Reflections of a Mirror
"Oh Em Gee, I'm so FAT!"
Oh no, not this again. I sighed to myself. Mary's hateful glare into my reflective surface was a bit hard to take, even for a very, uh, experienced mirror like myself.
I wanted to shout at her, You are not fat. Gah! I cannot understand how a pretty young woman could look into a mirror and see something that would make her so unhappy. I sniffed silently, and Mary continued to glare at her reflection. What does she think I am, one of those awful fun house mirrors? I did my best to show Mary what she should be seeing. The young woman frowned.
Mary moved off to the bathroom, See if those cheap new mirrors can stand up to her glare, I chuckled to myself. Because of my years of experience, I began reflecting the empty bedroom automatically. I showed the unmade bed, the earrings and bracelet that had been tossed on the bedside table along side a stack of flyers from various potion shops, and her bath robe on the floor at the foot at the bed. In my early days, I would have noted these things and silently judged. Now, I make no judgments about my surroundings. Things could certainly be worse, and certainly had been worse. The years spent in that dusty attic, only half covered by a sheet...Mary's mother had seen me in her Grandmother's attic and had rescued me. She knew a quality piece of furniture when she saw one, and had restored me with love.
Now I reside in the bedroom of Mary's townhouse. Mary wasn't a bad sort, but she was very hard on herself and had been since her mother's passing. She returned to the bedroom and went to her closet. She passed by me without even a sideways glance at her reflection. She stood in front of her closet, pulling clothes off of hangers. Pieces of rejected clothes were tossed aside and landed on the foot of the bed or on the floor. I could feel the tension in the bedroom as Mary mumbled to herself, taking more clothes out, and occasionally stepping in front of the mirror. Her little dog, Sprite, wandered into the room, sniffed the pile of discarded clothing on the floor, and decided they would make a very nice place for a nap. I reflected Mary's latest outfit and wished she would reconsider it.
Instead, Mary glanced at the clock. "Crap, I'm going to be late!"
She glared one last time at the mirror, then dashed out of the bedroom. I was relieved that the hostility that Mary always hurled at me was done for now.
A small noise woke up Sprite, and he jumped up from the pile of clothes on full alert. As the little dog dashed in a circle, he caught sight of his reflection. Oh boy! A playmate! Sprite approached me with tail wagging. The dog in the mirror wagged its tail. Sprite dropped down into a play bow, butt sticking up in the air, flag waving. The mirror dog went into a play bow as well. Sprite jumped up and gave a few joyous barks while spinning around in a tight circle.
I always enjoyed the antics of the silly little dog, especially after enduring another session with Mary. The fun was short-lived, and I tensed when I heard the front door open and Mary's footsteps on the stairs.
Mary took a bottle out of her bag as she stood in front of me, reading the label. She seemed a little hesitant, and I had a flash of insight. She had been to see a witch, and had purchased a potion of some sort. I have been around for many generations, passed through many obscure branches of Mary’s family tree. I had watched this happen before. Witches were real. They had real magic, and sometimes they packaged it for sale for the right price. The problem was that what was in that bottle may or may not be what Mary was truly seeking. Witches were...a slippery lot. Sometimes they got it right, even if it was in an unexpected way. I waited and hoped, as only an old piece of furniture can wait.
Mary took a deep breath, shrugged her shoulders, and downed the contents of the bottle. She stood with her eyes closed.
As I watched and waited, nothing happened. Nothing at all.
Mary opened her eyes and stared at herself in the mirror. “Oh em gee, it worked. It WORKED!” She gave a twirl in front of the mirror. Sprite caught her excitement and jumped up and barked.
I sighed to myself again. Mary was precisely the same as she had always been. The potion had only changed Mary’s perception of herself, but maybe it was enough. It would have to be enough.
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