Aine heard the
crashing sound and felt the vibrations as she slept in her large
four poster bed beneath her star embroidered coverlet. Startled
and bleary eyed she sat upright in her bed fighting back her long
red hair as she rose. Instinctively the maiden's hand reached
deep inside her skirt's side pocket and she withdrew a golden
dagger encrusted with precious gems. Mortar, dust, and small
pieces of rock fell briefly from her bedroom's high vaulted
ceiling. A cry went up outside her bedroom door. She could hear
the scuffling of the guards as they ran to see what had caused
cries rang out, "Draco is back!"
Aine sighed and
replaced the blade. She would have to speak to Draco about his
landings. Her feet as they touched the cold
marble floors pulled back instinctively for a moment. She longed
to climb back into her nice warm bed and fall back to sleep, but
duty called. Having finally found the courage to brave the icy
floor, Aine made her way to the mirror which had been left in
Aine's care by her parents. She cringed as she approached the
ghastly thing. Aine knew well the stories and legends surrounding
the looking glass. The filigree gold frame caught the first rays
of the morning sun as she approached it. Unlike most mirrors this
particular one was enchanted and the glass was always dark. Light
never seemed to illuminate the glass or radiate out of the glass.
The thing gave Aine a rather unhealthy feeling each time she
"Like it or not,"
Aine said to herself, "I must make sure it is intact."
She walked as
close as she deemed necessary to inspect the mirror's glass to
make sure it had not been damaged by Draco's rather rough landing
on the roof. She could not see any imperfections or cracks in the
thing so Aine proceeded to find her shoes. Dark things swirled
and churned just below the glass's surface and out of habit as
she had always done even as a child Aine shivered with revulsion
as she watched the mirror images change. Aine's room shook
slightly one again and more dust and debris came settling down to
her bedroom floor; then Aine heard a loud belching sound and
finally silence. As she left her room Aine did not see the small
splinter of glass lying on the floor.
Aine threaded her
way down the castle's endless corridors and finally made her way
to the roof. There covering the better part of the main castle's
quarters lay Draco in all his glory. Draco's eyes were closed and
Aine could hear his steady breathing. From time to time a small
burst of blue smoke would escape from his nostrils. Aine walked
over to her lifelong friend and stroked him gently behind his
large pointed ears. A sigh came from deep inside the sleeping
dragon that Aine had learned to love and respect over the years.
She adored the feel of his scales and the dragon's silly moods.
Although deadly in his pursuit of the dark creatures which roamed
the land around her kingdom, he was as meek and gentle as a
kitten to those he served.
"Sleep well my
dear friend," she whispered close to his ear, "I hope you found
and killed them all."
responded by rolling over on his side and belching loudly once
again. Aine still feeling tired and exhausted decided she too
would nap a little longer. She had not slept well the last few
nights. Nightmares had eaten away the sweet dreams Aine was
accustomed to and it had worn her down.
"They attack!" a
cry came from the north watch tower, "The dark ones
Aine looked toward
the northern perimeter and a small band of the hideous ape like
beings were trying to breach the distance between the woods and
castle walls. Aine sighed and made her way back to the slumbering
"Draco, wake up,"
Aine whispered in his ear, "I need your help."
One of the
dragon's eyes opened halfway. Aine could hear a gurgling sound
coming from the giant lizard's stomach as it gravitated to a
squatting position just in front of her.
"Now what pray
tell seems to be the problem?" Draco asked tapping the roof with
one of his huge clawed feet, "I dispatched a large group of those
trolls early this morning. Are there a few I might have
"Yes dear friend,"
Aine answered excitedly, "They are attacking the north wall as we
The sound of metal
hitting metal and cries of anguish and men dying resounded in the
morning air. Draco still acting as if it were a huge imposition,
having had his sleep interrupted so callously poked his head over
the castle wall. A blue flame soon appeared and then there were
cheers of victory from the palace guards. The stench of burnt
flesh assaulted Aine's delicate nostrils and she wrinkled her
nose in disgust.
"Thank you Draco,"
Aine said to the dragon, "Sleep well. I am off to my bed as
Draco had already
settled himself in his sleep position and was well on his way to
dreamland. Aine made her way back to her bedroom. Thinking it
wise to check the mirror one last time she crossed her room and
this time stood directly in front of the glass. Her eyes skimmed
over the mirror's surface looking for any ruptures or cracks.
Once satisfied nothing was amiss she removed her shoes and fell
with sleep and Aine was a young girl again of ten. Aine's mother
had finally revealed to her the mirror's deep dark
"You see," Aine's
mother had said rather secretively, "The Mirror of Spirits is a
doorway to another place far from here. It is a very dark and
sparkled as she asked, "So they are trapped inside the mirror and
they can't get out?"
"No child," her
mother had answered, "As long as the mirror is never broken
nothing bad can befall us. If the glass is ever damaged in any
way I shudder to think what might happen."
Then her dreams
took her to classes with Maeve the sorceress and how Aine had
learned to cast spells. There had been many mishaps and
disasters, but she diligently and rapidly absorbed the knowledge
Maeve imparted. After many months Aine was given the golden
dagger as a means to protect herself against the Trolls which
tried to recapture the Mirror of Spirits. The Trolls believed
they would be rewarded handsomely if they loosed the spirits and
allowed their evil to reign freely. The dagger served a second
purpose it was all that could repair any injury the Mirror of
Spirits might suffer. For her final lesson Maeve taught the
incantation to her young pupil.
of her dreams shifted once again and now the Mirror of Spirits
was cracked and horrible vine like things ensnared Aine. From the
mirror's core dark things flew forth to reap havoc on the kingdom
of man. Helpless caught in midair Aine was forced to watch as an
end came to all she had sworn to protect and uphold.
Aine awoke with a
scream trying to press its way past her cold pale lips. Her gown
was drenched and her body ached. Draco had turned over in his
sleep once again and more mortar and tiny pieces of rock cascaded
down on Aine's head. In a panic she raced to view the
At first all
seemed well and fine with the mirror, but as Aine looked closer
she saw the glass was starting to break off in small pieces.
Before she had time to think a tendril of vine wound its way down
and grasped her hand firmly. Suspended in midair Anine tried to
free herself. Aine fought desperately with the hideous plant but
to no avail. Dark spectral misty figures began their emergence
from the mirror's core. On impulse the young guardian reached
into her skirt pocket and withdrew the golden dagger. First she
cut the vine and freed herself from its deadly grasp.
Taking a long deep
breathe Aine stood in front of the mirror holding the dagger and
she recited the spell, "From the darkness you cannot pass, I
command the spirits back to the glass. Bind this mirror and make
it whole, remove the evil and protect my soul."
As she chanted the
incantation shards of glass flew back into the area of the mirror
from where they had fallen. Aine watched as the spirits were
pulled back into the mirror and soon all was set
Aine's parents returned from their trip. They were amazed that
all had gone well in their absence. Aine was asleep in her
bedroom. What her parents found odd was the fact that the entire
upper half of the Mirror of Spirits was padded with what looked
"She did well
while we were gone," Aine's mother whispered to her husband, "See
no need for us to have been concerned."
"Yes dear," he
replied, "but be sure and ask her about those pillows in the