When Sylph finds a mirror at the bottom of a hidden lake, it is just another piece of junk. But this mirror could be the solution that Sylph has been searching for.


3. Chapter 3

    Eventually, I get up and trudge downstairs. I put a smile on my face, checking in my mirror to make sure I look normal, and go to make dinner for everyone. As I walk out the door to my room, my thoughts fly to that strange mirror in my room. I realize I never looked in it, but I feel like somehow it won't be like other mirrors. Questions pop into my head. How did the mirror get into the forest? How did I get out of the water? What was that light at the bottom of the pond? and, do all these have something to do with each-other? I have always been one to read fiction books, so part of me wants to say it was aliens. Or swamp monsters that really try to protect humans. But I know that can't be correct. It's just fantasy.

     When I reach the kitchen, my mom is typing on her computer. I didn't notice her come in, but then again she barely utters a word to us all anymore unless she is telling us what fun she had with friends while we were doing homework and jobs and almost drowning. Or screaming at us for doing something wrong. She'll probably tell us all about the dance festival she went to today before the swim meet. I would have loved going to dance, but of course my mom can't bring me because she will be doing "work". They will DEFINITELY NOT be having fun! It is what she calls work. Going out and talking to people, then coming home and typing on the computer about all the things she did as a kid, all the lessons she learned, and everything she did today. How exhausting! She must be soooo tired, and we can't make any noise when she's "working" because she needs to think. Think about what music to post on her website. Whatever. I think it's pathetic.

     Today I have to cook potatoes to eat with salsa and avocados. When I go to get the seven little potatoes for dinner, I pretend I am choosing seven candidates for a beauty contest. Only, they are potatoes. Sometimes, if I am feeling lonely, I give them names. I wash each and every one, getting all the dirt off their beautiful modeling bodies that so very few potatoes have. Then, I pretend that it was all a trap to find the best potatoes for the zombies to eat! They are all put onto metal stakes, two potatoes per metal stick. They go into the head and out through the foot. Then, they are put into the sun for an hour so they will be all ready for the zombies to eat. When I finally pull them out, I use a knife to cut them in halves, and they fall off the stake onto the plates that were so wonderfully cleaned by daddy monster and scoop some salsa onto each. 

     It makes for a very not so boring job, but I still don't like it. Although, it has a happy ending for the zombies. During dinner, as I predicted, we hear all about how much work sitting in a chair and watching dancers was. We hear about how everyone was judging each other and how everyone was rude, but they won't be anymore, because, Hey! They all met my mom, who makes everyone kind and happy and liked. Except herself. I have become really good at only making the part of my brain that nods or shakes my head listen, and the rest just daydream. It is really handy, especially during school and dinner. Finally, after what feels like hours, my mom stops talking and we are free to leave. I scrub my plate and think how everyone else never even thinks about what it must feel like to be baked until soft inside, then mixed with salsa and chewed into tiny little bits that go through someone's body and out the other end. It must be a horrifying experience.

      I run up the stairs and realize that my birthday is in two days! I really lost track of time this year, I guess I will just have another family birthday, since I don't really feel like planning anything with friends. It is really depressing when you realize that hanging out with friends just isn't fun anymore. I remember when my best friends used to come to my house to do homework with me every day, and how me and my bff would walk to and from school every day, and would spend every free minute we had hanging out exploring the forest or planning some new extreme adventure course, usually including rock climbing the stairs and rolling down hills in all the different ways we could think. Now it's all 'I don't really like exploring.' 'what if I fall in?' 'I can't do that in my outfit!' 'Hiking? um, I could if I really wanted to, but I don't really want to get my $200 shoes dirty.' 

     I just wish I had some good outdoor friends. I had one, but her mom became afraid of my mom, and therefore won't allow us to see each other anymore. I haven't talked to her since June. There is a whole long story connected to that, but it is, after all, another story. Suddenly, I just randomly start laughing. I am so surprised at my ability to cope with problems! I never realized it before because I had never been in this much trouble! I keep even forgetting I was ever near that pond! Oh well, I'm sure that when I try to sleep images of the cougar will give me nightmares. It is really strange, but I guess I am kind of relieved that happened. Probably just my stressed head making me loopy, but now I know I can cope with big problems.

     My brother slams his bedroom door, which is right next to my room, so it brings me back to my senses. And I remember the mirror. That creepy antique that was lying out in the woods. My fantasy brain kicks in again, and I wonder if it's a witches looking glass. My brain scolds the fantasy, and I am kicked back to detective mode. I am really afraid to look in it, though I don't know why. Deciding to be brave, I pick up the big bundle sitting calmly on my desk, and start to unwrap it. I really don't know what to expect, it will probably just be my reflection. Taking the scarf off fully, I gaze into the mirror in my hands. It is more beautiful than I realized!

     The hand mirror is mostly wood, with a pattern of plants and small fictional animals carved into the handle and around the glass. It is almost grey, and I wonder how wood achieves that color. There is a weird symbol at the very peak of the oval shaped mirror. I have never seen it before. Turning it around, I look in awe at the design on the back. It is some sort of metal, with an almost green color to it. There is what appears to be intertwining lines, but with a closer look, it appears to be a tree, with all sorts of tiny things in it. I can just barely make out an owl, and there are other birds too, but they are too small to see the details. After looking at it for a minute, I flip it over and study the glass of the mirror, actually study it. I tilt it all directions, just to see if there really is something special about it. Just as I am about to give up, I notice a slight barely noticeable pattern set straight in the center. I trace it with my finger, and realize it is the same as the one on the top. Most peculiar, and I have never seen it before. 

     My dad knocks on my door, startling me. I almost drop the fragile mirror in my haste to hide it, and just barely shove it under my blankets before my dad comes in. This means it is time for bed. He usually never comes upstairs unless it is bedtime or time to wake me up for school. I hurry to brush my teeth and put on pajamas, and climb into bed so that Sunday will come sooner and I can go to the library and find out what the symbol is. I drift off to sleep, my thoughts still on the mystical mirror.

* * *

     There are no lights in the small room, but I can still see the desk in front of me. I walk towards it, but just as I am about to reach it, I am yanked backwards, and I see chains around my ankles. Something on the table suddenly starts glowing, in the same eerie light that I saw in the pond. It is calling to me. If I don't reach the light on the table, something terrible will happen. I yank on the chains over and over, but they won't give. I am screaming at my captors, pleading them to let me reach the light. Tears roll down my cheeks as I plead with them. They must understand! Suddenly, there is a big explosion, and I am knocked off my feet. The room is suddenly filled with light, and I see that it is coming from the mirror from the lake. My shackles have gone away, and I am drawn to the light like a moth is to lanterns. Some part of me in the back of my head screams that it is a trap, but I can't resist. It is like a giant hand is pulling me in, and I can't escape. I touch the mirror with my hand, and my surroundings change into a forest.

     It is dark, so it must be night. I am now holding the mirror in front of me, like I was looking into it. I look around at my surroundings in wonder. Suddenly, torches light up all around me. They form a spiral, and I am standing in the middle. There are little lights flying around my hair and face, and every once in a while their lights flicker, just like in my other dream. Out of the shadows of the trees, tall figures start emerging, but don't make any noise. They are a pale white color. I try to ask them what is going on, but they only stare. Suddenly, from the branches above me there is a high pitched screaming, and all the people, if that's what they are, start moving toward me. They reach out their arms and open their mouths in a silent scream. Just as they are about to grab me, I wake up.

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