Have you ever noticed that when you look into a mirror, then try to look away, that your eyes don't move in the reflection?
They just keep staring at you.
Once I noticed, I couldn't help but let out a small laugh. This was a funny thing for me, somebody who never experienced extraordinary things like that.
Why don't you look away? I giggled to the person in my reflection, still feeling light and funny.
My reflection did not laugh.
I felt my own grin fade, I tried out a few expre.ssions, flung my hands up violently and even tried rubbing my eyes, but my reflection kept glaring.
What are you? I whispered disbelievingly.
These kinds of extraordinary things didn't happen to me, until they did.
Around my reflection the world of my room started to shift and spin, the only constant that thing that looked like me, he started to grin as the world got beaten purple and blue around him.
I am you, you are me. We are Miffy. Would you like to see Nwot? His voice rang out from inside the mirror. I didn't move, the only thing that felt like the sensible thing to do at that moment was to raise my hand and bring it to the mirror, this time the boy in the mirror mirrored me and instead of glass my fingers grazed his, and for a brief second we touched.
The world around me warped, got beaten grey and greyer until it became the purple and blue of the mirror world. I found myself in Nwot, my hand entangled in my own, my own grin grinning at me, my own eyes eyeing me. I was standing in front of myself.
Before I could do anything like protest or question my new situation, I had already been dragged along by myself. This is all awfully confusing, I said after taking in my surroundings in relative silence.
Nwot was the mirror image of my own town, everything that was supposed to be on the left was on the right, everything that was supposed to be on the right was on the left.
This makes perfect sense to me, mirror Miffy said, an odd grin on his face as he turned to me. I noticed the mole that was on my right cheek was on his left. But of course, if it truly is that strange for you, you could always resort to calling me by my title, King.
King? I repeated. Was I King in this world?
King." He said, a lovely wistfulness to my own voice that sounded slightly higher pitched on him.
I decided to nod and just accept this, there was no point arguing here, besides, I quite liked the idea of being King.
The mirrored town square that felt wrong and like home made way for a path I didn't recognize, a path purely for this mirror world. I could tell it wasn't a thing from my world by the vines that all looked exactly the same, like they were copying each other, mirroring each other. This path again sank back into the ground and made way for a castle.
This was an awfully old castle that would have fit right into my world had it not been entirely white. The roses that grew on the vined paths contrasted nicely with it. Looks cozy, I told King.
He led me inside, through hallways and rooms and more hallways and more rooms and even a ballroom and at least two libraries. The castle was entirely unoccupied, all the spaces ghost like in the silence that hung in them.
We finally entered a throne room, at the end of which stood two thrones. One was empty and the other was occupied by a girl, a pretty one I also did not recognize as one of my own world. She looked nearly perfect, her hair was perfectly curled on both sides, her brows were perfectly angled on both sides, her dress was perfectly bejeweled on both sides.
Her eyes were the one thing that marked her as wrong. One was brown, like mine and King's, the other was blood red. She watched me cooly.
King bowed deep and with a smile so charming I couldn't even imagine it on myself he introduced me. This is Miffy, from Town.
She nodded. And what is Miffy from Town doing here?
Miffy from Town noticed.
She nodded again. I am Queen, she said. Welcome to Nwot, my domain.
An odd silence fell. King cleared his throat and I repressed the urge to copy him.
I had enough questions to fill the silence, but kept my mouth shut and instead stared back at the Queen. She smiled suddenly, as if oddly pleased, and came down from her throne.
Miffy, could you do me a favor? She asked in a sickly sweet voice.
I waited patiently for her to elaborate, which she did. King walked towards his throne and sat down. Go and get me a rose.
Before moving I glanced at King, but he was staring at the Queen. Alright, I said then and with hesitant steps walked to the throne room and alone found myself going through hallways, libraries, a ballroom, more hallways and rooms until I found my way outside.
The path with roses stretched out before me, but I understood that the Queen didn't want me to mess up her perfect path of roses, what she wanted was a special rose. So I kept walking, through perfect bushes and perfect paths, everything was arranged in such a manner that it looked meticulous, not a single leaf out of place.
But again I noticed the lack of people in Nwot. I couldn't imagine King and Queen being the sole inhabitants of this world, couldn't imagine the loneliness they had to endure. Was it anything like the loneliness I felt?
I quickly shook the thought away and concentrated on my task: the rose. I wondered if Queen wanted a very beautiful rose, or if she wanted a very magical rose. Everything about and around her was perfect so I figured what she wanted was a perfect rose.
The farther I walked, the less perfect the world became, flowers became irregular and purple and blue, strange swirls grew into the trees and the sky was grey and unmoving. Everything about the woods I then found myself in was screaming.
Before I could turn back and run to the relative safety of the castle my eye caught a glimpse of something very odd. A grey rose grew in the nook between a tree root and a mushroom village. It was closed to any bright sunrays and drooped very sad, unlike any rose I had ever seen.
I decided this must have been the rose Queen wanted and bent down, the rose behaved very well and let me pluck it from the ground, rip it free from it's roots.
Quickly I returned to the castle, feeling suddenly very ill, I stumbled over roots that hadn't previously been there and through thigh high grass and less than perfect paths until I found the mirrored rose path. I let out a relieved sigh and walked, still hurried, into the castle. I passed through hallways and rooms and ballrooms and hallways and libraries until I found my way back to the throne room. There King and Queen sat silently on their thrones, as if they had been waiting all this time.
Queen smiled as she saw what I was holding, King looked less pleased but still smiled a tight smile.
You found it!" Queen exclaimed happily. I couldn't help but blush at her sudden excitement, pleased with myself that I had done something right.
Queen rushed down from her throne and carefully took the grey and sad flower from my hand. She brought it close to her lips and kissed it. King looked on in disgust as the grey flower started to bloom with the help of Queen's touch. The petals curled away from a very gold thing laying inside of it, a key. Queen snapped her fingers and suddenly the flower was not a flower anymore, it swirled and tugged itself inside out to reveal a grey teddy bear, with golden buttons for eyes. It smiled happily.
She handed it to me and smiled. You did well.
Very suddenly King stood from his throne and Queen moved back to her own seat. With sad eyes she watched as King stopped in front of me.
There can't be two of us. He said.
I stared into eyes very much like my own and noticed he was slightly taller than me, which was very strange. But there are. He grinned as if I had said exactly what he had wanted me to say. There shouldn't be.
I clutched the teddy bear a little tighter.
How do they fix these sorts of things in your world, Miffy? Queen asked, a warning hidden in her words.
I considered her warning and then carefully crafted my answer, In my world everyone tries very hard to accept each other, I lied.
She nodded. King's eye twitched despite there being a smile on his lips. Alright, he said. In this world though, when there are two of the same people, it ruins everything. It is against the rules, you see. That's why there can only be one.
I can leave? I tried, and hesitantly took a step away from this boy that looked so much like me.
King shook his head, a tight smile on his lips. That's not how this works. A crooked smile tugged at his lips then. But of course, since I did take you here, I will take responsibility, I felt relief foolishly pool inside of me. However, this kindness comes with a prize.
Before I could run he had grabbed ahold of me, his -my- his hand reached for my -his- my eye and with a soft snap he had his hand inside and out again, in his palm he held something brown, red and white still moving. He had ripped my eye out.
The pain didn't immediately hit me, the laughter coming from my mirror image did. It started softly and as my pain flared so did the sound, it went louder and louder, pushing everything else away until his laughter and the pain was the only thing.
I sank to my knees with a silent scream on my lips, tears streamed from the eye I had left and in utter terror I watched King as he held up my eye like a trophy. The loud ringing in my ears kept me from hearing the victorious song he was singing, kept me from noticing somebody step close to me and push the teddy bear I had unwittingly dropped back into my hands.
Queen grabbed ahold of my face and with a kiss to my eyes the pain disappeared, a soft fabric tugged over the hollowness that was left and covered up all that gore. My silent scream fell and the ringing made way for her voice.
One day, she said very shakily and with tears filling her eyes. Come save me, alright?
Queen smiled, at once very cruelly and very sad, as if she were two people at once. Her hands grabbed my shoulders, and then she pushed.
As I fell I felt the world warp around me again, beating itself many colors I couldn't describe no matter how hard I tried, and swirling and twirling around my mind, tugging at my soul, begging me not to go.
I kept falling until I stopped with a harsh thud. I could feel the difference in the air I breathed, my lungs were thankful for the familiar air of my own world.
My back was to my room, a familiar loneliness crept back upon me. The very sad and grey teddy bear in my arms seemed to let out a cheer and suddenly the feeling was gone again, as if it had disappeared into him.
In front of me King glared from the mirror, in his hand he was still holding my brown eye. He said nothing before disappearing, leaving my mirror empty of any reflection at all. Queen was gone, Nwot was gone.
I was back home.