The Deal

"I'm sorry, Mr. Rune, but your mother…" The officer scratches his head awkwardly. The teen staring back at him did not flinch. He sighs and tries to get the picture straight, as it was a short straw that condemned him to reveal the truth to the changeling boy. As a juvenile officer, he, and the others, is wary of this strange boy whose father died so mysteriously. A changeling boy cast out in society, never fitting in.

"Yes," Evan replies; his voice is even and his gaze steady. He does not let any emotion break through his incredible façade, as it is a sign of weakness in his mind.

"Well… you see, your mother was travelling from here to Listor City…"

"I know," the boy says. "She was going to deliver some manuscripts to the Library."

"…And… um… she's not going to be coming back. She was attacked by a monster on the way back." Awkwardly, the officer hands him a neat typed paper regarding the accident and hastily makes his retreat. The door slams and Evan turns back to the house – his house now – and collapse to the ground. No tears fall, but his shoulders shake violently. He is a boy who never cries out loud, but even people like that still must cry.

"Poor, poor Evan, all alone now."

He turns slowly and stares at the window. Sunlight drifts down and illuminates the world below, as it always does and always will. Like a zombie he walks through the halls, to the room that drew him nine years ago. The mirror was no longer shattered and fading, but new and glossy; as it had been at the first encounter. Elle, aged to his own, stands inside and waves back. She was still the image inside the glass, unreal but living; the ghost that haunts him forever.

"What. Do. You. Want." He says through his teeth. She is the last person he wants to see then, but she was also, he knew, the person that he needs to see the most. In every human there resides a little alarm that goes off when one feels that history is being made. Currently, Evan's little alarm is going off the hook.

She shrugs. "I don't know, but I think you know, don't you, Evan. I'm just a girl in a mirror."

He thinks for a moment, looks down to see his mother's death-notice, and looks back at her unchanging gray eyes. "My mother…"

"Died an unprecedented death."

"Can you…" He grips the paper so hard it wrinkles and crumples to a ball. "Avenge…"

"Of course I can, Evan," Elle says. "I'm much more powerful than I seem."

"Then…"

She can do it, he thought. She can right this wrong that has been done to me, she can set my mother's soul free. Evan's thoughts are not always logical, nor are they valid arguments. But the heart takes over when the mind has weakened, making decisions that one will regret in the end.

Elle clicks her tongue impatiently, as if she can see the inner turmoil and conflicts in his brain. She knows what is going to happen, and is waiting for it like a cat stalking a limping mouse. "Is it a deal? I need to have it official to get out of this mirror."

He considers his options. There is nothing to lose from letting her out, no matter how malevolent she seems. A memory flashes back, one of his childhood ones. The first time he met Elle; his mother freaked out and banned him from the mirror. Can it be… no, this was for his mother. She died and left him alone, the best thing he can do is avenge her death.

"Deal."

She smiles and reaches out a hand. Evan expects it to be stopped by the mirror, but it goes through and turns into a shadow. It reaches towards his face, and then quickly strikes, knocking him to the ground. His face feels like its on fire, and then it goes ice-cold. Through his one good eye he sees Elle step through the mirror, into real life.

"I'll be back," she smiles, before disappearing into thin air.

She'll be back.

The next morning, Evan finds a monster's head on the doorstep. The blood has dried around its neck, and yet the eyes are still alive, burning with hatred and a passion to live. There is a scar the shape of an E carved in the forehead. What should he do with it? Mutilate it, avenge his mother's death some more? Make it a grave? Just leave it? One thing for sure, Elle had kept her word. His mother's soul can now rest in peace, her adversary dead.

In the end, Evan dumps it in the river for someone else to find.