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Mirror Mirror
by on November 6, 2021
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Blood is thicker than water.
The full quote reads, “the blood of the coven is thicker than the water of the womb” and is rather misrepresented. In this case, however, the shortened version is the more apt choice.
This is the case of Winter Rose, better known as Blind Faith, whose loyalty is swayed in the passing of a strong breeze. She longs to be better than she is, yet falls short of every opportunity that might make it so. At this moment in time, her fickle nature has lead her to a high security prison cell in the dungeon of a Queen who should long have been dead, and finds her awaiting a trial that shall determine her fate and her moral character in one fell swoop.
Bound in chains and forcibly sedated, Faith is taken to another chamber. The blood of a thousand or more ponies remains hung sickly in the air, and on all sides are devices she refuses to imagine the purposes of, each stained and ancient. So pungent is the scent and so putrid the sight that she shudders and steps back, only for a guard to shove her forward with the wooden end of an axe.
There is no escape to be found. A thick iron band locked about her neck and connected to a chain is tugged hard by another of her captors. She is led first to a cold leather table, forced onto it - each hoof in turn is clamped firmly down, and then, before she can react, her wings are stapled. Actually stapled.
It is only the first of a series of increasingly inhumane events, the details of which are not included here. Faith does not endure any injury throughout, for each wound is swiftly dealt to her partner instead, as per the very spell she had come here to break.
Her partner, Mirror Mirror, is incapacitated by these injuries and by the curse that gnaws daily at her insides. No good may come from a closer examination of her state at this time, either. Let it be enough to say that Mirror remains alive and conscious, and that her wounds, while painful, are not yet life-threatening.
A wooden stake, thin and sharp, is held just above her skin. A guard holds a hammer above it, and when he draws that hammer back, Faith calls out:
“Take me to the Queen, and I will answer any question served, but let my mother serve them herself instead of delegating to the same guards I once captained.”
A pause hangs in the stale air, and for a moment, she expects them to ignore her words.
“What is your name?” All eyes in the room move to the guard who speaks, but he stands by his question. The ghost of a smile crosses Faith’s weary face.
“Winter Rose. I served as Captain fifteen years ago - and you, Lieutenant Shade, should remember my face well enough to know I'm telling the truth.”
“It’s Captain Shade to you, prisoner.”
He made his best attempt to remain impassive, but Faith knew her words had landed. She raised her head and made eye-contact.
“Alright, Captain. Take me to the Queen.”
“Queen Jonquil is busy. She has no time for the likes of-”
“Of her own daughter? Go and tell my mother I’ve come home. She’ll see me.”
Another long pause, and to his credit, Shade didn’t break eye-contact, even when he spoke to one of the younger guards. “Bramble. Do as she says.”
“Sir...” Bramble began. Shade shot her a withering scowl, and she sprang into action at once.
“In the meantime, prisoner, answer me this one question. What in Tartarus are you using to heal yourself? Everything we’ve done and you don’t have a single scratch. Your wings even healed around the staples.”
“Would you believe me if I told you it was the power of love?”
He actually rolled his eyes.
Uncomfortable silence dominated the next twenty minutes, and then Bramble was back, looking terrified. She coughed. When the eyes of the room turned onto her, she shuddered and spoke.
“The, uh, the Queen will see her. She’s to be brought to the tower. Right, uh, right away?”
And that was that. Faith couldn’t help the smug grin that crept onto her face as she was freed from the table and led out of that awful room. In fact she was so pleased that her plan had begun to work that she entirely forgot to spare a thought for Mirror, lying bruised and bleeding on the floor of a tiny shop in a tiny town.
Jonquil awaited her daughter sitting in a jeweled chair, clearly livid. Her usually pale face was red with anger, her right hoof tapping impatiently on the armrest, and the shards of fine china lay beside the door - just below a patch of wallpaper unfortunately stained by tea.
She formed a strained, carefully polite smile.
“Why, Blind Faith, you’ve returned at last. And your vision is restored! How marvelous. You always were my favorite maid, my dear, such a pity about all that… treason.”
“Hello, mother dearest.”
The Queen blinked, and then continued as if Faith hadn’t said a word. “Now, what is this all about? Breaking into the castle just like a common thief. Come to take another of my treasures? Was the first one not enough for you?”
Faith mimicked the politely cruel smile her mother wore. Two could play at this game. “Well, mum, it was just so easy the first time. I wanted a challenge more complex than some silly little riddle.”
“Riddle? I’m sure I don’t know what you mean. In fact, I think that if you’d only give up that little street urchin you claim was powering my mirror, you'd find all this much easier. Whatever happened to my mirror, Blind Faith?”
“Why would I tell you?”
“Hold out if you’d like. I don’t mind getting out of you by force.”
“Your guards can tell you that won’t work.”
“You insult me. I was thinking something a little more… magical.”
Even as she said the words, her horn lit up and a tingling sensation spread throughout Faith’s entire body. Panic set in. She had to remain calm, to fight it as long as possible, she couldn’t reveal any information. As long as she didn’t say anything, the spell couldn’t force her to tell the truth.
“Now, Faith, tell me. What happened to my mirror?”
“I broke it.” Apparently, it could. “I broke it, and freed the mare trapped inside it, then I hid the pieces of the mirror.”
“And you kept her, too, didn’t you? So, Faith, why didn’t my curse kill you?”
“No. No, no, she cast a stone sleep spell on me, and then-” Faith forced herself to choke on the words, but it wasn’t enough. She could only manage a half-truth. “And then the curse- it was counteracted. It doesn't affect me anymore."
“I see. You found a loophole... Tell me, then, why did you ask to meet with me? Surely you and your vagabond are just fine on your own, though I can't help but notice you haven't brought her with you.”
"Well, I was young and foolish when I ran off with her - it. I've come to make some overdue amends."
“You wicked thing. Go on.” Jonquil’s voice carried an uncomfortable delighted quality; she almost squealed the words.
"I can repair the mirror and restore its functionality. All I ask in return is a little... festival. Kingdom-wide. I want everyone to witness our reconciliation. That's all."
“My, my… I almost regret making you a guard. I wasted your potential, my dear little rosebud. You mean to return to your status as princess. Still, the mirror's power... It's worth it. You have yourself a deal, my Winter Rose, and I think we'll turn out to be quite a happy little family after all.”
Faith swallowed around a lump in her throat. Her will was weakening; this should have been the perfect opportunity. She was getting exactly what she had wanted, so easily, so… so easily. It was the home stretch. Once the festival had taken place, she'd be in the public eye, safe from Jonquil's tricks. As heiress to the kingdom, she could find the tree and steal an apple, and no one would bat an eye until after she had escaped.
Escape. If she did that, she would throw away this chance to earn her mother’s love. And for what? Was Mirror worth spending her life on the run, hunted and disowned? She had already experienced that life. This was her opportunity to experience a better one.
It wasn't a betrayal. Just a delay. She'd be able to free Mirror at any point.
“Yeah. I think I’d like that.”
And so, the die was cast and Mirror’s fate upended once again. Her future hinged on whether or not she could find the strength to ask for help from those she cared for, and most especially, from the one or two ponies she considered friends.
Post in: Lore
Topics: lore gang
Inigo
Oof. Get hecked Mirror.
Mirror Mirror
that's the gist of it, yea!
Spirit Weaver
Phone call woke me up at 2 am.. It was the hoes. They're mad. Don't ask why I was calling myself at 2 am.
Mirror Mirror
how do I make the hoes not mad :c
Spirit Weaver
make mirror happy.
Mirror Mirror
that's a tall order and I am short