He sits in front of his boudoir, staring at his reflection in the mirror. His appearance is satisfactory. Yet it is not his true face. The thought fills him with anger. Time was a cruel mistress. Every day felt like some part of him was being sapped away. He was beginning to feel more hollow and empty than before. 

Did he regret it? Now that was the true question. 

Did he regret staying young forever whilst his friends and loved ones aged? Their skin sagging around their brittle bones. Their eyes dulling as seasons changed. Voices dry as leaves, skin as thin as paper. 

A chill ran through his bones. No. He didn't regret staying young. He was beautiful. His eyes were bright. His skin was rich and full. Nothing about his appearance seemed to be begging for death. 

"I am young," he said to his reflection. The mouth in the mirror mimicked his words with a mocking smirk. "I am forever young."

There was a prickling sensation on the back of his neck. He felt as though he were being watched. It wasn't the first time he'd felt that way. Every so often, his skin would tingle, yet when he glanced behind him there would be nothing there. He was half-convinced he was going crazy. The only thing watching his back was that damned painting. It was a blessing and a curse. 

The painting's frame was a dulled gold, worn away by time. The flecks of paint had chipped around the corners. They littered his floor like fallen leaves. Drawn over the painting was a deep red curtain. Dust clung to its folds and it too looked as though it were trying to stand the test of time.

"Don't look at me!" He hissed.

The painting gave no reply. The curtain remained firmly in place. 

He barked out a long, reedy laugh. Mad, he was going mad. He turned back to the mirror, gasping at the sight. A skeleton dressed in his suit turned to face him. The permanently smiling face stared at his own with its hollow sockets. 

"Mr. Gray," it rasped. The sound was like bones crumbling to dust.

"W-What to do you want?" He demanded, panic mounting. "Get away from me!"

He tried to move, but found he was stuck to his seat. He couldn't turn away from the skeleton in the mirror. 

"Mr. Gray," the skeleton said again. "You're cheating."

"I'm only getting what I deserve! I've stopped time. I have triumphed over death!" 

The skeleton's smile seemed to widen. "Time stops for no one, Mr. Gray," it said. "And death always gets what it wants."

The skeleton reached out to him through the mirror. Its hand was surprisingly covered in flesh, but as its fingers pierced the glass, the flesh began to fall away. It hit his boudoir with a sickening splat. The skeleton was losing its flesh as it tried to climb out of the mirror. 

He screamed, staring horrified at the flesh. Muscle, sinew, and skin littered his boudoir. He felt like he was going to be sick until he noticed something even more horrifying. The flesh began to dry, curling around itself until it became nothing more than dust. 

"No!" He screeched. "I won't disappear! I won't!"

The skeleton's hand clawed at his neck, fighting for a good enough grip. "Time stops for no one, Mr. Gray," the skeleton repeated. It'd finally gotten a firm hold.

He couldn't breathe. 

He couldn't think.

He didn't want to die.

The last thing he saw before he fell to the ground was the skeleton's face leering at him from his painting; the curtains drawn back to reveal his monster to the world.


Japanese is totally kicking my butt. We have a test on Friday and there's no way I'll be able to pass it. No frickin' way. Stupid glides and long consonants and urgh. >:c
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