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About The Mirror

Claire is discontented with her husband Martin and their new small town life. Then one day, she meets a mysterious salesperson who convinces her to buy the mirror. But this is no ordinary mirror, and as Claire's reflection in it begins to change, so does she, becoming a darker, more frightening version of herself.

Startled by the changes to his own appearance, Martin convinces Claire to take the mirror back. The only problem with that is that the mirror doesn’t want to go back. What’s worse, it’s seduced Claire to its side. Soon, husband and wife are pitted against each other in a sinister power struggle over not only the mirror, but their very lives.  

The Mirror is a novella and was published Oct 2021 to celebrate Halloween. It is the first novella by JL Bowers.

Other coming soon
Read an excerpt below!


It was the figure from The Scream painting, reflected in the silver flute vase. Claire could see it there. Now she just needed to capture it. The image was perfect to her naked eye—the swirls, the fearful oval mouth, the slender hands slapped onto a bulbous head—but she was having trouble finding the image in her viewfinder. She stepped back, assessed the placement of the vase on her farmhouse kitchen table, the warm morning light streaming through the window. Too much light. It was blowing out the edges of the zombie-like head. Claire side-stepped to the window. The opaque curtains squeaked as she drew them inward, inching them toward the middle until…


She snapped backward, crouched, found the image in the vase, twisted her lens, and click.

Click. Click.

Pausing, she dropped the ISO, adjusted her f stop and shutter, and took a few more pictures—variations to choose from once the film was developed. She lowered her camera, frowned. Was the light in the room too warm? Did she need to come back mid-day?

No, the time was now. By mid-day the image in the vase would morph into something else, something boring and unartistic. She made a few more adjustments on her camera and snapped a few more shots, then picked up her digital camera to be safe.

She pressed the power button, but the camera whirred, clicked, and died.

Claire sighed. This wasn’t the first time she’d forgotten to charge the thing. The digital camera was easy, a time saver for her occasional commercial work, but she preferred her art old school—black and white, using film. She shoved the charger plug into the wall socket and hooked up her camera, hoping it would charge in time for today’s job.

The front door to the house creaked open. Heavy footsteps clomped on the hardwood floor, and then her husband Martin, returning from his morning run, stepped into the kitchen holding a small package.

“Let me guess.” He held the cardboard box out to her. “More film.”

“Don’t worry, my gig this afternoon is paying for it.”

“You have a gig?”

She snatched the box from him, fighting her irritation at his surprise. Droplets of his sweat had marred the box’s surface. She grimaced at the dark splotches and set the box on the table. “Janine Harper hates her kid’s school photos.”

Martin rolled his eyes, then gave a sage nod. Janine was the fastidious wife of one of his least favorite co-workers. “Can’t you use digital for these gigs instead of paying for all that film?”

“I am using digital.”

“So what’s the film for?” He lifted a cynical brow. “More postcards?”

The arch of his brow matched the arch in his tone. The postcards were a side project, made from shots she’d taken of their picturesque town, but even after convincing a few of the local tourist shops to carry them, they earned only a pittance compared to the time she put into creating them.

But at least they earned more than her other side project.

“No, my gallery shots,” she said, shrinking a little.

Their eyes met.

“Expensive hobby.” Martin ran a hand through his sweat-drenched locks. “You think maybe you could shoot those with digital until they start making money? I mean...”

He gave a casual shrug, but his expression oozed judgment. Irritation flared inside her.

Two years ago, they’d moved here to this small community, abandoning Manhattan for a slower paced life. Martin had remained at his firm, working remotely, and they’d been able to purchase a home with money saved from having his NYC salary without the NYC overhead. But last year, his firm downsized due to the economy and the loss of a major client, and had kept only the city accountants. Martin easily found a local job, but his new, lower salary covered only their basic bills, not the renovations and upkeep their nineteenth century home required.

Money was tight; Claire understood that, but she also couldn’t help thinking that they’d be flush right now if Martin had sold the parking spot in Manhattan he’d inherited from his father instead of renting it out.

“I can’t get the look I need from digital.” Claire pulled two prints from her camera bag and laid them on the table side by side. They were two identical shots of the town lighthouse, but one taken with her digital camera, the other with film. The variances between the tonality and brightness were clear to her eye. She tapped the print on her left. “See? Film is better.”

Martin gave them a cursory glance, then raised his brow at her. “I don’t see a difference.” He pat her shoulder, then swept around her. “Oh, and can you get on the dresser thing today? I’m tired of plucking underwear and socks out of a duffle.”

“I don’t have time today. I have to be at the Harpers by two.”

“What about this morning?”

“I have to develop these shots, and I still haven’t showered yet. I’m a mess.”

He kissed her forehead. “Don’t be silly. You always look beautiful.”

He breezed out of the room, fluttering the curtains with his passage. The Scream image in the vase stretched as the light changed, elongating the mouth.

“Because you don’t really see me,” Claire whispered at it.

Wood creaked and groaned as her husband climbed the staircase to the second floor. The noises stopped, and then there was a squeak where she pictured Martin leaning over the banister.

“Dresser, babe, please,” he called out before continuing upstairs to shower before work.