Melissa wasn't a happy little girl.
In her gingham dress, with her gold ringlets, and her pretty little home, her life was picturesque. But inside the pretty little home, Melissa's parents were disappointed.
At her rehearsal for the school's theatre performance, Melissa had messed up her lines, and the role of Snow White had been taken away. She hadn't practised her violin because the large cold instrument was uncomfortable, and she had been dismissed from the orchestra group. She had been given the responsibility to bake the cake for the Mayoress's birthday party, and she had tripped carrying it to the table. Her mother and father were perfect - why couldn't Melissa be perfect too? She was messing everything up, ruining her parents' reputation.
Sent to bed without supper, Melissa brooded. She didn't mean to mess everything up. She was trying to be perfect, but it was a lot harder than her parents made it out to be.
Melissa got out of bed, picking up the Snow White book and reading through the lines she would no longer get to deliver. She looked into the mirror above the bureau and said with a sigh, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall - how can I be perfect enough for them all?"
She threw the book aside dejectedly. "The truth is, I'll never be perfect enough for my parents."
Then, to her surprise, she heard a voice.
"I can help you there."
She looked back at the mirror, her mouth open, and saw that her reflection was... smiling. Of its own accord.
"W-what?" stammered little Melissa doubtfully, her rosy complexion leaching white.
"Come over here," the reflection beckoned, smirking. "Come into the mirror, and I'll show you how I can fix everything."
"H-how can you -?"
"Talk? Because I am you, silly," the reflection smiled widely. "And you can talk, can't you? Or do you mean to ask, how can I make your life perfect? Come into my mirror and you'll see."
Melissa was afraid. "No, thankyou," she said firmly, and proceeded to huddle under her blankets with her back to the mirror and pretend to be sleeping. But every time she risked a peek over her shoulder, the reflection was still watching, with a patient, eerie smile.
The next morning, Melissa's mother was angry because she hadn't woken up in time for school. When her mother was done shouting, she hurried to get dressed, but in her haste she knocked over the violin which she had forgotten to return to its case, and it hit the bureau with a thump. When her mother saw the large chip and scratched varnish, she was really angry this time. Melissa was locked in her room, with threats of no food, until she could learn how to be a perfect little girl.
"Still don't want my help?" smirked Melissa's reflection.
Upset and confused, Melissa came a little closer to the mirror. "Alright. Tell me, then, how can you fix everything for me? Can you rewind time so I can practise the violin, and learn my lines, and get up on time, and not ruin my violin?"
"Yes," the reflection grinned. Melissa was taken aback; she hadn't expected her reflection to be capable of that. "If you just touch the mirror's surface, I can take you back."
Melissa pondered for a moment, then looked at the locked door which her mother had slammed so angrily earlier.
"Okay," she consented. "And you promise, I'll be perfect?"
"Yes. Melissa will have a perfect life," the reflection smiled wider than ever, and held up her hand, flat against her side of the mirror.
Melissa didn't have time to wonder about the reflection's words - she had already placed her hand flush with the reflection's palm. Quick as a flash of silver, the reflection's cold hand closed around Melissa's wrist, and before she could even cry out Melissa was being pulled through the mirror.
Disoriented in the cold and dark, Melissa heard the reflection laugh. When she looked up, she found she was in a little cell made of old, cold, stone, and the only break in it was a window that looked out into her bedroom, in the centre of which stood - herself, playing the violin perfectly. Melissa could hear the beautiful notes pouring from the instrument and her own hands.
But they weren't her own hands. Melissa raised her hands, and tried to push through the window, but now it was solid. She beat upon it, yelling, "Hey! What have you done?" but the reflection mustn't have heard her over the music. Melissa could only watch as her mother walked into the room, clasping her hands in joy at the sounds of her daughter's musical talent.
"Oh, you'll be just wonderful at the recital tonight," she beamed.
Her mother left the room, deaf to Melissa's cries as she banged upon her side of the mirror. Couldn't she see her, or hear her?
"What have you done? Why did you put me in here?" Melissa cried.
The reflection put down the violin, looked at herself in the mirror and smiled widely.
"Because I am you, silly. And now Melissa will have a perfect life."