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Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Mirror

He had come through the mirror. He could not speak, but I understood it the first time I met him. It was on a night when the moon hung so full and heavy in the sky that it looked as though if you pierced it with the tip of a pen, some icy, celestial water would come pouring out. As I lay pressed against my bed by the enormity of the night sky which peered at me through my window, I spotted his dark figure shivering from between the spindly trees of ink. Although it was black, it glimmered somehow, and the way he gazed at the sky above him intrigued me. I set out to meet him, slipping on my jacket and delving into the wintery night like a gray rain drop falling into a vast expanse of sea.

As I approached him, I saw that he was much taller than the average person. He was thin as well, and his skin was as white as snow, so that it looked as though he was woven from the moonlight. When I spoke, my voice sounded flat and muted in the presence of the whispering wind and the restless trees, and even I was not aware what I had said. He turned slowly to behold me, and looking upon him, I thought he must have been an angel. His eyes were black and glass-like, yet at the same time they resembled liquid. Looking into them was like gazing upon an entire Universe contained within a marble. He did not smile, but his face was gentle, calm and questioning, and his long, golden hair and silvery tunic billowed almost magically in the gentle breeze. He reached a long, thin hand toward me, making not a sound, and I embraced it. It was neither warm nor cold, and when I touched his fingers, melodic noises like piano keys sprinkled throughout the air. Then he smiled at me and returned his eyes to the night sky. I stood beside him for what might have been moments and what might have been years. Then we set off back to my home, and when he entered it, it was filled with an eerie, musical glow that danced upon the walls and ceiling. He strode swiftly and silently to an aged, noble mirror of mine mounted on a table in the hall, and together we stood before it, side by side, and acknowledged each other’s odd reflections. At that time, I understood that the mirror was where he had come from, and scarcely had this idea formed in my head before he reached a hand out to touch the mirror. The glass seemed to melt at his touch so that his hand slid easily through it, and after his hand had slid through it, the rest of his body followed. The mirror swelled and rippled, and the peaceful silence that proceeded seemed to murmur to me its quiet farewell. I hardly hesitated a moment before I plunged into the mirror after him.

I do not know how long I have lived in this new world, although sometimes it feels like a lifetime, but I do find it to be very strange and wonderful. The people here live in the sunset. They walk along the long, fiery wisps of cloud that stretch across the sky like strips of desert, and when you walk across the clouds, reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, and blues lap at your ankles like ocean waves. The people, who are all tall and pale—like my friend, carve their cities into the fiery evening sky, fashioning beautiful mansions and towering buildings that swirl and breathe like living things. Birds fly through the air like glimmering schools of fish, and small islands of cloud float peacefully just above your head or somewhere below your feet.

What would have been the ground arches far above our heads, forming a colossal, mountainous ceiling of solid green and brown. Hills and caverns and valleys and forests hang above our heads, just upside-down, so that the trees grow downward. People here look up at the ground and have wild dreams of somehow visiting it, imagining what fantastic creatures and extraordinary wonders must reside there.

They do not speak, these people, but somehow they do not need to. There is music, wonderful music, that seems to say everything for them. They are happy, I think, and why should they not be? What a fantastic idea, to live in the sunset. Sometimes, though, I glimpse my reflection in a pool of water or even in a mirror and I wonder whether I will ever go back. I do not know, after all, whether I will return, or if I even want to. But still, after all of this time, it is strange to stare at my peculiar reflection in the mirror and envision the many worlds that dwell from behind it. Strange to look into a mirror and to imagine all of those worlds, and to imagine visiting all of them. And I wonder: if I am living in this strange paradise in the sky—this mirror world, have I become the mirror me?


Elsa Pereira said...

I love the way you described the things you saw and somehow turned it into an emotion! I pictured everything i read with an enormous amount of clarity! Congratulations, you have great talent in your writing :)

Eeshie said...

This was amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing.

Good job, Christopher.

*pats head*

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards? Cmonnnnnn you know you want to.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I second Eeshie. Join us in our submitting efforts!