I know I read it more than 40 years ago, in some collection of fantasy (and maybe also SF), but whether in English or French translation, I am not sure. It was certainly not a french original.

The "Through the Looking Glass" in the title of my question is just a joke, to describe the situation, but the author made no direct allusion to Lewis Carroll.

In the living-room there is a fireplace with a mantel above which there is a large mirror. The children (I think there are two of them, I think the younger is a boy, the older I'm not sure, and possibly more than two) are told never to stand on the mantel, it is narrow, they might fall and hurt themselves. One day the parents must go out, and they cannot get anyone to stay. So they just warn the children again.

But the boy says he has seen on various occasions shapes in the "room behind the mirror" that do not match things in "their" room, and he is sure they hide just behind the mantel "across"? By standing on "their" mantel he thinks he'll have a good vantage to see them. Against their parents order, he does climb. From there he can indeed see one (or more) monster(s). Realising their secret is discovered the monster(s) cross the mirror and attack the children.

When the parents come home, there is no sign of breaking and entering but they find the horribly dismembered bodies of their children.


Because it is fantasy, and the time I read it, it is possible (but not at all certain) that this story is in the same collection as the one I asked some time ago about

A man sent to a parallel Earth to save someone important

  • 1
    This question would be improved by going through the checklists here; How to ask a good story-ID question?
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 18:36
  • Is the story called "through the looking glass"? You've put it in quotes....
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 18:37
  • No, not at all. This is a phrase I just made up. But the fat is that, yes, the monster(s) came out of a mirror.
    – Alfred
    Commented Dec 25, 2019 at 4:15

1 Answer 1


This is the Arthur Porges short story “The Mirror.” It is as the poster described with an entity coming through the mirror world reflected in an antique mirror. The monster, if I recall correctly, is described as spider like.

  • This is a good find! If you have access to a copy editint in some supporting quotes would make it even better!
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 21:55
  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! Nice find! Do you remember where you read it? Might it be in a collection with the other work the question notes?
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 21:56
  • 1
    The story is available at archive.org/details/Fantasy_Science_Fiction_v031n04_1966-10_PDF/…
    – user14111
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 23:11
  • 1
    The thing crouching there may have felt the children's collective gaze, for it rose to its full height of some three feet to glare at them. It had teeth and talons and great blank eyes, pitiless as the sun; dark, matted hair covered its body, which rippled continually with a terrible vitality like that of a centipede. Then it was on the mantel, first on the looking-glass side, and almost immediately on theirs . . .
    – user14111
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 23:15
  • That's exactly it, indeed. Alas I read it very long ago, and I have no idea where I read it. Thanks for the answer !
    – Alfred
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 14:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.