The sun gleamed off the aircraft’s metallic underside. He could feel it radiating heat. His distorted reflection stared back, facial features recognisable, but askew. For a moment, his mirror-image appeared to smile, though he did not. He slowly reached out.

He hoped the thin veil that separates this world from the one so often reflected would hold out.

His hand inched closer to the fuselage.

Despite the heat, the metal surface was cold, and the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. The fingers of his image intertwined with his own and held him fast. He was being gently pulled.


The voice faded almost as soon as it began, whispered through an unseen mouth, from an unknown being.

His likeness’s expression remained passive as black tendrils grew from the edge of its face, spreading out until it was surrounded by an oval of thrashing tentacles. The blackness spread, covering its countenance until it ruptured toward him into row after row of pointed teeth, oscillating in a way that made him nauseous. Things moved beneath the gums that held the teeth, pressing out with stick thin appendages before moving off once more. A breeze grew from behind him until it was roaring past, trying to force him into the reflected horror before him, while his hand, now tangled with night black coils –

A hammering caught his attention.

Through the window of the terminal, his wife and son were waving him off, as they did every flight.

He waved.

If only they knew.

The hull of the plane had returned to how it should be. No monstrosities returned his gaze, no black tendrils ensnared him, and his reflection held the same concerned expression he did. Grasping the hot, plastic handle of his carry-on bag, he walked to the mobile stairs.

This was submitted for a Flash Fiction competition on the Angry Hourglass website. Head there and have a read. As well as weekly flash fiction competitions, they also display all the stories submitted, so there is loads to read.