Day 6: Mirror

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-06

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober!.

Enjoy my sixth entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Pheonix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

Merrill had been selected by the king to become his bride. A king Merrill had yet to meet in person. She hadn’t the faintest idea why he’d selected her. She had been in Taradale province leagues and leagues from the capital. Why had he chosen her? Ther question plagued her day and night.

Merrill’s mother bustled into the chamber as she sat next to her mirror staring into it. She looked weary from anticipation. Her mother looked excited.

“He has sent for you. He has finally sent for you.” She strode to the wardrobe and pulled it open. Her mother rummaged through the dresses hanging within. The finest Merrill had worn during her first week here. A different one each day in case the king had glimpsed her from afar. A decision made at her mother’s insistence.

“This will do.” Her mother announced and pulled a silver dress out.

Merrill pressed her lips together and forced a smile onto her face. A lovely enough dress. Fine cut and elegant material, but the color left her ghostly. “As you wish, mother,” she said and let the woman transform her for the king. She glanced once into the mirror and frowned at her washed out features even as her mother beamed.

The halls grew emptier as they walked toward the king’s wing until only guards sporadically lined the way. They glanced at her as she walked, a movement which carried through their eyes alone. Finally, she stood before the king’s double door.

The dark wood had been polished until it glowed. The surface had been carved with legends itself in the center of each were mirrors. Merrill thought the carvings bore representations from every tale of mirrors she could recall. She saw flowers, tall grasses, and more. Bits and pieces of each tale.

Stepping toward the door, a guard on either side grabbed the handle and pushed inward. Merrill stepped forward and heard her mother behind her and heard the spears cross to bar the path. “Only his intended.”

“But this isn’t proper,” her mother blustered. The guards blustered right back, and the doors closed heavily behind her.

Merrill saw the king standing at a table bathed in light from a skylight above. His eyes moved over her in quick, rapid movements. Movements which didn’t appraise her beauty, lacking in the silver, but something else. Something which pleased him.

“My lady, Merrill.” The king inclined his head to her.

Merrill dropped into a curtsey. “My Liege.”
A hand touched her shoulder and she straightened. The king stood beside her though she hadn’t heard him move. He guided her to the table. An illumination rested on the surface. “What do you make of this?”

Mira looked at the illumination. The drawing itself was comprised of black lines, but the light from above lent color to it. Predominantly upon it she saw greens. The greens of a gentle summer and told the king as much.

Nodding, the king snapped up the parchment and rolled it up. “Thank you for your appraisal, my lady Merrill.”

Before she knew it the chamber doors opened, and guards escorted her out. A week of waiting and this had been her meeting? She couldn’t help but wonder what that meeting had been about.

The king had not called for her the next day, nor the next, nor the next, nor the next. When he called for her again the odd visit repeated. Merrill entered his chambers, looked at the parchment, and gave him her impression. A meeting at which she’d worn silver again her mother claiming he’d requested the color.

While she wore similar garb, the illumination bore different colors. That day she’d seen grayness upon the parchment as if the sky had denied the window color. Muriel had told him as much. He had scowled at this and still rolled up the parchment sending her away again.

And again on the day she saw colors of deep blues and light greens which reminded Merrill of a storm. That night a storm rattled her windows.

Every time the king called her it was to merely gaze at the illumination. She’d understood one day when she’d glanced at the mirrors in his doorway and had seen only the guards behind her. The silver she wore and her pale complexation had matched the mirror itself.

Their wedding day arrived and Mirrell stood before a grand mirror with her veil lowered. The cloth covered her hair and face. Lace gloves covered her wrists and hands. The silver fabric of the gown covered the rest.

Mirrell knew she matched the mirror. She’d grown confident in her understanding of the king’s selection of herself. He had seen in her a living mirror. He had chosen her to reflect what she saw in the illumination upon his land. And mirrors never lied.

Or did they.

“Mother?” Mirrell asked when the woman appeared behind her. “Mother, what do you see in the mirror?” She settled a smile on her face and straightened as she spoke.

Her mother stepped behind her and wrapped an arm about her shoulders, resting one hand on her arm. “I see joy. I see pride.”

Mirrell lowered her head. She’d felt only hollowness, but the mirror had shown her mother what she’d wanted. Folding her hands one over the other, she allowed her smile to deepen slightly. “Thank you, mother.” The king had chosen Muriel because she was the mirror he needed for his kingdom. But Merrill could reflect the reality she chose.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day6

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”

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