The front door creaked as it opened.
“Oh no,” Marina groaned, “There’s someone here.”
Irwin smirked. “Lighten up. It’s been ages since we’ve had visitors.”
“I just hope they’re intelligent this time,” she commented. “This mirror is getting crowded.”
A gasp echoed from the hallway downstairs, followed by a shriek and something heavy hitting the floor.
“They’re in the western corridor,” noted Irwin. “What do you think the shriek was?”
“Bumped into something in the dark,” droned Marina. “Happens every time.”
“That explains what fell over,” Irwin grinned. Marina’s lips curled slightly.
“At least it wasn’t the chandelier.”
“Frankly, Marina, after being stuck here for twelve years, I could care less about that chandelier.”
“Quiet! They are coming.”
Both characters froze as the lost stranger entered the mirror chamber. The girl had short brown hair, pale skin and mysterious blue eyes. She searched the room curiously, picking up objects, sitting on things, muttering to herself. Marina and Irwin stayed perfectly still inside the mirror while the girl
prowled about the room.
“My nose itches,” Irwin whispered, barely moving his lips.
“My neck is killing me,” Marina mouthed back.
“Here!” The shout made them jump. She was holding a bronze key in her hand. In a heartbeat she unlocked the treasure chest and opened it to find nothing.
“Do you think she’ll figure it out?” Irwin asked.
“I’m tired of hoping,” Marina hissed back.
“It’s got to be here somewhere,” she said aloud to herself, running her fingers along the velvet lining, searching. She closed the heavy lid and inserted the key into the second lock. The chest opened again to reveal nothing.
“I’ll keep trying until I find it,” the girl said determinedly.
“That’s what they all say,” yawned Marina, hitting Irwin with her elbow.
“Pardon,” she grumbled. “See why I don’t want anyone else in here?”
“Oh stop it,” replied Irwin, “She looks like she would be fun to have around.”
“Until she gets hungry,” Marina pointed out.
“Ssh – Evangeline!” Irwin gasped suddenly.
“Freeze!” Marina and Irwin resumed their idle positions in the mirror.
Evangeline walked on air, soundlessly, her blue satin gown trailing behind her. She smiled to herself when she saw the girl poring over the empty chest.
“Hello sweetheart,” breathed Evangeline, her eyes wrinkling as she smiled. The girl beside the chest jumped to her feet.
“I would ask what your name is, but I already know,” continued Evangleine.
Marina rolled her eyes. “At least she pretends to be creepy.”
“Did you find what you were looking for?” Evangeline asked the girl in a smooth oily voice.
The girl shook her head silently.
“Doed she look like genius material?” hissed Marina.
“Not so much,” replied Irwin under his breath.
“Well, then, perhaps I can help you,” Evangeline’s voice grew smoother by the moment. “Have you searched these drawers?” She indicated a wooden hutch standing on the opposite side of the room.
The girl followed her and began opening and closing the sticky drawers. She glanced nervously around the room while Evangeline stood beside her and watched her like a hawk.
“Keep looking,” she encouraged her.
“Just not at the mirror,” breathed Marina hopefully.
The girl remained silent and continued to fiddle with the drawers while Evangeline breathed down her neck.
“You seem like a smart girl,” cooed Evangeline, “Have you tried inside the piano?”
“She’s trying to distract her from the chest!” whispered Marina.
“But look – she’s already opened the third lock. Maybe she got it!”
“No, she hasn’t got it. Why would she be looking?”
“Maybe she has a plan.”
“Freeze!” Marina commanded as Evangeline crossed by the mirror.
“My dear,” smiled Evangeline, “Have you thought of looking in the mirror?”
“Don’t do it,” mouthed Marina desperately.
“I don’t look in mirrors,” the girl mumbled. “It goes against my beliefs.”
Evangeline cackled. “Is that so?” She stood right behind her and put her hands on the girl’s shoulders, leaning in to whisper in her ear. “Then what do you believe? Tell me.”
The girl closed her eyes. “I believe that you are a witch,” she said.
Evangeline smiled. “And?”
“And that we’re not alone in the room,” she continued.
“Do you believe that you are trespassing?”
The girl hesitated. “Yes,” she said finally. “But for a good cause.”
Evangeline frowned. “I’m afraid you’re wrong about that one, dear.”
The girl said nothing. Evangeline guided her directly in front of the mirror.
“Open your eyes,” she commanded. The girl took a deep breath, as if she knew what was coming.
She did not see her reflection in the mirror, nor could she see the witch standing behind her. For a split second saw two white faces, staring back at her looking annoyed. The next moment she was gone.
“Watch where you’re going, newbie,” snarled Marina as Claire landed on her face between her and Irwin.
“What’s your name, sugar?” Irwin asked.
“Are you proud of yourself for getting trapped inside a mirror for all of eternity?”
“Marina, cool your jets. She’s just arrived.”
“She landed on my foot.”
All three occupants of the mirror froze as Evangeline approached.
“There you go, sweetheart,” she said, “You won’t have to worry about trespassing again.” She blew a kiss to the mirror and disappeared with a sweep of her gown.
“Can we talk now?” muttered Claire.
“Yes,” said Irwin.
“I’m sorry I landed on your foot,” she said.
“She was just hoping you’d have some magical escape plan,” Irwin told her.
“No I wasn’t,” snapped Marina.
“Sorry to disappoint you then,” said Claire.
“Just tell me something, small one,” said Marina, “You were so close to disobeying her and getting away. Why did you open your eyes? You must have known you’d get sucked into the mirror.”
“I did,” replied Claire.
Marina looked at her incredulously. “You wanted to get sucked into a mirror forever?”
“Of course not,” she said simply.
“What are you playing at?”
Claire stared straight ahead into the chamber. “Patience, Marina.” She reached into the pocket of her jeans and pulled out a pendant with a ruby at the center. Marina’s jaw dropped. Irwin’s eyes grew as wide as the jewel itself.
“How did you get that in here?” Marina asked, amazed.
“Does she know you have it?” asked Irwin.
“Of course she doesn’t!” snapped Marina. “She wouldn’t have just let her bring it inside. But wait,” she stared at the ruby now safely secured around Claire’s neck. “How are you planning to reflect it?”
“The spell can only be broken if someone stands in front of the mirror while wearing the ruby,” explained Irwin.
“Now we’ll never get out of here,” groaned Marina.
“No,” whispered Claire, “We will. Look.”
All three looked straight out of the mirror. The image of a girl identical to Claire had appeared right in front of the mirror, wearing the ruby pendant around her neck.
“How are you doing that?” whispered Marina.
“Hold on tight,” Claire advised. The ruby changed to a colorless shade and the three prisoners were flung out of the mirror and onto the floor. Glass shattered all over the room and Evangeline appeared, her face red with fury.
“Run!” yelled Claire. The group dashed across the creaky old mansion, Evangeline advancing on them. She tripped over her gown and fell on her face.
“Come back here!” she snarled, but it was a hopeless effort.
They arrived safely outside the mansion door, tired and out of breath. Marina stared at Irwin, shocked that they had actually been released from the mirror after twelve years of imprisonment. Irwin was too busy laughing his head off. Marina followed his gaze to the two girls standing before them.
“There are two of you?” Marina asked Claire, eyes bluging.
Cleine laughed. “Two of us,” she corrected, smiling at her twin sister.
© 2011 Liora Sophie
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