Bloody Mary

Drawing of a bathroom handbasin and mirror. Caption reads: "She set up a camera in the bathroom, facing the mirror."

Bloody Mary short story by Iris Carden

Settle in dear reader, while I tell you the strange tale of Rachael, who made fun of people who believed in things she thought weren’t real.

Rachael was a relatively successful social media influencer. Her brand was all about disparaging people’s beliefs. It didn’t matter if it was a religious belief, a belief in ghosts or other supernatural beings, aliens or bigfoot, or belief in urban legends. If people expressed a belief in anything which could not be empirically measured, documented, proven and re-proven, Rachael would make fun of them for likes and money.

If people took offence at anything she said, she had mastered the art of even making their complaints look foolish.

When one critic challenged her to test out the Bloody Mary myth, by standing in front of a mirror and reciting “Bloody Mary” three times, Rachael accepted the challenge.

They say pride goes before a fall, dear reader, and Rachael was proud, and condescending, and self-absorbed. For two weeks she promised she was going to prove once and for all that this urban legend was untrue. She boasted that she was going to do a live feed of her experiment. Her followers egged her on and promised to watch.

The day came. She had set up a camera in her bathroom, aimed at the mirror.

“Hello everyone,” she said to the camera as the live feed began. “Two weeks ago Henry257 challenged me to disprove the Bloody Mary urban legend. The legend goes that if you look in a mirror and say Bloody Mary three times, she will appear.

“Exactly who the “she” is varies with different versions of the story. There’s a lot of criminal Marys in history. What she’ll do when she appears is also up for debate and wild speculation. This is related to stupid superstition that mirrors are portals to some other place or dimension, or well, again, it’s vague.

“Any person with any shred of common sense will already know what the result of this experiment is going to be. Let’s do this, and get it over with, so we can all laugh at Henry257 and his stupid ideas.”

Rachael faced the mirror, and said, “Bloody Mary.” She held up one finger.

She said, “Bloody Mary,” a second time, and held up another finger.

When she said “Bloody Mary” a third time, hands and arms dripping with a black oozing goo reached out from the mirror, grabbed Rachael’s head and pulled her into the mirror.

Her horrified viewers typed things like: “What’s going on?” and “Rachael, are you all right?” and “Rachael, what happened?”

They didn’t receive any answers.

So dear reader, Rachael is no longer available on social media. I’ve heard, however, (from a friend of a friend whose cousin tried it) if you say “Condescending Rachael” three times in a mirror, she’ll appear, call you an idiot and tell you why everything you believe in is a lie.

I invite you, dear reader, to look out for more:

Strange Tales

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.


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