The Adventures of Akai Tanner... and Friends - The Monster in Tim's Mirror



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Hey, is this thing on? Hello?

Oh, hi there, everyone. The name's Akai Tanner, and today, I'm here to share my life-story. Now, I'm no Christopher Columbus nor Stanford Raffles-

"That's right you aren't! So move aside, Tanner!" Wendy shouts, all of the sudden, shoving me aside and grabs my mike.

By the way, that's my cousin over there, Wendy Tanner, a plump-sized blondie - a contradicting combination-

"Plump-sized? I think the phrase you are searching for is a fat blondie! Tahahahahaha!"


"Gee, ya think the blocked out sun would've been a big clue-in for us."

That's Jimmy 'Jim' Reckhon, a childhood bud of mine - or I guess it should be 'babyhood'. We've been together since we were in diapers, but that's nothing unusual among my other babyhood friends. But more on that another time.

"No one wants to read some boring story about a pre-teen schoolkid failing on getting a girl he's been best buds with for the entirety of his life, Tanner. They want passion - and more importantly, fashion. I'm the very embodiment of cool and good storytelling."

Uh huh. So, as I was narrating, I am none of those awesome fellows. I can't fly at hyper-speed or perform psychic levitation. I don't travel the world or catches snakes and spiders. I'm just me, ordinary and-

"Boring. Pffhahahahaha!"

"Why don't you pick on someone with the size of your ego, Wendeline?"


Ah, good ol' Violet. Long-haired. Brunette. Intelligent. Sweet. Athletic-

"Oh PER-LEASE! Get a room, geez. You forgot to mention having a few hygienic issues, dumping her toe nail clippings off the second floor, CHEAP, meat-hating, pessimistic and - oh, speaking of which, don't get me started on how Akai met her. Talk about a total emo-"

"Don'tcha' think you should keep that trap shut before you catch some filth in there? Oops, too late. Anyway, Akai, how could our lives be defined as simple as 'boring'? Don'tcha' remember what just happened the previous week to me, Tim, and Karen?"

Oh, come on. Do you honestly expect me to believe something like that could happen to an aged old mirror filled with overly superstitious backgrounds?

"Woo! Let's tell that story! I wanna read it again! Come on, come on, come on, come on, Akai, tell it, tell it, tell it!"

Violet should tell it. I'm only the starter of this thread. Besides, she claimed to have 'experienced' it first-hand-

"Wha- You hyphenated "experienced"! Why do you boys have to be so conceited?!"

"We are boys. We have a huge head with big brains inside. Heh heh."

"More like full of gas."

Alright, Violet, let's hear it, then. I'm sure our audience is kept high on their toes by now. Let's read how it happened once again.

"Okay. Here goes. Jim's twin sister, Timothea, Akai's little sister, Karen, and myself included, were spending our night at Tim's house for a sleepover. Things didn't go so well when we found her parents' old mirror."

"I call this story..."

The Monster in Tim's Mirror

"Down with boys!" I shouted, squirting the water pistol at Matthew's photograph.

It was the second meeting of the ABC and we were all in the spare room at Timothea's place. Me, Violet Jingles. Tim. And Karen. We were going to sleep over at Tim's that night.

Oh, sorry, I didn't tell you. ABC stands for the Anti-Boys Club and we started it to get our own back.

Tim and I are in the same class at MiddleGram Middle School, and though Karen's two years younger than us, studying in LowerGram Elementary School, we all know the same boys whom we've hung out with together ever since we were feeding off milk bottles. We don't hate them - just annoyed by them, that's all. And the worst of the lot was Matthew Touchstone. He is so hideous!

"But he is quite handsome," Karen pointed out.

"Traitor!" Tim silenced her. "He thinks he's Gary Barlow!"

"He could never be Gary Barlow!" I scoffed.

"Well, which boys do you like?" Karen wanted to know.

"Stop!" I was losing my patience. Sometimes, Karen's naivety gets to me. She's not stupid, just unknowledgeable. We only let her join the club just because Akai said she needed company from us girls. "In the Anti-Boys Club, you aren't allowed to like any boys. They're all nerds!"

"Boys are nerds, boys are nerds!" chanted Tim.

"Even my big brother whom you've replied to only every Christmas cards he sent you?" replied Karen, quite amused with herself.

I, however, was not so amused, grinding my teeth as I stared into her eyes, causing her to stop giggling.

We argued about boys a little more for a while with Karen until we all got bored. And that's when I noticed the strange package behind the cupboard.

Tim and I had been prancing around, yelling and clapping, doing our Nerds-are-Nothing war dance. I couldn't help noticing the big, bulky shape sticking out. It was all wrapped up in brown paper and tied with red string.

"What's that?" I asked.

Why did I ever ask that question? It was the biggest mistake of my life!

"I don't know," Tim shrugged.

She went over and started to pull the package from behind the cupboard. Karen and I helped her.

"It's heavy," Karen grunted.

"Mum and Dad keep all kinds of junk in here," Tim explained. "Shall we open it?"

Anything would be better than arguing with Karen, I thought. "Yes!" I shouted, untying the string.

Soon, there was string all over the floor. We peeled away the brown paper.

"Wow!" Karen gasped, wide-eyed. "A mirror!"

"It's not very shiny." Tim turned down her mouth like she does when she eats fishballs.

"It must be very old. Look at the frame..."

I pointed to the woodwork, carved with flowers and cherries. The gold paint was chipped and worn off in places.

"It looks pretty gross, actually," complained Tim. "Why do parents always keep old-fashioned stuff like this?"

"It's seven years bad luck if you break a mirror," Karen told us.

"No!" Tim laughed.

"Yes!" Karen scowled. "My grandmother said so."

And that's when I made the second biggest mistake of my life!

"Let's take a look on the back," I suggested. "There might be something that tells us how old it is, or where it came from..."

So we turned the mirror around, resting it against the cupboard. Sure enough, there was a little piece of paper stuck on the wooden backing. It had turned yellow with age.

"What does it say, Violet?" Karen asked me.

I squinted. The printing was very small, very hard to read.

"It — it looks like a poem!" I shouted.

Why, why did I have to read it? And why did I have to put on that silly, scary voice? I thought I was being so funny at the time!

"Listen," I said, brushing away the dust.

"Whoever gazes into me"
"On the midnight hour,"
"Will themselves cease to be"
"And fall within my power!"

Karen screamed. I pretended to faint.

"Cool!" Tim squealed.

"It's not!" Karen shivered. She rolled her eyes. "It's spooky!"

"It's a joke!" giggled Tim. She pulled a face into the mirror. "See, nothing happened!"

"Hah!" Karen snarled. "It's not midnight. I dare you to do that tonight!"

Tim crossed her arms. "I will!"

I jumped up quickly. "You won't!"

"Violet, don't tell me you believe all that nonsense?" she scoffed.

"Of course not," I protested. "But —"

"But what?" Tim demanded.

Karen bent over and read the poem again. "What do you think it means?" she wondered. "How can you fall under the power of a mirror?"

"You can't!" Tim laughed.

Karen looked puzzled. "But it says you will — cease to be!" She swallowed. "Does that mean you'll turn into something else?"

"Maybe we'd turn into boys!" I joked.

"Yuk! A fate worse than death!" Tim scoffed.

"But what if it's true?" whispered Karen.

"Akai's been reading too many ghost stories to you," I told her.

"But — but strange things do happen," she stammered. "Things nobody can explain."

"Not in our house!" Tim shot back.

"How do you know?" demanded Karen. "Maybe that's why your parents kept the mirror hidden away." Her voice sounded hollow. "Because it's dangerous..."

We stared at each other. In the back of my mind, I could hear a warning bell. If only I'd listened to it!

"Well, there's only one way to find out," decided Tim. "Tonight, at midnight, we'll come back and see what this silly old mirror can do."

What about your parents?" quizzed Karen.

Tim shrugged. "They always go to bed early. They'll never know."

"I can set my alarm clock for eleven plus," I suggested. I never go anywhere without my alarm. Otherwise, I'd never wake up!

"What if we disappear?" Karen cried. "Nobody will ever know what happened to us!"

Tim stamped her foot. "Then Violet and I will do it. If you're so scared, stay in bed!"

"No," Karen grumbled. "We're all in this together..."

We gave each other our secret Anti-Boys Club handshake. We'd stick together, against boys, against mirrors, too!

Tim's mum was calling us to get ready for dinner. We put the mirror away behind the cupboard, covering it with the brown paper in case her parents checked the room later. When we went back to Tim's bedroom, I set my alarm clock.

We watched TV while we ate dinner. Tim's mum had cooked a special curry, which wasn't too spicy, as well as a big bowl of spaghetti. Then, there was ice cream. Tim's dad couldn't believe how much we ate. I was stuffed full of food. Even though we were watching Digimon Adventure and Kim Possible, my eyes started to close.

"Bedtime!" announced Tim's mum.

We trooped off to Tim's room and stumbled into bed. Karen had the mattress on the floor. I had the bottom bunk. Tim had the top one. No way I could have climbed up there! I mean, it's not that I'm not athletic or anything. I was just so loaded with food that night it felt like I had spaghetti coming out of my ears.

Tim put on her My Chemical Romance CD. It was the last thing I remembered...

...until I heard this hideous noise. Ling-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling! I jabbed my hand at the noise. Why had my alarm clock gone off? It wasn't even morning.

"What's the time?" whispered a voice. Karen! What was she doing here? I'd been dreaming I was drowning in a sea of spaghetti —

"We mustn't miss the mirror," she reminded me urgently.

I leapt up. I'd forgotten all about it! Together, we tried to wake up Tim. First, we shook her. Then, we flicked water on her face from the bottle on her dresser.

"Wha-wha-what's happening?" she gasped.

"It's eleven-thirty!" I whispered back. "We have to look in the mirror at midnight!"

She threw off her covers. Crash! A Barbie doll landed on the floor.

"Shhhh!" she ordered, forgetting it was her silly doll.

We tiptoed across her room. Tim gently turned the handle. There was a soft click. We listened. Not a sound. The hallway was dark. Her parents had closed their door. We crept past. I held my breath. If her mum or dad caught us, what could we tell them? "Oh, don't worry, we're just going to let the mirror make us disappear!" Real stupid, right?

Tim pushed open the door to the spare room. It was pitch black inside. She turned on the light.

Karen covered her eyes. "It's too bright!" she warned. "Someone will see us!"

"Well, how are we supposed to see the mirror?" Tim questioned.

"And how's the mirror going to see us?" I giggled.

We closed the door silently. It took us a minute or two to drag the mirror out from behind the cupboard. We tossed away all the paper. Then, we were ready!

Karen looked at her watch.

"One minute to go," she breathed.

Tim and I stood in front of the mirror, staring into the cloudy glass. I felt a chill creep over my skin.

Thirty seconds... twenty seconds... ten seconds... midnight!

And nothing happened!

We were standing there, looking at ourselves in the dim, dirty glass. We looked pretty dumb, I thought, Tim in her Pussycat Dolls nightie, me in a Manchester United T-shirt that reached to my knees.

Karen slumped down onto an old chair in the corner. "It's my watch!" she groaned. "It's either too fast or too slow."

"Well, what is the time?" Tim wanted to know.

"It's either just before midnight," Karen frowned. "Or just after!"

Tim pulled a face at the mirror. "It's a bluff magic mirror!"

"Whoever gazes into me..."

"What?" Tim asked me.

"I didn't say anything," I shrugged.

"On the midnight hour..."

"Karen, stop saying that silly poem!" Tim called.

"Will themselves cease to be..."

"It's not me!" Karen cried hotly.

"And fall within my power..."

"Rubbish!" Tim elbowed me. "Stop trying to scare us!"

"But I didn't say anything!" I scolded her. "And neither did Karen!"

"So, it was the dumb, silly mirror?" Tim looked into it and pulled another face.

"I'm going!" I told her.

"Well, stop pinching me!" Tim called.

"I didn't touch you!" I shouted. "And stop pushing me!"

"I'm not!" she cried.

"Well, who is?" I trembled. All the hairs on my neck were standing.

"What are you two talking about?" Karen retorted with irritation. "Quit yelling at each other!"

"But Violet's trying to frighten me!" Tim wailed.

"It's not true!" I wailed back.

Something was touching me. No, not touching! Wrapping itself around me. Like a giant rope. Or a big hand. I was being squeezed. I screamed.

"Violet! Tim!" Karen was screaming, too. She had knocked over the chair. She was huddled in the corner, looking awfully white-faced.

I tried to struggle free. I couldn't move my arms. They were pinned against me. The pressure was getting stronger. I looked into the mirror. I seemed to be twisting and turning in all directions, like a crazy dance. Tim was doing the same.

"It's the mirror!" I shouted! "The mirror's got us!"

"I'm sorry, mirror!" sobbed Tim. "I didn't mean to call you dumb and silly!"

"You're sorry?!" I turned and fired at Tim. "You're always 'sorry' for something! I thought you would've been more mature after what happened to us over Summer Vacation!"

"It was a playful banter!" she quickly jabbed back. "And it was just a normal, stupid mirror one minute ago!"

"Oh, yeah, go ahead and call it stupid, too," I snarled, folding my arms. "It's not like it's unleashing its fury on our fragile lives at the moment."

"Guys! This isn't the time to-"

Before Karen could get us to cool our heads, I was pulled off my feet, seemingly hanging there in thin air. Then, suddenly, my ears were almost exploding. I couldn't hear anything except a deafening rush of air. Louder and louder. A horrible whining noise.

I was being dragged towards the mirror. I knew I was screaming because my mouth kept opening and closing. I was gulping for air. I was moving faster and faster, the mirror was getting closer and closer. I closed my eyes, waiting for the moment I smashed into the glass.

It never came! I was passing through the mirror as though it weren't there. My eyes popped open. I was being sucked through a sea of glass, further and further, deeper and deeper. So was Tim.

We were going down and down, or was it up and up? I couldn't tell! All I knew was the glass wasn't sharp. It felt wet, like jelly, as it slapped against my face. And I could breathe in it, too!

My stomach was jolted from side to side. My head was spinning. My heart was racing. Then — nothing! We stopped, in the middle of all the glass. We weren't standing, we weren't sitting down. We were just — there!

The deafening noise had stopped, too. I could hear a bubbling, echoing kind of sound. I looked around. It was Tim.

"Did you just fart?" I queried.

"NO! Girls don't fart!" she answered sharply, angry and sobbing for some reason. "Where are we?!"

"I-I-I think we're inside the mirror," I guessed.

"But how did we get here?!" she screamed. "And how are we going to get out?!"

I shivered. It was cold inside all that glass.

"Your mum and dad must have heard all the noise," I hoped. "Karen will tell them what happened. They'll call the police." I felt brighter. "The police will know what to do."

I could see the headlines in the paper:


We'd never live it down at school. And that lousy nerd Matthew would laugh at me forever!

"Do you think they'll find us?" Tim pleaded.

"Well, don't you?" I didn't feel so brave anymore.

"I suppose so," Tim agreed. "It all depends on Karen, doesn't it?"

And that was when a shadow fell over us. We looked up, or was it down, I didn't know. We froze. The shadow was caused by someone looking into the mirror.

Karen looked a long way away. Just a speck in the distance. But we could recognize her. She was leaning into the mirror, her hands beating on the glass.

No! We had to warn her!

"Karen!" we both screamed. "Get away from the mirror!"

She was our only hope! If she was trapped inside the mirror, too, nobody would ever find out what had happened to us. Nobody would ever know where to look!

"Karen!" we screamed.

"Get away from there!"

"Run for your life!"


Too late! The mirror began to shake. Like an earthquake. Tim and I were tossed around in the glassy jelly stuff. The whining noise started up again. Louder and louder. I gritted my teeth against it.

Tim grabbed my shoulder. She was pointing wildly. Her mouth looked weird. It opened and closed like a fish's. I couldn't hear a word.

I looked up, down, wherever. Karen was sailing through the glass, headed straight towards us. She looked like a rocket, her arms pinned to her sides, her legs pressed together.

And she was travelling at lightning speed. Any second now, she would crash into us. Tim and I struggled in the spongy glass. We had to escape!

Suddenly, the noise stopped. And so did Karen, just inches away from my head. She hung there, floating in the glass, twisting and twitching.

"W-w-where am I?" She looked dazed.

"In the mirror," sighed Tim. "We're all stuck inside the mirror, thanks to you!"

Karen was shocked. "It's not my fault! You were the one who said we should come and see it at midnight, Timothea!"

"But you were the one who looked into it last, Karenina!" hissed Tim. "You should have gone to get help! Now we'll be trapped in here forever!"

I tried to cheer them up. "Well, at least we won't have any boys to bother us!" I said.

Both girls burst into tears.

"Let me out of here!" screamed Karen.

"I want to go home!" wailed Tim.

Then, we heard it. A deep voice that echoed through the glass.

"Oh no, young lady," it said, a menacing, growling sound, "you will never go home. You will stay inside the mirror for the rest of time..."

We jumped. We pushed at the glass, turning round and round. Who was talking to us? What did he look like?

But no one was there. Just glass, and more glass. Glass that seemed to go on and on, as far as the eye could see.

Suddenly, a strange, pink light speared towards us. It held us in its beam. It was so bright I couldn't see where it was coming from.

"You were warned, were you not?" said the voice. "But you chose to disobey. You mocked me, you called me names. You were very, very foolish."

"Well, actually, Tim did most of the mocking," I answered back, must to Tim's displeasure. "What? I did tell you not to call it stupid."

"I-I-I didn't mean it," stammered Tim.

"We just wanted to see what would happen," I tried to explain.

"Well, now you have found out, haven't you?" the voice droned on. "I hope you are satisfied."

"But it isn't fair!" protested Karen. "You can't just keep us here!"

"But I can. And I will." The voice was mocking us. "For a long, long time."

"Who are you?!" I shouted.

"You can't see me," the voice replied, "but I can see you. I am the Eye of the Mirror. I see everything."

"But where are you?" I wanted to know.

"I am everywhere," said the Eye. "I am all around you."

"It doesn't make sense," whispered Tim. "Mirrors don't have eyes. We did all that in Science last year."

"How wrong you are!" The Eye sounded really angry. "There are things that Science does not know!"

"Like what?" demanded Tim.

"Once the Eye of a mirror sees something, it becomes part of the mirror's memory," said the Eye coldly. "When a mirror sees good people, and good things, it becomes very contented. But when a mirror sees bad people, or evil things, then the mirror becomes very disturbed."

Karen shivered. "You mean, for always?"

The Eye laughed. "Exactly. So, whenever you look in a mirror, you never really leave the mirror."

"But mirrors are very thin," I said. "How come there's so much glass inside them?"

"Ah! A very good question," the Eye answered. "What you have forgotten is the scale of things."

"Scale?" Tim was confused.

"What looks big to you in here, isn't very big on the outside," the Eye told her.

"Does that mean we're shrunk?" Karen twitched her brow.

"You could say that," agreed the Eye. "Now, you will have to excuse me. Somebody is coming."

We stared at each other. The pink light went out. As it did, two shadows fell over us. We swung around to look.

There were two people, far away, gazing into the mirror.

"My mum and dad!" shrieked Tim. "They must be looking for us!"

We started shouting at the tops of our voices.

"Help! We're in here!"

"We're in the mirror!"

"Mum! Dad! Help! Help!"

We could see Tim's parents moving around in front of the mirror.

Once or twice, they looked straight into the mirror. Surely they could see us!

Then, suddenly, the whole world went dark.

So dark, we could barely see each other!