The convex mirror

Who is that diminutive person in the mirror? The mirror is convex so distorts the images it reflects, but it has been like that since it hung in the sitting room of the parents’ home. The mirror now hangs high on the bedroom wall above the wide chest of drawers and beyond it, seemingly in the distance, is the miniature being, whose face, if it could be discerned is shocked.

“I’ve shrunk, I’m small, what’s happened? Do I need new glasses, why I am I so short and stout? The mirror has always been there, why am I so diminished? When I was at junior school I was among the tallest, apart from Lynn Cross who was the tallest person in the class, even than the boys. I wonder if she is still tall now, she became a traveller, which surprised me as she always seemed timid, but probably I didn’t know her well. Even when I moved on to secondary school, I could never have been described as short. Some girls were taller, but I was on the tall side of the class and never thought about it. And later there were friends taller than me, but not so I had to strain my neck to look them in the eye. And so it is; I have friends who are smaller than me, some taller, in fact, Rose is tall enough for me to have to tip my head right back to look at her – but she is very tall, I’m not small.
“Maybe the mirror lies, maybe the mirror is in league with my children who say I am very small, but they have just inherited extra tall genes from the other side. They tease me. Daughter graduated and had a rather large mortar board; it fitted her, it fitted her father and brother, it came past my eyes. ‘And this is where we keep our mother,‘ son announced to much family merriment. I may be smaller compared to them, and maybe the mirror is in league with them and their joke.
“Maybe a spell has been cast, and now I am small, maybe now I don’t just fit into an upturned mortar board but a reticule, a pocket, a pouch. Maybe the telescope is the wrong way round, maybe instead of advancing, the reflection retreats, an image at ebb tide, maybe the room has grown larger without anyone noticing. Maybe the mirror is reflecting Lilliput”

The thumbling peers at the convex mirror, perplexed and in some dismay. There’s nothing that can be done. The miniature turns away from the convex mirror and glances round the room. The room looks like the room; it has neither shrunk nor grown, only reflections shrink and grow.

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