Lena’s still in the baby doll dress and Doc Martens she wore to Andrew’s house on the night she died. The floors in the House of Mourning are wet and sticky, like the rotting residue in some long-forgotten building, sucking at her boots as she walks the endless halls. There is only one door, but there are many mirrors. Some she can see into, some she can’t, though this is no fault of the mirrors. Most are cloaked in a darkness so deep Lena feels as though she could lean into it and be swallowed whole.
The mirrors hold the lives of everyone Lena has ever known. H er second-grade teacher. The bus driver from middle school. Her neighborhood best friend who moved and never wrote. They are on one side, whole and alive, and she is here, in the liminal space one finds themself after death comes calling. The mirrors, of course, are not just mirrors. They let in sound and scent and sight. The lingering threads of life float through the connection, calling up memories of the past. Lena passes them all without much thought until she finds something that stops her cold.