Story Time: Distorted Reflection

This story is a continuation of The Revenants. If you would like to read it from the beginning you can read the first part here and it’s second half here.

Happy Reading!

Leandra and Gwen

Distorted Reflection

Gwen Cosmos

 

Virion Adyros was here; she had seen him walk through this mirror. And no, it hadn’t been inside her head.

She couldn’t let him hurt her again.

The mirror glowed faintly before her, clouds of swirling blue rippling across its surface. It would be simple, in and out. The others would never know. She took a deep breath and stepped through.

She walked into a world made entirely of crystal and glass. The sky was silver, and the ground was covered in rough, translucent stone. Looking around, she spotted her quarry further in the meadow of jagged rock

Reaching for a dagger, her hand brushed silk and lace. She looked down and frowned. Instead of her normal trousers and shirt, she was in a white dress. A lock of her hair fell over her shoulder. She stared at it. That wasn’t how her hair was anymore. She kept it short.

Shaking her head, Yseph yanked two daggers from their sheaths, their weights familiar and comforting. She glanced back up only to find the meadow empty. However, before she had a chance to find her quarry again, sharp pain shot through her neck as teeth embedded themselves in her skin. She grunted in pain and stabbed upward and behind, cutting flesh. Her attacker groaned, and Yseph spun around to find Adyros right behind her, blood dripping from his lips and stomach, smiling.

She flipped her other dagger in her hand and slashed. He dodged, still grinning. Then she shot a foot up, kicking him in the head.  He sprung away, rubbing his jaw, and then turned and ran.

She wasn’t about to let him get away.

***

            Malcolm heard the canary’s chirping before he surfaced from his dreams. It continued as he forced his eyes open. Something was wrong. He rolled out of bed, grabbing his robe as he walked into the hallway.

The canary was perched on a beam, glowing yellow in the darkness. “Show me,” he told it, and the little bird flew straight to Yseph’s door.

He walked up, noticing an odd glimmer in the air. It shimmered like oil in water, leaving a trail that lead towards the attic stairs.

With a curse under his breath, he ran to wake the others.

***

       The Revenants, minus one, gathered at the base of the attic stairs, girdles and armor hastily put on over rumpled night clothes.

“Yseph’s missing, and Malcolm thinks she’s been trapped by that mirror,” Donneric surveyed his team, assessing their readiness

“I thought someone was supposed to be taking care of it?” Marigold interrupted, pulling her strawberry-blonde hair into a ponytail.

Malcolm looked away from the group. “I’ve been busy with other things.”

Donneric cleared this throat. “We can place blame later; it won’t get Yseph out-only teamwork will. Malcolm, we’ll need tethers, so you’ll have to stay outside.”

Malcolm nodded.

“Outside?” Yvonne asked, tucking a strand of hair behind a pointed ear.

“This mirror traps people inside of itself until they waste away, and then it feasts on their souls.” Donneric sighed. “If it has Yseph, then we’ll have to go in to get her back.”

“And what will be waiting for us?” Yvonne bounced on her toes, hands itching for her swords and the upcoming fight.

“No idea,” Malcolm rubbed at the scar around his neck. “You’ll be going in blind. The mirror changes as it pleases”

“So be prepared for anything,” Donneric concluded, opening the door to the attic.

A cold breeze rushed down to greet them, and together they marched up the stairs to their target, its swirling blue surface distorting their reflections.

Marigold was the first to step forward. “Good thing it’s only a mirror.”

Donneric walked up beside her and turned to Malcolm. The mage cast his spell as they charged through the swirling cloud. There was a glitter of light as they entered, and a gold rope extended back to Malcolm. Yvonne stood back, drawing her swords. A translucent gold thread had also wrapped itself around her waist.

“You swear this will hold?” she asked, gesturing to the tether.

Malcolm nodded. “I promise I’ve got you. Just give it a tug when you find her.”

Yvonne let out a shaky breath and ran in.

***

   Adyros glanced over his shoulder, slowing his pace. He must be tiring. Yseph pushed herself faster, stabbing forward with a dagger just for him to sidestep. It was too late to stop herself, and she fell into the gaping hole he had hidden with his body.

Yseph’s daggers spiraled down past her as she reached desperately for a handhold, gritting her teeth as her flesh slid across jagged crystal, until, at last, she was able to catch one and stop her fall. Her knees crashed against the side, but she didn’t let the pain stop her from swinging her feet up and finding her footing. He was looking down at her. He couldn’t escape again. She started to climb

The dress tore as she moved, getting caught on the jagged rocks. Her hands were slippery with blood and sweat, but her grip was strong and her progress steady. Adyros never moved, just sneered down at her from above. After what seemed liked forever, she finally swung a hand over the ledge and out of the hole.

Immediately, his booted foot came down, crushing her fingers. She hissed as the bones ground against themselves and the hard, uneven surface. Angrily she grabbed his leg with her other hand. He lifted his leg to try to shake her off balance, but she was too fast. She kicked her herself up onto the ledge and sprung up behind him. Then, she pushed him down into the hole in her place.

Her body shook as she watched him fall, and he screamed when he hit the ground. The crystals began to shake with his voice, and, by the time he had quieted, the cave was collapsing. It was only then that she realized her prey was not Adyros himself but that accursed, trickster mirror…and now she was going to die with it.

And then she felt the hand on her shoulder.

“Let’s get you out,” said Marigold, tightening her grip on Yseph and pulling on the tether.

The Revenants were taken off their feet as the world rushed past in a blaze of light and pain. They all fell out of the mirror in a spray of glass and landed in a pile at Malcolm’s feet.

They lay there, catching their breath.

“Are our adventures always going to be like this?” Yvonne said.

Malcolm reached over and helped her to her feet. “Yes. Is everyone alright?” He offered a hand to Yseph.

She ignored it and got up herself. She no longer wore the white dress, her hair was back to normal, and her hands were clear of blood again but now that the excitement was over, she felt the night’s events crash over her. She wanted to be alone. “Thank you for saving me,” she announced to them all, “I’m fine; I just need rest.” She left the attic and fled to her room.

Marigold yawned, getting to her feet and dragging Donneric up with her.

“Good job everyone.” Donneric patted Yvonne on the shoulder. “Go get some sleep.”

“See you all the next time I open my eyes,” Marigold announced and marched down the stairs.

Donneric patted Malcolm on the back as well and followed.

“Thanks for the tethers.” Yvonne said as, she too, headed to bed.

“It was nothing,” Malcolm replied, staying to look over the broken mirror.  The shards lay dully on the floor, but the faint glow of magic still shimmered in the air. Hopefully that would fade by morning. If not, he could worry about it tomorrow.

 

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