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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: Reflection
By Joanne Sher


Janet blinked, trying to clear up the fog from her eyes. Glancing about, she saw absolutely nothing familiar.

The room was completely bare other than a full-length mirror against one wall. She didn't even see a door. She walked toward the mirror and looked, finding not her own reflection, but that of her great-aunt Beatrice, who had died two years previous. Flames surrounded the reflection. Looking into Beatrice's eyes, Janet had never seen her aunt look so enraged or in such agony.

"How could you do this to me, Janet? I thought you loved me. I thought I was your favorite aunt."

Janet lowered her head. "I figured you were too old, too set in your ways. And I thought the news would break your heart."

"No." Beatrice's eyes were afire, like her surroundings in the mirror. "You were being selfish and self-centered. You were afraid of confrontation - so afraid of my being mad at you that you condemned me to this awful place. And now it's too late."

"But, I couldn't have been the only Christian you knew."

Beatrice shook her head. "No, you weren't, but you were the one I loved the most, the one I would have listened to most closely. And you didn't even tell me you were a Christian, much less how I could avoid this place. For four years, you kept it from me."

Janet's expression was pained. She reached out to touch the mirror, but its surface scalded her fingers. She breathed in deeply and stared into the reflection before her.

"Oh, Aunt Bea, I am so sorry. I love you so much, and you have every right to be mad. My selfishness and insecurities have cost you heaven."

"You bet I'm angry. I've got an eternity of suffering ahead of me and you are a big reason for it. How am I supposed to feel?"

Tears cascaded down Janet's face. "I know this is a silly question, but is there anything I can do to make this up to you? I know I can't get you out of hell, but is there anything at all I can do?"

There was a pause, and Bea's tone and volume moderated some. "Actually, there is."

Janet stopped frowning for the first time since the encounter began. A small glimmer of hope peeked into her eyes and the corners of her mouth turned up into an almost smile.

"What is it, Aunt Bea? Anything. Just tell me, and it's done."

Bea's anguished eyes pierced Janet's soul. "Don't be responsible for sending my nieces or nephews, or anyone else I love, to this God-forsaken place. Tell them, before it's too late."

Janet dropped her eyes in shame, and when she glanced up again, the only reflection in the mirror was her own. Her head rang with an incessant beeping noise.


Janet reached over and slammed her hand on her alarm clock's snooze button. Rising slowly, she knelt beside her bed and prayed silently, intensity overtaking her countenance.

Janet rose and noted the time. She grabbed the telephone on her nightstand, dialing a number she clearly knew by heart.

"Hi, Uncle Larry. I need to talk to you about something important. Are you free?"

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This article has been read 1275 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/09/07
The message shines clearly through your story. Tell your loved ones about salvation; do not let their anger deter you.
Lynda Schultz 08/09/07
Powerful message reminded me of the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Good job.
Betty Castleberry08/10/07
A very good lesson and reminder for us all. We have a job to do. Nicely done.
Kristen Hester08/10/07
This is frightening and convicting. Great job and great story.
Jan Ackerson 08/14/07
Ouch! There's not a person here, I reckon, who can't relate to this!

Since you asked for complete honesty--I loved it up until the "it was a dream" revelation. I've just always found that device over-used, and the "easy way out." Why not just have the event have really happened? Now THAT would be truly powerful!

The phone call at the very end is super...how about giving us a little more about your MC's emotions by having her fingers tremble, etc.?

Thanks for being so transparent with us...I suspect that your story will poke at many of our hearts.
Joy Faire Stewart08/14/07
Oh, this brought me to tears. I appreciate you sharing and it's a story that will remain with me. Excellent writing.
Julie Ruspoli08/14/07
Oh how true. I loved the description of Janet looking in the mirror with the flames and the reflection of her aunt. What a great lesson. I feel guilty for not instantly picking up the phone to call someone. Very creative.
Catrina Bradley 08/14/07
Very convicting - hopefully will motivate a lot of people to share the Good News of Salvation. I know I'm guilty of the "someone else will tell them" syndrome. Thanks for sharing your heart and your story. Have you called your uncle yet? :)
Loren T. Lowery08/14/07
Great way to present this message. This "reflection" is something we all see staring back at us from time to time. I liked the fact that it happened as she "woke up." Great writing.
Lynda Lee Schab 08/14/07
Oh, wow. The moment I read the line that ends, "and now it's too late." It hit me. What a powerful and convicting piece! And PERFECT for "Angry." Makes me think that people getting angry at me for sharing the gospel in this lifetime doesn't even compare to the anger they will feel if I don't. Excellent piece. This will stick with me...

Pam Carlson-Hetland08/14/07
Oh, yes, this story will convict many of its readers - and rightfully so! I liked the concept of talking to the aunt in the mirror surrounded by flames. This is good...very good.
George Parler 08/14/07
I am a dummy. LOL I posted my comment for this story onto the neighboring story. But better late than never. :)

In the end, our greatest regrets will be what we should have said and what we should have done in the time we had left to do it.

In this story the MC had the advantage of finding out what she should have said. But in reality we will always have to wonder . . . Did I do enough?

More descriptive emotion on the part of the MC would have been nice. But overall it is a great story, and more importantly a great message to all of us.
Patty Wysong08/14/07
Wow! This packed a wallop! I think the alarm clock took away from the impact of the piece, but the immediate action of calling was great. How was she feeling when she called? I loved the image of the flames in the mirror--excellent! Hugs!!
dub W08/14/07
Four stars my friend. Still sends chills up my spine. Bravo.
Rita Garcia08/15/07
You painted a realistic picture of our need to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wonderful writting, my friend!
LaNaye Perkins08/15/07
Awesome writing Joanne. I love way you used this mirror to get the message of this piece across. Well done!
Dee Yoder 08/15/07
Joanne, I've often been guilty of not talking about Christ's plan of salvation to my friends or relatives who might feel "uncomfortable". Especially the ones who have a religion of their own that doesn't include the plan of Jesus! Your story made me realize that my loved ones will be more than "uncomfortable" in the pits and fire of Hell! I resolve to be more up-front with them than I have in the past.
Brenda Welc08/15/07
What a message to tell! We just had a sermon on this Sunday and this really ht home! Great writing and very creative!
Julie Arduini08/15/07
I have chills. This was superb, convicting, and flat out very well written.
Chrissi Dunn08/16/07
Very well written, Joanne. This has such an amazing message!
Seema Bagai 08/16/07
Everyone needs to read this piece. Ouch. I needed this.