“Rehearsal’s over,” said Mr. Oliver, taking a step back when all four students jumped. It took him a moment to recover.
“Let’s shut this down Max.”
“Will do Mr. Oliver.”
Max started turning off the machines and the computer. Morgan and Teri shouldered their purses. Aiden wasn’t ready to quit.
“Shouldn’t we be trying to figure out what happened?”
“It’s not going anywhere,” Max said. “I saved everything. Besides, wasn’t it just an old light falling?”
He and Aiden turned to the two girls, then looked over at the mirror against the wall.
“Quit trying to scare me,” Teri said. “You’re making it sound like the musical is cursed or something.”
“Not the musical, just you,” Morgan said with a giggle.
The two boys were trying not to laugh and failing miserably. Teri glared, but that only seemed to make it worse. It was easy for them to laugh it off. They hadn’t seen what she’d seen. As they started towards the two sets of double doors at the back of the auditorium, Teri stopped and looked back.
“I forgot my books,” she said.
“Don’t be late,” Morgan said. “The buses’ll be here any minute.”
“I have a car. I could give you girls a lift,” Aiden said.
Teri knew Morgan was accepting his offer, but she couldn’t hear all the words. She was moving back along the dark aisles, trying to remember which row she’d left her books in. Ancient gum stuck to her shoes, making her footfalls snap. The sound echoed through the cavernous space, bouncing off the walls. The farther she got from the doors, the less light seemed to be coming through them.
Taking out her phone and using the screen like a flashlight, she finally saw her books. She needed to keep up with her homework to make up for a few bad test grades. Of course the only thing that could save her chem grade at this point was extra credit, and there was a better chance of Emily suddenly deciding to be best friends than of Fiedler handing out bonus points.
As she settled the thick, heavy books onto her hip, her gaze was drawn down to the end of the row. The mirror was still there, its cover lying on the ground around it. It took her a moment of staring to figure out what was wrong. Her flashlight wasn’t reflecting in it. The dark figure in the mirror started getting larger and larger as it crept through the reflected auditorium. Teri realized she wasn’t looking at herself.
The dark face with the barely visible eyes grew until the shadow girl took up the entire mirror. Teri’s heart hammered against her ribs, its rhythm stuttering. The thing’s mouth opened in a silent howl and two gloomy arms slammed against the mirror. As the glass splintered and cracked, Teri fought to scream against the terror stealing her breath.