bright gold under the light. The demon by your side, also gold.

Its short stubby horns on the very top of his head, gold. Its unfed tight skinned rib cage, nearly exposed, gold. Its long boney fingers, long sharp nails, gold. Its body, wide shoulders, long arms, gold.

There’s no question you’re alone in the house. There is also no question you’re not alone on the other side of the mirror. This demon by your side moves before you move. And although you feel you’ve chosen to do so on this side of the mirror, it always looks on the other as if the demon is controlling your actions by moving your arms and legs. By moving your puppet mouth and speaking for you. By pretending you are in control. The human puppet that feels its freewill, but in the mirror illusions are easier to see through.

And in this bathroom, your thoughts are disorganized but clear. Maybe the demon is in your blood. That’s how he’s in control and it feels like free will. Maybe the demon could be bled out.

So the demon puts his arm around your human puppet arms and moves it over to the shaving razor. And it wraps its skeleton fingers around your puppet fingers pretending to grab the razor. He puts the razor to your wrist, then moves his hand to your puppet mouth.

The demon in his deep distorted voice says “It’ll leave if I do this!” While moving your jaw open and shut. Alone on your side it’s as though you first thought it and then said it. As if the demon only exists across the mirror. And everything on this end is voluntary. Thought out. Intentional. Choice.

“It’s in my head!” you say. “He only wants me to think it’s his doing!”

The demon lip syncs each word, hand moving your puppet jaw.

You think to pierce skin with the blade of the razor and the demon reaches back down to your arm and begins to press it into the skin. Vibrant burgundy blood gathers around the cut. Then wraps around the wrist and drips to the sink.

The wall behind you and the demon has scratches across it. Dozens. Your blood oozes out from where the ceiling and walls meet, down to the floor. Your blood oozes out from behind the mirror, wraps around the front and drips down to the sink.

And your reflection goes from gold to burgundy.

And the demon moves the razor from one hand to the other. And he digs the razor into the other wrist. Screams burst out of the mirror as scratches drag down it, nails dug into the glass as the bathroom shakes. As a rumble comparable to the demon’s voice quakes the atmosphere.

You’re still alone on your end. The bathroom is perfectly fine.

The screams fade into an everlasting diabolical hum which unite with the rumble. The universe’s inhale bounces loud off of the bathroom tile.

And then it’s gone.

There isn’t a thing in the mirror other than you and your bleeding wrists. The bathroom is unscathed. Nothing has changed since you entered the bathroom.

And you say, “I’ll see you again tomorrow.” It feels against your will.