“Look in the mirror,” said Geff.
She walked up to it, but she saw nothing but white swirling fog just like the fog in the boxes. She wondered if it would show her more memories, but just then the fog vanished and her form appeared in the mirror. The suddenness made her jump.
She looked at herself. Her dull blond hair hung limply to her shoulders. Her face was too narrow and her nose was too mouse like. The large black t-shirt she wore made her arms look even skinnier. The bottoms of her faded jeans hung an inch below her ankle and draped over her black Converse shoes, making her short frame look even shorter. Her plain grey eyes looked vacant and sorrowful. The words of the kids at school echoed through her head. Ugly. Sickly. Skinny. Filthy. Disgusting. Stupid. Her mother’s words joined them. Disappointment. Failure. Letdown. Trouble. Pitiful. Burden.
The creature cackled. You wanted to see truth? Well now you have. This is who you are. This is all you will ever be.
The words swirled in Carrie’s head until she became dizzy. She looked away from the mirror and stared at the floor. She had been scared moments before that she wouldn’t have the courage to pull the trigger the second time, but if there was a gun in her hand right now, she would have no hesitation.
“This is the way you see yourself because of the words of others,” said Geff’s voice behind her, “but this isn’t who you really are.”
Carrie continued looking at the blank white floor, feeling miserable. Geff was wrong. The mirror showed her truth.
“Look again,” he said gently. She looked fleetingly in the mirror, not wanting to see herself again. The mirror held only white swirling fog. She blinked, wondering where her image had gone. Again, the fog disappeared and she reappeared in the mirror, but she looked different.
She was wearing a simple white cotton dress instead of the old t-shirt and jeans, but it wasn’t the change in clothes that caught her attention. She still had the same face and she was still short, but something about her appearance was different. Her skin glowed. Her face was lit up in a huge smile. She couldn’t remember ever smiling that big before. Her eyes sparkled. She looked fully alive. She looked radiant. Words entered her head. This time not from negative voices, but a single voice she’d never heard before. It spoke words like beautiful, confident, peaceful, purpose filled, cherished, loved.
“This is how God sees you,” Geff said behind her. Carrie couldn’t tare her eyes away from the image. It was so unreal. It was beautiful.
This isn’t you. You are nothing like this, said the evil voice in her head.
“This is how he sees me, but this isn’t what I am,” she told Geff. Carrie wanted to believe this was her, but she had to be rational. “Maybe God is delusional,” she tore her eyes from the mirror, “This isn’t me.”
“This isn’t you now, but it’s what you could be,” Geff told her eagerly, “God sees us as who we can become not as who we are now. He sees us walking in his plan before we even know what that plan is. He knows what he has made us to be, and sees us that way before we become.”
Carrie would give anything to become the person she saw in the mirror. “How do I become what I saw?” she asked. “Me becoming anything like the girl in the mirror seems impossible.”
It is impossible, said the spirit.
“It is impossible,” said Geff, “On your own, you could never even begin to see what you could become, much less accomplish it, but God accomplishes the impossible. It’s sort of a habit of His.” Geff smiled.
“So why hasn’t he done it yet? Why am I still the same?” If she could become a new person, she didn’t want to wait around.
“He is waiting on you. He may have all the power in the world, but He chooses to wait for our consent. He waits until you say yes to Him. He will do a tremendous work in your life, but you must take the first step.”
“What is the first step?” The doubts she had were slipping away and replacing them was a building excitement. For the first time in her life, she had hope.
“You must realize that you can’t continue to live the way you’ve been living. You must be willing to change.”
Of course she wanted to change. She hated the way she was now. “I wouldn’t have held a gun to my head if I was happy with the way my life is now,” she told him matter-of-factly. “I need a change.”
Geff nodded. “You’ll need some help. First, you have to wash your old life away. You have to be cleansed.”
“So when I’m cleansed, I’ll be the person I saw, right?” Carrie was beginning to feel excited at the prospect.
Geff smiled at her haste. “There is one other thing. Look in the mirror again.” Carrie looked. The Carrie in the mirror wasn’t standing as she was, but balled up in fetal position on the floor. Her head was buried in her arms, and she was rocking back and forth. Above her was a dense, black cloud. Looking at it made her feel cold, like all the blood had gone out of her. The cloud began to change. It grew long wispy tentacles that wrapped themselves around her head, neck, and arms. It grew larger, as if feeding off her, and the larger it became, the more tentacles sprang from the blackness and claimed the rest of her body. Soon all she could see was thick black cloud as it consumed her. Just like with the other images she’d seen, she heard words.
You are mine. The voice gave a gleeful cackle. You. Are. Mine. Carrie’s very bones felt cold and she felt frozen in place, too cold to move. Then she heard someone scream. She realized it was her own voice. She didn’t know whether it was the Carrie in the mirror or she that was screaming—maybe both. Carrie jerked her head away from the mirror and took a sharp breath. She felt warm again. She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see Geff.
“That was the spirit that is with you now,” he said.
No it isn’t. He is talking foolishly. There is nothing around you like that, the blackness said desperately, There is nothing you can’t see.
“You can’t become what you were intended to be while it is attached to you.” There’s no hope for me then, Carrie realized, there is no way I can get rid of that thing. It scared her.
Her shoulders sagged. “So I’m stuck like this? I’ll never become anything more than what I am now?” The thought made her wish she had a gun in her hand.
It’s hopeless. You are hopeless. End it. End it all, spoke the dark voice.
“There is a power that can overcome the spirit you saw in the mirror: the Spirit of God.” Geff told her, “It is another step in becoming the person that God sees. You must be willing for God’s spirit to come into you.”
The thought scared Carrie a little. If what she saw in the mirror was a spirit, she didn’t want another one around her, or in her. The image of the radiant Carrie she saw in the mirror came into her head. She wanted to be that. Besides, her only other option was to keep the blackness that hovered over her and sucked the life out of her.
“Ok, I’ll do it. All of it,” she said, determined, “I’ll do whatever it takes. Just get rid of that thing I saw.”
You want to be stubborn do you? You can’t just leave things alone and keep your stupid eyes closed. You insist on believing I exist. I’ll show you I exist! I’ll show you I own you!
Carrie wished Geff would hurry up and do whatever it was that needed to be done. She was sure she could hear the same voice she heard cackling at her in the mirror.
“Are you ready to turn away from living your old life?”
You aren’t. You can’t stop living your old life. You are a sinner.
“I want a new life,” said Carrie.
You can’t have a new life because you can’t stop sinning! shrieked the darkness. I am the god of sin! I am the god of your miserable life!
“Then get in the water,” said Geff. Carried didn’t know what he was talking about. What water? She looked behind her and stepped backward, startled.
Next: The Water
Previously: The Boxes
Jump to the beginning: The Gun