It gets better than this, promise. But, this chapter was necessary for the plot. Also, thanks Complex Variable for your review! *hugs*

Chapter Five: Are You There

Arissa blinked her topaz-colored eyes open and yawned. Stretching, she climbed out of bed and made her way to her vanity. Then, it all came back to her. Gasping, she recoiled away from the mirror as if she had just been smacked. Averting her eyes, the princess suddenly became very interested in the pattern of her carpet. Slowly, her more adventurous side getting the best of her, Arissa raised her eyes to the mirror before swiftly bringing them down. Wait! There had been nothing there….. the princess raised her head, more confident this time, and stared straight into the glass. Nothing. Furrowing her brow, she tentatively tiptoed across the remainder of the room and pressed her hand against the glass. Nothing happened. Shrugging her shoulders, Arissa wondered if she had just imagined it all. She was starting to think that it had all been a dream…. a very long, very scary dream, when she heard a sharp knock at the door.

"Come in." She heard herself say. Arissa started walking across the room, towards the door, slowly, as if making her way through water.

Her father appeared, two male workers flanking him. "You're awake, Arissa." He smiled, "I brought these men here to take away that despicable mirror. I would hate for something so traumatizing to happen to you again, dear. It shall be burned immediately."

"No!"

The king blinked, taken aback. "No?"

"I'm sorry, father. I did not mean to be so…. loud." Arissa blushed, "It's just that… I want to keep it. That's all. I must have imagined the whole thing."

"Well, if you insist…." Titus trailed off,

"I do." She nodded, "I'm sorry to have caused so much trouble, father. It 'twas rather silly of me, I suppose. It was probably nothing."

"It's no matter, Arissa. I just want you to be safe." Her father assured her.

The princess smiled. "Thank you," Looking down at her nightgown, Arissa blushed. "Um... I'd better go change…"

"Taking the hint, Titus gestured for the two workers to go. He nodded to her as he left, "Take care, Arissa. I shall look forward to having lunch with you."

"Yes, father. Until then." And, with that, Arissa closed the door, sharply.

It wasn't just her imagination. She was sure of it. She HAD seen it. That mirror…. it really HAD done something… then why hadn't she let it been removed? Arissa didn't know why, but she felt a strange protectiveness towards it. As she turned back around to face it, she could've sworn there was a strange rippling in it. But, then it was gone.

'It's probably just my imagination.' She thought,

She slowly walked towards it and sat down on the vanity stool. "Look, I told my father not to touch you." She said in a whisper, "I said it was all just a dream…. but I know that it wasn't. I don't know why, but I can't bear to see you go. I feel…. drawn to you. Now, that I've gotten over the initial shock of someone inside my mirror, I'm not scared of you at all. So, whoever's in there, if you're listening, I want to talk.

I'll try to update faster for now on. :) ~ MF