Story Time: Cygnus

We hope you enjoy today’s short story, and we will post another prompt afterward. Thanks for keeping up with us!

 

 

Cygnus

Gwen Cosmos

     She was a shadow behind her guests, watching them all with cat- like eyes.  Mirrors circled the room, reflecting the whole scene of dancers into another world. Inside that world, she saw the opportunity she needed. She flicked a finger and a spell shimmered on the tip. Touching the mirror, she watched as the spell ran through like a ribbon of sparks to the intended target. The glass rippled and out walked a woman who was the exact look alike of the one woman her son loved.

***

    The reflection glanced about the chamber. She took in the thin crowd and watched the dancers at the center of the room, among them was her double, clad in white. Her companion was the reflection’s target.

With little effort, she picked out a partner, who accepted her offer to dance with awe.  Together they made their way across the room. Large wild circles drew them closer to the center. As they danced people began to notice the grace with which she moved. They stared in admiration at the emotion and passion she placed into each step.

People around them soon stopped dancing to watch. As the reflection circled her partner, she glanced at the prince willing him to notice her. She forced her partner closer.  Suddenly, her foot caught on the graceless creature’s shoe and she fell to the floor. Her cheeks burned with embarrassment.

As she moved to get up, a hand was offered, “Are you alright?” A voice asked. Her head snapped up and she saw that it was the prince. She graciously took his hand and nodded, avoiding his eyes. He began to turn back to his partner.

“Oh, darling, why don’t you dance with her? I need a break and she just fell.”

The reflection looked up at her double in surprise but didn’t say a word as the Prince offered his hand and bowed. The music started up again and they began to dance. She moved fluidly, and he seemed to anticipate her every move. Time began to shift and it was like they were the only ones in the room. The gravity was pulling at them both, and she leaned in.  Their lips touched, and they slowed. He tried to pull away, but she grabbed his head and kept him in place, finishing the deed.

 

In her ears came the cracking of a heart like the snapping of twigs. She released the prince of his kiss and looked over his shoulder to see her double collapsed on the floor, dead. A smile played on her lips. Her job was done.

“Who are you?” The prince asked his eyes filled with horror.

She curled her elegant lips upward and leaned closer to him. “I am your heart’s desire,” She crooned, “I’m everything that she was and more.”

He stepped away from her, disgust in his eyes, “You are not her.” He said, “You look like her, sound like her, but you are not her.”

She chuckled, “I’m not even human.”

“Then what are you?”

“I am what you desire most.” She raised her hands to show off her body, “I am the woman lying on the floor over there. I am her and she is me. Twins of different worlds.” She reached out her hands to him, “Does it really make a difference?”

His eyes widened as something she said hit home, “It makes all the difference. She was flesh and bone. You’re nothing but a reflection.”

There was a cracking sound and a long jagged line ran along the mirrors. It spread out, like a black vine across the walls.

“What?” her eyes grew wide with panic, “What are you doing?”

“I’m rejecting you.”

The glass suddenly shattered and everyone screamed as the pieces burst from the frames. People crouched covering their heads from the dangerous shards.

When the glass stopped flying everyone turned to the center of the room, where a black glass swan lay, in pieces. He rushed to the girl on the floor and felt for any sign of life, but no breath escaped her lips.

With a shout, he ripped off his circlet and threw it away. It rolled to the center of the floor and spun until it landed on its side by the head of the broken swan. Bitter tears stung his cheeks as he took the girl in his arms and wept.

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