Nihil – Chapter 1: Lost – Part 3

My face. It looked like my skin was torn off and regrown several times. It wasn’t like I was riddled with scar tissue, more along the lines that one huge scar tissue was interrupted with a few small folds of undamaged skin. It wasn’t like the injuries of a burn victim, more like something, that was cut up over and over again with great precision. On my forehead, almost entirely covered by my light grey hair, I could see two large horns sticking out. They were arcing upwards in a slight angle, and I felt as if they were out of the bones of my forehead, that grew under the skin until they pierced through it. My teeth were sharp as blades like those of beast that prey on other animals not only for nutrition but for entertainment as well. I could barely close my mouth with those knife-like objects in it.

My eyes. From the inside, I could see perfectly well, both my peripheral and binocular vision was fine. Yet in the mirror it seemed, that only my right eye was fine, albeit my iris was an unnatural color of bright red, and it gave off an undoubtedly ominous aura. On the left, however, it wasn’t an eye, but a small dark red, almost black, ball, slowly pouring blood on my cheeks. In the center of it there was a darkened white spot, which was supposed to be my iris.

The whole outlook of my face was like some sort of a carnivorous creature that took human shape, but couldn’t hide his bloodthirsty nature anyway. I was terrified, but I couldn’t see it reflected in my expression. Or more likely those feeling were not possible to be formed by this deformed mess of flesh.

Though I couldn’t recall ever seeing another person besides me, the man I was looking at was nothing like how my mental image of a human being would suggest. My own reflection somehow felt off. I couldn’t have expected anything specific looking into the mirror, but still, what I was seeing was not an acceptable possibility for my mind. It felt like as if I might have observed myself before and that impression couldn’t be in synch with what I was looking at right at that moment, nor could it even have been a distorted version of that older face. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t human. It was a monster, a demon.

“Is-is that me?” My dumb question was the only response I had to horror staring back at me through the piece of glass, covered in moss.

[I’m pretty sure that’s how mirrors work. Now please get moving!] Xcell didn’t seem to be fazed whatsoever by my terrifying discovery.

At first I felt offended by his disinterest towards my perils, but soon after that, I realized that his pragmaticism had shaken me up from my numbness caused by the inhuman visage. But as I looked back at the mirror, something has changed. It was no longer the same being that reflected in it before.

My face was no longer scarred beyond any imagination, instead I looked pale and tired with hollow cheeks, but otherwise it was all fine. The horns were not there to be seen and my teeth felt like something I would call normal. My right eye looked completely ordinary with a dark brown-colored iris. The left side bore a somewhat faded hue, but otherwise it now resembled its pair quite closely, even the bleeding had stopped and left no trails on my cheek whatsoever, just as if someone wiped it off completely in an instant.

I could see my own surprise in the image casted on the mirror’s surface. Not anymore a nightmarish monster but something completely ordinary was the human in the reflection.

This “new” face was more like the one that existed inside my mind. It felt as my own, something so familiar that I couldn’t even imagine how could’ve I even considered that horror as me. Not because of vanity, I wouldn’t consider my looks good in any way, nor did it ever matter to begin with, but for the reason that this face felt as the one I could associate with the inner picture of myself. This was the me that I chose to be.

I felt relief as I settled with what I was seeing as my reality. A small doubt began to rise inside me however. If this was the real thing, then what was that grotesque visage I had just witnessed? Was it a hallucination? A delusion? Was I so dazed that I couldn’t recognise my face and mistook it for some monster?

“What just happened?” I mumbled with uncertainty.

[I have no idea what you’re talking about. Listen, I’d prefer if you could just stop stumbling around like a child a get on doing the things I ask of you. Now, if you could exit the room…]

Without a retort, I headed towards the door.