Summary: Daniel always lacked the ability to support his Mother and Big Sister. When he finds a magical mirror that takes him to an apocalyptic world, he finds a remaining culture that doesn’t value the same things. Is this an oppurtunity for him to open up shop and become rich? The apocalypse is a dangerous place, so first he must survive it!
***Yes, this is my take on Mansion in the Apocalypse… in the same way MDL was a take on Slave Labyrinth.
“Are you sure you don’t want anything, honey?” Mom called out from her place on the curb.
“I’m not sure…” I answered back, turning to the old mirror in front of me.
“It’s pretty ugly.” A voice came from next to me.
“It’s not like I’m putting it in my room.”
“Something else you’re trying to sell?”
“I’d like to give it another go. Maybe I can help mom out.”
“You’re not going to make a business out of selling stuff on the internet. That was so 2000s. How about you just get a job?”
“You’re my big sister, why don’t you get a job.”
“Don’t Ara, Ara me! Every time anyone discusses you moving out, you go ara, ara and say something about how you’re too busy supporting your cute little brother!”
“Haha… but we are counting on you, little brother! You know mom keeps getting fired. I’d face the same problems.”
She was trying to act happy, but my hand clenched anyway. I was all too aware of why mom struggled to keep a job. She was a beautiful woman, but because she got married young and had children, she never got an education. Dad was supposed to take care of her, but after I was born, he took off leaving her to take care of us on her own. I used to tell mom to hire a detective and make him pay back child support, but she always laughed it off. She was too kind of a woman to be in this world.
The problem with kind, beautiful, uneducated women should be clear. Every man, and even some women, tried to take advantage of her. The men would try to get her to put out for raises, while the women would undercut her with jealous lies and scorn. As a result, she rarely worked at a place for more than a month before she lost the job. Yet, after living like this for a year, there was never a problem getting another job, only for the cycle to repeat. Beauty was both a blessing and curse.
As for my sister, I know she didn’t want to talk about it, but she was similarly accosted by suitors who didn’t care about her personality because they were so caught up on her looks. She could have had a job in an instant as a model. There was even a time last year she had almost taken up a job. It was shady though, and I was certain the guy was planning to get her to do nudes. In the end, I had promised her I would get a job, and help mom pay back our debts before the debt collectors came.
I had been keeping them at bay the last few months. I knew if they laid eyes on my mother even once, they’d have fantasies in their minds by forcing her to pay with her body. My mother wasn’t gullible, but after years of this kind of treatment, I feared that one day she would inevitably give in.
Yet, after a year of looking for a job, I had come up with nothing. I was near graduating high school. I just had one semester left, so it was important I came out with a job. My family wasn’t in a position where I could afford to take off a few months before looking for a job. I wished I could just borrow my sister or my mother’s charm for five minutes so I could get a place. Afterward, I would work hard so neither of them had to worry about a thing again. At, least, that was my dream.
The last few months, it has become almost impossible to find work. So, I had been contemplating working at home. The thing that came to mind was being a reseller. Buying items that looked expensive from a garage sale and then selling them online at a profit. That seemed like a smart idea to me. That left me visiting this place. Since I didn’t have a car, my mother drove, and my sister came as well. Both were being leered at by the man selling the stuff and the other customers. If I ever sold stuff, I’d definitely never leer at beautiful women like this creep! Can’t you see they’re uncomfortable?
That left me looking at this old antique mirror. It was the only thing here that looked like it had value. However, the guy’s ticket price was obscene. He clearly valued all of his stuff too high. Why even have a garage sale if he would cling to everything and expect to get its value back? That was what I was thinking while glaring at the mirror which was a reflection, so I was really glaring at myself. Two enormous things crept out over my head, and I could feel weight press down on the top. Two arms wrapped around, hugging me from behind.
“Sister, get your sweaty boobs off my head.”
“Ah? But it’s so hot out here and this bra barely keeps them up. Can’t you just let them air out a bit.”
I was receiving many jealous looks from the surrounding men, but I had to wonder whose fantasy was it to smell your sister’s boob sweat? I should also note that I wasn’t kneeling or anything. My sister just happened to be a tall woman with long legs, and I was a runt. At 5’1’’, I appeared far younger than I was. If you didn’t look carefully, I was sometimes confused for a twelve-year-old. I’d give anything to develop a man’s body, but I was already eighteen, so that was likely impossible.
“Sir… are you interested in buying this big mirror for your big sister?” The balding man wiped his head sweat before approaching us.
He spoke to me, but his eyes were on my sister. More specifically, they were on my sister’s tits, which were on my head. I wanted to slap them off more than ever now. My head wasn’t a pedestal to display something for other men’s enjoyment. My sister suddenly squeezing me slightly tighter kept me from doing anything. She was just as bothered by this man, who was easily three times her age, eyeing her with his disgusting eyes.
“How much?” I asked, although I had just looked at the tag.
“$40, for a beautiful woman like your sister, isn’t that a fair price.”
I wanted to curse the man. After all, the price tag said $30. He marked it up $10, hoping to force me to buy it. Had my sister been the shallow kind of girl who valued how much you spent, then maybe this technique would work.
“Is there no way you could lower it a bit?”
Although I couldn’t see my sister’s face, I knew that her eyes were fluttering, her lips were pursing, and she looked the very image of a helpless woman ready to be eaten up. I could see the wolf in the man’s eyes. He even licked his lips before closing his mouth, which had been hanging open. Any man would point at my sister and scream she was being a cock tease. The problem was, that was just how my family was. My mother and my sister didn’t act seductive. Why would they need to? They were beautiful! However, they were always accused of flirting because of the way they spoke and looked. Desperate men imagined it of my family, and that only contributed to them feeling justified when they harassed us. All men should just die.
“Ah… w-well…” The man nearly drooled. “I can give you a discount. Perhaps… we can come to some arrangement? If you’d step into my backroom, we can-“
“Here is $40.” I slapped the money on the table in front of him.
“Ah!” My sister made a noise as I pushed out from under her breasts, causing them to fall down with a flopping noise.
I didn’t even argue with the guy for my $10. Any continuation to this conversation would have just caused problems. The man gave me a dirty look even though I paid him $40 instead of $30. I paid him full price and he had the audacity to look accusingly at me, like he would get anywhere with my sister a third his age while her mother and brother waited. It was this kind of behavior I hated the most.
At least, he couldn’t come up with a reason to stop us from going. He let me take the mirror, so I suppose it could have been worse. My sister followed behind me and we returned to where mom was waiting. Once she saw us coming, she had gotten in and started the car. It was an old 1995 Neon. It was literally on its last legs. Dark fumes poured out the back and it sounded like a dying animal. I got into the backseat, bringing down the seat next to me and pushing the mirror half in the seat and half in the trunk. I let my sister take the window that still rolled down in the front.
“I still say I could have talked him down.” My sister grumbled.
Mother shot me a look before giving my sister a gentle smile. She had experienced far more harassment than my sister had, so she was more attuned to these things. When it happened to herself, she usually faced it with a resigned acceptance. My sister was at an age where such a thing would make her furious for days. I’m sure she could have tried to talk him down, only to end up slapping him, and he deciding to refuse to sell it. That was the best circumstance I saw it going.
The drive home was quiet. That was to say that without air-conditioning, the only thing heard was the roaring of wind with the window open. The two windows in back had long broken and wouldn’t turn anymore. The car made it back to our crummy apartment without stalling. With a breath of relief at finally being home, I left the car and dragged the mirror indoors.
“We’ll have supper in two hours.” Mother announced.
“Okay!” I called out as I headed into my room.
“Good luck…” Sister said before turning to enter her room.
“Since when have we ever been lucky.” I whispered to myself once the door to my room closed.
I set the mirror up and grabbed my restoration supplies. Actually, it was just Windex, a bottle of 409, and some paper towels. I definitely needed more restoration stuff. If I sold this mirror for over $40, maybe I could get it. I looked on my phone, and it said that there were similar mirrors that went for $1000. If I could even sell it for $100, I’d consider it an impressive deal.
I went to the task of cleaning it. The thing was really dirty. That guy had done nothing to keep it clean. Seeing a particularly nasty spot on the mirror, I rubbed it hard. As I rubbed it, I noticed some kind of insignia carved into the glass. Just as I leaned close to get a better look at it, the entire mirror suddenly flashed with light. I was instantly blinded.
When the light settled down, there was no one left in the room.