Looking In the Mirror Could Summon Evil Fish

Who knew vanity could have such a backlash. I’ve always felt mirrors held another world (very Through the Looking Glass of me). As a kid I pressed my face up to the glass, wondering if I could push through.

Su Blackwell’s Book-cut Sculptures (Alice: Through the Looking Glass)

Su Blackwell’s Book-cut Sculptures (Alice: Through the Looking Glass)

Then I chanced upon the Fish anthology, which offered a chance to realize these dreams (even if in flash fiction form). The goal of the book is creating a dream-like world where surreal and literary collide. No genre limitations, just a single theme: Fish. That’s a slippery topic.

fish cover_FINAL sm (1)

My story concerns a gentleman who’s a little too obsessed with his own reflection, even to the point of ignoring his lovely wife. His reflections morphs, becoming fish-like. It’s intentions are not so pleasant. THe glass cracks and as the fish creature attempts to burst through.

I was inspired by a myth read in Imaginary Beings by Borges concerning how fish plan to take over the world, through mirrors. Check out this excerpt from the myth.

“Both kingdoms, the specular and the human, lived in harmony; you could come and go through mirrors. One night the mirror people invaded the earth. Their power was great, but at the end of bloody warfare the magic arts of the Yellow Emperor prevailed. He repulsed the invaders, imprisoned them in their mirrors, and forced on them the task of repeating, as though in a kind of dream, all the actions of men. He stripped them of their power and of their forms and reduced them to mere slavish reflections. Nonetheless, a day will come when the magic spell will be shaken off. The first to awaken will be the Fish.”

Want to read more? Check out the digital version. (Amazon Kindle version) But wait, this astounding anthology is also available in print version (also Amazon).

Tim Kane

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Vanity Kills

Imagine if you stared into a mirror and the reflection began to change. It grew scales and glassy eyes. Gills and fins. You’re the same. Only the reflection has transformed. Then, of course, the reflected fish creature comes to get you.

That was the premise for a work of flash fiction I wrote over a year ago. It’s finally seeing publication in an anthology called Fish from Dagan Books.

The inspiration for this came from an old Chinese myth about a race of creatures that live in mirrors. I read about if from The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges. In ancient times, there was a war between these creatures and mankind. The Yellow Emperor used magic to enslave these creatures in mirrors, forcing them to mimic our movements. If you stare into the depth of a mirror, you may sometimes see the fish shimmering just at the edges, ready to throw off its shackles and restart the ancient war.

That’s creepy. I thought, what if that really happened. I mean, you stare into a mirror and things start to change. A bit like a reverse Alice in Wonderland. Instead of you going in, the creatures come out.

Tim Kane