Short Story: Mirror Image

First it was slow, then a violent force ran through the house and everything started to shake, your first reaction was to…

Grab Megan and make sure she stayed close. It was pitch dark, which was odd because it was the middle of the day. For weeks scientists and astronomers had been warning the public of a meteor shower but it only every appeared to be small-fry. This was different; in the space of three minutes the sky had turned black, not night sky black, but obsidian black. The temperature had dropped to below freezing, cracks of frost fracturing across all the windows, breath hanging on the air in front of your face and taking forever to disappear. Every sound ceased, birds remained in the trees in silence, the neighbourhood cats ran under cars and back into houses, silently. All the dogs stopped barking, the silence was deafening against your ears.

The ground continued to shake violently, was it an earthquake? No cracks appeared, no tidal wave came from the coast just five streets away, in fact we could no longer hear the waves hitting the shore anymore. Silence. People started to gather in the street asking questions that nobody could answer. All the power was out, no TV or news feed accessible, all mobile networks closed down too, no way of communicating.  Rushing to the car with the intention of racing to find out if my parents were ok, the engine wouldn’t start. Instead the bonnet began to heat and the aluminium caved inward, the tyres exploding.  I jumped out and grasped for Meg, she cowered in the footwell.  Just in time she jumped out and we ran. We ran down the street, running 2 miles down the tree lined road that were all standing straight and still. The pitch black street where no streetlights gleamed. Reaching their house, mother at the door we bolted straight inside.

Nobody knew what was happening, how long it would last or what lay ahead of us. At least we were together, as a family.  Three humans and two dogs huddled together under the table in the kitchen, eyes wide shut and holding hands and paws. Waiting.  Waiting for whatever this was to be over. Then a bright white light came from nowhere outside. The light didn’t fill the room like sunlight or torch light, it only shone downward into the garden and across the sky. It did not illuminate, only shone. Everyone held their breath and held hands that little bit tighter.  Minutes passed that felt like hours, when the light vanished and daylight reappeared. Birdsong returned, we climbed out from under the table and went outside.  Everything appeared to be the same and untouched.  Then we noticed every road sign was written backwards, things normally on the left were on the right and vice versa; the world had been flipped like standing in a mirror.

Just what had happened? What lay ahead for us?

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