The Mirror Part 3

Posted by Mary Marvella | 6:51 PM | , , | 4 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

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Dusk had sent Sarah inside to light the oil lamps after she milked the two cows and fed the two horses, her only cattle.

From the barrel beside the back porch, she lugged buckets of rainwater to the kitchen, despite her screaming muscles, emptying them into a cast iron wash tub. With hot water from the warming tank on the wood stove, she warmed the bath. Once she gathered cloths and bath sheets and a clean gown she removed her clothes and eased her tired body into the tub. At last she could relax and pamper herself.

She sighed as she poured one bucket over her hair to wet it, saving extra buckets of water lined beside the tub for rinsing. Her single hoarded bar of lilac-scented soap made soothing lather as she soaped her hair, massaging her neck and scalp. If only she had someone to do this for her, like a mother, or a sister, or even a close friend.
But she lived so much of her life alone with her gardens and her shame as the motherless daughter of a bounty hunter. A woman without the charms and social skills to make friends or attract suitors, she had her few treasured books and her schooling taught her by her father and her older brother. She could read and she could cipher and she loved learning.

Deep in her reverie she soaped her body, giving attention to her arms and legs. Tomorrow she'd use more rain water to rinse her hair outside, if need be. But who would see her anyway?

Slushing her body with fresh water from the rest of the buckets she rinsed her hair and her body. Rising from the water she dried with a bathing sheet. Quickly she wrapped the length of fabric around her body so she could towel dry her hair. Once she had wrapped her hair in one sheet, she pulled her gown over her head, even though no one would be near to see her nudity.

Grabbing the clabbered milk she kept cool in the well, she poured enough to half fill a china bowl. Using the china pieces her father brought her made her feel closer to him. She crumbled corn meal bread, adding it to the milk in the bowl. Tomorrow she'd mix bread dough with the remaining flour and yeast and leave it out to rise while she did her morning shores.

She glanced at the mirror she'd left near the door earlier, but hunger and wet hair called her before curiosity and pleasure.

She sat at the rough-hewn table in the warmth to eat the light supper, avoiding the urge to look at her treasure. After she rinsed her bowl and glass in the dry sink, she sat on a short three legged stool by the stove, toweling drying her hair in the warmth to avoid catching a chill in the cooling evening air.

Exhausted, she began to doze in the warmth and was tempted to curl up on the floor and sleep. A feeling she was not alone nagged her awake. She'd get up and go to her bed. She filled a glass with cook water from the drinking bucket, she grabbed her pistol, and her shotgun, then started for her room. Something wouldn't let her stay while her mirror stood in the out of place. It should be in her room. As if it called her she decided she'd do one last thing. She dragged her mirror to her room, then left to turn down the wicks on the lamps and extinguish them.

One lone lamp lit her bedroom as she turned down the covers, and slid her gun under her pillow and her shot gun under her bed on the wall side where no one could get to it or between her and her protection. No intruder would get to her weapons and shoot her with them.

Moonlight cast the room in a cool glow when she extinguished her lamp. She crawled into her bed, settling between the cool bedclothes and drifted off to sleep.
The feeling she was not alone shook Sarah awake. For an eternity she lay, sweating under the covers but still, searching every shadow in the room for an intruder. She saw no one. It was clearly not time to rise yet but she couldn't shake the strange feeling.

She reached under her pillow and pulled out her pistol. Quietly she slipped from bed and padded to her door to listen for footsteps or movement in hall or the other rooms. Silence mocked her until something drew her attention to her mirror. Backing from her door she approached her new find. She looked at the glass, expecting to see a disheveled, plain woman. The vague outline of a man made her whirl around with her gun at chest level, cocked and ready to shoot the man behind her.

There was no man. How strange. Was she still sleeping and dreaming the man? She turned back to the mirror and saw the same image in the mirror. Even in the moonlight she could see the person was facing her, not behind her.

His dark hair and patrician features made him look like one of the relatives' portraits in her mother's trunk. The man could be from a hundred years ago or earlier. She closed her eyes and prayed the figment of her imagination would disappear. There could be no man reflected in her mirror or in her room.

4 comments

  1. Nightingale // May 22, 2008 at 9:37 PM  

    Mary, you're rocking with this one, but so did you with the others--I like this one because it's into my dimension. :-) Edna Mae was as good as was Angel.

  2. Mary Marvella // May 22, 2008 at 10:36 PM  

    Thanks, Linda. You are my cheerleader! I'm sending Edna Mae to the Maggie.

    I have enough for one more post on this story and then I'll be writing new stuff on this one.

  3. Nightingale // May 23, 2008 at 6:16 PM  

    Good luck but you don't need luck when you can write like Edna Mae and The Mirror and the others.

    Two bits, four bits, six bits an dollar, all for Mary stand up and holler!!!!

  4. Mary Marvella // May 23, 2008 at 6:51 PM  

    Girl, you made me smile! You are a talented writer and I love that you think I am.

    Big hug! Thanks for the birthday card, my first this year.