Angel of the Dawn - The Golden Mirror

By John Lister All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Romance


Crystal Dreams learned that her mirror permitted her to travel to a distant time and place. She meets the man she will fall in love with, and learns about an evil force known as 'Dark Inertia'. Her purpose here is to do battle with evil, so that the present world will be saved.

Chapter 1: The Encounter

Life had been interesting so far. Crystal had been born to a single mother who had raised her daughter in a unique manner, not conforming to traditional expectations. Crystal had always been a happy girl, completing college and winding up with a fabulous home in the woods. Her property was large, with separate entrances that opened onto two different roads. The rolling acreage consisted of a unique blend of lawn, bedrock, majestic trees and wild flowers.

Crystal was in her early twenties, and about six feet tall with a striking presence. She loved to make eye-contact with the people she met, yet her friendly gaze could be deep and mysterious. Crystal had a muscular frame, long dark hair, a tanned complexion, and a beautiful face.

Her mother, Margaret Owens, had been a flower-child. Right after attending the Woodstock concert, Margaret had changed her name to Lucid Dreams. It was the sixties, and people were naming themselves and their children in unique ways. When her daughter was born, it seemed appropriate to name her Crystal. With the sixties being what they were, Lucid felt that Crystal Dreams would be a very good name for her daughter.

She had raised Crystal in a loving home away from the city, and Crystal spent much of her free time exploring forests and meadows. When she grew up, it was natural for her to continue the eccentric lifestyle of living alone in the country. Hers was a very large and well-equipped house, and she loved being somewhat different, despite the financial struggles. Crystal had been a legal assistant to one of the top law firms, but then decided to leave it all behind and live a simpler life out here in the country. Now she worked as a receptionist for a local law firm, and drove an older minivan. Crystal gathered her own firewood, and had been trying to quit smoking, but on this particular day she was on her way home from a yard sale.

She had seen the old mirror, and knew right away that she wanted it, but the mirror was too expensive. Reluctantly, Crystal had come home without it. What a shame, she thought, as it had the perfect element of character to help set off the unique style of her home. She could see in her mind’s eye, exactly where it belonged, right in the front hallway, near the door. Although it was not that long of a drive, she rounded many curves in the hilly and winding road. Crystal knew this road like the back of her hand, yet she was always cautious, as you could never see what might be lurking around the next curve or rocky hill. At last, she parked her van and rushed into her house, just as the phone began to ring.

It was her best friend Sue, and Crystal had barely answered the call in time. Sue was a good friend, though somewhat conservative with her shorter pale brown hair and modest clothing. Yet Crystal knew that Sue would always be there whenever she needed anything. Crystal told Sue about the mirror and how it practically called out to her to buy it, and how difficult it had felt to have to leave it behind. Sue offered to help pay for it, but couldn’t right away. She too had bills to pay. It seemed as though everyone Crystal knew was a bit low on cash these days. Once the conversation ended, Crystal got changed, then headed off to bed to forget about her troubles, and that mirror that seemed to want her to buy it.

She continued to day-dream about the mirror for a little while longer, but eventually fell into a deep sleep. Crystal then began to dream in earnest, a dream which felt very real. She discovered that she was in some other world, yet some of the people seemed familiar, although they didn’t seem to know her. It seemed to be an older period in history, as though she was visiting a scene from an old painting. The dream often gave Crystal an inescapable sense of fear, and even the clouds themselves would take the shape of a frightening face, as they were blown by the wind.

At one point, Crystal dreamed that she was climbing a high mountain, gazing out over lands that seemed to go on forever. There were glorious cities, castles and fortresses, rivers, lakes, and many other mountains to be seen. The sky was such a shade of blue and she was amazed by the beauty and expansiveness of it all. Greens and browns stretched out in every direction, as far as the eye could see. She heard the sounds of water flowing, birds singing, and the wind gently moving the leaves. Crystal recognized the odor of lilacs, roses, fresh earth and even the smell of firecrackers! Then, without warning, she lost her footing! Crystal felt herself sliding downwards, along an ever-steepening incline, high in the mountains! She slid among small trees and bushes, unable to grasp at anything that might slow her down. Then, she was suddenly tumbling out in the open air, high above the earth below! Crystal was spinning, turning round and round, freefalling faster and faster! Then suddenly, as the ground came up to meet her, she awoke! Her body jerked awake, as she practically jumped out of her skin!

Though the dream was frightening, Crystal felt a strange sense of calm, and a sensation that her future could soon be very different. She sensed that it may include some sort of adventure in this beautiful place she was visiting in her sleep. Yet she also felt empowered, as though none of these fearful things could really harm her. Crystal also believed that the mirror was somehow involved in this future. Somehow, she felt as though the mirror was already hers, and that it would find its way to her. She rolled over and drifted off again – this time to a calm and peaceful sleep, with just the hint of a smile on her tired face.

It would be two full months before Crystal had saved enough money to buy the mirror, assuming they still had it. It was a Saturday morning, crisp and cool, with white puffy clouds racing across a blue sky. Crystal went out to her van and drove along the winding road into town to locate the house where the yard sale had been. The ‘For Sale’ sign was gone from the front lawn, and the grass appeared to have been mowed recently – unlike the unkempt yard she had visited at the sale.

“Well, here I go,” she said to herself, as she walked up to the front door and rang the bell. A middle-aged woman appeared at the door, looking tired, work-weary and uninterested. Her clothing was not in style, yet she appeared to be clean and organized. Crystal asked her about the yard sale, but the woman knew nothing. She said that she had bought the place a month ago, and had no idea where the old owner had moved to. With a look of disappointment on her face, Crystal began to turn around to leave, thanking the woman for her time.

“Was it the mirror you were after?” the woman then asked. Crystal’s mouth fell open in surprise and with delight. “I was just about to run an ad to get rid of that damn thing, as it’s not fitting in with our decor. You see, we just bought this house last month and the mirror was on a wall, but it gives me the willies for some reason. If you really want it, you can have it for a hundred bucks, but you have to take it with you right now! I’m tired of seeing that damned thing!”

The antique mirror had been priced five times higher than that at the yard sale, and so Crystal was quite prepared to buy it right then and take it with her! She paid the woman, and after quite a bit of struggling, they managed to get it safely into Crystal’s van. It was as heavy as it was old looking, as though it may have come from the parlor of some palace. As Crystal drove off, she had a strange feeling as though someone was staring at her through the mirror. “Crazy,” she muttered aloud, but couldn’t shake the feeling.

Eventually, she pulled off the road and threw her coat over the mirror. It was very strange how this mirror attracted her so strongly, but now was giving her such unsettling feelings! Perhaps buying it wasn’t such a good idea after all. Could that be why the old lady was so eager to get rid of it? Despite these thoughts, Crystal knew somewhere deep inside that she had done the right thing. This mirror would now be an important part of the odd items that made her house such a unique home. And of course, the mirror may well have a deeper meaning in her life, if that dream was any indication.

Crystal eventually pulled into her driveway, the mirror still leaning where it was, despite the many hills and turns along the way. She and the old woman had lodged it into her van so that it couldn’t move. Once home, she didn’t have to go far to find help. Her neighbor Roger was always anxious to speak with her, and this evening was no exception. Upon knocking on his door, he appeared with a grin on his face and walked Crystal over to her van. “My! What an amazing find!” he exclaimed, as they began to slide the mirror carefully out of the back of her van. Crystal responded, “Yes it is, and I appreciate your help with it.” They cautiously carried the heavy mirror into her open front door and over to the wall that faced it, separating the kitchen from the entranceway. Crystal had already driven a strong nail into the stud in that wall, so the two of them were able to hang it there, rather than setting it down on the floor where it could have fallen over.

Roger was a lanky young man, about six foot four, and just a little on the awkward side. He was unfashionably boring with plaid shirts, glasses, short brownish hair and a moustache. Roger was normally quite talkative, but the mirror seemed to have him transfixed, almost stunned by its beauty and character. Crystal knew how to handle Roger and quickly thanked him, walking him out to the driveway as she locked up her van.

The mirror looked perfect, with its own golden frame, framed within the wall she had hung it on. It was beautiful and very ornate. This looked like a very old and costly mirror, yet it was in surprisingly good condition! The glass had a few of the expected flaws in the reflective backing, and a slight warp here and there. However, the frame itself was outstanding, and it appeared to be made of gold leaf applied onto meticulously-carved wood or porcelain. There was something oddly familiar about the mirror, as though it had been hers before, and she had simply gotten it back again. But Crystal knew that she had never seen this particular mirror before in her life.

As the evening approached, Crystal relaxed and was planning to listen to some music before heading off to bed. As she passed in front of the mirror, she saw a shadow, almost like a second shadow that seemed to follow her own! The image seemed less warm, somehow faded, yet unmistakable! This was too strange! Crystal stepped back to the mirror and looked intently at her reflection again. Sure enough, she saw a hazy image that looked like another person’s shadow, as though they were standing behind her. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, as she went over and switched on the lights. Grabbing a damp paper towel, she decided to give the glass a quick wipe to make sure she wasn’t looking at a streak of dust or a smudge on the glass. She gave it a hasty cleaning, and it looked just fine, the way any mirror ought to. Crystal stood back to admire the handsomely carved frame, before switching the main light off again to head back to the living room.

This time, as she passed the mirror, she saw the shadow again and also felt something strange - as though the mirror was somehow calling to her. “Hey, I already bought you, what more do you want?” she heard herself asking out loud. “Now look at me! I’m talking to a mirror!” she laughed to herself as she settled down to listen to her music. However, she still felt unsettled inside. There was something distinctly unusual about this mirror! It seemed to Crystal as though the mirror had a will of its own – and that it had chosen her to be its owner, rather than she being the one who chose it.

Meanwhile, in another town not too far away, a middle aged man named Frank Fraser was studying a report about a new language that was being developed. This language was intended to become a universal script and was based on current and historic languages that that had been in use on the earth for centuries. The script was going to be etched onto a gold plate which would be launched on a space probe. This was an experiment intended to send out information about the earth – perhaps to be discovered by other life forms. The map would provide a way for them to find their way to earth – assuming they were intelligent enough to do so. The study of language was Mr. Frasers’ area of expertise, and so he found this article interesting enough to have torn it from the report. He would check the internet later for more information, and possibly an update on the language itself.

The Space Agency’s linguistic team had agreed on the vowel characters, but the consonants had still been under discussion. As is often the case, the experts couldn’t arrive at an agreeable decision on several of the proposed alphabet characters. “They need to flip a damn coin,” was all Mr. Fraser had to say, as he was impatient to see this project completed. He wanted to learn the new language himself, though he kept that information to himself.

Mr. Fraser had worked as a translator for a prestigious communications firm, but broke away to start his own consulting business. He brought with him one other staff member, a woman named Marilyn who was nearly as skilled in languages as he was. Frank worked very hard at keeping her from knowing her true worth, so that she would remain in a position of servitude. He continually talked down to her, sending her out for coffee, or to mail letters. He also paid her far less than what he had promised her. Frank was just starting to lose the hair on the top of his head, although it was still thick on the sides and back. He was a short man and a bit overweight, but strong and somewhat handsome, nonetheless.

Marilyn had continued working with him, despite her disillusionment, as the firm they had worked for would likely not hire her back again. Mr. Fraser had promised her an increase in wages and status, yet it never seemed to happen. He kept telling her that the firm would soon be moving into a more exclusive business address. Although Marilyn wanted to believe this, deep inside she knew better, and really doubted that anything would ever really change. She could read Frank like a book, seeing his need for self-validation as his main weakness. She had learned to manage this character flaw, simply by feeding his ego from time to time. A little flattery would usually make him a lot easier to work with. Marilyn often regretted quitting her job to work for Frank, but she knew that she was stuck with him – at least for the time being. There were no similar firms located here in her home town, and she was loath to relocate again.

Marilyn was an attractive woman, a little on the short side, and with a nice enough body. She had long, dark and wavy hair, and dressed fashionably. With no husband or kids at home, and nothing much to occupy her life other than her work, Marilyn devoted most her waking hours to the study of linguistics.

Several minutes after Crystal had settled down on her sofa to enjoy her music, she began to get an unrelenting, nagging feeling about the mirror. Though she was tired and tried to dismiss it, the feeling prevailed to the point where she got up to check it out. The mirror appeared fine, no strange shadows, just an incredibly beautiful antique piece on her living room wall. Jokingly, Crystal began to say, “Mirror mirror on the wall…” - but then she hesitated. Once more, she had a very odd feeling that the mirror was actually listening, as though it was somehow alive!

She was beginning to feel uneasy about sleeping in this big house with a mirror that seemed to be haunted. Crystal continued to feel as though the mirror had actually wanted her to buy it. Now, she wondered if the mirror might provide some kind of connection to an unknown world. Perhaps it was possessed, or maybe these feelings about the mirror were simply all in her mind.

She wondered too, whether the mirror itself might contain some kind of a clue. Crystal supposed that there might be a label on it that could shed some light. Then, she remembered some writing on a small bit of leather which she had noticed at the very top of the frame. Off to the kitchen she went, to find her small step-ladder. Setting it on the ceramic floor in front of the mirror, she climbed up. Sure enough, she saw the strip of leathery fabric at the top with some obscure writing on it. She decided to remove the script, as it was too high for her to read it while it was attached to the mirror. Besides, if it was written in an unknown language, she could always bring it to the library in the morning.

Reaching out to tug at the fabric, she found it was attached much more firmly than she expected, as though the label was one with the mirror. Returning with a paring knife, Crystal managed to get one end of it free, and began to yank on it. The label was still very firmly connected, so she tugged harder, slicing behind it and pulling with all her might. She leaned in even closer to the mirror for better leverage.

Then, with no warning at all, the step-ladder suddenly shifted its position, and Crystal felt herself falling! It is said that your life passes before your eyes when you are about to die, and Crystal felt her own life passing by as she began to fall! All seemed to be happening in slow motion, her feet sliding off of the step ladder, and the small knife slipping from her fingers! Pushing her foot out one last time, she tried to correct her balance but only managed to kick the ladder over! Now she began to fall even more forcibly in the direction of the mirror! Crystal threw one hand up over her face to protect it from any flying glass, and with her eyes closed tightly, she waited for the impact of her body against the mirror’s face. Instead, she found herself sprawled out full-length with no cuts, no sound of breaking glass, and apparently no damage done at all!

At this precise moment in time, a small stone statue in a grassy area suddenly appeared to have awakened! An expression of awareness suddenly replaced the dull concrete face that had been there for what seemed like an eternity. It was as though its stony eyes could suddenly see, although they had not physically changed. The statue had indeed come alive, yet it did not move. However, it had suddenly become aware of a presence, the presence of a woman who had just appeared out of thin air! The statue’s name was Cainoch, and it knew its own name, and sensed the presence of the woman who had landed on the grass nearby. The awareness in the statue knew that this was not just any woman, but a special person who had been summoned to this exact place and time, and for a specific reason.

Of course, Crystal had no idea of any of this . . . yet. Cainoch was alive in the same manner in which old trees live, seldom moving, yet very much alive. And of course, very few people sense the psychic awareness which most trees possess.

Strangely, things did feel different to Crystal, all of a sudden. She had landed softly, and was untangling her feet, when she noticed that her music was no longer playing. At first, she wondered if there had been a power outage at the same time of her fall, but that made no sense. Then, she noticed that she was wearing different clothes! The situation was becoming quite troubling. Had she been unconscious and someone was looking after her? No, because she wouldn’t be lying on the ground, if that was the case. How could it be that she was now outdoors?

Crystal rose to her hands and knees and began to try and focus on her immediate surroundings. She was indeed outside, in some kind of forested area, and with a stone wall just next to her. She plucked a bit of dead yellow cedar from her dark hair and slowly began to get up from the ground. The air here was cooler and scented with the gentle fragrance of pine. The sound of distant birds could be heard through the trees. She shivered lightly as the cool evening air blew past her on a small burst of wind. Sitting upright, she began to notice her outfit, a dark T-shirt and jeans, with a shiny red jacket. Just where did these clothes come from? They weren’t anything she recognized, yet she felt so comfortable in them. She thought she felt like herself again. ‘Again?’ Now, that thought made no sense whatsoever!

She finally pulled herself to her feet by steadying herself on the rock wall. But on the wall was a rectangular impression which seemed to match the shape of the glass in her mirror. Where her hands touched that part of the wall, the surface became as smooth as glass, even though the wall felt like rock everywhere else. Crystal finally came to the only conclusion that made any sense at all - and even that was a stretch of the imagination. The mirror she had so recently come to possess was some kind of portal between worlds! “Bullshit!” she said aloud, marveling at how muffled her voice was here among the pines. Crystal impulsively picked up a pine-cone and was nervously spinning it in her hand. She wondered aloud, “What is happening to me, and how long have I been here? I want to be back in my house!” She was becoming impatient and angry and so she tossed the pine-cone away, watching it bounce off the wall before picking up another one. “I just want to go home!” she spoke loudly, as she tossed the second pine cone forcibly at the wall. To her amazement, it vanished! Apparently, it had landed within the smooth rectangular area and had simply disappeared! Yet, when she touched the wall, it was solid, though smooth to the touch. How on earth was she going to get back, if the only way through was as solid as a rock? And yet, somehow the pine cone had made it through . . . or was she hallucinating?

Suddenly, it seemed as though she was no longer alone. A new awareness had come over Crystal, as she realized that an unknown presence had entered nearby. She strained her eyes, but saw nobody, although she seemed to see the outline of a man’s face near the ground in the distant darkness. It was the little statue, Cainoch. And then, a sense of dark foreboding began to come over her from all around, as though something evil was about to happen. A sense of help came from this little statue, yet the evil presence lay thick in the air, all around her. Crystal could not see any movement from the statue’s mouth, but she certainly heard the one word that was spoken - and she knew that it was spoken for her own protection! She had heard it in her mind, just as loud as if it had been shouted aloud! As she stared at the solid wall before her, the sense of evil and darkness became overwhelming, almost taking her breath away!

There was no way out, as she was lost here in this unknown pine thicket. The stone wall ran along the one side and some evil force closed in from the other! The chill in the air had caused Crystal to shiver more and her fear made it nearly unbearable. This was when she not only felt, but actually heard, the little statue speak out to her in a loud and clear voice and in a tone of urgency! It seemed to be staring at the rectangular indentation in the stone wall and it only said one word.

That was the only word she needed to hear, in order to get her moving. As the word “Run!” echoed through the trees, Crystal did just that, running straight towards the wall, as fast as she could, while bracing for the impact! However, instead of striking the wall, she felt herself floating, drifting off in her thoughts. Her body felt lighter than air, moving slowly through the darkness. It was as though she moved in slow motion and that feeling of evil was now long gone behind her! It felt as if she had been on a trampoline and had jumped very high, but with everything moving very slowly! Crystal’s hair even floated around her face, as her body drifted through the air.

Smiling, she floated along, almost as though she were immersed in water. Crystal began to sense the safety and comfort of her own home, yet she felt as though she was still floating through nothingness. The air was familiar here, soothing and gently scented. Crystal then saw her paring knife, the one she had used to loosen the label on the mirror. It was drifting along, some distance away, gently spinning as it moved. She surmised that she must have still had it in her hand but had let go of it as she ran into the wall. The knife made little circles, as it slowly moved along beside her. She almost felt as though the knife and she were little planets, orbiting through space and time.

Crystal suddenly felt the pain, along with the blinding light, as she felt her body land quickly on something hard and angular. “Owww!” She opened her eyes timidly, almost afraid to see where she had wound up. Thankfully, she discovered that she was now on top of the fallen step-ladder, back in her own home! She had on her familiar clothing, and the same music was still playing in the background – in fact, it was playing the same portion of the same song! Apparently, she had only been gone for mere moments, although it felt like a much longer period of time! Crystal looked up at the mirror on the wall. It was unbroken, undamaged . . . but most importantly, it was hers! She sensed that all of this was now a part of her reason for being, her reason for living. Somehow, Crystal now had a mission that involved that strange feeling of evil on the other side of the mirror. “No way!” she blurted out, as she jumped to her feet and picked up the step-ladder. Crystal then heard the paring knife hit the floor and slide along until it came to a complete stop. Had it fallen from the step-ladder, or had it just re-entered her kitchen? She wasn’t sure, but wanted to believe that it had fallen from the ladder. How could she fathom the possibility that it too, had re-entered the physical realm of her home, coming from wherever she had been?

Crystal said aloud, “I must have fallen and hit my head and dreamed this whole thing up.” With that conclusion, she began to put the step-ladder away, but noticed the label in her hand, from the top of the mirror. She had been gripping it this whole time, taking it with her to wherever she had visited - and back again!

Getting up to go to the living room where the light was brighter, Crystal turned on her heel and felt something bounce off of her shoe and roll across the floor, as she took her first step. “Darned cat toys,” she muttered. Then, as she sat down on the sofa to examine the label in her hand, the object rolling across the floor caught her eye. It was most definitely not a cat toy! It was not anything she had expected to see. It was just a simple, ordinary and commonplace object that we see all the time … a pine cone! Had this pine cone, somehow gotten into the house by accident? No, not likely! More importantly, could this actually be the very cone she had angrily tossed at the wall, just minutes before, from another place, perhaps even another time?

Again, the phone rang. It was Crystals’ friend Sue calling back. “Hey, I just had a weird feeling about you. Are you all right?” Sue sounded somewhat concerned. Crystal answered, “I’m fine, but I want to go for a coffee. Are you in?” Sue said yes, and so the two friends decided to meet at the local donut shop. Sue had always seemed somewhat unusual, but was kindhearted and fun to chat with. She was shorter than Crystal, somewhat heavier and not as stylish. She had an office job and drove an older Ford sedan. At the coffee shop, Crystal decided not to say too much, only that there was something very different about this mirror. It was giving her strange impressions of other places, as though she had been dreaming while awake.

Sue listened intently, concerned that perhaps Crystal had been working too hard, or having some sort of emotional overload. She knew that Crystal had been worrying about money lately, and was perhaps short on sleep. She went on to share her own troubles at work, and how her new boss was driving her around the bend. Crystal was glad Sue was so talkative, so she could keep her secrets to herself. On the one hand, Crystal wanted to tell everything to Sue, but felt it best to tone the story down. “Perhaps, as you say, it is only fatigue,” she replied to Sue. The two girls then changed the subject while they finished their coffees. Eventually, they went on their separate ways into the darkening evening. Crystal almost felt as though the meeting with her friend had been a waste of time, yet it did take her mind away from the puzzling situation with the mirror.

She had been getting more and more curious about this mirror. Just what was this mirror all about and would the writing on the label provide a clue? Crystal found her magnifying glass, and under the light, could make out a script that had been written by hand in a very strange language. Carefully, she copied out the writing so that she could research what language it was in, and perhaps understand what had been written. Passing by the mirror again, she thought she saw that little statue in the reflection. When she turned around, she realized that it was only a teapot on a shelf, yet it looked different in the dark reflection coming back from the mirror. Relieved that it was just the teapot, she shuffled off to her bedroom and fell into a deep and peaceful sleep.

In the morning, Crystal called her work to say she was sick and unable to come in. Then, she headed off to the library. With her carefully copied script tucked into her purse, she was anxious to learn what it might mean. After several hours spent researching languages, and even with the help of the librarian, she was sadly no further ahead. A staff member suggested a linguistic expert in a nearby city, so back home she went, before calling to make an appointment to see him. Crystal spent the next few days at work, trying to put the whole mirror mystery out of her mind. Still, she was tempted to try again to pass through the mirror, if indeed that was what had actually transpired. More and more, she began to believe that she had simply dreamed the whole thing up. Perhaps Sue had been right all along, and that she was simply over-tired, or under too much stress.

After a very long week had passed, the day for her appointment had finally arrived. Crystal could hardly contain her excitement over being so close to learning about the strange writing on her mirror. At last, she was sitting in the waiting room of the linguistics expert, about to discover the secret of her mirror. She had a feeling that this man would know what language it was written in, and that the message it would reveal would be important to her. This was a very unusual mirror indeed, if it allowed her to travel to some other place - even if the place seemed evil. She’d have to work on the landings though, they were kind of rough!

Crystal smiled to herself as she thought perhaps she ought to hang the mirror a little lower on the wall. Then again, was any of this actually real? Eventually, she heard her name called out by the receptionist, and she was ushered in to see the gentleman who would help her to unlock the mystery of the mirror. Strangely, when she looked into his eyes, she had an instant feeling that this man would know all about the mirror. It almost felt as though she had seen him before, perhaps even in a past life. Somehow, she felt that he would be connected with some of her mirror’s strange mysteries, and perhaps therefore, some of her own

When Mr. Fraser saw the writing, he was at first stymied, but then a light went on in his eyes, and he closed his books and turned to his computer. “This looks vaguely familiar.” was all he said, as he checked online for information from a society of linguistic researchers of which he was a member.

“Did you bring the original label?” he asked Crystal. She had, but had tucked it safely in a pocket. She dug it out and passed it across the desk. Mr. Fraser looked at it closely under a magnifying loupe and was astonished at the age of the ink and the leather-like fabric in which script had been etched. It appeared to be many centuries old! As he continued his online research, a low ‘Ahaaa’ began to come from his mouth. Crystal was barely able to wait for him to speak and when he did, he spoke very slowly and clearly.

“Crystal,” he began, “This piece of leather, if it actually is leather, is at least five hundred years old and could be considerably older, based on what I am seeing. Yet, the script upon it is brand new; in fact, it is a language that is only now being developed to be used on a future space probe.” He paused for effect, and leaned over to look straight into her face. “Just where did you get this mirror?” Crystal explained that it had come from a yard sale, and even elaborated about how she felt that the mirror seemed to want her to buy it. It seemed to make her feel as though it was looking for her and when it found her, she had to have it. She immediately felt foolish for perhaps saying too much, but Mr. Fraser merely nodded. Then he smiled, as he studied the label, rubbing his chin and saying, “Yes, yeeessss…,” in a barely audible hiss, under his breath.

He then asked Crystal if she was familiar with Einstein’s theory of relativity. She said “Yes, naturally,” though she hadn’t ever really thought about it much. Mr. Fraser then leaned over his desk and looked straight at Crystal. “This message is for you,” he began, “and you must understand that this mirror must be very special, as I believe it was sent to you from another time, place or dimension.” Crystal was dumbfounded. How could it come from another time? Mr. Fraser saw the look on her face and went on explaining, until she seemed a little more receptive to the concept of it coming from another time. He then began to translate the script on the label.

It began, “To the eyes that see this rhyme,” to which Mr. Fraser felt that was directed to whoever had found the mirror and wished to understand its purpose. He then translated the second line, matching letter by letter with the script on his monitor, until he was finished. He then continued, “Our gift to you, of space and time.” With a gasp, he realized that this was indeed a special mirror and began to ask more questions. He wanted to know what it was made of, and once again asked her how she came to possess it. In fact, Mr. Fraser seemed to think that it was a specific mirror he had heard of, yet he did not speak clearly of these things to Crystal.

By now, Crystal was becoming a little uneasy, as it seemed that Mr. Fraser had exhibited a little too much interest in the mirror. She quickly took back her label and excused herself. Even his assistant seemed far too interested in the mirror. Good thing she hadn’t provided any personal information, or the guy could be hounding her with more questions. So, it was a gift - but from who - and why her? Why did this particular mirror want to be in her possession and not someone else’s? And more importantly, was it some kind of personal time machine?

She already knew it could transport her to other places, but other times, other dimensions? Crystal then recalled how she had spent quite a few minutes outside with the little statue, but upon returning home, only moments had passed. Could she have indeed been in some other dimension? This was getting stranger by the moment! Crystal excused herself from the meeting and hurriedly left the office, driving home quickly. She arrived safe and sound, despite her thoughts having been focused on the events of the day, rather than on her driving.

Inside at last, Crystal decided to relax in the tub and do some thinking. She needed more information, but there was no more information to be found. The language of the label was only in the process of being developed, so this meant that although it was written many hundreds of years ago, somehow it was also a language from the future! How could a person possibly wrap their mind around such things? Crystal also worried that perhaps Mr. Fraser or his assistant may know more than they were letting on, and that the mirror may be dangerous for her to own! Eventually stepping out of the tub, Crystal wrapped a long pink towel around herself and walked over to the mirror again. To her surprise, she saw her reflection as she was dressed that day by the pine trees! The pink towel had become a red jacket in the reflection and she was wearing dark pants and a dark top! Even her hair was a little different than it had looked moments earlier in the bathroom mirror, somehow now a little fuller and thicker. Something very strange was going on with this mirror and she was determined to get to the bottom of things! But now she was very tired, so she’d have to continue her quest in the morning.

Dawn arrived before she knew it, as the rising sun cast a pinkish glow throughout her home. Crystal smiled as she arose from her bed, hurrying over to the mirror. She noticed that there was an odd bluish glow on the wall opposite the mirror, where the reflection of the sun ought to be. When she looked in the mirror for the source of this blue glow, she was shocked to see the full moon reflected where the sun should be. Ok, this was really getting weird! She headed back to her bedroom, quickly got dressed and then stood before the mirror once again.

This time she had more courage, and spoke aloud, “Mirror mirror on the wall, take me somewhere safe, somewhere wonderful, just for a little while.” With that, she thrust her hand towards the glass, but it simply bounced off the way one would expect it to. Another attempt brought the same result. What was she thinking? It was just a mirror after all, not some magic portal to some different place or time, as Mr. Fraser had said! Feeling foolish now, she began to walk away, but once again saw the reflection of herself wearing those strange, yet familiar clothes. “OK, I’m going to give this all I’ve got,” she said, as she thrust her hand out again, more quickly this time. To her surprise, her hand went through the mirror effortlessly, and she noticed that the air on the other side felt different! Then, as though she was falling into the water, her balance tipped towards the mirror. Slowly, it drew her in, almost pulling on her arm as though it was in a vacuum, until her entire body was gone from the room!

Once again, Crystal was unsure of where she was, or what had happened. She floated in the emptiness for a few moments, sensing the coolness of the air, but unable to see anything. Then, she noticed that she was slowly able to see her own body as she drifted along. Looking down, she saw that she was dressed in the now-familiar red jacket, and she noticed different shoes this time. Then, without warning, she found herself falling to the ground. Crystal braced herself, but the landing was a soft one, as she rolled onto a green grassy area. She hadn’t a clue as to where she was this time – or why she was here. What would her future hold, specifically the next few days, as she planned to learn as much as she could about this mirror and the strange world that it was bringing her to?

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