Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Antiworid - free short stories

“Do I hear $300.00?” the auctioneer begged the small crowd gathered around him, “Yes, the man in black, do I have a bid of $325.00?” Janice was detennined to get the beautiful antique mirror and she quickly raised her hand countering the man’s bid. “The lady in the front, $325.00. Do I have $350.00?” asked the auctioneer. The man in black was almost at his limit, but he went ahead and raised his hand just to see how bad Janice wanted the mirror. She was getting upset that he kept driving up the price, but she was stubborn and would not give iii “The man in black again, $350.00. Do I have any other bidders willing to go to $375.00?” Again Janice countered his bid by raising her hand; after all, she had a thousand dollars to spend and could keep going if she really had to. “Excellent, do I have $400.00?” the auctioneer asked the small crowd while looking specifically at the man in black to see if he made any gestures. Unfortunately for him, the price had gone too high and he had run out of available funds. He did not make any moves this time. “Going once... Going twice.... Sold! To the lady in front for $375.00.” The auctioneer then continued the auction with the next antique piece. Janice immediately went to claim her prize and put it in her Blazer to bring it home. She paid the owner with a handfiul of cash from her purse. With a closer inspection, she saw that she had purchased a beautiful specimen. It was a heavy, six-foot tall, hickory framed mirror. The glass was in rather remarkable shape. Usually, with a specimen this old, one finds the silver begimiing to flake from the back surface. She was very pleased with her purchase as she loaded it carefully into the back of her blazer. Once she got home, Janice began to look for a suitable location to hang her latest antique treasure. After a short search, she found the perfect spot, right in front of her vanity. At least that way she could even get some use from her mirror as well as it being a beautiful decoration. She stood back and admired it for a while. Then, for the time being, she went about her business. That night, as Janice was getting ready for bed, she sat at her vanity and began to brush her hair as usual. Her brush passed through her long brown hair several dozen times. Then something very strange happened. It caught her eye for just an instant, but it appeared that the image of herself in the mirror brushed her hair for an extra stroke. Janice stared at the mirror in disbelief It appeared normal. Her image did everything as she did only backwards. Janice finally dismissed it as having been her imagination since she was exhausted from a long thy at work. Giing ahead to bed, she pulled the covers down and snuggled in. The next morning she awoke refreshed. She brushed her teeth and took a shower as normal before sitting down at her vanity once again to put on her makeup for the day. Again, the image of herself presented itself and did as she did for the longest time. Then it happened again, a little quirk caught Janice’s eye. This time she clearly saw her image blink her eyes. “What the heck?” she exclaimed, “How could I see myself blink if I had my eyes shut?” Janice pried the mirror off the wall and looked behind it. All that was there was a wall. She tapped on the cold hard glass with her image tapping in the exact location she did. Something veiy strange was happening with this mirror and it was beginning to scare her. Janice called in sick to work so she could spend the thy with the large quirky mirror. After a couple of hours of sitting in front of the mirror and trying to make it happen again, she gave up and took a break. After a snack, she tried a different approach. She began to carefully examine the beautifully thrk stained hickory frame. As she pressed firmly all along the outside, she hit a hidden button that gave off a little click. As soon as she did, the surface of the mirror rippled as if it had turned into a puddle of water. Janice jumped back in astonishment. Her image did also. She did not know what to do next and just stared for a moment. Then she slowly began to reach for the glass. As her fingertips touched it, they passed straight through. Her image’s fingertips passed through from the other side as well. As they went through the other side they became a ghostly, see through consistency. Janice quickly recoiled at the strange sight, yanking her hand back rapidly. “What now?” she thought while staring at the lady on the other side. She slowly realized why her image would occasionally do something other than what she did. It was because the woman was not her! Whoever it was she did almost everything Janice did and looked just as confused as she was. After a few minutes, Janice decided to try again. She slowly pushed her whole right arm through the face of the bizarre mirror. Her counterpart on the other side followed suit sticking her arm through as well. Then, while her arm was partially through, she looked behind the mirror to see where it went. It was the strangest thing she had ever seen in her life. Her arm appeared to stop in the mirror as if it had been cut off when she looked at it from the side. She pulled 1r arm back to her world and pondered the possibilities. If she were to go all the way through, her opposite would also go through. She began to get a headache trying to think about all the problems that might cause. Having an intense desire to explore the other side even though it might be dangerous, Janice decided that the adventure was worth the risk. She backed up and nervously danced for a moment while planning her jump. Then she hopped through the mirror and into the other world. She landed in n opposite room that looked just as hers did only everything was backwards. Her opposite image landed on the other side in her room. “Wow, it worked!” they both exclaimed at the exact same time. Janice looked around the strange antiworld. It was the same as her world, yet it was different and odd. As she explored her antihouse, she noticed something else that was quite remarkable. The writing on her calendar hanging on her wall was backwards! She flipped through all the months — all were printed in a strange looking reverse type. She then grabbed a book off her bookshelf Just as she predicted, it too was printed entirely in reverse. It was extremely difficult to read. She brought the book to the mirror and held it up. Her opposite did the same tiing of course. She could readily read her world’s book on the other side. Passing the weird opposite book to the other side, Janice dropped it to the floor in her real room. Her image opposite did exactly the same thing. She picked up the book from her world and it was printed correctly. “Well, objects can pass through from the other side I see,” they both chattered in perfect sync. Janice and the mirror woman decided to find a few items to trade. They both searched each other’s house. All of the simetrical objects were essentially the same in both worlds. She did not bother getting them, but she did get some other interesting things. She found her wallet and got out a few bills of backward printed money. She also got a box of pancake mix from her pantry. It just looked funny with the instructions printed in reverse. In addition, she got her portable telephone with its odd looking reverse numbers and threw it through to the other side. “Time to go home,” she said just before stepping back into her home world. She showed the opposite items she had collected to her friends but did not tell them where she had gotten them. They were all amazed at the weird items. Janice decided to keep the secret of the mirror and the antiworld quiet. Over the next few weeks she explored the other world and found it essentially the same but in reverse. She even went to her backwards work a couple of days with her counterpart in her world going to work for her. She found it quite strange and had a difficult time typing on the bizarre backward computer, but she managed to get through the thy without to many problems surfacing. Then one thy she thought of an absolutely brilliant idea. She would open a left-handed store in her world and stock it with items obtained from the antiworld. She would be able to save the extreme expense of producing lefthanded goods and could pass some of the savings on to her customers. Janice went through with her plan and set up shop out of her home at first. She had catalogs printed up and set up a website so she could sell to the many millions of people on the Internet. She offered very competitive prices that were far below the competition. She ordered stock of notebooks, golf clubs, fishing poles, and anything she could think of that would fit through the mirror and would sell well in a left-handed form. Her counterpart did just the same and dropped the left-handed items into Janice’s world in trade for the nomial items. After a few years, her business had grown to quite a massive size. She had over fifty workers in various positions working for her. She was making millions per year and had long quit her regular job. None of her employees ever figured out why all of the stock ordered for the company warehouse first went to Janice’s home address. Of course, Janice would never tell either


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