A Curse to Remember

The scent of roses is overwhelming the closer you get to the mirror, and the parallels to Alice Through the Looking Glass are painfully real. But you know in your iconic ‘heart of hearts’ that the red queen figure Lord Hattington was on about is real, too—and she’s tormenting the citizens of the land. You can be forgiven for being the first to believe this jump into the peculiar.

And jump you do. Literally.

Well, it’s more of a run-and-jump. In the direction of the mirror. A la Harry Potter, you take a deep breath, then—and, damn, you hope for the best—push off from the wall opposite the mirror until you have enough speed to hit the mirror.

The plane of glass shatters with such a force as you hit it that you block your ears from the sound. You’ve shut your eyes, too, before you realise you’ve done so, and you sigh with relief that your body is on automatic.

Because you don’t want to see what is happening. The sensation is worse than that feeling when you’re on a rollercoaster and it plummets so quickly that your stomach is left at the peak. It continues until you smack into something. You roll forward three or four times.

Then, with a deep breath, you open your eyes, one by one.

Solid ground. Sand under your knees and your wrists and palms. Sand in your hair probably, but also the whistling wind, refreshing, and the smell of roses all over. Pungent, but not unpleasant.

You take a moment to get to your feet (after all, smashing through an only-somewhat traversable plane of glass is more than a little disorientating) and brush remaining shards of glass off your shirt. Thank goodness you are absent of cuts, scratches, and other pockmarks. You wonder if this is part of what you cursed at the book. The words weren’t your own, that much you remember, but indeed each letter contained a meaning that you can’t shake.

You and the tome are cursed.

Turning a hand over, you notice that the flesh there is mottled, as if you’ve passed through a fire with only one limb.

Anyway. That’s annoying—but the mottling doesn’t hurt (you know this from prodding your hand). So, you tear your eyes away from the strangeness, and gaze around this area. It’s a garden. This time, not a mirage for the senses.

The End

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