Mirror Mirror!: Part One
If you ever come across a mirror with a golden handle and golden rim, throw it as far away from you as possible. I know that it will be pretty tempting to keep a beautiful mirror with a handle and rim made of solid gold, inlaid with dainty emeralds, and the handle has such amazing workmanship, it looks as if golden vines were crawling up it.
But that’s what happened to me; I found the mirror and kept it.
Oh, and when you throw it away, be sure not to look into it, and I’ll tell you why.
My name’s Molly Farebanks. I’m just, well was, your average purple Xweetok.
I was heading back home after dropping off the Neggs that my mother had given me to deliver, at the Westmiesters Soup Kitchen, where they would most likely be turned into negg drop soup. I lived in the busy city of Brightvale, well, not technically in; I lived on the outskirts of it.
My mother, a kind red Xweetok, had wanted to live in the fresh air outside of the city, next to the small stream that wound its way through the woods not far from our home.
I often played on the muddy banks with my older brother Tony, before he had gone off to a school far away. But I still frolicked by the banks, in the tall reeds that swayed in the breeze.
After I had given my mother the money received for her Neggs, I went down to the stream and took my tight black shoes off. I had had the shoes since I was eight. I was ten now, so they were small and pinched my feet.
I wiggled my toes contentedly in the mud, enjoying the feeling of the squishy substance squeezing through them.
I squished along happily when suddenly my toe struck something hard. I looked down and saw what looked like the back of a mirror facing towards the sun, the handle and reflective surface buried under the mud, but it could be cleaned.
I smiled. This would be my first mirror that had belonged only to me, so, bending down, I pulled it out of the mud. It made a sucking sound followed by a hollow plop.
I turned the mirror, reflective side up towards me, to wipe off some of the mud, but much to my surprise, there wasn’t a speck of mud on the mirror anywhere. It was perfectly clean. I smiled at myself and my reflection smiled back, and then it did something that scared me terribly.
“Thank goodness somebody has finally found me!” my reflection breathed a sigh of relief.
“I beg your pardon?” I asked my reflection. “But did you just speak to me?”
My reflection nodded, as if this were the most normal thing in the entire world of Neopia.
“And, what do you mean by ‘finally found you’?” I asked it, hoping that my reflection would explain some things to me.
“Well,” it began, “the person who used to own me wasn’t your average person; she was a princess.”
My reflection got all misty-eyed for several moments and then shook its head.
“Her name was Lemile. She used to talk to me every night and day. It was wonderful. One day she began to change; she became too involved in her own reflection. I don’t know what happened to her. She began ignoring me totally.”
“That’s awful,” I said, and I really meant it. Something about this reflection of you just made you want to keep the mirror; it was like a companion.
“Molly, is that you?” my mother called from the kitchen.
“Mmm...” was all I said.
I didn’t even notice when her head poked out of the kitchen. She came out drying her hands on a stained towel.
“What’s that you’ve got there?” she asked, walking towards me. “It’s very pretty.”
She started to take it from me to look at it, but I yanked it away from her.
“NO!” I screamed. “IT’S MINE!”
She pulled away, looking at me.
“Sorry,” was all she said before turning back to resume her cooking.
I raced up to my room and sat down on my bed.
“You have some mom.” My reflection snickered.
“I know,” I groaned. “Sometimes I just wish she’d leave me alone.”
“You know,” my reflection began, “you’re a lot like Lemile. She wished her mom would leave her alone too.”
“At least somebody is like me.” I sighed.
“I’m not only like you,” my reflection told me. “I am you! It’s more than Lemile.”
My reflection raised her nose in the air, showing her pride. I smiled.
“Yes, you are,” I told it, even though it already knew that.
So I talked to my reflection throughout the day. She told me about the Princess Lemile, and I listened to her excitedly.
About five hours later my mother came up to get me for dinner.
I went down with my mirror, not noticing my father when he said hello to me. I just sat down and went to eating. It didn’t seem like very long when I heard my reflection clear its throat.
I looked over at it.
“Well, since you’ve already eaten quite a bit, do you think we could go back into your room and talk?”
I nodded, carefully placing my fork back onto my plate, I pushed my chair back and stood up.
“Where are you going, sweetie?” my mother asked as I started walking out of the dining room towards the hallway that led to my bedroom.
I ignored her, looking at my reflection all the while; it was smiling now.
“Molly?” my father asked. “Why you haven’t even eaten half of your dinner!”
I didn’t acknowledge that I had heard him.
My mother and father came in later while I was in bed, looking at my reflection who was telling me more about Princess Lemile.
My mother leaned over and kissed me on my forehead. My father began to pull the mirror away from me.
“That’s enough looking at yourself for today,” he told me gently.
Screaming, I bit his wrist with all my strength so he would drop my mirror. He did and pulled back, stunned that his normally sweet daughter would bite him.
He backed away and left the room. My mother was looking at me, her lower lip trembling. She burst into tears and ran from the room.
I was feeling pretty bad about it and was thinking about getting up and apologizing, when I heard my reflection.
“Don’t worry about it,” it said to me. “They’ll get over it.”
Don’t worry about it... I thought.
Suddenly it occurred to me; if that me in the mirror was my reflection, then how was it talking to me when I wasn’t anywhere near it?
I sat up looking at the upside down mirror at the foot of my bed. I picked it up and flipped it. There I was, grinning wickedly back at myself. I quickly placed the mirror on my nightstand and went to sleep.
The next morning I awoke with a start. I thought I had heard miserable wailing. But I sat and listened for a moment. Maybe it was just a part of the horrible dream I had been having. I didn’t remember much of it, except the end.
“I’VE LOST MY FRIEND!” a young neopet had been screaming, which was followed by a miserable wail.
I had no idea by what she had meant when she screamed about losing her friend, but it didn’t sound good.
“Well, finally you’ve woken up!” the me in the mirror told the real me.
“Well, I do have to sleep,” I told my reflection, as I picked up the mirror and looked into it.
Which I probably shouldn’t have done, and so I talked to her through the day.
Then the next, then the next, days soon turned into weeks, and weeks into months. I barely ever looked away from the mirror.
“Her mother also had a journal, but she never told Lemile that; I didn’t either. But I always saw her looking at us together, leather book in hand; she would write stuff down when she watched us,” my reflection was telling me one sunny afternoon.
Suddenly I thought of something, something I probably should have thought of the first day I found the mirror and my reflection had started telling me about Lemile. But now that she had told me about the journal Lemile’s mom had had, it was clear what I had to do.
“Was the journal ever destroyed?” I asked my reflection, crossing my fingers hoping that it hadn’t been.
“Well, no,” it said.
I put the mirror down and raced out of my room when I saw something move in my parents’ room. I quickly pushed their door open all the way and noticed it was just me. Reflected in the mirror I used to share with my parents.
I was barely recognizable.
My fur had grown greasy and knotted from lack of care, my eyes were sunken in, and I looked like a skeleton, a ghost of my former self.
But my mirror had continued to show me as the same way when I had found it. I clutched at my stomach when it let out a loud growl like thunder.
First, I would wash off and get a good square meal.
So I found my mother outside collecting berries.
“Mom?” I asked her. “Would you fix me something to eat while I go wash off?”
My mother looked up, a smile on her face; a few wisps of soft red hair were escaping from underneath the bandana she wore around her head.
“Of course, I’ve been hoping you would ask me ever since you’ve started starving yourself.”
I felt sick.
“Yes, you would eat one or two mouthfuls of food before going off with that mirror of yours.”
I shuddered; maybe that mirror was cursed.
“I’m going to go get ready right now,” I told her.
“Ready for where?” my mother asked.
“Just someplace I need to go,” I replied, and I really needed to get there soon.
To be continued...