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Mirror Mirror
by on November 8, 2021
East of the Wandering Woods and North of the Jackalope Slopes lies a small town, named for a brook which runs to one side and provides the water this town needs to survive. Buttercup Brook and Buttercup Grove are perhaps the most fairytale-esque part of Equestria, secluded from every major city and kingdom, and even with their very own witch.
She is not a wicked witch. Her alignment is parallel to good, yet rather unlawful. At this moment, she is the closest the town has to a doctor, and she stands right outside her shop, talking to a young patient. Paisley is the filly’s name, and this is the last treatment she will need for an unfairly early onset of arthritis.
This will also be the last patient Mirror treats, perhaps ever. Paisley skips away to join her friends at the same moment that a dove lands in front of the witch, tilts its head, and holds out its leg. A small piece of paper is tied to it.
Mirror - come home.
Without a signature, she can still recognize Faith’s writing. Her heart flutters nervously.
Part of her yearns to stay here, and finally defy Faith, but already she is walking inside and gathering what she needs to travel. The shy smile she’d worn is exchanged for a cloak.
Every step shoots pain up through her weary limbs. Still, she takes the time to gather three items that aren’t strictly necessary: a book, old but cared for, a pressed flower kept safe inside a locket, and a blue cloak. They are tucked together in one side of a recently bought saddlebag. The other side carries what she will need to make the trip.
And last of all, she retrieves a gold ring with an emerald cut to the shape of a star.
What should have been a two day trip turns into three and a night, but at last, Mirror arrives back in the familiar Wandering Woods. She cannot quite dispel the pressing fear gnawing at her heart. Pausing on the doorstep of her own cottage, she wonders if it’s really worth going in.
Her choice is stolen. Faith opens the door and ushers her inside, quickly wrapping her wing around Mirror. The door shuts with a certain finality.
“My dearest Mirror, I have gathered information, and now all I need to get the apple is your magic. I can get us into the vault if only you can locate it for me. And I have a plan for that, too. It might be tough, but it’s worth it as long as we can get the apple, and so I have to ask you for something very difficult. I repaired the mirror, and if you’ll just-”
“What? Mirror, listen to me. This is to save your life. If you hide in the mirror, we can get in, I’ll release you again, and then we can break the spell and escape. It’s sure to work.”
“Just how foolish do you take me to be?”
Faith stepped back and folded her wings against herself, looking stricken. Mirror shut her eyes and kept talking.
“You were caught. Do not deny it, Faith, I bear the markings that prove they caught you. Bruises, shredded skin, pierced muscles… they tried to torture you, and I took the wounds in your stead. So tell me, dear, just why they stopped there? And how did you escape after you were bound? Magic?
“I- yes, they caught me, but you’re being paranoid! Why are you fighting me so hard on this? All I want is to help you out of the mess you got us into. I was a guard once, Mirror, and I’m quite strong enough to get myself out of trouble without relying on magic. What, you think I can’t take on a few low ranking security guards?”
Silence fell. Mirror was trembling like a leaf, unwilling to look at Faith. She couldn’t speak, either. It was as if she’d lost all control of her own body, and this time, when Faith’s wing curved over her back again, she flinched like she had been hit. Faith didn’t take the hint. Instead, she pulled Mirror to her side.
“Come on. What’s gotten into you? I’m not asking you to do anything dangerous, I’ve got this all worked out. And once your spell is broken, we’ll finally be safe! We can get married, just like we always wanted, and we can be happy together. No more pain. Just us.”
“I...” Her voice was a frightened whisper. She wanted to believe Faith - Gaia herself knew just how much she wanted to. They had planned their whole life together. Even the gardens around the cottage were there to allow them to stay in the quiet forest, letting the rest of the world pass by however it might, so that they could live here together for however long they had to live.
It would be so easy just to give in. Her clinic had been nice, but… but nothing. She liked spending her time helping others, and she liked the townsfolk, too. They had been so kind to her once they’d gotten past her eccentric nature. However grateful she was to Faith for freeing her from the mirror that had been her prison, she could not forget one thing.
The razor-thin line of still-healing skin on her foreleg, mostly hidden beneath her fur, throbbed. Mirror drew a shuddering breath, raised her head, opened her eyes, and stepped away from Faith. She looked Faith right in the eye.
“No.” Without breaking eye-contact, she took out the golden ring, and she tossed it at Faith’s hooves. “I spent twelve years out here in the middle of nowhere, working day and night to do anything, anything at all to protect you. I threw away every opportunity I ever had to make friends, and every opportunity to have my own life to protect you. I gave up my life to save yours, and my health to protect you. And every time, every single time, it’s not enough! You used the love I had for you against me because- because you thought I might have even one friend in the world!”
She had tears in her eyes now, and her face was flushed, but she was nowhere near done.
“The only reason… The only reason I had any hope left was because of the note you left me. I thought maybe you really did love me. How could I have been so stupid? I should always have known that I could never be enough. And I think the worst part of all of this, Faith, is that I still love you. I will always, always love you.”
Mirror stumbled, light-headed. Her vision kept fading in and out, the edges growing darker and closer together. Faith looked away.
“You don’t have a choice, Mirror. Have you forgotten that you have nowhere to go? Have you forgotten that even if you did leave, right this moment, I have more control over you than you’ve ever had?”
“Nothing you can do to me will hurt worse than what you have done already.”
“Then go. What’s stopping you?”
“I...” The witch took a step towards the door, her legs still shaking, and they dropped out from under her, splaying out - one in a direction it shouldn’t have been able to. Her world was going dark, but she had to get out. She pushed against the wooden flooring, and lifted herself partway up before her hoof slipped and she fell again, hard.
No, please. Please… she had finally stood up for herself. This was her way out. If she could only stand up… just once more. She had to get out.
Faith lowered herself so that her face and her mane obscured Mirror’s vision, and she smirked.
“It’ll be over soon, my mirror.”
Mirror let out a strangled sob, and shut her eyes. With every single bit of strength she could find, she broadcast a single message which rippled out, out into every tree and bush of her forest, through the brambles and the streams:
Please, help me.
Post in: Lore
Topics: lore gang
Mirror Mirror
it's 7:45 PM and I want it to be midnight so that I have a reason to be this tired but there's still so much time before then >:c
Papillon Crève-Cœur
Mirror Mirror