The Magic Mirror (Part four)

Posted by Mary Marvella | 4:54 PM | 2 comments »

Refer to parts one and two in earlier posts.
Part one
Savannah 1700
Cocky, full of himself Jonathan Saint James screwed around on his betrothed, Cassandra one time too many and she shoves him into a mirror where he becomes trapped.

Part 2
Rural Georgia 1875. Sarah tends the family farm alone when her father travels as a bounty hunter. While working in her herb garden she spots something shiny in the woods and investigates, fearing the shine is the sun glinting from a gun. Once in the woods she finds a Cheval mirror and drags it back to her house.

Part 3
Exhausted after a long day working, Sarah has her supper, then washes her sore muscles in the room with the mirror. She sleeps but is awakened by the feeling someone is in the room with her. She grabs her shotgun and rises to an empty room. A glance in the mirror shows a faded image of a man, but he disappears, as she expected. There could be no man in her room or in her house.

Part 4

One eyelid fluttered open a slit to look into her mirror. The image was faint and fading. She opened both eyes to see an even fainter image disappear. Her own ghastly reflection still held her gun at chest level pointing out at her. She lowered the weapon, feeling foolish. She'd go back to bed and sleep away the disturbing memory, for it couldn't be real.

Sarah crawled back between the sheets and tried to settle into a comfortable position and sleep. She tossed and turned but sleep alluded her, so she was awake to see the earliest morning daylight creep in through her windows.

Giving up on sleep she rose to do her morning chores and forget the foolish imaginings.

Sarah worked from dawn 'til dusk, as she did every day but her thoughts were often on the treasure in her bedroom and the strange dream. The face in the mirror had to be a dream or a trick of the moonlight reflecting in it. Maybe tonight she would have time to read a few pages in one of the treasured books her daddy brought last month.

Sweat trickled down Sarah's face, pooling between her breasts, but she pulled weeds between the rows of herbs. After her noon break she would move to the vegetable garden.

"Seems like my work is never done," she muttered to hear her own voice. Some days she spoke not at all. She hadn't seen anyone for at least a week. "Maybe that's why I thought I saw a man in the mirror," she said.

Each time she straightened to ease the pain in her back she shaded her eyes and stared out at the wooded area to her north, where she had found her mirror. Of course she was just being cautious, so she turned slowly in a circle to study the pasture and hills and every place any one could approach her land or hide and watch her.

When the sun shone straight overhead in a cloudless blue sky she stopped working and stood to survey her efforts. Her herb garden looked neat and clean. Stiff, she ambled to the well and drew a bucket of water. As was her habit, she poured a dipper of water over her sore hands, then her kerchief to wash her face. Just yesterday she had found her mirror. No flashes of light indicated metal or glass in the distance. She hadn't expected either.

Hungry, she pulled a second rope from the well and drew a bucket holding blackberries and a jar of milk. After a light lunch she returned to her work, this time using a hoe to weed the vegetable garden. Soon she'd have fresh vegetables and could stop rummaging in the bins in the root cellar for dried up carrots and potatoes for her stews.

As dusk approached, she made her way up her front steps to the wraparound porch.

#####
After supper Sarah took a bucket of water to her room to fill the pitcher on her washstand and the basin so she could wash up. After last night's restless sleep, she'd need a good rest. Maybe she wouldn't take the time to read.

In the light of an oil lamp she removed everything but her shift. She dipped a bathing rag in the basin and washed her face and hands. Lord, that felt good. She made a point to avoid the big mirror as she washed her arms and shoulders. From the books she'd read she knew she should feel be ashamed of the tanned skin of her large hands and forearms. She had seen her brown skinned reflection in the glass window panes and knew the women in town looked away from her when she shopped at the dry goods store or dared to attend a church service. Well, if they had to work outside all the time, they wouldn't have the milky skin of the women in her books.

2 comments

  1. Misc. Muse // May 26, 2008 at 6:29 PM  

    good story!!

  2. Mary Marvella // May 27, 2008 at 2:48 AM  

    Thanks! I enjoyed writing this one because it's different for me.