Claire hated catching the lift alone: there was something off abput the mirror. Almost every time she entered, she found herself pausing, waiting for the figure inside the lift to exit, before realising it was her reflection in the mirror on the back wall. She supposed it was due to the light: it was just slightly too dim to make out any details. The mirror must have been tilted too, because the silhouette was slightly too tall and slightly too wide.
As she rode, Claire often found herself steadfastly staring at the door, aware that she had her back turned to an unfamiliar reflection.
It was always a relief when someone else was already in the lift. It gave her something to focus on other than her reflection.
That morning as Claire left for work, she was surprised to find that the inside of the lift was covered in tarp. Someone must be moving in, she reasoned. It would just be so terrible if that mirror got damaged. It was harder to reason why she could hear a gentle tapping behind the covering. It was seemingly in time with the lights flickering overhead. She exited at a sprint in almost complete darkness as the tapping grew more rapid.
Over the course of hours away from the event, Claire convinced herself that it must have been a loose clip from the tarp being knocked around as the lift moved.
There was someone in the lift when Claire returned home from work. As a matter of habit, she kept her eyes on the floor and shuffled in. She was surprised to find that the figure moved aside for her. Of course, she remembered, the tarp was still covering the mirror.
They stood in silence for a moment once the door closed, when Claire realised that she hadn’t pushed for her floor. She stepped around the figure and pushed for her floor. As she shuffled back into the corner, she realised that the person in the lift had not already selected a floor. They stood in silence as the lift slowly began to move.
Claire pushed herself into the corner and tried to listen for the tapping. She found herself hoping that the light would flicker and the noise would begin again, so she would have a witness.
The figure laughed quietly.
“It’s gone now”
The voice was raspy and quiet
“What is?” asked Claire
“The thing behind the tarp. You can see it yourself: it’s not there anymore”
Claire was immediately grateful that the mirror had been removed, but as she moved the tarp aside, she saw its reflection move as well. What she didn’t see was her hand moving it.
As Claire stood, staring at a mirror that no longer showed her reflection, she saw a shape behind her. A silhouette that was slightly too tall and slightly too wide.