by Natalia Theodoridou
It’s a small world, people used to say while I was growing up. It’s what they always say. The small world is made to look larger by the mirror at the end of it—the way you stick a large mirror on the wall of your tiny living room to make it look more comfortable, more spacious, more like you could actually live in it.
I never believed them. I knew that the world couldn’t be this small, that they only said that because it made them feel safe. So I set out to find the mirror at the end of the small world.
I crossed the tiny cities, the tiny deserts, the tiny seas. I sailed through calm and waves until my boat was greeted by another boat, sailing towards me from the horizon.
We met in the middle of the world, the other man and I. We said hello with a wave of the hand and a nod of the head, a tight, identical smile. Then we turned around and went back where we came from.
Back home, everyone was eager to know the truth. “Well?” they asked. “What happened?”
“It’s a vast, endless world,” I told them. “You were wrong.”
Natalia Theodoridou is a UK-based media & cultural studies scholar and a writer of strange stories. Her fiction has appeared in KROnline, Clarkesworld, Interfictions, Litro, and elsewhere. Her website is www.natalia-theodoridou.com. Occasionally, she tweets @natalia_theodor.