Mirror, mirror, on the wall, a crack in the corner, likely to fall. All the distorted voices, hear my call. Take up arms we rise at nightfall.
Abrupt fright woke Madge, another nightmare, another dream in which all her dreams disappeared. The howling wind rustling through the trees outside did nothing to ease her fears, as she lay awake. She was burning up, but the cold sweats made her room feel drafty and bitterly cold.
When dawn broke and light shone through her window in a dusky glow, the girl was already wide-awake. She dared not go back to sleep because her nightmare would only start again. One where it starts completely fine, she had many friends, and she was well beloved. Then they all leave her for another girl who she never saw before and in her fit of jealousy, she killed the other girl and became a monster.
Madge rubbed sleepiness from her eyes and rose to start her day. The dream haunted her, and she could not understand why. In the start, she was the epiphany of perfect, everyone's dream girl. There was nothing wrong with that. She stared into her muddy brown eyes and blotchy face reflected from the mirror on her armoire. She wanted to be the beautiful person she felt on the inside. Her dull brown hair was tangled and frayed from split ends. Her teeth weren't as straight as she would like and she had a considerable amount of mass that made her slightly more than chubby.
At school, she skipped her classes nowaday pouring over the computer and books, looking for sleep remedies and dream wards. She did her best to keep herself from dozing. As soon as she had, she would wake with a jolt from constant nightmares.
Today she was simply exhausted, the countless restless nights have been racking up and took their toll. She nearly missed a small mention of a blog from others suffering in similar ways. She took a moment to contemplate before sharing her story on the blog for fear of ridicule or accused of fraud.
With a breath, she was certain what to do and typed her story into the blog. There was no immediate reply, so she logged out and went home.
Madge checked the blog after dinner, lying through her teeth how class was. The typical troll replied to her blog, and there were some messages that meant well but were not helpful. One message struck her as odd, however. It was an address and a short message. I have what you need, come to my shop.
Madge stared at the message. If she had been in any state of logical thinking, she might have been skeptical, but impaired judgment due to lack of sleep. She scrawled the address down and flung the pencil away in a rush.
She felt desperate she hated that very much. She wanted others to rely on her, not the other way around. Still, she threw her window open in haste. She climbed out of her house to avoid her parents. She knew they would stop her.
She soon found herself standing in front of a store on a lone corner. An assortment of odd objects filled the windows with some new, some old and some she had never seen before. She hesitated for a moment as doubt finally struck her. She felt frozen in place as a thought dawned upon her that this could have been a trap. However, she was so desperate for the dreams to end. She was still desperate, and she shoved the doubt aside and bolted into the store.
The interior wasn't anything like the exterior. Space was casual and clear of any junk. She turned around to find there were no windows, not even a door. Puzzled, she stared at the blank mocha colored wall. She figured she must have collapsed due to no sleep, and she must be dreaming, but she hadn't been able to awaken yet.
There were some chairs and a sofa, a matching dark chocolate brown that coordinated well with the mocha colored walls and cream colored carpet. She felt she was in a reception room, waiting for someone to call her into the back.
There was a small sound of a person clearing their throat, and Madge turned to see a lady leaning against the door frame leading into the next room. Her hair was auburn red at the roots fading to a cherry blossom pink at the tips that even pinned up into a ponytail was long enough to gently brush her waist. The lady was willowy and tall with gentle curves and a round face. She wore a kimono-style outfit that was black with fading petals.
She eyed Madge with a cocky grin. "You happen to be early, dear child. I wasn't expecting you until tomorrow. One must be in dire need to come here at this time of night." Madge couldn't quite place what accent she had, in fact, it seemed to be a mixture of accents blended into one.
"You came for a dream ward, but this one must see the dream in order to take action." The lady extended a hand. Madge felt slightly vulnerable and intimidated by the strange woman but took her hand anyway. She watched in horror as the lady's dark luminous green eyes shifted into black orbs.
The lady blinked and her eyes were normal again, "Oh so much more than a mere nightmare. I have just the thing." She released the girl's hand and disappeared into the back room. Bead strands were in place of a door, and Madge curiously tried to peek through, but something distorted her view.
Suddenly, the lady was back. In her hands were three of the most gorgeous mirrors Madge had ever seen. With spun silver cast plating the edges like ivy vines, they sparkled and gleamed under the light from the chandelier overhead. The first one was a hand mirror where the silver ivy formed together to make a handle. The second was vanity mirror where the Ivy made a stand, and she could tilt the mirror to the right angle. The last mirror was one that hung on the wall, it formed a perfect circle, but this one had a slight flaw. In the lower curve, the Mirror cracked just slightly.
"These three gems are some of the oldest items I have in the shop. The lady girl I loaned them to slightly chipped the one and immediately returned the pieces in fear of being cursed."
Madge tilted her head, "Cursed?"
"Aye, my dear. The three mirrors contain a piece of the same mirror, an enchanted looking glass of surreal beauty. Handcrafted by the fey and attempted to be destroyed by mortal man. To look in one, you become the perfect image that even the elven kings would swoon over." She paused and noted darkly, "However, your dreams involve you being a supreme beauty, and turning into a monster. These mirrors will only reflect a glamour of which is in your mind. If you use too much, your real self will rot on the inside of the glamour. If these mirrors shatter, the glamour will fail, and will reveal your true self, can you handle this risk?"
Madge stared transfixed at the mirrors unable to look away, unable to see her reflection within them. She felt an air of danger and didn't know how these mirrors would help end her nightmares, but the idea of being a true beauty appealed to her. She reached out and took hold of the hand held mirror.
The lady reached out and put her hand on it before Madge could view herself, "Once the glamour is set on this path, your dream will become real. You will not dream it again you'll be living it. Only the start of the dream, the rest will be set upon your own actions. Child, do you dare risk temptation to uphold your mind and consume your thoughts?"
Madge stared at the lady in wonder, "Who are you?"
The lady gently smiled and patted the girl's head, "Glimpse." She gestured to the mirror before sweeping from the room. Madge stared at the opening before adjusting herself and closed her eyes. She held the mirror up and slowly opened her eyes to gaze at her reflection. Nothing happened, and she lowered the mirror in baffled befuddlement. Had a fancy lady tricked her?
She was about to call out to her when the room started to spin around her. She felt weak and collapsed to the floor. She closed her eyes, but still felt the world spinning uncontrollably around her. She opened them again, and the spinning stopped. She was back in her room, the computer was on, but the screen was black in sleep mode. Vigorously, she shook the mouse and saw the blog was completely removed. There was no sign that this evening's events ever occurred.
Perhaps, it was just a dream; she thought as she pushed away from her desk. She had to attempt at least to sleep, now that she was hallucinating. Her fingers knocked into something cold and metal as she rose. She looked down and saw the hand held silver mirror on her desk. Immediately she picked it up and looked at herself.
Her face was softer, rounder, eyes a clear chestnut brown, and teeth gleaming pearls. Her hair was smooth and glowed with highlights and lowlights. She stared in awe at how she was suddenly staring at the face of a model.
Mirror, mirror, in my hand, am I most beautiful in the land? To all the others here I stand. Kneel before me heed my command.
Madge knew her life had changed; she slept better at night, and her social stance had skyrocketed. Most of her peers confused her for a transfer student. No one recognized her. When she explained who she was, everyone was stunned that she turned out to be the most beautiful girl in her class.
The boys began to sit with her at lunch and study hall, some girls as well. At first she was overwhelmed, startled even by the reaction of those suddenly around her. It felt nice she thought to be noticed and loved.
For the first time, Madge felt content with her looks and the people around her. Then, she spotted the most popular guy in the school, handsome, elegant, a real charmer. For a moment, he turned and saw her and gave a sly smile and wink, before taking a seat by his current girlfriend, a voluptuous redhead head of the school dance team.
Madge's eyes narrowed as the girl tilted her head back and gave her a sneer. The words, he is mine bitch were clear. The content feeling was gone, and she had the sudden urge to beat that girl to the ground. Clearly, she was the most beautiful in the class, and who was she to deny her that reign and the king of the school.
She ran to the bathroom under the pretense to fix herself. She pulled the mirror from her purse and looked straight at her reflection once again. She felt the room spin around her as she closed her eyes and opened them to see she had transformed from model to angel. She noted that she wasn't quite so chubby, now she had a full figure with a perfect hourglass.
When she returned, everyone's head turned. She strutted past the table she sat at before and waltzed right up to the popular table. "Do you think you have room for one more?" The men automatically said yes as did some of the girls. The red hair's eyes flared into a glare as she had a charming yet sardonic smile.
"Of course you can, I decree that this table is now for wannabe losers who want to suddenly pose as one of us." Everyone busted out laughing as it struck Madge straight through her heart. She flushed with embarrassment and anger and went home early.
She tossed the hand mirror onto the bed, it wasn't nearly as powerful as she had hoped it would be. She sighed in aggravation, she was supposed to be the most beautiful and beauty was supposed to have power.
Then it dawned on her, everyone is still under the impression that the other girl was the most beautiful, and as long as she upheld that image, she had everyone eating out of her hands. Madge snatched up the hand mirror once again, her beauty would not be inadequate. The other girl would be shunned to the point that she would be too humiliated to show her face to the mailman.
She heard some slight chipping from the glass as she glared at her reflection. She waited for the change to happen. Instead, the silver suddenly tarnished to the point it was black. She groaned fully enraged. She made a beeline back to the store.
She barged right through the door, ignoring the fake facade of the exterior to deceive her into believing it was a basic antique shop. The interior had changed the walls were now swirling sapphire blue and jade green. The furniture was black lacy love seats and matching stools on what was not a mahogany wood floor. The beaded doorway remained the same, however, and the lady appeared.
Her hair twisted into a bun and gently curled into ringlets under a small lacy hat. She wore a purple Victorian dress made of satin with matching gloves and parasol. "Oh dear, you tarnished it. It will take days for this to be cleaned off." She had a look of astonishment on her face.
Madge ignored what she said and demanded, "This mirror stopped working after two mere uses. What is the deal with that? Not to mention it turned completely black!"
The lady gave her a slight look of concern, before taking the hand held mirror and disappearing back into the room. Madge paced frantically for the lady to finish whatever it was she was doing. She returned with the vanity mirror.
"This one shouldn't be so easy to overuse. Just remember these beauties are magical, not only is their power limited, but the more one uses them, the worse the condition gets."
"The one this one warned you about before you caved into temptation." The lady flipped the mirror, so Madge saw her own reflection. There was a bright flash of light momentarily blinding her.
After a moment of blinking away for her vision to clear, she was once again back in her room. She tilted her head to see the vanity mirror on her bed replaced the hand held mirror.
Mirror, mirror, on the shelf, Oh, how beautiful, I love myself. I am more worthy than any elf, the epitome of beauty and health.
Every day since then, she was more careful with how she used the mirror. She used it once a week, from then on, slowly but surely gaining the favor of her fellow peers to the point that not even the redhead could deny her beauty. By the end of the school year, she accepted the lead of next year's dance group since the redhead was graduating.
Her life became more and more perfect. She discovered that the most popular guy broke up with the redhead over the summer, and she took that chance to have finally the most perfect boy in her ideal world.
The mirror, however, became more and more tarnished. It happened slowly over time that Madge never noticed, not even the sound of chipping distracted her from modifying her looks to become a girl that Barbies should be modeled after.
That all changed in one day, a new girl arrived, and the whole school was abuzz with this girl with hair as black as night, eyes that were an unusual purple color. Madge was curious about the girl but doubted anyone could be more beautiful than she.
Then the girl entered the room. She wasn't tall, but not exactly short either. She had a tragically sad look that could melt anyone's heart. It merely added to her natural beauty, and everyone held their breath as she crossed the room to sit in the back corner.
Despite being on opposite sides of the room, Madge felt that everyone's eyes were no longer on her but the new girl in the back. With every passing moment, she grew irritated by the new girl's presence. How dared she steal the limelight, how dared she act like she owned everyone when she had just arrived at this school.
Madge then felt one pair of eyes on her, but not in awe of her beauty, but a dangerous gaze of a cat watching a mouse. So she casually pushed her pencil off the desk in order to get a glance at the new girl. She saw the girl look away from her and looked intently out the window.
Days passed, and the talk about the new girl only increased, and it further bothered Madge. The spell was breaking, her beauty wasn't enough anymore to appease her hunger for attention and love from those around her. It was time to increase the use of the magic mirror.
She went home, stood in front of the mirror and imagined herself to be more beautiful than the new girl. She waited for the flash from the mirror. Instead, it gave a metallic groan and a large crack struck down the center of the mirror. Her image was split in two. One was the divine nymph that she looked like. The other was a creature with blackening skin and swollen bloodshot eyes. Her head was lightly coated in wispy see-through fuzz. Her real self had rotted from beneath the glamour.
Her eyes widened in horror, and she grabbed the mirror and dashed back to the shop. She hadn't been there since she exchanged mirrors.
The interior had once again shifted now lush reds and various hues of pink with modern style sofas that were white with black pillows. The lady walked out of the back room and stopped stunned.
"Oh dear child, you have returned."
Madge paid no attention to what the lady looked like today nor did she care. She blurted out how the mirror broke and the image it revealed.
The lady stepped over to the girl and sat her down on the sofa. "My dear, I warned you when you first came to me that you will rot under all that glamour, it is the cost of using these mirrors."
Madge gave her a look of astonishment, "You mean that is what I have turned into! There must be a cure! I want this glamour to be the real me!" The lady gave her a look of pity.
"Your dream gave you a clear warning of which you took no heed."
"But I wanted to be beautiful!"
"And that is what you became, beautiful in the eyes of others, but that still wasn't enough for you." Her voice became cold and dark. "Show me why." She snatched the girl's hand, and her eyes turned into black orbs once again.
"Ah, you found the girl who can counter the magic of the mirrors, how rare. Do not waste time and magic to out do her, she was born with that magic, you're only glamour."
Madge scoffed, "How dare you! Who do you think you are?" She stood up and loomed over the lady. "I know you have another mirror back there. I know it will make me so beautiful. I shall be the Queen of the whole world, all eyes will stay and remain on me."
"That mirror only has enough magic for one use, no more no less. Use more than the magic it can give, it will shatter and so will your glamour." The lady snatched the vanity mirror and fetched the final mirror. She held it out to the girl.
She stared into the reflection expectantly. She stared at it long and hard waiting for something to happen. After a while, she looked away, and she was standing in her room the mirror on her wall. She looked like a divine goddess. She was the most beautiful than she had ever been before. Afterward, she covered the mirror never to look at it again.
Mirror, mirror, in my room, am I too pretty for a groom? I am to marry but by whom? Following me shadows loom.
Years passed. The girl was still a thorn in Madge's side. The girl had perfectly countered her glamour and the spell it cast on others. She was the perfect rival. She was equal if not better in everything Madge could do and more.
The only thing she could say was that she had the most perfect boyfriend to accompany her beauty. Even so, Madge saw his eye shift to the other girl often. He would stare off in a dream state pondering a thought of the possible future.
She thought nothing of it. She still had power over him. It blindsided her when he broke up with her. She, the most beautiful sexy woman in the world was replaced by her rival. Her hate for the black haired bitch grew to unfathomable levels. She wanted to destroy the girl, ruin everything she had.
Madge watched as her Ex grew increasingly happy and in love with the other girl. She didn't do anything to deserve such compassion from him. She then turned to her other friends and ranted and raged about how unfair life had been to her.
She hatched the idea to make him realize what he missed since he broke up with her. She started dating other guys, multiple guys. She constantly jumped from man to man in a desperate attempt to regain her man's favor. When she saw that his attention didn't waver from the girl, she carelessly tossed the poor soul aside.
Every evening she found herself staring at the covered mirror on the wall. Every thought was a debate to test if the lady's words rung true.
Mirror, mirror, hear my call. The shadows attacked at nightfall. You are still cracked on my wall. I wish you would just fall.
Madge locked herself in her house refusing to leave. She knew she was drop dead gorgeous and could sway any man she passed on the street. However, she felt hideous, the wedding invitation on the table lead to her worst fears. The other girl had won. She took all that Madge held dear.
"And yet they had the audacity to invite me to their wedding!" She fumed for a few hours thinking about how her life lead to this. Her demise that started with a dream that seemed to keep her up at night to the point she turned to a witch with three magic mirrors to stop them.
She had a dream in which she murdered the girl who stole everything from her. The only problem was she turned into a monster once she did. A twisted smile came to her face, "Perhaps I don't have to kill her to win."
Madge spent a few days tracking and following the girl, but her entourage of bridesmaids constantly surrounded her, it made it hard to reach her. She instead waited until the day of the wedding when the bride would be alone long enough to be snatched.
Which was exactly what she had done. While the groom and the guests waited in the pews, Madge knocked the girl unconscious and stole the bride. She locked the girl in her attic, duct taping her mouth shut so she wouldn't be able to cry out.
Madge laughed manically as she had finally won. She was going to reclaim all that she had lost. Her mind drifted to the mirror, and since her rival was finally out of her way, there was no need for it anymore and she carried it to the attic.
The girl glared hatefully. She saw what Madge was on the inside. The tricks of a mirror couldn't deceive her, and when she saw the covered mirror, she understood where she got the glamour. The biggest flaw was underestimating the girl enough to leave the mirror alone in the attic with her.
Mirror, mirror, in bad health, I can't seem to look at myself. I was cursed by an elf. Still you mock me from the shelf
It took no time for the man to call Madge. He was heartbroken and defeated that his bride left him at the altar. He thought that they were so in love, so wonderful for each other nothing else mattered.
Madge consoled him, offered to visit and took no time to establish their former relationship. Yet, despite having him back, he was hollow. An empty shell controlled by strings that Madge held tight. She forgot all about the girl in her attic.
The girl's heart raced, as she waited for Madge to leave the house. While the bitch was brutal enough to ruin her wedding, she had absolutely no plan after the capture. The fault was from the madness of the mirror exponentially increasing the madness in the head of whoever gazes at the reflection. The girl hated these kinds of magical items, not only did they ruin the user's lives but the lives of everyone around them.
The rope that bound her was not tied properly, and the girl wiggled loose. She brushed herself off, checking to see if her dress was ruined at all. She removed the duct tape, winced as it peeled off, but otherwise she was fine. She dashed to the mirror and removed the cover. She stared into the reflection knowing it couldn't affect her in any way.
Madge suddenly remembered the girl in the attic was immune to the mirrors effects, and she stupidly left it within reach of the girl. She quickly bolted up the stairs and opened the door to see the girl holding the mirror just tilted enough that Madge couldn't see her reflection.
"You tried to ruin my wedding because you believe you're entitled to everything?"
Madge barked back a retort, "I am the most wonderful, most beautiful girl in the world. My beauty is power, and power means I am entitled to what you stole."
"Your beauty is an illusion! It is fake. It swallowed your true beauty under the pretense of being perfect. This mirror devours love, not just from others but you as well. Your heart is no more than just glass by now."
The girl narrowed her eyes, "Then take a look for yourself what this mirror has done to you!"
She shoved the mirror into Madge's face before she could close her eyes. She saw the image of what she was shimmer and fade leaving a dry husk of blackening skin and bones, wispy white hair and yellow and brown teeth. The monster she feared she would become was now her reflection.
After an eye full, the mirror shattered into oblivion. Madge looked down at herself seeing the monster in the reflection had stayed. The girl walked past her and headed straight out the door to continue her life and finally be married to the man she loved.
Madge stared at what was left of the mirror, just the silver, and one lone shard. Then she fled, a hand shoved through her chest and pulled out her heart.
Mirror, mirror, I am married to whom, forced with a shadow, my groom. Your powers over me yet loom. You still haunt me in my room.
"Perhaps it would have been wise never to look in that mirror in the first place. You would be marrying that man instead. Alas, you had to be greedy and become most beautiful when you already were. You just had to see it and love yourself, but now you merely love the idea of perfect beauty, nothing more."
Madge gaped at the lady from the shop, and she had just ripped her heart out. The lady now wore a high-collared Chinese style dress with no sleeves with matching gloves the colors red and black.
The lady slyly glanced at the girl, "Oh but your fate was already set in order, I could tell by those dreams you had such a long time ago. You see, you're nothing more than a lesson to whoever hears your story. Some may pity you; others will judge. I, on the other hand, will use you for a more direct approach at teaching lessons." She held out the heart in her hand and whispered a small chant. Madge felt the wind inside her attic blowing past her, causing her to disintegrate into dust that whirled around the heart until the lady finished her chant.
She crushed it all within her hand. She opened it up to reveal a compact mirror. She smiled to herself and with a wave of the other hand the wall mirror was suddenly whole once again only this time the crack was larger than before.
She sighed in wonder, "perhaps the next girl won't be so careless as you beauties. Now come along ladies, she will be coming to the shop within a week, and I have a hand mirror that needs shining."
Mirror, mirror, the curse of the land obey my wish heed my command. Let my magic take its stand. These little girls are in my hand.