by Mai Sieu Phong
“All right, baby. Come~ to papa.” I flexed my fingers as I approached the antique. The building was silent and even my footsteps hardly made a sound against the granite floor. After months of strategizing, researching, and preparing, I was finally putting my plans into action. I was so close to completing the mission I could practically feel the paycheck in my hand.
It didn’t seem much like a prize, an antique mirror, but unbeknownst to many, this old mirror was worth probably millions in the black market. It was treasured by auctioneers as an antique, but for others, it was rumored to have magical abilities. Good luck, granting wishes, and answering questions.
It sounded like a whole lot of crock to me, but whatever, as long as I got paid for bringing it to the guys that wanted it. This was definitely worth a pretty penny and I wouldn’t have to do another job for another few months.
Approaching the full length mirror, I began my ritual. It was more of my way of saying “I’m doing something bad, but I’m sorry”. A “forgive me” kind of deal. I started it believing that my intentions were only for survival (stealing food and stuff), but now, it was just habitual more than anything. I moved my hand in the sign of the cross, my forehead, chest, and shoulder to shoulder. Then I brought the silver pendant hanging from my neck to my lips, kissing it in remembrance.
There was a strange eeriness as I came closer to the mirror, something out of place that made goose bumps rise on my skin. There wasn’t anything wrong though. I had planned this to the exact second in time yet something was nagging in my mind.
I looked at the reflective surface and frowned. The glass had begun to move, rippling like the waves of water. This was supposed to be a mirror wasn’t it? My reflection wasn’t there where was supposed to be.
Instead, it were as though I were looking through a doorway. I frowned at the scene, feeling more uncomfortable as I observed. The antique displayed a grassy area, a forest to one side and a stone castle to the other. Dark with night, the castle was lit by small torches surrounding the large compound. I couldn’t really tell exactly since the image was still rolling around like a pond. Maybe a scenic picture of something from Europe.
What the hell was going on? It wasn’t a painting or anything. No way. Despite the moving surface, everything looked too real, almost as though I could have just stepped right into it.
I bit my lip in anxiousness, but a part of me was curious and I had to bring a hand up, touching the mirror’s surface. I held my breath as my finger ran right through it. I felt suction through my gloves, but nothing painful. The strange feeling was a soft vacuum as if it were beckoning me to enter. I felt slightly entranced and my whole hand was already in when I heard shuffling sounds outside.
What? I snapped my head toward the door and cursed inwardly. I had wasted precious time ogling that thing that I’d lost track of time. Now everything had been blown. Any minute now the passing guard would come in the room to check. My timing had been ruined and worse yet, this room was bare with no place to hide from view.
A thought occurred to me and I drew in a deep breath as I turned back toward the mirror considering it. I had no idea what the price would be, but at the moment, it seemed like I had no other choice. At the first creak of the doorknob as the guard twisted it, I held my breath and dove into the mirror.
It really was like stepping out of a house or something. One minute I was in a building, the next, I was outside. I steadied myself as my foot hit grassy, but solid ground. My senses were attacked by the freshness of nature, the smell, sight, and sounds. I took a moment to pad myself down, making sure I was in one piece and the mirror hadn’t distorted me in any way. Giving a thankful sigh that the trip had left me unharmed, I straightened up and looked forward. Trees. Somehow, I didn’t feel like I was in Kansas anymore…
“Hey!” Someone’s voice shouted and I started in surprise. Had someone actually followed me through the mirror?! “Stop him! He’s getting away!” I turned toward the noises and realized a few things. There was a castle behind me-- A freaking _real_ castle. The mirror I had stepped through was no where around when it should have been behind me. I was in the middle of a field.
And there was a figure running straight at me, not expecting my sudden appearance and unable to stop at the speed he was going. I gave a wussed-out yelp as the he ran straight into me with the force of a well-paid linebacker and we tumbled to the ground in one big heap.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” I wheezed, gasping for air. The body on top of me was larger, harder, and stronger. In the darkness, I could barely make out the cropped, messy head of hair. “Get the hell off me!” I shouted in panic and tried to shove the heavy body off.
A hand clamped over my mouth and the man tried to stop my struggles.
“Be quiet!” I heard him hiss.
No way in hell was I in the mood to listen to any orders. I was being freaking mugged! I doubled my efforts and pitched my arms and legs around, trying to escape.
What the hell was going on?! I should’ve stayed back in the museum!
“Are you deaf?!” The voice was cold as the man hissed at me. “They’ll hear us if you make so much noise.” I huffed behind the hand. That was the point, Sherlock! As he tried to drag me away into the forest, I made his life even more difficult by shouting and trying to wiggle free. No doubt he didn’t want any witnesses.
The hell was I going to let him drag me behind the bushes and kill me! I kicked his legs and definitely hit his shin, but he only grunted and continued to pull me along.
“If you don’t cooperate, I’ll have to force you.” He warned. My hands were on his, trying to pry it off my mouth. I gagged when I tasted the saltiness and sourness of his skin. Gross! I really didn’t want to know what he’d been touching.
The voices that had been shouting were growing dimmer, telling me that this jerk was getting away.
“Mmmph! Mriugrhg------- ph.” I had been shouting for help, but that idiot kidnapper of mine oh so helpfully did a karate number on me. The chop on the back of my neck was more surprise than hurt.
I felt myself slump against his body and heavy slumber overcame me despite my struggle.