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The Tiger

‘Mirror Image’: part 3 of ‘Hunted,’ a short horror story series

I looked away from my laptop screen to check the time. It was past one, nearing two. I rubbed my eyes. I had been staring at the screen for too long and was overdue for a break. The paper could wait for a bit; I needed to shower anyway.
Standing up from my chair and subsequently stumbling over my backpack on the floor, I made my way over to a window. After peering outside, I concluded that it was still storming. The weather had been nasty for a few hours now. I just hoped that the power didn’t go out or anything, since my laptop didn’t exactly have the best battery life. I walked back to the glowing screen on my desk and quickly saved before grabbing a towel and heading out into the hallway.
I knew that everyone else was asleep in the house, but I locked the bathroom door behind me anyway. Can’t ever be too careful, especially since my little brother had a habit of getting up in the night to get water. He’ll just have to wait this time.
As I set the towel on the toilet, I heard thunder rumble outside. It sounded closer than it had when I had looked out the window. Once again, I hoped that the power didn’t go out. It’s kind of hard to shower in the dark, plus the water heater would stop working. I definitely did not want to be under the spout while cold water was pouring out.
After I twisted the faucet on to let the water run and heat up, I turned back to the cabinet under the sink and rummaged around until I found what I was looking for: an old chunky flashlight. I set it onto the counter before pulling off my clothes and hopping into the shower.
Ten minutes later I was out and reaching for the towel. Immediately after I finished wrapping it around my shoulders, there was a loud boom, a pop, and a sudden lack of lights. I groaned. Good thing I had saved my paper. I fumbled in the inky dark before managing to knock the flashlight into the sink. I pulled it out and switched it on, illuminating my face with dim light. Glancing at my reflection, I noted how funny my hair looked hanging straight down from being wet. I swept it to the side, back to where it normally rested and grabbed my toothbrush.
Mid-brush, my flashlight flickered and the floor beneath my feet creaked. Hmm. The water from my shower must have gotten on the floor and warped it. The batteries in the light were probably old too, so it was probably just a coincidence. I leaned over the sink to spit and then straightened back up. The flashlight flickered again at the same time as thunder loudly boomed from outside. I jumped a little, but calmed down quickly. I was being stupid.
I looked back to the mirror. My hair had fallen back down over my forehead when I had leaned over the sink. I shifted my eyes down as I reached up to sweep it back into place, but upon feeling my forehead, it had not moved. I looked back at the mirror at my face. In the dim light, my dark eyes stared back at me. I saw my reflection blink.

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