The Mirror by Amalie Esparza
It’s quiet today. Ever since the police came to the house the other day to ask about the disappearance of Rae Hudson things haven’t been the same. The once lively living room filled with laughter and friends soon turned into a place of sorrow and grief. Not only that but the whole Los Angeles neighborhood has become a big playground. Everywhere I turned all I ever saw were people yelling Rae’s name hoping to find her.
“RAE WHERE ARE YOU!”
Sort of reminded me of when we were kids and when we used to play hide-in-seek, which usually ended with me yelling, ”I GIVE UP!”
She was always good at hiding, but we’re not kids anymore and this isn’t a game of hide-n-seek. Rae is missing. I’m making my way home from the police station, the walks not that far but it seems like forever as I get lost in my thoughts.
“Do you have anything to do with the disappearance of Rae Hudson?”
“Do you have any idea who might have been involved?”
“Are you positive you didn’t play a part in Rae’s disappearance?”
The interrogation seemed to last for hours. Why would they think I had something to do with Rae vanishing? I mean she did spend the day at my house before she disappeared, so it’s only logical to interrogate the last people she hung out with. I finally reach the house, my mom is in the kitchen cooking dinner and grandma is at the table drinking her cup of coffee. Mom has been helping the Hudson family the best she can by participating in the search and knocking on the doors of neighbors asking if they’ve seen Rae. I mean who wouldn’t feel obligated to help with the search, especially when you’re the one who “lost” their child.
“How was your day?” Mom asks as she makes her way from the kitchen to me.
“It was fine,” I responded as she hugged me.
“What did they say?”
“Nothing really… They just asked questions about the investigation and if I knew anything about Rae’s disappearance.”
The room falls silent for a second.
“Okay… Well, dinner is ready so help yourself. I’ll be in my room.”
Mom leaves the living room and makes her way to the stair and eventually her bedroom.
“Your mom is very stressed,” my grandma says motioning me to the table as I find a seat.
“She feels guilty about everything, but it’s not her fault… it’s the mirrors,” she says pointing to the mirror near the staircase.
“The mirror?” I ask.
“The mirror,” she says, like it’s so obvious.
“Grandma… Did you take your meds?”
She looks at me in disappointment.
“You really don’t believe me.”
“Look grandma, I know I’m supposed to respect my elders and all but you can’t expect me to believe something this delusional.”
“Delusional?” she looks at me with a smirk, almost laughing.
“Your friend has been missing for two days now… and she never left the house when she disappeared.”
“You aren’t catching on are you…,” she sighs
“Meaning she disappeared while she was in the house.”
“Yeah but she could’ve snuck out through my window too, I mean-,” my grandma interrupts me.
“Your room is on the second floor, how do you expect her to get down from there without making a noise. Also, your mom installed cameras to the side of the house so your mother would’ve gotten an alert.”
“Listen to me!”
“Rae is in trouble and you need to go find her.”
I can see it on her face, she is serious about this.
“Okay but even so how would I go about it?”
I walk toward the mirror.
“It seems pretty sturdy to me,” I say, examining and knocking on the glass.
“That’s because you can only go through the mirror at night.”
“Now go get ready, you have a big night ahead of you.”
I go up to my room and start packing a backpack full of stuff I think I might need. Grandma knocks on my door.
“Come in,” I responded.
“I just wanted to check up on you.”
“You have everything you need?”
“I think so,” I say, trying to hold back tears.
“I love you, grandma,” I whisper as I hug her.
“I love you too.”
We make our way down the stairs to the mirror.
“You ready?” she asks.
I take a deep breath, think of what might await me on the other side.
I walk toward the mirror and look back at my grandma who gives me a reassuring nod. Closing my eyes I make my way through the mirror, it feels surreal. When I open my eyes I’m surprised by what I see. Trees surround me, along with weird-looking plants I’ve never seen in my life.
“I guess grandma wasn’t lying,” I murmured.
It’s morning here. I could’ve sworn it was night when I was at the house. But this isn’t my house, heck I don’t even think this is my world. I check my watch but it’s no use. The hands are spinning in opposite directions of each other and don’t seem to stop.
“Well, I guess I’m going to have to wing it,” I say walking forward.
Wing it? I think, stopping myself in my tracks. HOW AM I GOING TO WING IT IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS!! Okay…okay, I just need to calm down and find some locals, maybe they can help me. I follow the dirt path, it’s starting to get dark and I’m praying nothing pops out of the bushes to eat me.
“Hello,” a voice says to me.
I look around but nothing is there except for a black fog that seems to be growing bigger. I ignore the voice and turn around to follow the path, but am greeted by a scary being that resembles a black wolf. I’m shaken with fear as the beast walks around me with its smokey body.
“Where are you off to?” the beast asks.
Like I know the answer to that question.
“I’m trying to find my friend. Have you seen her?” my voice sounds shaky.
“Oh, you’re in search of the English girl with yellow hair,” he wags his tail in excitement.
“Wait, you know where she is?”
“Why of course I do,” he chuckles.
“Would you like me to take you to her?”
“Well in that case…”
Dark clouds form around the beast and he transforms into a man.
“Shall we?” he asks, extending his arm out to mine.
I take his hand and we make our way through the forest.
“So…” I say, trying to start a conversation, “what is your name? Mine is Dalilah.”
“It’s very nice to meet you Dalilah. My name is Hades.”
We continue our conversation and eventually reach a cave, which looks to be abandoned.
“She’s in there?” I ask skeptically.
“No,” Hades says, “I’m afraid she won’t be able to join us today.”
As I pull away from Hades, the mood changes and I can see saliva dripping from his mouth. “You know your friend wasn’t as trusting as you were,” he chuckles.
“She saw right through my act and ran away… but that didn’t get her far now did it?”
I’m overcome with fear and dread. Is Rae really gone? No, she can’t be.
“She is… and now it’s your turn.”
Hades quickly shifts back into a wolf and looks ready to kill. I start running, Hades right on my tail. After about three minutes of running, I trip on a tree branch and fall into a ditch. I try to get on my feet but am stopped by a familiar piece of clothing hiding in the mud. I look around and I’m horrified by what I see. The ditch is filled with the bones that looked to be of a human. Near them were patches of Rae’s clothing. Before I could scream Hades appeared over me, just a couple of feet away from the ditch. I hold my hands over my mouth, fearful to make any noise. For it would cost me my life. There is silence for a few seconds then the faint sound of paws running. I sigh in relief. I quickly get on my feet and start running, frightful that Hades will catch up to me. I reach what I think to be an abandoned stable and set up camp for the night. I wake up to soldiers holding me, dragging me by my arms. I try to fight them off but am overpowered by their strength.
“Where are you taking me?” I ask frantically.
They don’t respond as I continue to resist them, trying to get loose of their grip. A cool rush runs down my neck and my vision starts to blur. Did I pass out? I can’t see or move anything. All I can do is listen. I can hear the soldiers grumbling, the thumps of their boots, doors opening, and people talking. But knowing all of these things doesn’t help me figure out where I am or what’s going on.
“Is this the trespasser?” a voice asks.
“Yes, we found her near the stables when we were on our usual patrol.”
I can assume one of the soldiers is talking to the voice. Maybe the voice belonged to someone of higher power like a general. I slowly start to gain consciousness and open my eyes. To my surprise, I’m not in the presence of a general but a king. He stands from his throne and begins walking toward me in an almost majestic manner. He kneels down in front of me and stares for what seems like hours. He had black hair, tan skin, and scarlet hazel eyes that almost resembled flames. He extends his hand out to my face but I pull away. I can’t be so trusting of anyone after what happened with Hades. He gives a grimacing smirk then stands up.
”You’ll come around eventually,” he says walking back to his throne.
“Unbind her and place her in the west wing,” he commands the soldiers.
They both looked puzzled at him but didn’t question his authority. As soon as I am released from my chains, I bolt to the closest door.
“AFTER HER!!” the king yells.
By the time the soldiers could react I was already halfway toward the door. Just a couple more steps and I’ll be out of this place. I ran out the door and then… BAM! I’m right back where I started. I try to run away again but someone is holding me by my arm. It’s Hades.
“Your majesty,” he says bowing.
“I saw this ‘mutt’ running and I supposed she was yours,” his voice jeering.
“I’m no one’s mutt!” I yell at Hades trying to pull away from his grip.
Hades slaps me across the face.
“Do not speak unless spoken to!”
“THAT’S ENOUGH HADES!” the king orders.
“Yes, Calcifer…” he whispers barely loud enough to hear.
“I want you to escort her to the finest room we have. Make sure to lock the doors.”
“Yes, my king.”
Black smoke surrounds Hades and me, almost like a thick fog and we appear in a magnificent bedroom. I don’t have time to admire it before Hades pulls me close and whispers something to me.
“I will have you…” he begins, “one way or another you will end up like your friend.”
Hades then disappears, leaving me with my thoughts. How am I going to get out of here? I lost my backpack and this room has no windows, so what am I going to do? I try to think of ideas but am interrupted by a knock on my door. A maid? She walks into the room, picks out a dress from a drawer, and motions me to stand.
“What’s this for?” I ask, but she does not answer.
She begins to help me dress and continues not to speak. Once we are finished I thank her and she leaves the room. Not a second later I get another knock on my door. This time it’s a butler who is at the door.
“Hello my lady, my name is Sebastian. I’ve come to escort you to dinner with his majesty,” he says.
“I’ll pass,” I say, still annoyed at the king.
“I’m afraid you have no choice,” he continues, “those who disobey his majesty will not go unpunished.”
I look up to face him. He looked fine, to say the least, but his eyes showed fear. I extend my hand out to Sebastian and we make our way down to the dining hall. Sebastian sits me down across the table from where Calcifer is and leaves the room.
“Help yourself,” Calcifer says motioning to the table full of food.
I cautiously grab a slice of meat, inspecting it before I eat. Cal seems to notice and laughs.
“I have no intent in poisoning you.”
“If I wanted to you would’ve been dead already,” he laughs.
I stare at him in fear for my life. My face pale.
“Of course I wouldn’t do that t-t-to you of c-course,” he stutters trying to reassure me.
“Ahem so…” he begins changing the subject, “where are you from?”
“I don’t need to tell you anything.”
“At least tell me your name.”
“Dalilah. My name is Dalilah.”
”That’s a lovely name.”
“So Dalilah, how are you liking the palace?”
“Your castle is amazing but as for your friend Hades not so much.”
“I presume you’ve met Hades before?”
“He can be a bit harsh at times I know. After all, he is my advisor.”
After we finish talking, Calcifer escorts me back to my room.
“I ordered the servants to make it, especially for you. I hope they made it suitable to your liking.” “The dinner was fine,” I assured him.
Calcifer then takes my hand and gives it a gentle kiss.
“Sleep well, my lady. I’m sorry for any inconveniences my college and I may have caused you.” His eyes fixated on mine, refusing to blink in fear I might vanish.
For the next couple of weeks, Calcifer continued to visit me. He even gifted me a three-headed dog, who I named Cerberus. I’ve grown pretty fond of Cal but I still have a hard time forgiving him. His advisor killed my best friend. Calcifer takes me on a ride on Cerberus, who grew 10 stories since I got him. Together we all enjoy the sunset over the ocean. It looked so beautiful compared to the sunsets at home. Cal gently takes my hand and grabs something from his pocket. My life would forever be changed in only a matter of seconds.
“YOU PROPOSED TO HER!! THAT WASN’T PART OF THE PLAN! I ONLY HAVE A FEW DAYS LEFT TO LIVE AND IF I DON’T CONSUME ANOTHER HUMAN IN THE NEXT 2 DAYS I’LL DIE! ARE YOU REALLY CHOOSING THAT MUTT OVER ME?!”
“SILENCE!” Calcifer yells at Hades.
“Dalilah’s not a mutt,” Cal remarks.
“You’ll have plenty of time to find another human from the outside world by tomorrow.”
“No, you don’t understand!”
“I need that mutt if I want to survive!”
“Well that’s not my problem is it.”
Calcifer leaves the room. Hades’ heart is full of rage and vengeance. He will get back at Cal for what he had done. Cal enters our bedroom with a somewhat angry expression. Something seems to be bothering him.
“Are you okay?” I ask.
“Yes, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”
He gives me a light smile as he leads me to the balcony.
“The stars look beautiful tonight,” I say looking at the sky.
“Not as beautiful as you…”
I turn to face Calcifer, our noses inches away from each other.
“I love you,” he whispers, bringing me closer for a kiss.
His lips gentle and warm. I wish I could stay in this moment forever. Out of nowhere Calcifer falls to the floor. A blade is piercing his side.
“CAL ARE YOU OKAY?!” I panic as he winces in pain.
“Well well well what do we have here?” a voice asks.
“A mutt and her lover. What a pity your last moment together will be spent in vain,” Hades laughs.
I call for the guards and Hades starts to panic. Quickly he grabs me, taking me hostage as the guards enter the room.
“Let her go Hades,” Cal yells as he’s helped to his feet.
Hades and Calcifer stare at each other for what seems a while. Both refusing to submit to the other.
“Fine. As you wish,” he says as he jumps off the balcony, sending us both flying.
Is this really how I die? Will I ever get to see my family again? And if I don’t, how will my mom react?
“If I can’t have you, no one can.”
Hades’ words ring in my ear as I plummet.
“CERBERUS FETCH!!” Cal yells.
The once fresh air rushing past my skin now a mix of slobber and dog breath.
“DROP IT!” Cal yells, his voice muffled.
Cerberus then gently places me on the floor.
My vision goes dark and I pass out. Voices mush together and I can’t make out what anyone is saying.
“SEND HER TO THE E-!”
“WE’RE LOSING H-!!”
As I wake up I feel someone grab my arm. I start to fight them off, scared it might be Hades. “It’s okay, everything is fine now. It’s me, Cal.”
“CAL,” I cried.
“I thought you-”
“Nah I’m fine. It’s only a scratch,” he smiles trying to lighten the mood.
“Are you feeling better? You passed out in the courtyard. You’ve been asleep for the past three hours.”
“I’m feeling a bit better,” I say, lifting myself.
“Good. We have a big week ahead of us and I wouldn’t want you to miss anything.”
The next few days were filled with different plans for the wedding. It seemed like my schedule was never-ending. It’s the day of the wedding and I’m a total wreck. Maids fill my room, as they help me prepare for the ceremony. My hair is braided back into a bun and my gown was that of a queen. I thank everyone for their help and leave with Sebastian, who is supposed to walk me down the aisle. Bells ring and the townspeople cheer in celebration of the momentous occasion. “Are you ready?” Sebastian asks.
Music plays and Sebastian begins to walk me down the aisle. Calcifer stares from the altar admiring every step I take. Once I reach the altar the ceremony begins.
“You look stunning,” Calcifer whispers.
The ceremony continues and eventually, we reach the end.
“If anyone objects to this wedding, speak now or forever hold your peace,” the priest announces. “I do”, Hades says standing from his seat.
He almost looked to be on fire with the yellow smoke surrounding him.
“You don’t deserve each other. You barely even know one another!”
“True but who are you to tell me who I can and can’t love,” Cal responds.
“We will meet again, Calcifer. I will defeat you and your mutt!”
Yellow sparks then surround Hades and he disappears. Hades is gone.
“Well then…,” the priest begins, “ if no one else objects. I now pronounce you two husband and wife.”
Cheers fill the air as Cal and I make our way down the aisle. The castle throws a huge banquet for us and we invite all the townspeople. Once the banquet is over Calcifer and I make our way to the pond.
“I’m going to miss you,” Cal says.
“Why? I’m not going anywhere.”
“Oh, Dalilah… you really are naive aren’t you?”
He points to my upper arm, which was disappearing.
“It’s okay,” he says, giving me a sad smile.
“I don’t want to go,” I cried.
He pulls me closer to him.
“I love you Dalilah.”
“ I love you too, Cal.”
He kisses me once again but this time he’s not letting go. Yellow sparks start to surround me and everything goes dark. I walk up in a hospital bed. My mom and grandma praying right beside me.
She looks up at me with tears in her eyes.
“OMG MIJA YOUR OKAY!!” she yells.
“I thought I lost you.”
“What happened?” I ask.
“You passed out in the living room and hit your head hard on the floor, causing you to be in a coma.”
“How long have I been here?”
“About a week.”
“Did they find Rae?”
My mom’s eyes filled with tears.
“…she was found dead in the L.A. River.”
I’m not affected by the news but I still comfort my mother in her pain. Weeks pass and I return to school. I’ve made plenty of friends, but none of them can replace Rae or Cal. I asked my grandma about what she had told me about the mirror. But she has no idea what I’m talking about.
“I guess it was a dream,” I say to myself.
One night I decided to touch the mirror to see if it’d let me back in. But nothing happens.
“I wish you were both here with me,” I say sitting near the mirror as I fall asleep.
I then wake up to the sound of a familiar voice.
“Morning my love,” Cal says with a warm smile as he kisses me.
“But how?” I ask, pulling away in disbelief.
Cal shrugs as a maid walks into the room, the curtain covering her face.
“Your gown my lady”, a familiar voice says.
“Rae?” I ask.
“Yes, my queen?”
She pulls the curtain to the side revealing her face.
She looks back at me. Her eyes filled with tears.