MAN IN THE MIRROR
MAN IN THE MIRROR is the title DJ written exclusively to the Notorious Minds boxset.
He is busy writing his second title and would hopefully published it in 2020 also.
Trying to solve her sister’s murder, steer Megan Miles directly into the murdere’s path, with devestating concequences.
Megan vowed to never return to her home town, a small town where everyone knows everything and the town where her little sister was murdered eighteen years ago.
But when she inherits her family’s house, fate forced her to go back and a new love of her hometown starts to developed as well as the urge to find her sister’s killer.
Meagan approached the dark and ominous looking forest with caution. The nearer she got, the scarier it looked. Although sunny, the thick leaves formed a canopy that prevented the light from shining through. The ground was dark, damp, and misty. Hundreds of birds twitter in the trees, but Meagan was oblivious to sounds.
All she could hear was her heart beating. Once she entered the woodlands, she started calling out.
“Beth? Where are you? Beth, answer me.” She stood still for a few seconds and listened for any reply, but there was only the birds chirping. Meagan moved a bit further into the darkness, past the trees, and called out for Beth again.
“Beth, please answer me?” she called out with a small voice. Panic set in. Her pulse quickened, her breaths came sporadically, and tears formed in her eyes. Beth was missing. Meagan was supposed to look after her, but she was so busy playing with her doll, she paid no attention to her little sister, and now she was gone.
Meagan was about to turn around when she heard a faint noise in front of her. Thinking that Beth could have fallen down and hurt herself, she inched forward. On entering a small clearing, she stopped dead in her tracks. Meagan felt her throat tightened. Her body went ice cold, and then warm urine ran down her legs.
She was six years old and hadn’t wet her pants for years, but now she had no control over her bladder.
Her sister lay on the ground, and a man stood over her. His arms and shirt were covered with blood. What was he doing? Why was Beth lying so still in the dirt?
Meagan stared at him and inhaled sharply, which made the man turn his head and look directly at her.
He stepped over Beth, turning his body towards Meagan. The danger of this situation was real.
She finally screamed.
With lightning speed, the man grabbed Meagan and covered her mouth with his one hand. His other fingers twirled around her neck. He squeezed harder and harder. She couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t breathe ….
Meagan woke up with a scream, legs kicking, and her hands fighting off the tight grip around her throat. She inhaled the cold air into her lungs, trying to calm down her heart. She was shaking, and sweat dribbled on her forehead. It was still dark outside. She felt for the light and turned it on. She welcomed the lightness, the total opposite of her dark dream.
She sank back into the cushions, wiped the tears from her eyes, and tried to control her trembling arms and legs.
She got up from the bed and walked to the bathroom. She should be tired. She went to bed after twelve, but due to the dream, she knew there was not going to be more sleep for her tonight.
She opened her medicine cabinet and took out her toothbrush.
When the cabinet’s door closed, she stared at herself in the mirror.
Man in the mirror. Why did she always think of the Michael Jackson song when she looked into the mirror? Was the lyrics trying to tell her something?
“I’m gonna make a change, for once in my life, it’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference – Gonna make it right ….” And every time she felt she had to make something right.
Meagan pressed her damp forehead against the mirror. The cold surface felt terrific against her warm skin. It was a lack of sleep that made her think about things that she could not change. Nothing she did will ever change the outcome. Her sister was dead, and it was her fault.
Deep down, she knew there was something inside her, gnawing at her like cancer, a voice from the past that won’t let her have peace and haunted her sleep. Meagan always had these terrifying dreams that made her feel sick the next morning, dreams she couldn’t make out the faces, yet every time she knew in her heart, she recognized one person in it;
Beth, her sister.
She was a beautiful little girl with blond hair, but the man felt like a stranger, and yet he looked familiar.
Her therapist once said it was her way of dealing with it. She wanted to find the guilty person so badly, but that she was so little herself, that she couldn’t remember what he looked like. It was why her dreams formed the longing of discovering who her sister’s murderer was.
It was the constant question she would ask herself too, who was the man in her dream?
She saw his profile from the side before he became aware of her presence and turned around to look at her. It was the one thing that haunted her.
Did she really see his face? She had the impression he was more of an older boy than a man. She didn’t know many young boys or men at that time, so how could he have looked familiar? She was, after all, only six years old.
With a sigh, she turned away from the mirror without brushing her teeth. What she needed was coffee and two aspirins to clear her slight headache. She walked to the kitchen and made herself an extra-strong cup of coffee.
With the cup and two aspirins in hand, she took a seat at the dining table overlooking a small garden.
The sun was starting to rise and was spreading a soft light over her garden.
She was lucky to buy this duplex apartment a few years ago, but it also came with a lot of heartache and a pang of deep sadness. Her parents died in a car accident, and it left her devastated and alone in the world. She had no one to call family.
She purchased a duplex apartment with the money she inherited from her parents, and her living arrangement became reasonably comfortable, but she would give it all back to have one more second with them, to make amends, do things differently.
The rest of her inheritance she invested, and with her salary as a reporter, she had now more than enough.
The garden was beautiful this time of year, with flowers full in bloom. She loved gardening and planted all kinds of flowers that gave color to her life. It had a calming effect on her, but today something was different. She felt a bit off balance and unsettled.
Next week was the eighteenth anniversary of the death of her sister.
“Eighteen years,” she whispered and swallowed hard to prevent the tears from coming.
“I have to get over this. I can’t carry this burden with me anymore.”
The ringing of her cell phone interrupted her thoughts, and she nearly spilled the hot coffee on herself.
She knew the only person who would call this early, was Erick Anderson, the Editor at the paper where she worked, and an excellent friend.
“Hi Erick,” she tried to answer with a calm voice.
“Morning, Meagan. You up?” Erick said with a cheerful voice. Erick always sounded happy even if he had his own problems. She had never seen him without a smile.
She had to smile. “Yeah, I’m up.” It was good to hear Erick’s voice.
She met him when she worked as a junior reporter at the Chicago Tribune. She enjoyed his attention, and they started dating. Well, dating was not really the right word, they were more friends with benefits. They enjoyed each other’s company and went to the theatre or a museum that would occasionally lead to sex at his place afterward.
They were close, or as close as anyone could get to Meagan, but she never told him about what happened to her sister.
In fact, she never told him about her sister. She actually lied to him, said she was an only child and that her parents died in a car crash.
She turned her attention back to the phone in her hand as Erick asked something, and she had no idea what he said.
“Sorry, I still need to wake up. Can you say that again?”
Erick laughed. “Too early for you? I’m sorry.” He sighed. “Becky called in sick, can you stand in for her today? She has an eight-thirty appointment for an interview with the Police Chief regarding corruption allegations against some of his men. Will you do it for me, please?”
“Sure, why not.”
“You are a life-saver, thank you. I’ll see you in a few hours,” replied Erick before he hung up.
Her interview with the Police Chief took forever because she had to sit and wait for hours until he could see her. On the way back to the office, she got stuck in a traffic jam caused by a collision. By the time she sank down on her chair behind her desk, she was exhausted.
“Ah, you’re back.” Erick flopped down on a chair next to her.
“Yes, and tired. I’m just going to finish writing this article, then I’m going home.”
She looked up at Erick’s friendly face, and a desire to hold him flared up. For some reason, whenever she felt the warmth of his body, she felt safe.
“Erick, can you come by later for dinner and wine, and maybe stay the night?”
“Of course, I will. You make your special pasta dish, and I’ll bring lots of wine, deal,” Erick replied.
Meagan smiled. “Deal.”