The first time I heard the knocking from the mirror, I thought I was crazy. To be honest I was quite drunk that first time, and I chalked it up to the pounding in my brain caused by the tequila and I went to bed. The next time, however, I was stone cold sober and I knew I wasn’t just imagining things. I was in bed reading a book, curled up and content, and the sound of it startled me.

I live alone, you see, and it was late. Things were nice and quiet, so the noise stood out against the silence. It was like knuckles rapping on glass, tinny sounding backed by a faint but distinct thud, thud, thud. I checked the windows first, my home is just one story, but there was nobody there. It wasn’t until it happened again, about ten minutes later, that I realized the sound came from the bathroom.

There aren’t any windows in my bathroom.

As the days went on it happened more and more frequently. Sometimes the knocks were soft and almost nonexistent, other times they were loud and insistent. There was an almost urgent quality about them when they were loud, a steady drum of sound that shook me to my core. I had investigated thoroughly, had even taken the mirror off the wall to check behind it, but I had found nothing. What had I expected to find anyway?

There was no explanation for what I was experiencing, and desperate as I was I knew I wouldn’t find one. That didn’t stop me, however, from tucking the mirror away in the linen closet in the hallway, behind a stack of sheets and blankets that I kept for those rare times I had guests over.

All that did was somewhat muffle the knocking. It didn’t stop it. It only got worse. Whatever was clamoring for my attention didn’t like that it was being ignored, shoved aside, and hidden. I ended up putting the thing back on the wall so I could get some sleep at night. Which, really, is funny to think about. It wasn’t as though I was getting eight restful hours at a clip anyway. I was lucky to get a couple, and even then it was fitful at best.

About a week after the knocking began, I started to see things. I was brushing my teeth when I saw something in my reflection, lurking over my left shoulder. I wasn’t looking at the mirror straight on, I was looking at the sink, but I still saw it in my peripheral. I glanced over my shoulder and saw nothing, but another look towards the mirror showed that whatever it was, it was still there.

When I tried to see it clearly, staring directly into the mirror, it kept out of sight. It hid just beyond the edges of the glass, in those places where my eyes could not go. I started brushing my teeth in the kitchen after that and combed my hair in my bedroom where there were no reflective surfaces. Once or twice I even took showers at the truck stop near the highway. Anything to avoid prolonged stretches of time in that sinister little room, with that godforsaken mirror watching my every move.

It started speaking to me last night. Throaty whispers that float down the hallway, echoing strangely as though the sound is reverberating many times over before reaching my ears. I can’t make out many of the words, it’s mostly growls, but I think it wants me to let it out. Maybe I should. Maybe I should just break the mirror and give it what it wants. Maybe if it’s free, I’ll be able to sleep again. Live my life again. Not be afraid to shower in my own house again.

It’s not knocking anymore, it’s pounding at the glass. I can hear the mirror rattling against the wall. I don’t know what to do, but I’m considering grabbing the hammer from the garage and just giving it what it wants.

I can hear glass breaking.

The mirror is off the wall. I don’t have to open the bathroom door to know that. I’m sure there are shards of glass scattered across the tile floor and in the basin of the sink. I close my eyes and clench my hands into fists. I’m standing in the hallway, just outside the bathroom. I hear the door open, and then I feel it breathing on my neck. It whispers in my ear in that horrible, growl of a voice.

“Knock, knock.”