"No Mirrors"by Riley Hamilton, the author of the novel-in-progress "I Used To Be Much Younger" and thescreenplay-in-progress "Tweeps"She was hassling him again verbally on the phone."Why don't you get away and write that novel you've been talking about for two years,"she said."It hasn't been two years, Mom. Are you
to sound like an old, crazy woman?" Hesaid, flexing his biceps."I just want my baby boy to be happy. As much as you joke, Jonah, I am getting old. Ican feel it all around me. I'm not as fast as I used to be. You should see how I walk.""Mom, you are still so fast, " Jonah giggled. "Remember when I was complimenting youabout how fast you were running down the stairs last time I visited? I wasn't just makingconversation. You were as fast as lightning. I've never seen a 55-year old woman move likethat."Jonah pulled the phone away from his right ear because she had started to cry. Hechecked in a few moments later to make sure she was done and then resumed theconversation. "I think you're right. I can take this time to finish that novel. They gave methree weeks' pay as severance and that will go a long way around here.""A long time," she said, trying to hold back her tears. "I want you to be happy, Jonah.I've never heard you happier than when you were describing your little book to me. "TheBeautiful Friends," that's what it was called, right?"Jonah giggled again. "Right, mom. "The Beautiful Friends."--After hanging up with his mother, Jonah took a long look at his apartment building. Itlooked like Satan had taken a big shit there. There were bare white walls and nothing thatscreamed, "This is Jonah's Home!" Even his multi-colored drapes looked like one of themost boring things ever created. He grabbed a two-liter bottle of soda out of the fridge andpolished it off."I love soda but it does
love me," Jonah said before sighing loudly. The sound sodamakes when it goes down your throat was in full effect that day. The carbonated syrupswished in his belly and Jonah laughed loudly. A boisterous laugh that seemed rare comingfrom a sourpuss like Jonah. Something about the loud laugh reverberating off the wallsgave Jonah the courage to go for it. To do the thing he had always dreamt about. To getaway from the city of Juniper and try to write that novel. Jonah let out a high-pitched squealat the thought. In a hotel, Jonah thought suddenly. One with a nice big view of trees andsquirrels. A ways off in a small town. The words would flow like sweet honey. He had moneysaved up, three weeks' of severance pay and the rent was squared away. A change of scenery was what Jonah needed. A little getaway would make him become the superherowriter he knew he could be. And he went for it.--Jonah packed two bags and threw away some things in the fridge that would go badwhile he was gone. One of his bags held his clothes and the other was for his toothbrush,hair gel and other hygienic products. He said goodbye to his apartment but left with a smileon his face. He quickly got into his car and started it up. Jonah drove. As he picked upspeed, he stuck his head out of the car window and opened his mouth as wide as it wouldgo. He quickly tucked his head back in because he had lost full control of the car. Once hehad been on the highway for around thirty minutes he started to look at his choices andfinally made his selection. He had settled on a town called Prescott. Prescott almost rhymeswith biscuit, Jonah thought. He immediately pulled over and wrote that down in hisnotebook. He would have to remember that. Jonah had yet to realize that this sense of inspiration and wonder that he had been feeling since he left his apartment and the town of Juniper would soon be replaced with a fear like nothing he had ever experienced.