Time slipped by, days barely perceptible from each other.
Memories of any past before where they were right now were almost completely forgotten except for a vaguely unsettled feeling the red haired girl could not put her finger on.
Days went by. Then weeks. Then months. Peg and the red haired girl spent their days drinking the sweet tea that the Goldwater’s always had on hand and eating marshmallows and other delicacies that grew freely on this cloud world.
Their days passed in a haze of sweetness and light with a tinge of the unsettled. But never enough of a feeling that the red haired girl could even put a tangible thought to. Peg on the other hand never seemed to notice anything amiss. Always well fed with her favourite treats, the temperature and light of the cloud world were perfect for her, and she forgot there was anything more than what she had right there in cloud world with the scent of cotton candy sweetening her thoughts to a level close to numbness.
At night however it was a different story for the red haired girl. Violent ocean swells dominated her dreams in shades of stormy teal darkness. Roiling and tumbling oceans, the girls very own subconscious telling her something was wrong. But she never remembered in the morning. Apart from the vague sense of unease that remained with her while she was awake. The only recourse her self-conscious had was her dreamscape, away from the tea, and marshmallows and scent of cotton candy.
In her dreamscape sea turtles visited her from the depths of the ocean telling her to find the mirror. Mermaids called to her and told her to break the mirror when she found it. Waves tumbled on to the shore of her subconscious, trying to wake her. Anything so that she would remember in the morning.
But when she woke there was her cup of tea and any chance of remembering her dreams vanished as she sipped from her cup of steaming sweet tea.
And then one day, months later, the Goldwaters were running late and her cup of tea was not there when she woke. And her mind chanted to her. “Find the mirror. Find the mirror.” And she looked around. And realized she had not seen a mirror since she arrived in this cloud land. And slowly she began to think of memories before she had arrived at cloud land, and she began to suspect she was under a charm.
Just then, she heard a creak outside her door, and she lay back down, pretending to be asleep. Without the tea-induced stupor she was beginning to think more clearly. She heard the soft steps of Mrs. Goldwater come across the room and smelt the sweetness of the steaming cup of tea curling towards her nostrils, and as Mrs. Goldwater began to leave the room she pretended to be just waking up.
And despite moments ago, thinking that the tea may be to blame for her forgetting her prior life, the tendrils of steam reached her nostrils and she went to take a sip. But as she held the cup to her lips she heard “Find the Mirror. Break the Mirror”. And in fright she dropped the cup. Thankfully it did not break, but in her panic to mop up the spill, she grabbed her blue scarf and soaked up the tea, hiding the scarf under her bed.
And without the steam of the tea, without tasting the tea, the voice in her head got stronger. “Find the mirror. Break the Mirror”. Repeating over and over. Mrs. Goldwater came into her room and the girl with red hair gave her a sweet smile as though nothing was afoot, and handed over her cup, commenting on how much she loved the tea. Mrs. Goldwater smiled saccharinely as she left the room.
The girl with red hair quickly got dressed, and trying to act as though nothing was wrong and there was no sense of urgency she went outside to find Peg. But Peg was munching on sweet cloud grass, which not only smelt of cotton candy but tasted of cotton candy too. And Peg did not want to move anywhere. And the girl sensing the urgency of the chanting in her head moved away from Peg slowly, towards the only part of the cloud world where the light was a little dimmer than everywhere else.
Not knowing why she felt pulled to that area, only drifting along to the chanting in her head. Walking along the cloud path, in the slightly dimmer light she felt her foot sink a bit in the cloud, and then she felt something hard stub her toe. She jumped back, realising that she had not felt any pain since she had first come to the cloud world. Sensing that she was close to something important, she reached down to feel what she had stubbed her toe one, and there was a handle.
As she pulled on the handle, she felt a little resistance and then up popped a hand mirror. As she looked into the mirror she gasped.
Her face was reflected back to her, but the landscape behind her, in the mirror was not the landscape of the cloud world, but the world she had come from.
Just then she noticed the Goldwaters and Mr. Panda running towards her, and the voices in her head were screaming at her. “Break the mirror, break the mirror.” She looked around and there was nothing to break the mirror with, but she could feel people closing in on her, and the voice in her head was reaching a crescendo and so she lifted her fist up and brought it down upon the mirror shattering her reflection into tiny pieces…
To be continued…