A young boy woke up in a strange fortress made of ice. The fortress was as magnificent as it was surreal. The ice was as blue as the sky and gleaming with an arcane
glow and its structure defied all known geometric laws and architectural conventions, like it had been build by a mad mind possessed by visions of the alien cities of H.P Lovecraft. How can
such a thing exist? The boy wondered.
Then a more disturbing thought entered his mind. Who am I? I can’t remember. His mind held knowledge of the world but nothing about himself. It was as if his personality had been erased. A name echoed in his mind, he was sure it was his. It felt right. Kai, I think my name is Kai. The boy thought. Yes my name is Kai. There was a mirror frame in the middle of the room and in front of it were thousands of shards of glass.
Kai looked at the walls of ice around him and saw his reflection. He had golden blonde hair and icy blue eyes and he was wearing thick clothing that looked like polar bear fur. Despite the warm clothing he was freezing, as if he had ice flowing through his veins. Who are you? He wondered as he gazed upon his reflection.
Kai felt a sharp pain in his eyes and heart and a series of images flashed through his mind, images of a young girl... called Gerda and of an old woman. He pushed thoughts of the two women out of his mind. He couldn’t remember anything about them and he had more important matters to focus on. He couldn’t even be sure that they were real and not just figments of his imagination but he was sure that if they were, they were in some way responsible for his current predicament.
He walked to the middle of the room where the mirror frame stood and looked down at the scattered shards of glass. The shards gleamed much like the fortress itself and Kai thought he could make out letter forms on them. Interesting, he thought. The shards had a hypnotic effect on him. He was unable to look away from them. “I think there’s a word in there.” Kai muttered to himself.
“Sharp boy, there indeed is a word in there and I need you to put it back together. I’m sure you’ve already realized that this mirror is not normal.”
Kai turned around and came face to face with a majestically beautiful and elegant woman who had come through a door that he hadn’t noticed before. Her hair was snow white, her eyes icy blue and her skin as smooth and pristine as marble. She was wearing a long blue dress with intricate decorations of snowflakes and similarly decorated shoes that looked like they were made from sapphire. She stood with an air of grace and an aura of strength.
“What do you mean it’s not normal? Who are you and why am I here? Where is here? And why can’t I remember anything? What did you do to me?” Kai demanded frantically.
“Calm down child. I didn’t do anything to you. I found you out in the wild unconscious and brought you here to my fortress. I am the Snow Queen and I rule this frozen land. You should rest child, you need to gather your strength.”
“I’ve rested long enough!” Kai snapped.
“As you wish child.”
The two stood still staring at each other for several minutes.
“What did you mean about this mirror not being normal?” Kai asked in a deceptively calm tone. He was still suspicious of the woman who had called herself the Snow Queen but he had decided to play things carefully. He was going to need time to figure things out and he planned to feign friendliness as he waited for an opportunity to escape.
“That’s better,” the Snow Queen said. “There’s no need to be uncivil. I won’t tell you lies as I know you wouldn’t believe them. Once upon a time a troll, the Devil in disguise, build a magic mirror. Anyone who looked into that mirror saw only negative aspects of their character. It reflects and distorts, turning virtue into sin and magnifies everything bad about you. No one is without flaws and no one is without sin. The Devil set of to take the mirror to heaven to mock God and His host of angels but on the way the mirror, as if it had a mind of its own, shook with excitement and fell from his hands to the earth and shattered. This is that mirror.”
“Why do you have it?” Kai asked. “What do you intent to do with it?”
“You don’t need to know that child. You just have to put it back together and then you can leave.”
“So you’re keeping me prisoner. Why me?”
“You don’t need to know that either. Just repair the mirror and you can leave. Don’t ask any more questions, you won’t get any answers.” The Snow Queen replied and left the room. The door that she had come through vanished after her.
Kai stared at the spot where the door had been in amazement.
“Fuck! You can’t do this to me!”
He then turned his attention back to the mirror frame and glass shards. What should I do? He wondered. I have no choice. I have to put this damn mirror back together. But what if she lied, what if she won’t let me go after I’ve finished. And how am I supposed to repair this thing. On a wild impulse he reached down and grabbed a handful of the snow the ground was covered in. It didn’t feel like normal snow. Of course not, nothing about this place is normal. It felt strong and sticky like it could possible used as an adhesive. Kai picked up one of the shards and coated it with the snow. He then placed it in the frame and much to his surprise it stuck. I now have a way of fixing it but I still don’t know if I can trust her. And fixing this cursed mirror will take forever. What should I do?
Kai returned to the task of fixing the mirror, unable to think of anything else to do. But while he worked he would plan.
Several weeks passed, Kai wasn’t sure how many as he had lost all sense of time, without any sight of the Snow Queen. He was about halfway done and he was holding one of the larger shards in his hand when the door appeared again and the Snow Queen walked in.
“I see you’ve made excellent progress, good.” She said and walked in front of the mirror.
“Yes, very good,” Kai muttered while staring at the shard in his hand.
The Snow Queen gave him a strange look and then walked out the door which once again disappeared behind her. Kai returned to his work.
The Snow Queen visited him again after several more weeks had passed and Kai had almost finished repairing the mirror.
Kai turned to face her and said. “There are two pieces missing.”
“Yes,” the Snow Queen replied. “That’s why you’re here. The pieces are inside your body, one inside one of your eyes and the other one inside your heart.”
Kai stared at her dumfounded. “How am I supposed to get them out to finish the mirror? Why didn’t you tell me this earlier?”
The Snow Queen raised a hand and Kai felt a sharp pain in his eyes and heart. The pain was so excruciating that he almost collapsed from it. It lasted for a few seconds but to him it felt like an eternity. When the pain finally subsided he looked up and saw two small shards of glass in the Snow Queens hand. She walked to the mirror and placed the two final pieces on it, completing the archaic looking word in its centre. The mirror had been put back together but it didn’t look very good. It was obvious it had been put together with an improvised adhesive, the jagged lines where the glass had broken stood out clearly and mocking.
Then the Snow Queen spoke an arcane sounding word and the glass seemed to liquefy for a second and then it hardened again to form a pristine mirror as good as new.
“Finally!” The Snow Queen exclaimed. “It’s finally back together!”
She then turned to face Kai. “Thank you child but I no longer need you.” She said her voice turning icy.
“Can I leave then?” Kai asked fearing he knew what the answer would be. His fears were proven true.
“I’m sorry child but no, I can’t let you leave this place alive.”
“I thought so.” Kai replied resigned.
“That’s not very nice.” A voice chided from the door the Snow Queen had left open. Kai and the Snow Queen turned towards the door.
A young girl stood in the doorway. She had golden blonde hair and was wearing clothing made of thick wool. Kai recognized her from one of the fleeting glimpses of his past he had been sure were hallucinations. He was sure her name was Gerda but he still couldn’t remember how he knew her.
She walked towards Kai. “We’ll talk later,” she whispered and stood beside him. “First we have to deal with her.”
“Deal with me?” The Snow Queen laughed. “Insolent fool!”
Kai and Gerda watched in amazement as the Snow Queen transformed into a hideous and monstrous troll right before their eyes.
Kai looked at the troll with terror in his eyes realizing what it was, what the Snow Queen had really been.
“Don’t be afraid.” The young girl said and grabbed his hand in hers. A radiant glow enveloped their hands, part as golden as their hair and part icy blue. The glow grew stronger and enveloped the troll. It shrieked in pain and then vanished.
“Where did she go?” Kai asked stunned.
“I don’t know.” Gerda replied. “I think we send her back to wherever she came from.”
“What?” Gerda asked confused.
Gerda was starting to feel worried. Kai was behaving very oddly and there was a look in his eyes that she didn’t like. To her it looked like greed.
“I think I now understand why she brought me here.” Kai said. “I don’t think she really planned to kill me.”
“What are you talking about?” Gerda asked concerned. “Come on, we should leave this cursed place.”
“No,” Kai said smiling an enigmatic smile. “I’m staying. Someone needs to rule this land.”
“What are you talking about!” Gerda demanded frantically.
Kai laughed and raised a hand. A strong wind struck Gerda and threw her out of the fortress. She watched in shock as the door to the fortress vanished.
© Copyright 2016 Sam Smith. All rights reserved.