The Ivory Mirror

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Ivory Mirror is her safety net- and a curse

Submitted: July 17, 2012

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Submitted: July 17, 2012

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The Ivory Mirror

 

It lay shattered before me, in jagged pieces, reflecting candle flames on the ivory bathroom counter. The shudders lay tightly shut, no matter how hard the wind blew outside.

I laughed and smashed the bits again, determined to win.

They dragged me away, through long dark corridors with intricate wall hangings barely discernable in the gloomy blackness. I think I may have screamed- I may have cried- but no matter. They threw me into the cold stone prison, with one barred, drafty window and birdfeed as the floor. I don’t care- I’ve fulfilled my wants and needs. I’ve destroyed that hated woman who took what was rightfully mine.

A man enters the dungeon, speaking down to me as if I am a child. He says it’s time for my medicine. Ha! As if it is medicine! It must be a drug they give me to make me imagine things, to make me crazy, so they keep me in control. I know this, because I saw a little girl give a kiss to this man-but it couldn’t have happened. What little child lands in a prison? What child can live in a place of misery, fear, and isolation?

But now to my “medicine.”

 

It happened again. The man visited my cell, accompanied with this young child. But she seems older, prettier. The man must be her guard- he wears bobby clothing. He asks if I wish for fresh air and I suspiciously oblige.

The girl vanishes suddenly when we leave the prison. I’m led down wooden staircases, past hanging portraits- many of which portray that girl! The chandelier is most pretty- with iron swirls, intricate silvery cobwebs, and golden candles whose petrifying glow cast dark shadows onto the richly decorated walls.

I’m taken outside through large oak doors with gargoyle handles. The gargoyles wink at me, as if they know I am a prisoner. I glare back, determined to keep my standing over mere ornamental decorations.

The outside is dark, overcast, and cloudy. The wind wails and pushes at every angle of nature to overcome it, to freely move and to escape the barriers that confine it. The trees and plants are also in bondage- they cannot bend to the will of the ferocious wind nor take up root to roam as they please across the land.

The bobby leads me back inside as if I’m on a dog chain. As we return to my “lovely” living space, I cannot help but examine the pictures cast into shadows. The girl is breathtakingly beautiful, far prettier than I have ever seen.

I used to be pretty. I remember I had a mirror- a lovely mirror made of ivory and gold, with the most gorgeous reflective glass that set off my lavatory quite nicely. It contrasted well with the oak-wood finish on the walls and the marble flooring. Oh, how I loved that mirror! And it loved me just as well. Whenever I would ask my mirror to show my face, it happily obliged- and quite splendidly.

My hair was beautifully straight and a nice brown that seemed to sparkle in the candle light. My eyes were ocean blue, my face slightly pointed, my nose slightly curved, my cheeks radiating rosy sunshine, my lips glossy pink. Oh, how I would gaze at the mirror and myself for hours.

But the mirror has gone. It had to go. It became polluted. That poor mirror came to love someone else, to show me someone new, someone prettier. But in the end, it loved no one.

The bobby sees my distraction and he laughs. “You have to admit- she is beautiful. You say so yourself everyday.”

He winks at me with a quirky smile, but my face drains of color, I can tell. My body becomes rigid with sudden resentment at the picture. I cannot say for sure what happened next, but I suddenly awake to being dragged away, screaming, crying, laughing, as others rush to pick up torn pieces of the woman’s face on canvas.

 

I’ve been promised no more excursions, but a few nights pass and the bobby returns- with that lady. She glares at me with heavy-lidded eyes that are blue-green, as terrible and calm as the sea. Her hair is lusciously straight and golden brown, smelling of honeydew and baked bread, welcome to my befuddled, food-ridden stomach. Her face is full, slightly pointed. Her cheeks are rosy red, but her lips- they are a dainty pink.

I recognize her instantly- she is the woman whom my mirror fell in love with! How is it she managed to escape my mirror? How is it that she has followed me here?

The bobby explains that it is time for a bath. I refuse, not daring to take my eyes off the woman. But I am dragged away anyway with no choice in the matter and the woman disappears again.

Same as last time, I am led down beautifully stained wooden stairs and pass beneath my favorite chandelier. Distant organ music- beautiful, yet terrible music that makes my skin crawl- resonates off of the large, stone walls. But the walls- all the pictures of that lady have been removed, as if they are scared she’ll be attacked again.

I’m taken into the most beautiful bathroom, with an ivory tub and gold fixtures. The floor is made of marble, set off with oak-wood finish on the walls.

After my satisfying bubble bath, I look for a comb to detangle my hair. But when I glance up into the mirror- she is there! I scream. I realize the mirror is made with ivory and gold and beautiful reflective glass. My mirror!! And the lady follows me, to taunt me with her beauty.

When the bobby comes to take me back, I realize I’ve seen him , too! He’s been in the mirror- with that woman.

I flee the scene, through the oak-wood doors decorated with gargoyle handles, and down onto the rain-sodden earth. The wind rages along with me and the trees reflect my fear as they shake and tremble.

I would have kept going, kept running until I was somewhere else far away from this crazy place- but it was too cold. I only wore a towel, and the wind tore past my skin into my flesh, freezing my insides. I fight to keep going, but my foot catches on a tree root. The clouds overhead begin to thunder and I collapse in the mud, not far from the porch, shivering and screaming, clawing at the earth with taut fingers.

 

I awake feeling warmer, back in my dungeon. Home, sweet home. The window has been blocked off completely, perhaps to hinder an escape route. How rude of them! I had actually come to enjoy the drafts of air that flew through that small circle in the stone wall, but now I could enjoy stuffy, stale air. I take to looking around, to notice any more changes and drink in my bedraggled living space. The walls have fine cracks in them and the grout is black with age. The floor is damp from my sweat and tears, and the makeshift hay bed has been torn apart by unseen spirits that decide to torment me during the night. I need to tidy up this living space of mine before it makes me catch a sickness or something worse. Luckily, I can slip through my prison bars to grab a few cleaning supplies, but as I’m about to, I see her- and my mirror! It cannot be!

I scrambled back inside and run up to my mirror, shouting to it, “Please, show me MY face! Show me who you love!” But the lady stays there, taunting me, snickering at my expression, and flaunting her beauty. I take action- and smash the mirror on the floor. But that’s not enough. I will need some help to rid myself of the image once and for all.

I yell for anyone to come by. The seconds tick by slowly, pounding in my ears. The mirror glints with an unseen source of light and I crack it again and again, afraid of its resurrection once more.

The bobby appears, appearing concerned. “What is it, my sweet?”

I scrutinize him, knowing he is not concerned for me, but for the girl. He will not help me! Instead of answering his distracter question, I hit him across the face.

He stumbles backward into a tall stone pillar, utter shock and rage overcoming his concerned expression. “What was that for?” he cries out, fingering his bloody lip.

I climb through the bars towards him. “Take your girl and leave us alone! My mirror and I love each other! Leave! LEAVE!”

I grab his throat and begin to throttle him when he doesn’t take action, banging into the enclosed space surrounding us.

He gasps and chokes. “Elsa! Elsa! Stop, please, stop!” He attempts to wrench my squeezing fingers off his neck.

“Elsa? Is that her name?” I ask with force. “Promise me you’ll leave with her!”

“Elsa! Stop! You’re sick! I can’t leave-”

I slap him smartly across the mouth. “Elsa is not sick! She’s beautiful- and taunting me for it! TAKE-” another slap- “HER-” a punch in the gut- “AWAY!”

“I can’t! Where will you go?” he manages to say, clutching his stomach while doing his best to avoid my blows.

I smash him into a wall, my blood raging through my veins- and I see my mirror, hanging there! To my utmost surprise, I perceive Elsa, throttling her lover, also, because he refuses to take her. My respect for Elsa soars.

“Fine!” I scream with difficulty into his ear- and so does Elsa. “Leave then, and never return! We don’t want you anyway.” I push him to the pristinely clean ground.

“Elsa!” he cries harder, tearing up. He makes to grab me, but I hit him hard on the nose. So does Elsa.

“Elsa, I can’t leave you. I love you! I could never leave my beautiful wife. Let me help you.”

“Go, you hateful spawn of lies, go! Elsa sees right through your black heart. We hate you. Leave now!” I whisper to him dangerously, ready to fight him again.

The bobby leans against the pillar, sobbing hysterically. I see Elsa begin to soften in the mirror.

“No, Elsa, no!” I shout to her tearful face, but it’s too late.

“Jason, I didn’t mean it,” Elsa whispers, reaching towards the beat-up man.

“She did! Don’t lie, Elsa. Leave, Jason, leave!”

My screaming has caused a commotion downstairs. More people- dressed in scrubby garb- appear, carrying candles and murmuring at the noise.

“Jason!” Elsa continues. She’s about to forgive him, but I can’t have it. In order to stop her, I grab one of the lit candles and throw it to the ground. A Persian rug catches fire and blazes along until the flames reach past the mirror in height.

“Elsa take it back- or you’ll burn! You don’t deserve him!” I reprimand her, but she’s even more afraid of the flames and wants Jason’s comfort.

Jason reaches for me, saying, “What have you done? Hurry, let me help!” I kick at him, and he falls back, his consciousness ebbing away.

“Jason!” Elsa screams, heartbroken.

The flames make my blood boil faster and I’m even more enraged. I cannot believe Elsa! Elsa is furious at me, too. I swing at her with my fist to make her see sense, and, as though she is my reflection, she swings, also.

I black out, my own hand having traitorously hit me, and I fall to the now ashy, stone, cold floor. The flames begin to lick me, and I feel tears sliding down my cheeks- my rosy cheeks. I feel strong hands try to lift me- but the last thing I remember is my ivory mirror, smashed to smithereens on the marble floor, reflecting dancing fire flames with exquisite perfection.

Then utter darkness as my soul is sucked into a deep, black abyss.


© Copyright 2017 Nagini Riddle. All rights reserved.

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