There was a smell of knives in the air, and the sky like tarnished silver: a good night for a hero. Life is an epic to him who wills.
In the last days, sounds of an army preparing for battle will be heard from within mirrors, say the Chinese. But life is an epic to him who wills.
His mission, his Iliad, was to subdue the world transpeculate before our reflections and shadows could rebel against us, flooding bathrooms, wrecking bedrooms, making free with barber’s cutlery, smashing the bottles in the gantries of bars, misbehaving on the ceilings of brothels. Alone, he would impose his will upon his reflection, bending it to do his bidding and his alone.
He practised at the dressing table, not without success!
He lined the walls of the attic with mirrors, door and all, and took a lamp. There he sat, alone at the centre of a replicating universe, and clenched his will. So did his infinite doubles.
Meanwhile, his wife and his brother were sharing chocolates on the sofa. His brother loved the freckles in her breast; brown sugar sinking into cream. Rum truffle, cherry fondant, montelimar, nougat, caramel.
There was a cry! The windows rattled, the mirror clattered on the wall. She started, hand to freckled breast. He missed the caramel and bit his tongue.
They calmed themselves. She soothed his tongue with hers. He slid her hem a little higher.
Upstairs, the hero lay exhausted on the floor, his enemies, as he thought, as he fondly believed, stretched out around him. His lamp went out, and they all imploded in the dark to one slumped shape.
Downstairs, the lovers fell apart, mimicked by the couple in the mirror. She straightened and preened here and there. He sat in a smug glow. She reached down for the box, and they began on the lower tray.
But suddenly she dropped them all, and screamed, as the couple in the mirror sprang apart and hurriedly dressed to distant sounds of steel.