Monday, April 18, 2011

The Girl in the Mirror

Here is the beginning of my new short story. I haven't finished it yet because I don't know if it's worth finishing. This is only part one, part two is written, but I didn't post it yet. I'm just missing the ending.
***I've now posted part two! Just scroll down until you find the part where it left off.***

The Girl in the Mirror
A. J. Spindle
The sound of winter’s first frost under her boots filled the air. Amy pulled the fur lined jacket closer around her neck and slung her backpack over her shoulder. The snow drifted around her, swirling in the wind and landing on the halfway-covered, yellow grass. Looking up to the sky, she held out her tongue and tried to catch a few flakes; her breath coming out in white wisps. She wasn’t watching her footing and her boot snagged a loose root, sending her sprawling across the frozen ground and filling her mouth with snow and dirt.

“Ugh!” She spit and rolled over, staring up at the sky. A bird sat watching her, its eyes like two red raspberries. “What are you looking at?” she asked the bird. It flew off without an answer.
Amy pushed herself up and leaned against a tree, checking the damage. Her jeans were ripped along the knees and soaked with fresh snow. “That’s just perfect.”

She stood up and dusted herself off the best she could. Her backpack landed a few feet in front of her, having slid off her shoulder when she fell. She bent down to pick it up when something shiny caught her eye. She left her bag and went over to investigate. Bending down, she reached out and pulled off a layer of vines and roots. Whatever the object was it had been there for a long time, hidden by nature’s hand.

Amy tugged the item loose and brushed off the remaining dirt on her jeans. It was a mirror, wrapped in a rounded frame and a curvy handle. The metal was rusted and scratched as if the owner had abused it. There was no telling how long the mirror had been in the middle of the woods. She’d taken the path many times before to get to and from school but she’d never noticed it.

The mirror felt cool, even through her gloves. Amy ran her fingers over the back of the frame. Swirling lines were etched deeply into the metal, creating an elegant pattern. She turned the mirror back over, reflective side up, and her stomach dropped to her toes. A young girl resembling Amy stared back.
But this girl wasn’t Amy.

She had Amy’s dark brown hair and blue eyes, but the girl in the mirror wasn’t surrounded by trees or wearing a thick coat and toboggan. The girl in the mirror wore a honey colored dress with ruffled white lace around the collar. A single heart shaped pendant dangled from a chain around her neck.

Amy dropped the mirror and took a step back. She looked over her shoulder, nobody was there. Of course not. Nobody goes into the woods but her; people believed it to be haunted. Amy took a cautious step forward and peered into the mirror. The girl was gone and only Amy’s reflection remained.

Amy let out the breath she’d been holding. She picked up the mirror and the girl appeared again, raising an eyebrow at Amy.

“Ahhh!” Amy threw the mirror and it bounced off a tree, sending shards of glass flying. Everything went dark, as if the sun had been snuffed out like a candle. The shards of mirror began to glow and Amy could hear laughter. She whipped her head around looking for the source of the sound. Something grabbed the back of her jacket and she tried to run but the thing was too strong.

“Let me go!” Amy lashed out with her arms but there was nobody behind her. A white mist tugged on her clothing, pulling her closer to the mirror shards where the laughter grew louder, more high pitched. “Help! Someone!”

The mist circled her and became thick like fog, pulling her down to the ground.


Breathing hard, Amy opened her eyes. Sunlight streamed through an open window. She was laying on her back on a hardwood floor. A young man stood over her, his face full of concern.

“Amelia, are you okay?”

She didn’t know what to say. She blinked and looked around. The smell of a sweet perfume filled the air. A marble fireplace sat to her left and to her right was a four poster bed, buried under mounds of blankets and fluffy pillows. Amy looked up at the boy who watched her with interest. His brows threaded together and his mouth set in a frown.

“Amelia, are you okay? Can you talk?” He reached a hand down to help her up.

“Why are you calling me that?” Amy finally said.

He cocked his head to the side. “Excuse me?”

“You said Amelia. Nobody calls me that.”

“I don’t understand. That’s your name. What am I supposed to call you?”


He looked over his shoulder. “Your nurse went to fetch help. Can you sit up?”

“My nurse?” She couldn’t be in a hospital. At least, she didn’t think she was. She’d never seen such a fancy hospital room before. The walls were oak paneled and there was a dressing curtain at her feet. No, certainly not in a hospital.

“I hope she can find the doctor,” the boy said, looking uneasy. Amy tried to sit up. He reached down to help.

“Who are you?” Amy asked, letting her eyes follow the features of his face. His dark green eyes led down to his pointed nose, thin lips, and square chin.

“You did take quite a spill, didn’t you.” It wasn’t a question. “I’m Ephraim.”

Amy gave him a blank stare.

“Your betrothed,” he clarified.

Amy burst out laughing. “What? Are you serious?” she said between chuckles.

Ephraim cleared his throat and looked down at her. “Quite serious.”

Something in his expression made Amy freeze. “Oh.”

The door opened and an older woman rushed in. “There she is!” she said, pointing to Amy. A balding man came in behind the woman carrying a black bag by the handle. He wore a thick wool jacket with a white scarf sticking out around his neck. He came over to where she was on the floor and set his bag down beside her.

“What happened, Amelia?” The man reached into his black bag and rummaged around.

“That’s not my name,” she said. The man paused.

“She’s confused, Doctor. She thinks her name is Amy,” Ephraim said.

“I’m not confused,” she said. “And my name is Amy. Amy Thatcher.”

The doctor nodded his head. “I see.”

“No, you don’t see. I was in the woods coming home from school when I found this mirror. There was a girl in the mirror, but she wasn’t me. She was dressed in what looked like an 18th century gown. She wore a long necklace with a heart on it.” Amy put her hands around her neck, as if to show what she meant, but her fingers found a warm metal chain there. She looked down and screamed.

“It’s on me!” she yelled. The honey colored dress and heart necklace had somehow made their way onto her body.

The doctor turned to the woman who Amy assumed was the nurse. “Help me get her in bed.”

“Why am I in this dress? What’s going on? Who are you people?” Amy thrashed on the floor trying to get the doctor and nurse’s hands off her. Her foot kicked something sharp, making her suck in a breath.

“Ow!” she looked down at her foot. A shard of glass stuck out of her heel at an odd angle. Amy pounded the floor with her fists and tears welled up in her eyes.

The doctor grabbed her foot so she couldn’t move it and spoke over his shoulder. “Ephraim, get warm water, towels, and a glass of wine for Amelia. Hurry.”

Ephraim ran from the room, not bothering to shut the door on his way out.

Amy sucked in a breath trying to ignore the jarring pain in her foot. “You people are crazy! I want to go home!”

“You are home, child,” the nurse said. “Don’t you recognize your own bedroom?”

“Hold still, Amelia. I have to remove this bit of mirror,” the doctor said.

Amy froze. “Mirror? Let me see it!” she demanded, pulling her foot away from him. She bent over and saw her reflection in the glass; her face on the mirror girl’s body. She looked up and saw bits of mirror scattered across the floor. The metal frame sat a few inches away from her. She snatched it up and turned it over in her hand.

“Be careful, you could get cut again,” the nurse said, but Amy ignored her.

“This is the mirror I found in the woods, but it’s not scratched or rusted.” Except for the splintered glass, the mirror looked brand new.

Ephraim came back with the supplies the doctor requested. He held out a glass. “Drink this, Ameli-- I mean, Amy,” he corrected.

The use of her real name threw her off. She reached out and took the glass of dark red liquid; peering inside, she sniffed. “Thanks.” She took an experimental sip. The liquid burned her throat and nose, making her cough. “I don’t think I like it,” she said, handing the cup back to Ephraim.

“You need to drink it. You’re not going to want to feel this,” the doctor said, taking her injured foot again. He took a white towel and dipped it in warm water. “Hold still.”

Amy bit her lip and whimpered as the doctor took hold of the shard of mirror and tugged. The blood left her face, leaving a light tingly felling. She laid back on the floor.

“I think I need that wine now,” she murmured, eyes squeezed shut.

Ephraim leaned down and held the cup to her lips. “Is she okay?”

The doctor grunted. “She’s having glass removed from her foot, son. What do you think?”

The doctor removed the glass and wrapped her foot in a cool cloth. The pain began to ease a little as her head grew fuzzy.

“There, that should hold. Let’s get her to bed. Ephraim, you need to leave so she can change into her bed clothes.”

“No, I want him here.” Amy handed the nurse her wine glass that she’d drained.

The woman gasped. “Amelia, you’re not in your right mind.”

“I want him here!” Amy didn’t know why, but she felt that Ephraim might actually believe her. He’d called her Amy, after all.

The doctor looked uneasy but shrugged his shoulders. “Whatever keeps her calm I suppose.”

The nurse clucked her tongue disapprovingly. “The boy better keep his peepers shut if he ever wants to see anything again.”

“I think I should wait in the hall,” Ephraim said, glancing at the nurses pursed lips. “I’ll be right back.” He walked out to the hall and shut the door.

“You too, Doctor,” the nurse said.

“I suppose I’m not needed here. Make sure she gets plenty of rest and stays in bed for the rest of the day,” he said on his way out of the room.

“She will.”

After Amy was dressed and tucked safely in bed, Ephraim was allowed back in, so long as she kept the covers pulled up to her chin.

“Could you give us some privacy?” Amy asked the nurse.

The old woman’s eyes grew big. “Privacy? Have you lost all sense of modesty, young lady?”

“I need to speak with him. In private. I guess I could get out of bed, but the doctor wanted me to rest and--”

“Oh, all right. I’ll go sit over there. Drink some more wine,” she said, handing the refilled glass to Amy. She smiled and took a sip, hoping to please the nurse. It seemed to work and the nurse grudgingly walked away, taking a seat by the window.

“I need you to do something for me,” Amy said in a low voice as Ephraim pulled a chair over to the bed and sat.


“I need all the pieces to the broken mirror.” She glanced up at the nurse who was watching like a hawk. Amy took another sip of wine and yawned.

“Why would you want that for?”

“I just do, okay,” Amy pleaded with her eyes for him to understand the urgency behind her words, but he didn’t.

“You need to rest for now.” He stood up from his chair.

“No, I can’t! Not without the mirror.”

Ephraim sighed and then chuckled, a light airy laugh. “Do you want your nurse to murder me? I wouldn’t put it past her.”

“Please?” Amy felt tired; her head thick from the wine. It didn’t help that the heavy blankets pressed down on her like a butterfly in a cocoon.

“You sleep and I’ll see what I can do.”

Amy had no strength to argue so she nodded and rolled over to sleep.


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