|The Black Mirror
Author: echonymph PM
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Snow White and she…wait, you know this story. Well, how about what happed after? When the mirror is found in modern day, four siblings unravel the secrets of the Grimm tale that never made it into the storybooks.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy - Chapters: 4 - Words: 7,632 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 10-11-08 - Published: 02-03-08 - id: 2471235
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Sorry this took so long to get up. I had it all written but then my flashdrive got a virus. To all those who are still interested after the delay, thankies! And keep reviewing!!-echonymph
Sitara lathered shampoo in her long jet hair, checking her wards once again to ensure that no unexpected ghostly eyes peeked in at her. It wasn't only that Mirror boy she was concerned about; she had felt several presences in this house since coming here, but they had yet to really reveal themselves.
Pinning her clean hair on top of her head, she absently put soap on her lufa. What was up with that Mirror boy anyway? She had heard of mirror slaves before—thanks to the Grimm brothers, who hadn't? —But the stories of the infamous Brothers Grimm hadn't originated in their minds. Thier stories were a collection of folk tales, which meant that some part of them, at least, was true. Could it be that the silly little mirror slave of the tail was true? Her father's grimuar made mention of Mirror Slaves, but they were usually demons and other evil spirits, not human's, and Rune was definitely a human. Had he done something terrible enough to warrant being put into the mirror?
She shook her head at her whimsy, but then she felt a hand washing her back that did not belong to her. She shrieked in surprise, whirling around. There, crouched on the floor was a poltergeist. This one seemed to be mostly human, but he sat like a dog, and his lower extremities were those of a canine, complete with a jaunty, wagging tail.
"Caught," he said sheepishly, smiling in a manner that was probably supposed to be ingratiatingly, but merely exposed his protruding jaw of dog fangs. He obviously expected her to scream and bolt from the shower.
Sitara placed her hands on her bare hips, soap and water still running down her exposed body. He had already seen it; there was really no point in hiding it. "What do you think you're doing?"
The poltergeist stared at her in open mouthed shock, quite at a loss for words. "I-ah-you're not afraid of me?"
She crossed her arms, "Are you able to change into a clown?"
"Um, no," he said, blinking as the shower water arching over Sitara's shoulder went right through his distorted form.
"Then; no. What is your name?"
The poltergeist blinked again. "Um, Earl."
Sitara nodded. "Okay. Thank you Earl; I can now specify my shields to keep you out." Then she picked up a bottle of shampoo and clonked Earl on the head with it. "And that's for sneaking in here you pervert!"
Rune and Manjit walked down the long, dusty hallway, in and out of alternating light and shadow from the floor-to-ceiling windows and their boarded up brethren. Rune was mildly shocked to see a faint silver cord winding from the other man's apparition, exactly like the one tying him to the Mirror.
"To Daruka," Manjit explained, noticing the direction of the mage's gaze. "After all, we were conjoined twins; his body is part of mine."
Before Rune had a chance to respond to this rather startling statement, another apparition flew through the wall next to them. It landed hard on the floor, sending clouds of dust flying, which was something a regular ghost couldn't do.
"Poltergeist," Manjit said in disgust. He walked over to where the creature was rising from his landing spot and picked him up by the scruff of the neck. "Let me guess, you decided to play a trick on Sitara in the shower," he predicted dryly.
The poltergeist got a dreamy expression on his face. "Oh, she's a tough one, but so worth it!"
Manjit looked a little ill, and a lot angry, "Dude, that's my sister!"
It shrugged, "Whoopsy. But you have to admit; what a body!"
Rune blushed. The dog spirit looked over at him in surprise. "They brought two spirits with them? Or, wait—I know your energy; you've been in this house longer than I have! You were trapped in that box in the attic! The Old Man used to agonize over you at night sometimes." He bowed deeply to Rune, despite that he was still being held in the air by a fuming Manjit, who looked ready to kill him all over again, "Earl's the name, trouble's the game."
"Rune," he replied, "Mirror Slave."
"Manjit; deceased family member," the Hindu put in cheerfully, dropping the poltergeist on its tail.
Earl lumbered over to the wall, ruefully placing his hands upon it. "Well, can't get in there again. Tough cookie."
"Tried to scare Sitara first? Not a good idea; you should have tried Amma," Manjit said, knowing full well his mother would exorcise him on the spot. "I don't think Sitara is scared of anything a ghost could do."
Earl leaned against the wall in resignation. "Actually, I tried the little blind girl first. Two steps into the room and she invites me to a tea party." He shook his shaggy head, "How's a ghost supposed to get any scaring done around here? Maybe I'm loosing my touch; even the blind girl knew I was there."
"She's not really blind," Manjit interjected. "At least, it's not that she can't see, it's that she doesn't see what we see. She sees auras only. Anything alive, anything magic, but she's likely to walk into walls or rocks...or traffic. That's why we have Isha to guide her."
Earl smirked "Isha and Asha, huh? But the twins' names sound nothing alike."
Manjit lifted an eyebrow. "I wasn't developed enough for them to think I had a mind, let alone a soul. I was never named while alive. Amma couldn't bear burying me without a name, even if I was supposedly just a parasite on my brother, so she called me 'light of the mind'—Manjit."
The poltergeist yawned. "Fascinating," he said.
"There you are!" Asha said happily, turning the corner. "Isha and I are having tea; you should join us." Skipping forward, she wrapped one tiny hand around the startled poltergeist's claw and the other around Rune's finger. "Come on," she giggled, starting to lead them back the way she had come.
"This is humiliating!" Earl protested to Manjit, who was following with a smirk.
"It's just a tea party," Manjit said mock soothingly. Earl glowered at him.
"I'll serve that cinnamon tea you liked so much last time," Asha told him placating, then turned to Rune, "He drank almost the entire pot."
Earl sputtered something as Isha came up from Asha's room, tail wagging. "Hey, gorgeous," he said to the dog, who headed to Rune, sniffing him eagerly.
"Sitara might join us later," Asha informed them once they were in her room, which was dominating decorating theme was pink, frilly lace.
"See ya," Earl commented, pivoting.
Manjit blocked his progress, arms crossed. "Come now, Earl. You're not afraid of my sister, are you? Weren't you just going on about how hot she is?"
Earl grumbled something as Asha showed Rune to a seat and handed him a cup of tea. Indulgently, Rune took a sip, and then almost choked when he was actually able to drink it. He looked up in surprise as Asha smiled sweetly at him. What was this little girl?
Sitara stuck her head out of the bathroom cautiously. No one. With a relieved sigh, she came out, drying her hair, only to stop short as she looked at the bed. On it, the cat from earlier that day lounged as happy as you please. She purred as she looked up at Sitara, rubbing her sleek head against the bed, tail gently curling.
"Hello there," Sitara said, sitting softly on the bed. The cat regarded her with lazy green eyes, rose and rubbed against her arm, her glossy black fur soft against her skin. Sitara smiled, lips closed in case the cat took the showing of teeth as a sign of aggression and caressed the feline's head.
"What's your name?" Sitara asked. The cat just looked up at her lazily, displaying the one mark on her entire black body; a perfect circle of white fur over her chest. Sitara smiled, "Like a full moon in a dark sky. How about Chandra? It's Sanskrit for 'moon.' What do you think?"
Chandra purred, rubbing her head against the girl's hand.
"Chandra it is."
"Sitara!" cried an unfamiliar voice.
The girl jumped, looking around. Her eyes finally fell on the idol of Shiva, or more precisely, the flame before the statue. Eyes narrowed, she cautiously rose, looking at the image of a young Hindu girl in the flame. "I am Sitara," she said.
"Thank goodness. I know this is a little sudden, but you have to get me out of here! They want to marry me off! They said I could go to school!" she added indignantly.
Sitara stared. "Basanti?" she said incredulously, finally recognizing the other girl from her letters. Basanti was her penpal, a Brahmin caste mage from India. "Where are you?" she asked, starting to get suspicious.
"I am on the back of an air dragon hovering over the area you said you were in. But I do not know where to land!"
Sitara sighed. "Hang on," she said. Looking up, she summoned a large mage light to ignite itself on the roof.
"Thank you," Basanti said gratefully.
Sitara shook her head. "Just don't land on the house." Looking at the cat, who was curiously gazing at the flame, she said ruefully, "Only my family. I'll meet you on the roof, Basanti," she added, then headed out of the room, shaking her head.