The Mirror of Me

Online Serial Novel Exclusive

Past, present, and future intersect to synthesize an elaborate future civilization. Peyton—pulled from a past and a collapsing society into a Utopian future that appears ideal on the surface—relives all times concurrently; her past exploited for education and entertainment purposes; her present weaponized as a catalyst for change; her future unknown. Wynne and Lalita—born of an exalted culture of genius scientists—uncover flaws in their perfect world they wish to evaluate and maybe regulate if they can, at any cost, personal or societal; will something far worse hinder that goal. Willa and Alison navigate a present driven by climate change, where fascism and anarchy reign, while assimilating into a wealthy family—a family destined to shape the future and a civilization in the stars. Unless the monsters of the present destroy them first—or they become monsters themselves.

Trigger Warning—Rating Mature: Yes.

Intermission I – The Mirror of Me

I’m working on new chapters now slowly churning away in front of the screen and beyond doing all that thinking and scrambling around one does prior to writing another chapter—you know, the hard work. Those chapters are forthcoming—eventually. I’ll post little intermissions occasionally in between with history and influence and playlists and acknowledgements, inspirations, etc. […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Forty – Jealousy

“What do you do for him?” Ali stands in the living room placing her laptop and various other items in a brown leather bag preparing to exit for work—whatever work is. Her slight smile teases something larger afoot—to what, she doesn’t say even though I continue asking. Not meeting my eyes: “I do lots of […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirty-Nine – Predators

Have you ever been hunted? The feeling that someone is watching you? Anticipating your every move? The slightest touch stiffens and curdles your insides? Instincts screaming fight and flight? That which gives you goosebumps and raises the hair on your arms and the back of your neck? Like static electricity moving through your body? Looking […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirty-Eight – Memories

The first of the videos go viral a few days later—several months after Nik’s death. Max brings the first to our attention after media calls to the West’s publicist for comment drop nonstop. We go in oblivious. There are no warnings and Max doesn’t elaborate on what we’re about to watch. Not that anything could […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirty-Seven – Hubris

After my exit, in the subsequent years amongst the chaos, artificial intelligence was repurposed from fighting disease to confronting viruses sweeping through and leveling populations and devastating socioeconomic conditions. Human virus nanotechnology trials started small then grew in numbers—some with unpredictable and deadly consequences, and modest successes. As with any testing and solution, the science […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirty-Six – Temptation

“What is this incessant need for me to like you? Why do you think you’re entitled to my affection? Why does any man think they’re automatically entitled to any woman’s affection? Is it that much of an oddity when someone doesn’t desire you? When the Hollywood A-list propaganda doesn’t work and you’ve one less fan?” […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirty-Five – Maelstrom

Another night, another furious storm. The wind beats a path bowing trees while the waves snap violently against the shore. Lightning shreds the pitch-black sky. I sit alone in front of the overly large windows waiting for the world to split and life to finally end. I feel guilty as hell experiencing the thrill of […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirty-Four – Trauma

I run through the woods. Branches slap me in the face. Lifeless leaves crunch underfoot. My breath comes in harsh bursts as the bitter acidic taste of adrenaline coats my mouth. I feel her inexperienced mind racing. I’m an observer helpless to do anything but watch the reiteration of this slow-mo video. I hear her […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirty-Three – Boundaries

“Hold up,” I say raising my hand awaiting acknowledgment and consent to continue. Keyword: consent. Given that consent was increasingly a hot topic in my time amongst women and that the philosophical practice of privacy stemmed heavily around the intersection of both of these subjects, I decide to forgo any judgments on any Orwellian-type telepathic […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirty-Two – Attraction

He walks off the beach alone with a surfboard under his arm in a full black wet suit; a baseball cap pulled low over his eyes covering his short wet dark blonde hair. A few thin curls that remain loose, bleached by the sun and sea. His mirrored surf shades strapped around his head reflect […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirty-One – Colonialism

Late into the night, back at the main Charlotte facility in Grace’s lavish office, we sit speechless and exhausted. The air hangs as a crypt around us. Dandria arrives after forwarding Mary’s and the other remains to the main facility for their teams to study—something highly illegal and uncommon, considered unethical and immoral; science abandoned […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirty – Sex

Behind the mask of polite affectionate loving mother, imagine another Cruella, if you will, with a dyed jet-black beehive do—like the color of a raven—nicotine beige overly large false teeth, and colossal eyes like a grisly gecko getting ready to let slip a stealthy long forked tongue; this from a distorted Polaroid photo that still […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twenty-Nine – Legacies

“I am not named for Peyton Manning. Do you know how insulting that is? He was a football player. Football—that barbaric chase-a-ball-up-and-down-the-field-and-hit-each-other-till-your-brain-turns-to-mush sport, not to be confused with soccer or boxing, both in different contexts. And he was born after me. The nerve.” Exasperated, I continue. “My mother only read one book: the Christian King […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twenty-Eight – False Choices

Instead of hard cold paper covered tables and questionable sterility, there are feathery soft beds. Stirrups that are normally raw, unforgiving and unyielding are pliable and supportive and fade into the warmth and compassion of the room. The light blues and pale pinks of the area are soothing and gentle, like a warm hug from […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twenty-Seven – Exposition

I’m outside playing. She doesn’t expect me back till dinner. She doesn’t want me back till dinner. She wants peace. She needs tranquility and there’s plenty of it: one hundred acres of woods, caves, and mysteries of nature at our disposal. While I savor this adventure, she rejects it, losing and closing herself in the […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twenty-Six – Education

“I have chosen a team in collaboration with the mentors, commanders, and directors. We have a proposal that we would like you to consider, Peyton. Both the team and the proposal have the necessary approvals to submit for a vote. We will send our team to the vicinity of a culture …  surreptitiously,” Wynne uses […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twenty-Five – Obligations

The bumps of the road hiss and sway as we speed towards downtown Charlotte on I77 South. Bowed asphalt and potholes emerge here and there and Jess does what she can to avoid them. The three-black decked out SUVs travel as one carrying all towards answers—vague incomplete ones. The West fam and Max choose to […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twenty-Four- Connections

The usual focus, inhale-exhale isn’t working. My conventional tactics are faulty, absent even. My mind is blank. Confusion reigns. I cannot seem to catch my breath. I lean forward and take several large breaths as the cast chair straightens before trying again. I don’t notice the tears leaking from my face. Closing my eyes tight, […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twenty-Three – Remorse

The main house on the estate, private and extensive—behind a wall and security and oodles of guards at every point that our small caravan entered a little too easily—looks like a smaller version of the Biltmore. Just over ninety thousand square feet, Reliquum, a gothic modern castle tucked into the crook of the cliffs overlooks […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twenty-Two – Transparency

“Do any of you think this is a good idea? There had to be more than a few objections to this?” I ask concerned waving a hand at the imposing repository around us. Wynne pauses arching a brow. “If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have done it, yes?” I stop and look at her. “I gotta […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twenty-One – Love

“Can you take that envelope on the counter up to Niky?” Ali yells from the loft. Sitting on a stool in front of the windows and my easel in the living room, staring at a blank canvas, I curl my lip: “You’re calling him Niky now? Really?” She peers over the wall above me looking […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twenty – Spirit

The naked trees of autumn sit somber awaiting the frigid snows and winds of winter. The last of the leaves furl and die withering into cold dust under feet. I watch the cobalt blue sky turn grey, bloated with sleet and snow as shadows disappear. The scent of frosty fog grows increasingly stronger—tainted, like sour […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Nineteen – Trust

The modest glass sunroom sits near one of the estates many kitchens. Ali and I wake early and meet here. Curled into plush comfy chairs facing the water, breakfast and coffee out of the way, soaking in the morning sun with tea in hand, we’re deep into a discussion about last night’s dinner conversation. “Are […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Eighteen – History

There is a constant low indecipherable hum that you feel throughout your body and time on Anderas by a mega terraforming generator a few miles below the city powered by robots—robots that do the menial tasks of terraforming in order to survive in that type of environment. There are large industrial sized superstructures that litter […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Seventeen – Change

Our small crew assembles in the massive kitchen to concoct our evening chow. Long glass doors line one side of the room opening to a multi-colored stone veranda, grill, bar, and beyond to the pool and lake. The unpredictable climate is seldom this pleasant lately. The fading frantic sounds of the late spring day sound […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Sixteen – Art & Music

“This won’t work if they can’t hear it—feel it. Isn’t there scientific evidence that music is beneficial for the brain?” The answer reveals itself to me immediately. “Because now you have nanites. Nice,” I add sarcastically. “I’m in a real life Greek tragedy and have my very own deus ex machina. What happens when the […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Fifteen – Privilege

He leans casually against the wall in front of our loft door with key in hand. I stop on noticing him, the box heavy in my hands, attempting to catch my breath after climbing five flights on a dare from Ali. I don’t like him the moment I see him. One, he’s an actor—a very […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Fourteen – Privacy

“Is there anything we can do to help her? In a way that she won’t lose her social security or Medicare? She’s old and she doesn’t have too many years left.” I ask Max about the woman and what she needs. I’ve never requested anything from her. Our interactions have been passive. Her frown sits […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Thirteen – Reproduction

It’s one of the many things I notice immediately, but haven’t really thought about, till now: The lack of families; the lack of children. Given my rebirth, I figure the fundamentals of family life have changed substantially—dramatically even in fifteen hundred years. The heteronormative family from my time began to change gradually many years before—like […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Twelve – Family

The conversation is not one of a grief-stricken mother but a burdened one. “I don’t know what to do with her. I don’t know what to do with her stuff. I don’t want it here. I don’t want to look at it. I don’t want to see any of it. I just want it gone. […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Eleven – Reciprocity

The thrust forward blends through the colors as I exit and blur my way back to where I begin, full stop. My heart flutters like carbonation in my chest. My breathing mildly erratic—nothing life threatening. I blink and I’m back in the merge room. The cast chair straightens. The pressure increases restricting my breathing. I […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Ten – Sunflowers

I dance, I twirl, I look up; the cloud-grey sunless sky passes overhead in a blur as I get dizzier and dizzier. I stop, I wobble, I watch the world tip and spin. My arms twist and turn and bend in odd ways. My head tilts back. The colors morph into a haze of nothingness […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Nine – Matter

The indigo blue of fingernails flare against pallid flesh and the pale grey of the bed in the darkness of the room as I roll over towards the windows facing Anderas. The slightest glimmer of Saturn peers through a fissure in the clouds through the field’s facade of night shrouding my flat in a faint […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Eight – Nature

The road twists and turns into a straight stretch. Smaller arteries branch out like capillaries circulating into the state’s largest lake and a wealthy suburb of Charlotte. Newly built subdivisions encroach on both sides with large signs screaming HOMES FOR SALE FROM $800,000—one of the less expensive neighborhoods. Prefabricated plans and hastily constructed houses sit […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Seven – Data

The sweeping winds batter the field. The rain, falling with the slowness and lightness of snow, knocks on the dome like soft pebbles. This light shower—an occurrence that happens every few years—now happens much more frequently. The hydrocarbons swirl through the cold outside like a twisted mist confused and uncertain where to turn next. I […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Six – Bread

The squeaky wheel of the grocery cart echoes hollow in the sparse vegetable and fruit section. I don’t hear it. I park in front of the asparagus, drifting in and out of awareness, as I pick through the sickly lot of them, looking for a good batch held together with three skinny blue rubber bands. […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Five – Anderas

Pale blue ice lights the world through the faint salmon pink haze of steady and sullen dusk. Sixty-five square kilometers, Anderas floats high amongst the chemically generated clouds in the low gravity, dense atmosphere, like an opaque silver disk and sphere—or a floating, flat-bottomed bubble. The nanite energy field protects the city from Titan’s rough […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Four – Poetry

The next morning, I sit curled in a comfy, cushiony chair on the veranda by the lake wrapped in his sweater. His smell no longer lingers. Like him, it’s long gone. The sun shoots odd rainbow-like rays through the overcast sky. Deep lilac clouds, bloated and bruised like violets faded by the sun, flutter and […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Three – Halcyon

I listen to her without words or response. Wynne pauses occasionally, a lurking question in her eye, gone within a blink, acknowledging that I have no questions for her before continuing in her discussion of what it is I will be participating. I silently observe what is around me, I imagine, listlessly perched on my […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter Two – Storms

The rain renders the sky grey and bounces off the water like a rave in some sort of rhythmic score as the world around me grows dark. The distant roll of thunder wanders across paths and finds its way vibrating the walls around me. I stand small at the inordinately large windows watching the rain […]

The Mirror of Me – Chapter One – Rebirth

Consciousness arrives shortly before rebirth. A cloudy pink haze swirls around me. Mindfulness comes and goes. The pale pink gelatinous fluid gushes forward pushing me through the translucent rubbery skin-like fissure. I fall wet and nude to my knees, coughing, and sputtering for breath and reaching for clarity. The goo coming from all orifices. The […]

© 2011-2021 Pamela Gay Mullins

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