13. 5. 2009

For Beloved Sister

a short story of the evil mirror.

For long centuries, items with strange and unrevealed powers were held safely out of the range of unaware people. But recently some of these artifacts were brought to common people and secrets about their evil abilities have been lost.

“Good morning, Stewww!!!”
That morning wasn’t even pretending to promise something nice. It was an ordinary school-day morning, a few seconds after seven o’clock. For Steven waking up after weekend made a couple of serious difficulties.
As if an opposite reflection, his sister was full of energy, no matter it was Monday.
“I don’t understand how you can lie so dead when it’s such a beautiful day out there!” she danced around to the window and punched curtains open. The room flooded with faint yellow glow of dawn.
“You don’t understand many things, Sonia.” Steve grunted, yet not really awake. He managed to sit up in his bed. His younger sister got stuck examining herself in the great mirror on the opposite wall.
“Do you think I’m pretty, bro?” Again… The same question required the same answer. “You are. Just don’t let the other one bite you.” Steven grinned when she watched herself nearly sweeping the mirror with her nose. “I’m not afraid…”
“Come on, darlings! Breakfast!” An ordinary day, an ordinary breakfast. “Guess what, Stew!” Sonia laughed at him over her toast, “I’m going to the HarshHallows concert on Thursday!!” Steve pinned his parents with a glance of mixed feelings. Surprise. Disappointment. Jealousy.
“Me not, apparently.” Steve turned down to finish his toast and let this thing pass by. HarshHallows is the most popular punk-rock band of the month. Everyone will be at that event. Except me, as always.
“And who are you coming with to such a concert in your age?” Steve blew. It was no use anyway. “I have a whole bunch of friends coming to that event, you know. So there will be no trouble at all.”
“ Always so popular, my girl!” their mother squealed at a moment and rushed into their conversation. “What kind of band are those Marshmallows, my dear?”
“A boys’ band. And they’re so cute, mom!”
“I bet they are. We got the last ticket for you!” Steven rolled his eyes. Better take off for the school. Running for the bus with his five-and-half pound backpack was the thing that really woke him up.

But Steve’s mood dropped even lower when he realized that whole school is just into the concert. There was nothing else to discuss, just how, when and who to meet, what to wear and bring to the event. HarshHallows’ songs screamed down the corridors and everyone was exchanging posters, pins, shirts, stickers and whatever had something to do with the band. The hardest hit for him was to see his sister in an oversized black HarshHallow T-shirt, surrounded by the elite punk-rock gang.

“Hi, Stewww!” Everytime Sonia came from her Tuesday violin classes, for Steven it was the end of peace.
“Oh, stop it! Why do you always call me that dull name?!”
“I just like it, Stew!” Sonia snapped back. “’Cause you are just Stewww… You’re my beloved bro, you know?! … Mom, he wants to hit me!!!” Sonia escaped from the room as Steven stood up from his chair. Living with a younger sister wasn’t easy at all, since she learned to speak. When she started playing the violin, things only got worse.
By a few months Steven got used to the creepy noise of his sister practicing violin. Every time he just sat in front of the mirror and watched his other face slightly vibrating from the sound.
“It feels like the other image was my soul. And by this silly noise it shakes and shivers… What could I do for you, my friend?”
“Just set me free.”
“Yeah, that isn’t as easy as it sounds… As long as there is glass between us there is nothing I can do.”
“Incorrect. The way is just too simple for you to understand.”
“I just don’t see any way to pass through a mirror.”
“It doesn’t come to you… Then come to me.”
“You want me to… Wait!!! Am I really speaking with my reflection??”
The violin went silent. The angry voice of his sister ran upstairs along with her careless steps. The door flew open and sooner than she could stop they both lied on the carpet.
“Hey, watch your steps, sis!” “Dummy, sitting on the ground right in the way! What are you doing, huh?!” “What’s up? Haven’t succeeded with your violin solo?” In a moment they started to fight.
Punches, kicks and slaps continued until their father came up to close their battle. And of course such behavior needed some explanation.
“Steven, why on earth did you hit your sister?” “But she… ah, never mind.” “Are you going to tell me?” his father stood in their room as many times before. But this time Steven didn’t want to make up any stories of what and why happened. They always backfired on him, anyway.
“If you haven’t got it yet, there’s no point.” he said instead.
“What are you talking about, Steven?!” Steven remained quiet, sitting at his desk and playing with a pen. This conversation was over - only dad didn’t get that yet. “Steven! I am talking to you!”
Sonia watched his brother. His defense was just to stare into nowhere and wait until his father runs out of patience and leaves the room. Then he will realize something is wrong and start making it right. Just like he should long ago. Yes…!
Steven smiled at her sister. “I don’t understand you, bro.” she whispered and turned away, fairly scared. “You don’t understand many things, Sonia.” he thought, “But soon you will.”

On Wednesday the “Harshmania” grew over the peak. Steven felt like swimming in a pitch tank when he passed the school corridors. Seven eighths of the school were wearing HarshHallows shirts and the others were desperately looking for some. Many people suddenly turned into black-haired creatures with muffled language and bad behavior.
In a few hours the main phrase fixed in all “Marsh” groups was: “You really look like the bad guy!” Steven heard Sonia call it so many times as if she forgot all the other words of human language. After leaving the dining hall he was a bit glad he isn’t going to the concert.

After coming home from his art classes he took a glance into the mirror.
It stood there just because there was no space for it in Sonia’s room. So he had a mirror and it gave his sister a reason to enter his room anytime she wanted. Getting used to all the suffering really changes one’s face…
“You really look like the bad guy!” he said to himself raking up his long hair. “Maybe you really are the bad guy!” His reflection grinned at him.
“I don’t think so.” “Well, I do think so! After all, you made you father think over many things.”
“I’m glad you appreciate that. But it is no use, anyway. I mean, it is a vicious circle. If I could just get off…”
“In fact, it is up to you. But be careful about what you wish!”
Steven turned away from the mirror, leaving his weird reflection to talking to itself. Is it possible he could change his life on his own?
“Ah! There’s no way it is happening! I’m just making up some character I can talk to and I’m definitely going crazy!!!” Steven dropped into his chair grabbing his forehead. By that moment Sonia punched into the room, yelling: “They’re so amazing! So famous! So poetic! So handsome! So…” “…whatever.” Steven watched his sister with a stone face. However he tried to hide it, the disgusted expression soaked out upon his face. “You are just jealous of them, that’s it!”
A while later Steven noticed she got the complete outfit, including a skirt, striped socks, gloves and a necklace, everything in black and a bit of white. “I look much better in these, don’t you think?” she squealed, turning around in the front of the mirror.
“I do think. You’re one who doesn’t.” Steven grunted to himself. “I wouldn’t even take her ticket,” he thought, “if she just disappeared.”
“What a mess you have here!” Sonia took off her gloves to wipe out a speck from the mirror.
In the moment her finger touched the glass, a flash of light hit the room and Steven found himself blinded for a few seconds.
When the shapes of things took their places, Sonia was gone. Steven jumped to the mirror. “What happened?!”
“It was so easy after all, wasn’t it?” his reflection had a grin that was not his own and his fear grew by every heartbeat. “I need to thank you Steven. A trust like yours is not seen every day… “
“A trust??”
“Yes Steven, your trust that nothing will run as you want. Your pessimism… It is rare. I told you to care about your wishes…and as I wished, you did not.”
Suddenly the other Steven gave a terrible laugh and left the mirror.
“I need to thank you, Steven. For setting me free.”

The End