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  • By John Hardy Bell

The Man in the Glass: A Micro-Fiction Tale

Myles Garret stared at himself in the mirror. He wasn’t exactly sure how long he’d been staring, but it felt like something approaching eternity. No matter how long he looked, no matter how intense his focus, he couldn’t reconcile the image that reflected back at him with the man he knew himself to be.

The man in the mirror was respectable and honest-looking; someone who helped people; someone who possibly even saved lives. The Myles Garrett he knew was only interested in taking them.

He looked at himself in the flesh, then back at his reflection. Everything was different inside the glass. Instead of the butcher knife he knew he was carrying, he saw a forged scalpel. Instead of the blood-soaked overalls and black ski mask he vividly remembered putting on, he saw blue scrubs and a surgical mask.

The more he stared, the more contorted the image became. The face that had for years been ravaged by pock marks and adorned with tear-drop tattoos was reflected back as smooth and handsome, with a sharp, square jaw, a finely manicured goatee, and broad, intelligent eyes that were magnified by a pair of horn-rimmed bifocals.

Overwhelmed by the horror of what he saw, Myles turned away from the mirror. He was so intently focused on himself that he'd nearly forgotten about the lifeless body laying just a few feet away from him. After a moment, it too had become something he didn’t recognize.

Was she laying on a bed or an operating table? Was the blue stillness in her face caused by suffocation or anesthesia?

In that instant, Myles realized that a monster existed inside of him; one that was uglier, scarier, and far more terrifying than any he could’ve ever imagined.

And as he put on his ski/ surgical mask and lowered his butcher knife/ scalpel into the flesh of his victim/ patient, Dr. Garrett realized something else.

He was eager to get to work.

**I hope you enjoyed this short little slice of fiction. It's become one of my favorites. You'll be able to read much more about Dr. Garrett in the upcoming Camille Grisham prequel novel DYSMORPHIA.

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