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Mirror Mirror
by on October 19, 2021
Light filtered through the trees to dust gold on the grass and the dirt, and on each thing that lived beneath that canopy, so that the Wandering Woods looked nearly as magical as they were.
Among the light and the trees stood a lone unicorn. She glittered like glass, from her pale blue mane to the soft pink coat of her fur, and seemed as delicate, too - her long limbs were thin, and they trembled and creaked when she moved. The only part of her immune to the shimmering light was her beach glass green eyes, which seemed dull and dead in comparison. They were framed by red rims and the flush that came from weeping.
She did not weep now. Now, she carefully twisted a ripe red apple from a branch, and placed it with its fellows in a basket she carried. A few more steps, and she added another. Surely this would be enough for her alibi? For safety’s sake she took two more, then she ducked between the long curtain of willow branches.
It was not a clearing, not exactly. More like… a bubble. A safe place isolated from the rest of the Woods. Though the tree moved from time to time, it always left a spot like this, a place she could go and hide. A long time had passed since last she’d been here, but she had a feeling that she would be coming here more often in the days to come.
Mirror did not have to be alone in the world.
She had been given so many chances to reach out and make friends.
That was the worst part.
The only reason she was here, alone, was her own fear holding her back. Every time she had felt a sweeping wave of despair on the horizon, every time she had gotten close to finally asking for the help she so desperately wanted, every time she had stood on the edge of the forest and begged herself to walk out… every time, she had turned back and hidden instead. She had gone back to what she knew. What was safe. Right back, every time, every single time, she had gone back to Faith.
A chill rippled along her spine, and she stood as still as ever she could. Taking another step was a critical decision. She could turn around now, and go back to Faith again, just as always. She could pretend Faith cared for her for just a little longer. She could pretend that everything was okay, and that Faith really did love her, and she could pretend that she was happy for whatever short time she had left before the curse finally killed her and in so doing, came at last to a true end.
Or… she could take another step.
She could learn what Faith really thought.
She could finally have the truth set out before her, shattering everything she had ever known, and leaving her to die alone, thorns in her lungs and flowers blooming from her corpse.
Mirror raised her face to the sky, and stared as if somehow the universe would give her a clear answer.
“Please… Just let me pretend a little longer. I know the truth, but I don’t have to accept it, do I? Not if I have no proof. I could… I could just walk away. Go back to her side. We could make a pie. Wouldn’t that be lovely? And… And we could sit by the fire, and… we could be okay. I don’t have to accept it. Please.”
Tears gathered in her eyes, and she shook her head, not willing to let them spill over. Hadn’t she cried enough?
But she knew the answer to that, too. Mirror was naive, yes, but she had never been stupid. She knew that nothing she said now would change the decision she’d already made, because she was taking a step that she could never rescind, and she was kneeling onto the soft moss carpet, and she was stretching out her forearms so that she could see them.
As far as Faith knew in that moment, Mirror had gone to see a friend, one that Faith had never met, and she would return late. She had even brought a few items to reinforce that idea. Mementos from over the years, reminders that she had brought her isolation on herself. Gifts. They lay in the basket under the apples, so that if Faith looked, she might notice one or two were gone and draw a conclusion as to just who Mirror was with.
She wished she really was with someone. This would be so much easier if she had just one person who she could be wholly honest with. A few faces came to mind, but she pushed each away, because she was facing reality now. Reality had always been her worst enemy.
Mirror pulled the white cloak she wore closer around herself, like a blanket, as if that might comfort her, and she settled in.
Wind rustled through the leaves so that they turned to a chorus of whispering chimes.
A bird called out a merry tune, somewhere, perhaps calling to a partner or to a friend.
Slowly, the golden hour began to fade, the light turning colder.
She kept waiting.
Another bird called back.
And then… then, it happened. Her stomach turned to an icy lump which seemed to burn from inside out. Numbness started at the top of her throat and spread slowly down, down, through her shoulders and her back, down her limbs. It crept into her bones, and further down, into her hooves. Her eyes dried.
Every shred of hope she’d ever felt, every surge of love, every single moment that she had treasured, her entire world went up in smoke all at once. A cacophony should have followed, or some great and terrible clap of thunder - anything, anything but the silence that clung stiffly to every surface. A dull buzz like tufts of cotton chewed inside her ears. It was the sound that came when no thoughts would.
Mirror shut her eyes as tight as she could, and pressed her face between her hooves, trying to block out the world around her. There was so much of it. How dare the world keep turning and moving and living? How dare it? It should have been ripped to millions of pieces, or eaten by the sun, or - anything! Something should have changed.
Nothing did.
The universe spared no thoughts for what Mirror felt. It would not care if she never drew breath again, nor had it ever.
Of course not.
She was nothing.
No one.
Heat bloomed in her face and her ears, shame burning painfully as she realized just how foolish she had always been. Time had slowed to a meaningless crawl.
All it had taken had been one tiny incision, just barely deep enough to sting, to cut her entire being to pieces.
She couldn’t even find the will to cry.
Post in: Lore
Topics: lore gang