|Time Through a Mirror
Author: Saphimire Karishnikova PM
Her mirror was her diary - it recorded her life story, the one between her love, her friend and their daughter. The story of the evil stepmother with the poisoned apple and her fall from grace.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Fantasy - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,355 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 12-18-08 - Published: 11-19-08 - id: 2598469
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The yawn threatened to break her jaw. She blinked blurry eyes and stretched comfortably, the sunlight falling steeply through her window. Getting up from her desk, she wandered over to her bookshelf. It was a mere fragment of her family's large library, but full of her favourites. Her finger ran happily across the spines, feeling justified in taking a short break from her lessons and homework.
Being the eldest daughter in a motherless house, the housekeeping responsibilities fell on her. The endless hours of going over numbers and details of the house was tiring, but she found it fulfilling and useful. She liked to be useful, if she couldn't be anything else. However, after looking over the books for an hour, she definitely wanted a break.
She plucked a thick volume from the shelf and settled into the cushions by the window. Leaning her head on the cool glass, she began to read. Soon after, her head, full of barons and earls and court life, slumped against her shoulder and the hand holding the book fell slack.
The stairs creaked outside the door and a young man poked his head into the room. A small smile flitted across his face and his expression gentled. Walking as silently as he could, he crossed the room and gathered up a blanket, draping it over the young woman. He smoothed a lock of black hair from her face and gently plucked the book from her lax hands, placing it with care – she would kill him if he didn't – on top of the desk. Seeing the mess of papers, the little smile deepened.
A blond head poked into the room while he was gathering up the documents and opened a pert mouth to speak, loudly no doubt. He quickly shushed her, pointing to the window, where a steady breath had misted the glass. They both shared a happy smile when the sleeper curled slightly into herself and made a contented noise.
Then something crashed. And the happy scene broke.
Aeolia jumped about a meter and fell off her window seat, scrambling and flailing as she got caught in the blanket. Trsytan (though he would deny it later) also jumped, before trying to help Aeolia out of her make-shift cage. Kalista gave a little shriek but, after ascertaining that Aeolia was in capable hands, her curiosity got the better of her and she went to go investigate. Aeolia sighed, waiting for Trystan to untangle her. Moving seemed to make it worse, but she chafed at the hinderance. If it was something expensive that had made that spectacular sound, then she would have to somehow hide it from her father. She shivered, her mind skittering away from that subject.
Soon, Trystan was helping her up, brushing her off, and she was dashing through the halls as fast as a respectable lady would, Trystan keeping close to her heels. Kalista was already there, of course, being the inquisitive youngster that she was, but the paleness of her face brought Aeolia to a slight panic. Kalista spent most of her days outside, so she was darker than she was supposed to be, and that pale face was out of place on her. Aeolia couldn't think of anything that might make her that way. Until she saw what had crashed.
Her mother had died when she was eight, so she still remembered hazy images, sounds, and feelings. She remembered smiles and laughter and the warmth of a welcoming lap. Faces and voices meandered through these memories, but she knew her mother's name was Sheyla and her mother's face was her face. She knew she had loved her mother and that her mother had loved her. But all this was eleven years ago, so the emotion, without nurture, had withered away. Her father, however, had had a lifetime with her mother, and Aeolia's uncommon likeness kept his love kindled until it had flared into obsession.
It was her mother's portrait that had crashed, the frame split into large chunks and splinters.
Aeolia gave a little gasp, before hurrying past Kalista to check on the image, making sure the paint had not chipped or broke. She went over it with an experienced eye, having stared at this portrait hundreds of times, enough to memorize most of it and be able to replicate it by memory. A relieved sigh escaped her when her check yielded no results, and she picked up the canvas carefully, making sure to keep pieces of wood away from it. Trystan came then, giving her an encouraging grin, before tugging the picture gently from her hands and carrying it to the empty space where Kalista had swept up the wood chips. A smile crept onto Aeolia's face and she laughed, suddenly, with a slight note of hysteria.
"Let's go on a ride to town today! I need to find another frame for Mother's portrait and I'm sure there is something we can do along the way!" She clapped her hands together joyfully, pulling on Trystan's arm and looping her other arm through Kalista's.
Kalista nervously chewed on her lip. "Are you sure it'll be alright? You know how Father is."
Aeolia flicked her friend on the nose. "Look at you, calling Father as if he were your own. Leave Father to me. Everything will be fine! Come on!" She laughed again, sure of life and friendship. She quickly closed the door to the room with the portrait and locked it swiftly and decisively. Father didn't have the copy of the key to that room, so she was safe for now. Pulling her two friends through the house, stopping only to make sure that the servants knew where they were going and to give instructions for the remainder of the day, she quickly reached the stables.
Trystan lifted his arm from her grasp, massaging it slightly. "You haven't lost your touch, Aeolia. Your grip is still as strong as ever. Your punches are probably just as hard too." Even though Trystan winked to take out the malice in his words, Aeolia frowned, discontent. Their governess had never really been able to teach her gentleness, though Kalista was once the prize pupil. But Trystan grinned boyishly, adorably, and Aeolia's frown disappeared. Well, it was all fun and jokes anyways.
They got the stablehand to saddle three horses, Aeolia's black mare eager and prancing, while Trystan's chestnut gelding waited, impatient but still, snorting. Kalista's white stallion had sidled over to Aeolia's Midnight and tried to grab her attention. But Midnight, being the ignorant animal she was, didn't notice him and trotted quickly over to her mistress. Aeolia reached out her hand and patted her prized ride on the star between Midnight's eyes. Feeding her a sugar cube she had scrounged from the kitchen a few hours ago, Aeolia lighted gently on Midnight's back, both legs swung to the same side, and turned to watch Trystan's Chocolate prance as his rider helped Kalista onto Truth. A frown briefly creased Aeolia's brow, before she wiped it off consciously.
Once Trystan was on horseback, they took their leisurely time down to town, bought the things they needed, ordered the frame to be brought to the house and hired a person to frame it, and took their leisurely time back up to the house. Trystan bid goodbye to the two women, and trotted to the house next to theirs. Aeolia and Kalista left Midnight and Truth in the stable, Aeolia slipping another sweet to her faithful companion, before slipping silently into the main hall. A quiet discussion with the butler revealed that Father was not home yet, having gone off to business right after breakfast. Both girls breathed a sigh of relief and made quick work of the mess in her mother's old study. They hid the portrait in Kalista's room, behind the cabinet, covered in a waxed cloth so that the paint would be preserved. Kalista then bid Aeolia good day and went to work in the garden.
Aeolia slipped past a couple of servants, carrying what seemed to be a new shrub for the front lawn. Leaving the garden to Kalista was always a good choice, as Kalista had what some people would call a 'green thumb'. Their gardens were renown for their beauty. Shaking her head to rid herself of unnecessary thoughts, Aeolia meandered, seemingly aimlessly, to the old watchtower and slipped unnoticed into a small alcove hidden in a corner of the tower. She pressed against the wall, and stumbled a bit, as always, when it gave way. Inching forward, she straightened as the entry opened to another, hidden hall, one she had stumbled upon when just nine years old.
She made sure that the entrance was closed shut. This was her territory and hers alone. Her steps sure and precise, she went straight to a certain room, the only room with no dust. The mirror was waiting for her.
"We went to town today. Mother's frame broke and I needed to purchase another one, so that Father doesn't find out."
"Your Father was not at home today?"
"No, he went out on business." A pause. "Enough about Father." An impatient hand."Trystan stuck to Kalista like a burr this time too." A sigh. "I don't know why I still love him. It's obvious that he loves Kalista, and that Kalista at least likes him tremendously."
"She does not love him in turn?"
"I don't know. She wouldn't turn him away if he asked though. He would be a good husband and I've raised her better than that."
"Yes, you have. I am sure she is eternally grateful to you." A smile.
Another sigh. "I don't want to get in their way, so I'll stay just their friend. And cousin."
"Whatever you think is best. I cannot possibly give advice on something I do not comprehend."
A grin. "The way he says my name makes me want to teach him pronunciation again. You are the only person - thing? - that makes my name sound so beautiful."
"Oh, is that true? He, your love, cannot say 'Aeolia'?"
"Say it again."
"Of course, Aeolia. Your wish is my command... Aeolia."
In her corner, directly across from the mirror, she curled up, content.