A fan/friend requested that I elaborate on the B-day Experiment involving a mirror I mentioned in a post titled Touch of Death. This is the story behind it and the actual experiment.
I read a book, about six or seven years ago, and I can’t remember the name of the book or the author but I do remember the story, a little. A woman paramedic and her paramedic husband were going to be celebrating an anniversary of some kind that night. She’s waiting for him to get done his shift and she gets called in. Of course she leaves him a message that she’s been called in, can they have a rain check, blah, blah, blah. When she arrives at the scene she’s been called to, it’s his ambulance and he’s the one needing saving. But horror-of-horror’s, she can’t save him and he dies. And that’s just the first chapter. I thought, wow, this might be really good.
(Boy was I wrong. Of course I finished it, but still…)
Flash forward a few years. She’s still a paramedic, only now she has somehow attracted a stalker. I don’t remember who the male protagonist is, but he’s always around, even when it seems like the stalker was able to get into her house and leave things for her—rig her laptop to play a certain song when she turns it on (is that even possible?) and various other things, including leaving her messages on her mirror—all while this male protagonist is in the house. I was stumped by this one at first, and thought, Well, maybe this new guy is the stalker? But that would be too obvious, wouldn’t it?
When I reached the end, it turned out, to my utter disappointment, that all along it was “her dead husband’s ghost” doing all these things, trying to point her in the direction of her stalker (not bad for a quick synopsis from memory, huh?).
Long story, very short: I loved the idea of having the killer, in my case, leave her messages on a mirror. So I had to make sure that the way I had (while reading the book) figured out how the “stalker” had done it, actually worked.
Experimentation—I love this part!
First I had to choose when to do it. At the time I decided to experiment with this, my sister was getting up at the insanely early time of 5:45 am. So the night before her birthday, I went into the bathroom and cleaned off the mirror with Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena glass cleaner (I’m eco-friendly). After I swiped the last streak away, I used my bare finger (see note at end all you forensic peeps about to jump on me about bare fingers) to write “Happy Birthday!” in clear upper-and-lower case letters, swiping my finger at the ends to keep my prints smeared. Then, with a tightly gloved finger dipped in water, I wrote, “I love you! XOXO.” I let the mirror dry then very lightly buffed away the watermarks, leaving a slightly fuzzy looking mirror.
And then I went to bed.
In the morning she was getting ready to walk out the door to head to work as I was crawling out of bed. Although inside I was jumping up and down like a little kid getting chocolate cake, I smiled and asked, “Did you get my message?”
“Yes. Thank you!” She beamed and blew me a kiss (we’re very close).
I walked into the bathroom and got my shower. When I emerged, voila! It was pretty stark, but the second part of the message, written with the water/glove, didn’t turn out as well, at least the second time around. But the “Happy Birthday!” was clear as day. It turns out that when oils from your finger, or even water dried and lightly wiped away, coat the mirror and you fog it up with a hot, steaming shower, the condensation won’t converge on those areas, leaving whatever was written there “fractured” with water. With the appearance that it had just been written.
No ghosts leaving messages for my characters, only creepy killers with a consuming desire to kill my main girl.
How about giving it a try? What could it hurt?
…just don’t leave a message for your significant other or roomy about murder or death or anything that remotely might make them think you’re a serial killer.
(note: in my book, the killer has never been arrested or had to have prints taken for any reason, so he has no prints on file with any agency, police or otherwise, so even if they do or might get prints from the mirror, they have nothing to compare it to.)