"G-guys?" warbled Bianca nervously. "Did you just see what I think I saw?"
Adrianna and Adelaide stared wide-eyed at the mirror.
"Please tell me I'm dreaming," begged Adelaide. "I always sleep, don't I?"
"You're dreaming," said Adrianna, sounding shocked as Adelaide let out a relieved sigh.
"Phew! I knew it!"
"But I'm lying," added Adrianna.
"Thanks," muttered Adelaide sarcastically.
"We've got to do something!" said Bianca abruptly. "But what'll we do?"
"Go to the police!" answered Adrianna. "They'll solve it, I hope! Isn't that their job?" She shivered. "I think I'll be scarred for life, and I am so not forgiving Ebony if this is some practical joke."
"How could it be?" said Adelaide. "And think, Adrianna, think. I know you can do it. What'll we tell the police? Oh, Adrianna had a crush on the guide so we sneaked into the castle and Ebony disappeared in a flash of gold light into a mirror? I get a feeling that the people in white coats'll become our good friends!"
"Well, it's better than doing nothing!"
"I've got an idea," said Bianca, "but it's totally crazy and we probably shouldn't do it."
"Okay, now you know we want to hear," said Adrianna accusingly.
Bianca shrugged, "Your problem. How about we investigate?"
"No!" protested Adelaide. "Look how much trouble we're already in! Do you want to get in more?"
"How about one of us just touches the mirror?" suggested Adrianna. "Then, if something happens… something will happen."
"'Something will happen'?" repeated Bianca. "Wow, what a great conclusion. Er, who'll touch the mirror?"
There was a noticeable lack of speech.
"I volunteer Bianca!" cried out Adrianna.
Bianca glared witheringly at her. "Wow, Adrianna. I feel so loved. What a nice, kind, caring friend you are. I could just die of the love in here."
"Thanks," retorted Adrianna. "Didn't know you were suicidal."
Adelaide, shaking, muttered, "Shut up, guys! Look in the mirror!"
Adrianna and Bianca complied.
"What's happening!?" screeched Adrianna, Bianca looking as though she completely agreed. "That's so not what the castle looks like!"
"Exactly!" agreed Adelaide. "It's as though we're seeing the castle in its prime! This is not happening!"
"It can't be!" said Bianca. "But it is! This castle is so screwed!"
"Okay, you know what?" said Adrianna. "I am going back. I think I've had enough of this freaky, haunted castle. Are any of you coming with me?"
"Way," nodded Bianca fervently. "You are coming with us, right, Adelaide?"
"Are you kidding? There's no way I'm staying in here all alone."
Bianca, leading the way, glanced through the darkened niche.
And promptly proceeded to scream after jumping back.
"What? What's wrong!?" screeched both Adelaide and Adrianna, made nervous by Bianca's outburst.
"Then why'd you scream?" asked Adelaide, puzzled.
"You don't get it!" insisted Bianca. "There isn't anything!"
"Anything? As in, there's nothing there?" questioned Adrianna. "Wacko."
"I-it's all black! My foot just went out and there wasn't any floor!" explained Bianca nervously.
"What? Let me see!" ordered Adelaide.
"Do you see anything?" asked Adrianna breathlessly, her view obstructed by her two other friends.
"Nothing," answered Adelaide.
"Nothing? As in, there's nothing there to be scared of? Or there isn't anything at all!?"
"N-nothing!" Adelaide shuddered, cringing backwards, and Adrianna jumped up eagerly to see.
She immediately wished she hadn't.
Everything outside the room was black, a type of darkness that was definite and… just there. This was a type of darkness Adrianna had never experienced before, a black that was by far darker than the blackest shadows she had ever seen. At home—for this certainly could not be in the same world they had once been in—the darkness had been shallow, see-through. It hadn't been black, it had been gray, with varying shades and degrees of darkness.
But this was black.
"Get away from it!" she screeched, collapsing backwards and taking Bianca with her, who seemed frozen with fear. "Bianca, why didn't you get away from it!?"
Bianca was pale and shivering. "R-remember? I'm scared of the dark."
Adelaide looked sympathetically down at her. "That's the only thing you're scared of, right? You're not scared of heights, water, anything—anything but the dark. C'mere, let's get away from it."
Adrianna glanced around. "Whoa! Look at the window!"
It was still looking over the same meadow they had been in, and students milled around the guard like ants swarming around their prey. She walked over, gingerly putting her hand out the window and gasped as her arm disappeared.
Adelaide shivered. "What's happening!?"
Bianca closed her eyes and opened them after a long moment. "Okay, this is demented. This is so not happening. Is it all the stupid mirror's fault?"
"I—I think," muttered Adelaide. "I mean, nothing weird happened until Ebony disappeared, right? Maybe… the mirror got activated or something by Ebony's blood."
"Eww," commented Adrianna. "That is so gross! Is that mirror, like, a bloodsucker or something?"
"I think that's the least of our worries right now!" pointed out Bianca nervously. "I mean, we're kind of stuck in some alternate dimension thing in a room with no food, no water, no communication, and a mirror from hell!"
"You're right," muttered Adelaide. "But… how'll we get out?"
Adrianna glanced around, avoiding the mirror. "Jump out the window?"
"Like suicidal freaks? We're not that desperate!" protested Bianca. "Look… I'll touch the mirror and we'll see what happens, okay?"
Adelaide and Adrianna stared solemnly.
"Umm… this probably isn't the time to ask," began Adrianna tentatively, "but, if you die and we get back, can I have all the clothes in your wardrobe?"
Once more, Bianca glowered contemptuously at Adrianna. "You know what? Just to spite you, I think I'll give them to Adelaide."
Wrinkling her nose, Adelaide said, "Ew. I'm not a slut."
"Thanks," said Bianca, rolling her eyes. "I'm going to die in the company of people like this. I really did something bad, didn't I?"
"Probably," said Adrianna nonchalantly. "But seriously." Now, her eyes were solemn. "I really like you Bianca, and not as a lesbian, so don't you dare think that, and I want you to know that you're, like, one of my best friends."
Adelaide nodded. "Yeah. We don't show it, but we love you."
"Ew!" protested Bianca. "You're getting all mushy! And you know I hate mushy stuff!"
Adrianna and Adelaide laughed, but both stopped suddenly when the noticed Bianca trudging nearer to the mirror.
"Good luck!" said Adelaide, sounding nervous.
"Ditto!" agreed Adrianna, her voice high-pitched.
"I don't need it," replied Bianca disdainfully. "You know everyone loves me. Let's just hope I can work my magic on the stupid mirror as well."
Bianca touched the mirror.