Urban Volcano

Fiction by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

Flash fiction

Human Mirrors

Human Mirrors — Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson
Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

“I would never even contemplate going wandering about on my own,” my co-worker said during our coffee break when we were discussing what we had been up to during the weekend and I mentioned my long solitary walk along the Amstel.

“Why not?” I asked, rather surprised by the idea. “It’s not like there are many dangers lurking there on the riverbanks. Especially not in broad daylight.”

“I’m not afraid,” she said confidently. “I just don’t want people to think I’m lonely.”

“But are you?”



“Of course not.”

She was quick to change the subject and move our conversation into avenues related to our work. I reluctantly followed even if I felt we had much to discuss on this subject. I understood her point of view. I had once been in her shoes. Constantly mirroring myself in the eyes of others. Constantly worrying about not living up to the expectations of society regarding how people should or should not be. I had behaved myself in the manner I thought people expected me to behave.

That was then. Since, I had been able to divert my gaze into my own soul instead of continuously looking for the reflection of myself in the eyes of the people around me. It made me feel calm.

I promised myself I would one day try to help my colleague to look at the world in the same way. But not today. She wasn’t in the right mood.

Börkur is an avid storyteller with a keen eye for quirky characters, funny dialogs and vivid scenario descriptions. Much of his writing falls within the genre of realistic fiction and his stories are more often than not based on real events in the author’s life. Although the tales contain grains of truth, they are melded with fiction, making the reader curious to know the line between reality and fantasy.