The grey-haired, hunched lady meandered through the flea market, pushing her empty shopping cart in front of her. Nothing much caught her eye. Leah was at the end of an aisle of stands filled with bric-a-brac when a gilt-framed mirror caught her eye. She leaned in for a closer look and was pleasantly surprised. Although Leah hadn’t really bothered much with her hair or makeup, she had to admit she was looking pretty good today.
She wandered down the next aisle of merchandise, still thinking about the mirror. Unable to resist, she walked back and bought the mirror. The merchant carefully wrapped it in brown paper and handed it over to Leah, saying “You have a good eye. This mirror is quite special.”
Leah walked home with her purchase pondering the different places she could hang the mirror.
In her living room, Leah carefully unwrapped the mirror and propped it against the wall. Once again she was pleasantly surprised at her reflection. She looked…younger and slimmer and her hair wasn’t so grey. “Either I need better glasses or that little workout routine I’ve been doing is working miracles.”
In the hallway near the kitchen hung a small mirror. It had been there for years and Leah had walked past it so many times she barely glanced at it anymore. But, today she wanted to look. The woman, reflected, back at her had grizzled grey hair, and deep creases in her forehead. Leah spun around wondering if another woman was in the house, but the hallway was empty. She glanced once more at her old face and then went back to look in the gilt mirror. There! She looked much better. Must be a trick of the light in the hallway she thought.
When she had to go into the kitchen, she ignored the mirror in the hallway.
Leah gently carried the new mirror upstairs to her bedroom. She already had a full-length mirror in the bedroom, but she wanted to see how the gilt frame would look with the other furniture. When she stood in front of the old mirror, she was shocked to see that her body looked lumpy and stooped. When she stood in front of the new mirror, she was slim and erect. In a pique of frustration, she gave the old mirror a hard kick and it shattered into pieces. Leah appeared to be in a trance as she picked up a large piece of glass and stood in front of the gilt mirror. Slowly, and with a youthful smile, she watched as she slit her own throat and the blood flowed so prettily down the front of her dress.
There was a sudden banging at the front door, it was the mirror vendor shouting, “Lady! Let me in. I’ve made a terrible mistake. I’ve sold you the wrong mirror!” But, you know, it was much too late for Leah.