"Stop it," she muttered. Her voice echoed around the room, sounding oddly distorted, just like the images in the mirrors - rippling, curling like tendrils of mist, reaching out to wound themselves around Erica's heart. She felt squeezed, as if someone was trying to blend an orange but none of the juice would come out. Hollow, inadequate.
Cackling laughter burst out in the room. Erica turned, but saw the same image on the mirror before her. Wherever she swerved, the same image was reflected. Over and over again; a torture weapon.
"Stop it." Her voice was firm now, steady, the calm before the storm. The laughter got louder, reverberating, making Erica shake with claustrophobia. She fell to her knees and covered her ears with her hands as the laughter continued: mad and uninterrupted.
"Stop it! Stop whatever you're doing!" Again and again she shouted, but the laughter only got louder, more insane, harder to block out. Erica teared up and all the muscles in her body contracted. If she could only put a stop to the laughing, put a stop to the person behind the mirrors...
"I said STOP IT! DON'T DO IT! DON'T HURT HIM!" She had suddenly leapt up to her feet and bounded to the nearest mirror in front of her, where she'd seen the shadowy image of a person with a ponytail wielding a weapon, pressing the sharp blade of the knife against his throat. Droplets of blood dripped onto the floor. Drip, drip drip. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Erica screamed. She screamed her throat raw, until she could scream no more. She yelled and yelled, shrieked like a madman; she felt trapped, trapped in the enfolds of her mind and in the air in this room.
"LET GO OF HIM! DON'T KILL HIM! PLEASE STOP IT!" Erica shouted till the words she were shouting blurred and made no sense, no sense at all. The laughter rang in her ears, the images swam in her eyes, the chill of the murder contaminating her skin... these she would remember for beyond the length of her life. She backed away from the mirror until she backed up against another one, one that bore the same twisted picture, the same twisted, cold-blooded murderer.
"JUST STOP! PLEASE!! Please!" Her sobs filled the room, making her feel small and pathetic as a flightless bird. She carried on and on, weeping amidst the laughing, amidst the dripping of the blood... until a voice, a rasp, sounded itself. Erica paused to listen, her eyes red and puffy, swelling painfully.
"Erica... help me." It, as everything else, repeated itself, enlarged and magnified its sound so that it reached Erica's ear and blasted apart her whole heart into filthy pieces. Filthy, because she'd given up hope so easily, so quickly. Filthy, because she'd submitted to the will of the murderer, like prey to predator. But filthy it will be no more, because Erica's will strengthened, resolved, enlarged and magnified like all the other gruesome sounds in the metal room. It was fine if she died at the murderer's hand. It would be a noble death, a noble death for love and a courageous, heroic exit from the world at large. There was nothing to be afraid of: she couldn't escape from here, and even if she managed to, this memory would haunt her. There was nothing else to live for. It was now or never.
"ARGHHHHH!!!!" And as Erica charged, as Erica smashed through the glass encasing of the enchanted mirror, she came face to face with the murderer - Terry, the librarian. She paused in effect for shock, and turned to Aaron, the one man she was dying for.
And through a clash of metal on metal, screeches and screams, and the blazing trail of silver that caused pain to Erica's midriff like she'd never known before, two bodies dropped dead on the floor, pierced by one knife, dead by one hand, and entwined as one on the floor, backstage of the carnival.
Yells of torture escaped slowly from the world, "No! Erica! Please, stop! Kill me! Kill me instead, kill me NOW!"
This was how Aaron lived to tell the story, today...