Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Mirror's Future

The Mirror’s Future
By
Darcy Thomson

With an acknowledgment to Matthew for his contributions. Thank You!


CHAPTER ONE

Miss Hester Hoover was outside working in her garden. There was nothing unusual about that. Her house was a small ginger cookie style bungalow. Again, there was nothing unusual there. By all appearances she was just a little old lady puttering around her garden on a late spring day. Before the day was over though that would change.

Ashley Taylor came bursting through her porch’s screen door into the morning sunshine and inspected her yard just to make sure everything was where it was supposed to be. She noticed her next-door neighbor Miss Hoover in her garden, on her knees and back bent, digging in the dirt. Ashley knew that would be where the old lady would be spending most of her mornings now that the weather was finally nice enough to do that sort of thing.

Hester heard her neighbors screen door slamming shut and glanced up to see the girl next-door standing at the bottom of the steps leading up to the porch. Hester looked at the girl and thought to herself that the young girl was now looking like she might just be coming into her “womanhood” as she called it. That’s what her own mother had called it when Hester herself reached puberty and started to have her “monthly visits” as again her mother had called them. Hester considered “ could this slip of a girl be the one to inherit the mirror… did she have the gift”?

The mirror that Hester was thinking of was a gift that she had received from another little old lady when she was a young girl. As it turned out this mirror had been handed down from generation to generation for how long Hester didn’t know. Hester put her hands on her knees and levered herself into an upright position with her back snapping and popping in protest as she moved. She called “Ashley darling would you come over here for a minute please”! Ashley considered a moment and replied “Yes Miss Hoover” after all the old lady was nice and gave her home baked treats from time to time so best to stay on her good side.

Ashley walked across her yard and around the white picket fence that separated the two properties. Ashley approached the elderly lady and as she did Hester reached up and put her hand on the child’s shoulder. “Could you please help me up my sweet… these old knees aren’t what they used to be”? Ashley reached out and provided support to the old woman and the pops and snaps where clearly heard by both of them as she climbed to her feet. “Whew” Hester said as she wiped back some stray gray hair that had escaped the scarf tied around her head. “Thank you darling” said Hester then “How would you like to come inside for some sweet and cold lemonade and some butter cookies fresh from the oven”? “Oh wow”! “That sounds great Miss Hoover”. “Please Ashley, your now getting to an age where you can just call me Hester”. “Thank you, and after a moments hesitation, Hester” said Ashley. The two turned towards the front of the house and walked towards the front doors. Hester opened the door and held it open for Ashley to walk through.

CHAPTER TWO

As the two entered the little house there was a breeze that washed over them carrying the fragrance of the freshly baked butter cookies and the scent of the Rose Water that the old lady splashed on her self at the start of each day. The smell of the cookies caused Ashley’s mouth to water so that she looked forward to eating them with anticipation.

“Come sit at the kitchen table” said Hester “ while I get your lemonade and cookies”. Ashley sat down taking in the scene of quaint decorations like the pretty lace curtains and a wallpaper border next to the ceiling showing chickens sitting on nests filled with creamy white colored eggs. “So how is your school going” asked Hester as she laid down a plate filled with her cookies? She then returned to the refrigerator to retrieve the pitcher of lemonade and poured two glasses. As she was working Ashley replied “School is fine ma’am we start our Spring Break on Monday”.

The two sat and chatted for a while devouring the cookies and sipping their drinks. All the time Hester was considering should she or shouldn’t she test the girl? She brought the conversation around by asking Ashley “Have you ever had your palm read darling”? Ashley replied with “I once went to see the gypsy woman that was at the County Fair last year”. “And she read my fortune for me”. “Oh, and what did she tell you dear” asked Hester? “Well she said that I was going to live a long time and that I was going to be married to someone I’ve already met”. “But I don’t know if I believe her cause all the boys that I’ve met so far I’m not really interested in”. “Well I’m sure that may change” said Hester with a smile. “She also said that she had a hard time reading me… almost as if I had many futures to choose from” said Ashley.

Hester felt a little tremble inside as the girl had just confirmed that she must be the one! The next to inherit the mirror! “Well dear we all have multiple futures really… with every decision we make we change our futures one way or another”. “But you know my darling sometimes we can have a little help”. Ashley considered this and thought Hester was talking about her parents or future husband being the “help” she mentioned. “Finish your drink Ashley then I have something special to show you.” Ashley downed the remaining lemonade and wiped her mouth. Upon standing Hester took Ashley by the arm and led her down the short hallway to her bedroom. “Come in here dear and take a look at this.”


CHAPTER THREE

The two entered the bedroom and Ashley took in the surroundings. Everything was in white and pinks almost looking like a little girls room right down to a Princess bed with four posts and a canopy. The white bedspread patterned with little pink flowers and bordered with pink ruffles. The bed was covered with pillows that matched the bedspread. The rest of the furniture in the room was again all painted white with pink trim and the walls were a very pale shade of pink. Hester said to Ashley “come over here dear to my dressing table” Ashley approached the table and saw the usual things you would find on a woman’s table there was a brush and hand mirror, a compact and other makeup and some bottles of perfume. The desk itself was very pretty with narrow carved legs, which matched the legs of the little bench in front, and two drawers on either side and below the tabletop. On top of the table there was a mirror that did not appear to match the table itself though. It seemed much older and the paint on it while it was white it was cracked with age. The border surrounding the mirror was carved with a combination of leaves and what looked like small white roses and vines that curled around the frame.

Hester went and sat on the little bench and said to Ashley “come over here darling I want to show you this mirror… it’s special” Ashley reached out and fingered one of the roses carved into the frame and asked “what’s so special about it”? “It’s very pretty”. “Well girl it just so happens that if you know how to use this mirror it will show you pictures of your future” said Hester. “And if you like what you see then you just let things happen naturally and they will come true”. “But, if you don’t like what you see then you can do things to change what you have seen in the mirror”. “Oh wow” Ashley though to herself “Mrs. Hoover has gone a little crazy”! ”Really” Ashley said out loud. “Yes dear” said Hester “and if you would like I will show you how to use this mirror”.

Ashley decided she would play along with the old lady because if nothing else this was more fun than what she had planned for her afternoon. Hanging out down by the old mill watching other kids brave enough to swim in the cold waters of the small river that powered the mill.

“Now to start with the mirror needs a little piece of you so that it sees your future and no one else’s”. “This is the hard part”. “You need just a drop of your blood and you take it and rub it into one of the roses here on the frame”. “That tells the mirror from now on it will only work for you” said Hester. “We’re not going to do that right now because I’m not quite finished with it myself yet”. “Then when you want to see an image of your future you take two candles and place them where you see I have them here in front of the mirror just on each side so they’re reflected back from the mirror.” “Then you take hold of the mirror with your thumbs touching the top two roses.” “You will feel the roses start to grow warm and soft just like a rose that’s been sitting in the heat of the afternoon sun.” “Watch the mirror and you will see your future form in front of your eyes.”

Ashley sat staring at the mirror for a few moments contemplating everything Hester had just told her. “Wow” she said “and then if I don’t like what I see in the mirror I can do stuff to change it you said?” “Yes dear” replied Hester “whatever you see you can do nothing and let it happen or if you don’t care for it you can make it change you just find the point where you make a decision one way or another and if you’ve seen that one decision makes what you don’t like then you just change your decision.” Hester continued “Now my sweet girl I am going to make sure you get this mirror when my time in this world is done.” “That brings me to the one limitation that the mirror will not show you and that’s the time and manner of your own death.” “Now it’s time for you to go on home and we’ll talk about this some more later.” Ashley thanked Hester and headed for the front door but she was deep in thought as she passed through Hester’s garden into her own yard. It was only a couple of hours later that Ashley spied her mother and Hester speaking across the fences between their yards.

CHAPTER 4

Ashley was alone in her room sitting in her bed with all the lights out and nothing but a candle flame from her bedside table to see by. She was going over in her head everything that the old lady next door had told her. She was a smart girl and could easily see the advantages that she would have with something like the mirror would give her, She wasn’t entirely sure that it was all true but the woman had seemed so sure and seemed to be telling her the truth. Why would she lie to her?

Ideas of what she could do were spinning through Ashley’s head like she could do stuff to make her rich and famous and she could find the perfect man to be her husband. The possibilities were thrilling! But how old was Hester Hoover? How much longer would she be alive and Ashley would have to wait? The thought of waiting for the old woman to kick off was depressing to Ashley and she didn’t want to wait it could be years! An idea began to form in Ashley’s head a very dark and ugly idea.

The girl moved from her bed to sit by her window where she could see into her neighbors yard and watch. She was watching the lights so she could tell when the old lady closed up her house for the night and turned off the lights to sleep. About eleven o’clock the lights went out in Hester’s house and Ashley continued to watch she had to wait for enough time to pass to ensure the woman was asleep. As night began to turn into early morning Ashley judged that the time had come to make her move. She imagined what it was like in the movies and dressed herself in black close fitting clothes and slowly crept through her parent’s house to the front door and let herself out as quietly as she possibly could.


CHAPTER 5

Ashley made her way to Hester’s front door and turning the knob she was grateful she lived in a small town where the people still didn’t lock their doors at night. She crossed the living room and entered the kitchen where she had been drinking lemonade just hours ago. While she had been in Hester’s house earlier the day before she remembered seeing a bunch of candles spread throughout the home, She gathered several of the candles together and setting them on the counter top next to the stove she lit them with a lighter she had stolen from her father just for this purpose. Then with an idea she had seen on TV she blew out the pilot light on the stovetop and then the oven. As Ashley then moved into the living room she looked down the hallway and saw that Hester’s bedroom door was slightly open then continuing on she went and opened the window and allowed the breeze to lazily stir the drapes and then set a lit candle on the floor beside the drapes.

Ashley quickly moved to the front door and out into the yard where when she looked back she could see through the front curtains a glow below the window where the curtains had already blown into the candle flame and had caught fire. She crossed the year as she had earlier and went back upstairs to her room and sat by the window watching and waiting.

She didn’t have to wait long until see saw dark smoke billowing from the house next door and then not too long after with a crack louder then any thunder she had ever heard there was an explosion that rocked the neighborhood and rattled her windows that shook her home and sent massive flames high overhead.

Ashley could hear yelling from within her house and realized her parents were yelling at her to get away from her window and come with them. They all ran out of the door of their house and into the road that passed in front. Ashley and her family stood huddled together on the road and as they watched Ashley’s father, John, was on his cell phone calling the fire department. While he was doing that his wife was moaning “Oh my god what about Hester?” “Has anyone seen Hester she could be trapped in there!” Having gotten off the phone Ashley’s dad ran as close to the house as he could get and started yelling for Hester but the entire front of the hose was a wall of flame so he ran around the back and found the back and found that it too was solidly aflame. Returning to the road Ashley’s father took his wife in his arms and held her and whispered to her that “if Hester is still in there she’s gone.” Ashley heard this and it took all she had not to smile but she felt like she had butterflies all inside her. As the little family stood and watched they heard the sirens and the roar of the fire trucks in the distance coming down their road.

CHAPTER 6

The firemen were loading up their truck after battling the flames in Hester Hoover’s house until well after dawn had broken over the horizon. The front and kitchen side of the house appeared to be utterly destroyed but the rest remained intact. Ashley’s father was outside talking with the local fire chief while his family waited inside having been cleared to return to their home already. Ashley was sitting in the living room with her mother and with her mothers arms still wrapped around her daughter. She was consoling Ashley telling her that she new that Hester and the girl had a bond. Ashley couldn’t help but think to herself that she did it that she had actually killed the old lady

Ashley’s father then came into the living room and started to tell them what the fire chief had told him. “They found Hester in her bedroom, the fire didn’t reach there but the heat and the smoke were too much and Hester is gone.” Ashley felt little shivers travel up and down her spine and she felt flushed with warmth in her face. Her mother felt her daughter’s shivers and took them for fear and loss not realizing they were actually joy that Ashley felt. “Mom can I go upstairs now I’m tired” asked Ashley. “Yes of course you can darling” said her mom as she sadly watched her climb the stairs to her room. John Taylor then told his wife “The fire chief is also telling me that it appears that there was a gas leak and that Hester must have left a candle burning in the kitchen which caused the explosion.”

Once Ashley was in her room she lay on her bed on top of the covers but she didn’t fall asleep, at least not right away, first she thought about everything that happened over the last day and a half thinking to herself just 24 hours ago Hester Hoover had been alive and telling Ashley her secret. She fell slowly into a fitful sleep dreaming of mirrors and little old ladies and what her future held for her.

The next day Hester’s only living relative a niece named Brenda that lived about 4 hours away was at Hester’s home and inspecting the damage that was done. Ashley’s mom went over and introduced herself “Hi I’m June Taylor.” She invited the niece into their house for some coffee and cookies. Sitting at the kitchen table the niece was telling Ashley’s mom stories about Hester as a younger woman and how they had been close once but had drifted apart as she had went to school clear across the country and that she had married and now had a family with kids of her own and was so far away.

“I wanted to ask you June, I know there’s not much left but was there anything in my aunt’s home that you would like?” “It’s funny you should mention that really there is one thing it’s a sad coincidence but it was just the afternoon before the fire that your aunt came to me and mentioned that she wanted my daughter Ashley to have the mirror that’s on the table in the bedroom” “Oh my” Brenda said “I know how my aunt loved that mirror your daughter must have been very special to her.” The two women finished their coffees and went next door to the house. When Ashley came downstairs having slept through the night she found propped on the end of the couch the mirror she had murdered Hester Hoover for.

CHAPTER 7

Two weeks had passed with the mirror sitting in its new place atop Ashley’s dressing table. She had yet to test the mirror almost afraid that it would work and even more afraid that it might not. That she might have murdered someone for nothing. Ashley had decided that tonight would be the night that she would try it out.

As the minutes and then hours slowly ticked by Ashley considered what is was that she might see, would it show her tomorrow, next week or even longer? Would it show her exciting things or just everyday kind of stuff? There were so many possibilities and her imagination was running rampant when she finally sat down in front of the mirror.

She took her two candles and placed them in front of the mirror just on the inside of the frame, then lit them. Then using a sewing needle she took from her mothers sewing kit she pricked her finger and squeezed it until a little red pearl of a drop formed. That wasn’t so bad, better than the shots she got at school, and she rubbed the blood onto the mirror’s rose nearest her and she watched as it soaked into the rose and turned it a beautiful red color and was amazed when watching it faded again back to it’s original white color. Then remembering Hester’s instructions she placed both her thumbs on top of upper most roses in the mirrors frame and took hold. She waited for what seemed like a long time but was actually only about a minute, waiting for what was to come next, didn’t Hester say it was supposed to grow warm?

Ashley was about to remove her hands from the mirror when she felt something. At first it was just a little tingle but then yes it did start to feel warmer to her but was it just the effect of holding on to the frame as long as she did? Nope it was definitely growing warmer. She was intently watching the mirror when she thought she saw a movement. Just a ripple across the surface but it was definitely something unusual. She continued to watch the mirror practically willing it to show her something when a picture slowly started to form as if from a haze the picture grew clearer and brighter.

To Ashley’s amazement the picture that formed was almost like a video you might see on You Tube. It showed her sitting on the park bench in her schoolyard and it showed her sitting with another girl her age that she didn’t recognize. There was no sound to it but she was definitely sitting there and it looked like she was giggling and laughing with the other girl and so was she. What did this mean? The picture then faded and the mirror returned to just showing Ashley sitting at her table in front of the mirror. Ashley couldn’t believe it! It had actually worked. She went to bed that night picturing the face of the girl she had seen and wondering who she was.

A week later as Ashley was sitting in homeroom class there was a knock at the classroom door. “Come in” Mrs. Perry the teacher called. Into the room walked a young girl and Ashley’s heart jumped when she saw that it was the girl from the mirror. The girl explained to the teacher that she was a transfer student who had just moved into the area and her name was Beth Larson. Later as the school lunch bell rang Ashley joined the crowd that was headed out to the yard and went looking for Beth. She knew just where to look and headed for the picnic bench and sure enough there sat Beth. Ashley walked up to Beth smiling and said to her “Beth I think we’re going to be best friends.”

CHAPTER 8
A month after summer vacation started Ashley and Beth were sitting under an old willow tree, on a blanket, by the river at the old Mill Pond. They had packed and finished eating a picnic lunch and were discussing their favorite subject . . . boys. In particular they were talking about a group of boys who were also at the pond that day. They were diving and doing cannon balls off the wheel of the mill into the only deep section of the little river then climbing up the bank and running and climbing back up the wheel to go again.

The boys in the group all went to the same school as the two girls and could almost always be found hanging out together after school. The group consisted of four guys and the leader, if you could say there was one, was probably Mike. He was the tallest of the group and being also the oldest, at 15, rumor had it that he had started shaving already. The rest of the gang was made up of Doug, Peter and Tom. Doug was sort of second in command and Peter and Tom being the youngest and smallest came up behind Mike and Doug.

“Can you believe that Mike’s body Beth”, said Ashley. Beth looked at Ashley and giggled and said, “I know he’s so hot”! Ashley looked at her friend with a serious expression on her face and asked, “Can you keep a secret?” Beth simply nodded. “I’m going to marry Mike one day.” Beth looked skeptical and asked, “How can you know that you’re not even dating?” Ashley replied, “I have my ways”, said with a cryptic look. Beth looked back over in the direction of the boys, and Mike in particular, and said, “If you do your one lucky girl.”

CHAPTER 9

After the school bell rang for lunch Ashley and Beth were walking down the school’s cold battleship gray hallway towards the outside for their favorite spot at the picnic table. They quickly discovered that the table was already occupied. It was Mike with his buddy’s Doug, Peter and Tom. The girls approached the bench and Ashley said, “Hey guys this is where we usually sit for lunch.” Mike responded “I know but I wanted to talk to you Ashley, come on over here by the tree I’ve got something to ask you.”

They left the table area with Beth standing in front of the other boys and they all started talking amongst themselves. “Ashley the Back To School dance is coming up and I heard that you liked me. So I thought that maybe we should go to the dance together, what do you think?” The wheels were spinning in Ashley’s head thinking to herself “Yes the mirror worked again!” “I think that’s a wonderful idea Mike, I’d love to go to the dance with you.” “Great I’ll pick you up on Friday at 7pm at your place” said Mike.

Mike and Ashley returned to the picnic table and said to his friends “C’mon guys let’s head over to the baseball diamond I want to practice my pitching.” As the guys walked away Mike looked back at Ashley smiling and gave her a little wave and Ashley waved back. Ashley turned to Beth and with barely contained excitement said “Oh my god Beth do you know what just happened?” “I bet I do! I have news of my own, but you first.” “Mike asked me to the dance!” Oh that’s great news and guess what? Before Ashley could ask Beth continued, “Doug asked me to the dance!” “We can all go together!” The girls sat down at the table to eat their lunch and started planning their dates.

The night of the dance finally rolled around and Ashley was sitting in front of the mirror counting the minutes until Mike arrived. It had been a while since she had used the mirror for its secret uses and she was contemplating using it now and then the doorbell rang. Ashley’s mom answered the door and welcomed Mike in then turning to the bottom of the stairs she called up in a singsong voice, and all smiles, “Ashley your date is here!” Ashley stood at the top of the stairs for a moment giving herself a one last once over and slowly descended the stairs as if she were a star in a movie. She got almost to the bottom of the stairs before she gave Mike her best winning smile, after all she was trying to make Mike fall in love with her, then Mike standing in the entranceway looking at her stammered out one word “wow!” As the two young lovers climbed into Mike’s parents car Ashley’s mother stood in the doorway looking on and waved goodbye.

As the two kids arrived and parked the car they saw Beth and Doug had also just arrived and were walking towards the entrance door to the school’s gym. Beth paused at the door and looked back to parking lot she spotted Mike and Ashley still sitting in the car sharing a kiss. She grabbed Doug’s arm and turned him around and pointing towards the other two she said laughingly to Doug “I guess things are working out for those two.”

Ashley saw Beth pointing at them and pushed Mike away and said “let’s get inside” and then went and joined the other two who were waiting for them by the door. The four pushed their way into the gym to find the dance going full blast with oldies tunes, the theme of the dance, with smoke covering the floor and a mirror ball spinning above their heads. They continued on in through the crowd and made their way to the center of the floor where they all started dancing together. After a while of dancing arms wrapped around each other and raptly staring into each other’s eyes Ashley looked around and saw that the other kids in the room were surreptitiously watching her and Mike giggling and looking away then back at them. It seemed they were the center of attention. Ashley couldn’t have been happier.

CHAPTER 10

It had been a while since Ashley had used the mirror for more than it’s reflection. She had her best friend Beth and her boyfriend, Mike, in her life, things were good at school being in the popular kids crowd and she was content. She was sitting in her room late one cold and dark November night when she decided to take a look at what might be coming up for her.

Taking a seat at her table she ran through the ritual to call the images to her waiting for them to form. The image slowly cleared to show her a scene at her school but it was a night picture and she wondered why it would be showing her this when she wasn’t in school at night. Then the image shifted to show her the auditorium full of kids dancing. The room was decorated with large white floating snowflakes and tin foil icicles hanging from the rafters. Ashley thought to herself this must be the upcoming Christmas dance that was being held just before the winter break holidays.

The scene in the mirror shifted again and this time it was outside where the snow laid heavy and deep on the ground. She could make out footprints in the newly fallen snow leading up to the door to one of the school’s several portable classrooms. This time when the picture faded and came back she was looking inside the portable class and she could make out the image of two people close together by the teachers desk at the front of the class. As the picture drew clearer she could now see that it was showing her Mike and Beth. They were in each other’s arms and Mike was kissing her!

Ashley’s world spun before her and without grabbing the sides of her table she would have fallen to the floor. All she could think of was the betrayal of the two closest people in her life, other than her parents, and how they could possibly do this to her! She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the image in the mirror when she noticed a fine cloud of dust descending from the ceiling to settle on the heads and shoulders of the two young people who seemed so caught up in themselves they didn’t notice the dust.

Ashley watched intently as now smaller pieces of debris dropped from the ceiling landing on her friends finally causing them to break apart and look upwards. Within moments the entire ceiling started to collapse onto them knocking them to the floor and piling on top of their two still forms. When the dust settled Ashley could make out the tiles and beams and lighting that had fallen. She could also see blood, lots of blood around the head of Beth running from her nose and ears, pooling on the floor beneath her. Then there was movement from below a pile of ceiling tiles. It was Mike. He was slowly crawling towards the door of the classroom. The picture in the mirror faded to show Ashley’s reflection showing the look of combined rage and astonishment.

Weeks later Ashley was at school with Beth and Mike on either side of her eating their lunches at their desks in the classroom. The picnic table outside had been abandoned to the snow that had already fallen that week. As Ashley sat quietly she could see out the window that it was still snowing. Since her night in front of the mirror it was all she could do to stop thinking about what she had seen. Her mind was thrashing ideas in her head as to what she would do about it. Should she warn them about the calamity that was to befall them? How could she do so without telling them about the mirror? Would she somehow on the night of the dance, which was only a day away, try to prevent them from obviously sneaking off on their own?

The picture of Beth on the cold floor bleeding was never far from her mind. She considered what she saw as more of a betrayal by Beth as she must have been the one to try and seduce Mike away from her. Mike was only a weak boy after all driven by lust. Beth looked over at Ashley and asked her “You seem like your in another world Ashley what are you thinking about?” Ashley just smiled at her supposed best friend and said “Oh I was just thinking of how much fun tomorrow night is going to be.” Falling silent Ashley was again thinking about the blood.

The next night they were all at the dance milling around with all the other kids, laughing and enjoying themselves. After a while they had all joined together by the refreshment stand when Ashley saw out of the corner of her eye Beth and Mike speaking quietly to each other. A moment later Mike turned to Ashley and said “I need to use the bathroom and it’s a sit down job so I may be awhile.” Ashley said, “Fine I’ll be right here.” As he turned to go Beth looked at Ashley and said “That’s a good idea I need to go myself.” The thought rushed into Ashley’s head “This is it should I grab Beth’s arm and offer to go with her” preventing what she knew what would be the result or should she let her go? Ashley shuddered and after a moment looked at her friend and said, “I’ll be waiting for you.” And let her go.

Ashley’s world was spinning around her when about fifteen minutes later Ashley heard a scream from near the doors to the hall. She looked in that direction where she saw Mike disheveled and with debris still clinging to him. He was bleeding from the nose and it was dripping down the front of him all over his clothes and onto the floor. His face was pasty white beneath the layer of dust and with a weak voice he said “Someone’s got to help Beth I think she’s really hurt” and with that he collapsed to the floor.

Time was like a whirlwind to Ashley over the next few days. Beth’s funeral was just over with and dressed in black she was holding on to Mike crying as he walked her home

CHAPTER 11

Mike and Ashley had been married for 35 years before she lost him to lung cancer. In a small piece of irony they had lived those years in the very house that had once been home to Hester Hoover. The house had been known for all those years as the “Hoover” house. Old Hester’s relatives had rebuilt the house years ago and Ashley’s parents had bought it from them as an investment property. When Ashley and Mike had gotten married shortly after they had both returned from college Ashley’s parents had given them the house as a wedding present. As much as it creeped Ashley out to live there after what she had done to Hester she and Mike had made it into their home.

Mike had been working as a computer programmer shortly after their marriage and was earning a decent living. Ashley was a teacher at the old school that she and her friends had attended. So they were getting by pretty comfortably.

Ashley had used the mirror sparingly after the death of her friend Beth. She was a little scared of what it might show her not that she was disturbed by what had happened but by what might happen. As it turned out though for several years it had shown her nothing of a terrible nature. Until, one day when Mike had been out of town on a business trip. Ashley sat down in front of the mirror expecting it to show her more of the everyday life that she and Mike had been living. There were domestic scenes of her with Mike, her and her family, Christmas dinners and birthdays and holidays at the beach. She was expecting that soon it would start showing her pictures of pregnancy and children. Ashley didn’t like the idea of sharing Mike with kids but felt it was expected of her. Ashley’s parents and Mike’s as well had been hinting that they’d like to see grandkids sooner rather than later.

This time when the images first cleared she saw a picture of Mike and herself in their bedroom and it appeared that they had been fighting. Ashley was sitting on the bed crying and Mike was throwing clothes into a suitcase. At first Ashley thought they were fighting over him leaving on another business trip when all of a sudden she noticed that she was pregnant. Very pregnant in fact!

The next scene that appeared on the mirror showed Ashley at the hospital obviously in labor but the big thing wrong with this picture was that Mike wasn’t there! The final scene that showed was of Ashley sitting at the dining table eating her dinner and at the same time feeding a very cute baby, of about 6 months old, and the table was set for one. Again, there was no sign of Mike. Ashley new what the mirror was telling her. If she got pregnant Mike would leave her.

That weekend after Mike got home from his trip and they were sitting in the family room relaxing and watching a little TV Ashley asked Mike “So what do you think honey?” “Is it about time that we started trying to have a baby?” Mikes face turned serious and he turned towards her saying “What’s the rush for this now?” “You know I’m up for that promotion at work to become the head programmer.” “It wouldn’t be fair to a kid to have an absent father you know I’d be putting in lot’s of extra hours if I get the job.” “Lets not try for now, we’re still young we can come back to this in a couple of years and we’ll be better set up to handle having kids.”

The next day Ashley was out shopping and she stopped by the local drug store and bought herself a couple of home pregnancy tests. Standing at the checkout the girl behind the cash register smiled at Ashley and commented “Good Luck!” Ashley thought to herself as she walked out the door “Yah, good luck if they turn out negative!” When she got home she found a note on the kitchen counter from Mike reading “Gone to play golf with the boss and the boys.” This suited Ashley just fine as she hurried to the bathroom to start peeing on some sticks. She counted out the seconds on her watch and as she picked up first one and then the other of the tests she was horrified to discover that both were positive. The mirror had warned her about the risks of having a baby and now she would have to do something about it. First thing Monday morning she called the local Family Planning clinic and made an appointment.

As Ashley lay on the reclining table in the cold and sterile room at the clinic with a paper sheet covering her middle and her legs strapped up in the stirrups she contemplated her future and wondered if she would ever have children. The doctor came and started the procedure that would make sure Ashley’s life with Mike would continue on a path, she thought, would lead to continued happiness. Following that appointment she made the next visit to the drug store but this time leaving with a new supply of birth control pills.

CHAPTER 12

Ashley was now 64 years old. Just one year away before the school forced her to retire. Since Mike had gone she lived a quiet and some might say a reclusive life. As many years ago just like Hester Hoover did Ashley spent many hours puttering in her garden during, as it was now, the warm months. During the colder months she spent much of her time in her kitchen baking one of her many church’s award winning pies. She really did not believe in their god but as she had in her younger years she attempted to fit in and do what was expected of her.

As Ashley looked over her current crop of students in her classroom she couldn’t help but feel her age creeping up on her. They all seemed so young and yet at the same time they had oldness to them a worldliness that she never had. As she was feeling her age she had also started to consider that she must find the next girl to have the mirror. Considering her limited time left with the students time was pressing on her to find someone fast. Ashley looked over just the girls in the room trying to imagine each of them in front of the mirror.

Something she felt was key to using the mirror was for the person to have a good imagination. There were two or three girls that stood our in her class that were fair to good writers having turned in stories in their creative writing class that had impressed her. The girl that the mirror would work for had to believe the mirror would work for them when Ashley told them of it’s gifts. She wondered how she could talk to them to try and narrow it down to just one girl. The answer presented itself at the end of class that day when one of the girls, by the name of Erin, came up to Ashley at the end of class and asked if she could do anything to earn extra credit. Erin went on to explain that she really had her eye on attending one of the top colleges in the country and would do whatever it took to succeed.

Ashley told Erin that she could earn some extra credit if she wrote a her a story based on a story that she would tell her but that she had to come to Ashley’s home to learn that story as she had something to show her. They made the arrangement right then that the next day Erin would accompany Ashley to her home right after classes were over for the day. The next day Ashley was the one, like some of her students, to watch the clock slowly tick by. As the end of classes approached the knot started building inside her and then finally the bell to end classes for the day rang out. The students stood almost as one and started filing out of the classroom. Erin held back and when she was the last student in the room she approached Ashley’s desk and told her “I’m ready to go now”.

As the two walked up the drive to Ashley’s house it looked much the same as it did nearly fifty years ago when Ashley herself walked into Hester Hoover’s front door that fateful day she was introduced to the mirror. As they walked through the house into the kitchen Erin thought to her self “This place smells like an old lady.” Ashley directed Erin to sit in one of the kitchen chairs and asked her “Would you like a slice of pie darling girl I made a fresh peach pie just yesterday?” Erin shook her head no and Ashley said, “well then come with me and I’ll show you a little secret.”

Erin followed her teacher into the bedroom hoping that this wasn’t going to get freaky and her teacher wasn’t going to get gross and make a pass at her or something. “Now here darling look on my dressing table.” “You see that mirror there?” Erin looked at it, it was a pretty mirror and it looked real old. “That mirror is special.” “If you know how to use it right it will show you your future.” As in many years ago just as Ashley had thought Erin looked at Ashley and considered that the old lady must be going senile! “Now I know that right now that this might sound a little crazy” Ashley said. “But it’s true.” “I’ve used this mirror all my life to make sure that things went the way I want them to.” Erin looked back at the mirror and said, “Can I see how it works?” “I’m afraid not Erin.” “Right now it is kind of tuned to me and will only show me the pictures.” Erin thought to herself “Oh right pictures only she can see” confirming in her own mind that the teacher really was going crazy. It was bound to happen didn’t all old people go crazy eventually?

Ashley said to Erin “I’ll show you how to use the mirror sweetie and then one day, after I’m gone, I’ll make sure that you get the mirror.” She then proceeded to tell Erin how to use the mirror. After Erin repeated the instruction back to Ashley she left the old teachers home and as she walked to her own home she couldn’t help but wonder if she should report the woman to someone thinking she might be unstable.

Later that day as Erin and her family were seated at dinner the phone rang. Erin was surprised to hear her mother say hello to Erin’s teacher. After a short conversation her mother returned to the table and said to Erin “I see that you’ve made quite the impression on your teacher young lady.” “She told me that you were at her home today for extra studies and while you were there you so admired some old mirror of hers that she wants you to have it someday.” Erin looked at her mother and said, “It was a beautiful old mirror I’d love to have it.”

That night as Erin lay on her bed thinking about what her teacher had told her she thought “Wow she really does want me to have that mirror and she really seems to believe all that crap about what it can do.” “It couldn’t be real could it?” Erin lay there thinking of what she could with all that information and the power it would give her over her life as she drifted off to sleep.

Less than a week later if there had been anyone around to see they would have found Erin in the middle of the night standing a block away from Ashley’s home. They would have seen her by the orange glow in front of her with the darkness behind and with her fathers lighter still clutched in her hand.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

video

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More Writings

POEMS

untitled

His smile
Is the sunshine that gives light and warmth

His Frown
The clouds to obscure the sun

His Tears
The rain to wash away the sins

His Eyes
the windows to the world of love


The Anticipated Romance

Like the false dawn before the light breaks upon the ridge of the sky. It starts with a flutter in the center of your being. That sense where all the possibilities in the world start anew. The blood in your veins begins to quicken. The mind is awash with the will he... could he... please be. My remembered lost loves each of them with their own querulous beginnings. There it is again... that skipping heart. Waiting for the release of those certain chemicals that tell my heart it's time to race and soar. There is that sense of having started but wanting more. So come to me my darling young man. Whisper in my ear while I hold you tight. That this is where we shall take flight. So lift us up my darling and aim us true towards tomorrow.


The Faraway Heart


His heart is not by my side
My faraway heart

His love he says assured
My faraway heart

My love for him undoubted
My faraway heart

Dreams of being together
My faraway heart

Then two hearts together
No longer my far away heart


OTHER WRITINGS

A Life Story

He is a slightly grizzled middle aged man. Happiness
had come and gone over the years. Like the rolling of
the tides washing in the oceans treasures and then
lifting them back into the depths of time. Creating
depths of his own within his soul, spirit, psyche
whatever you choose to call it.

He has grown from a mistreated child who's cries of
anguish were seldom heard. Waiting for that empty well
to fill with the love of which he'd seen filled in
others.

The boy grew into a young man. He tried to live a good
life, but, he was living it alone. He was lost in the
crowd of the other young voices louder than his own.
Surrounded by the clouds of testosterone of the post
pubescent teen males. Attracting him far more than the
flowering womanhood of the females floating and
flirting through their High School romances. Another
four years of being and living on the outside of
others.

The military was not to be the life he would lead. The
expectations of others were tried and discarded.
Instead he came home to a life made of his choosing.
Time and place were his own. Decisions were made
putting the dust of past confusion and pain behind.
Instead what followed was years of dedication. A
search to make whole by filling those old, dark and
empty spaces. What he found instead was that with each
filling there were holes that drained. Never leaving
him full. Flashes of light that sometimes flickered
and died with a pop while others seemed to fade into
the recesses and causing shadows of their own.

Time began again with a new life. Left behind was a
shallow being. Instead came a realized sense of peace.
Finally life was his own. Something to be nourished,
contemplated and enjoyed. Now there was but one
remaining hurdle of life's path to overcome. A
sharing. Finding that other who will find a warm and
comforting home in his heart and soul.

The hope continues..."

...THE CONTINUATION

Like the rise of the morning star a blaze of light has entered his life. Each day is now greeted with the anticipation of feeling that new depth of feeling that can only be found with the arrival of another person sharing in his existence. Time has finally won him that which his heart has truly desired. Love.

Hope has won!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Poems

So here are some poems that I've written over the years.

SEE THE CLOWN

See the clown
See his funny little face
Against life's ups and downs
Only he can win the race

See the glow
In the child's little eyes
Could you a clown despise

So today be a clown
Give somebody a smile
Who knows
It just might last a while



ASLEEP


Laying there beside me
Asleep and at rest
He is smiling
And I wonder
Is he dreaming about me

I think of the love
That we share
The times that mean so much
And I fall asleep with a smile on my face
And dream



Alone

Alone in his tiny room the bed lies unmade
The dirty dishes piled in the sink
The lone bare bulb hangs from the ceiling above
Casting shadows along the cracks
in the four small walls
He sits in the lone chair
Watching the phone that never rings
And he wonders
Is this all


Well that's it for now... I'll be posting some more poems from the past in a little while.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Some more pics of my little buddy





Since this is my Blog, I'm going to vent a little here. What's up with people who let thier dogs run free in public parks? In these parts most of the parks have leash laws. There are a few licensed dog runs and one very close to where I live. To me that makes it even worse as these pets families are just being lazy for not taking them there.

Today there was a professional dog walker, one of many who use the park I go to, who had 7 dogs that are supposedly in her care. She had 5 of them off thier leashes just running around. When I complained to her she just gave me a dirty look and said I was "too controlling". The way I see it is simple.

1. She was breaking the law.
2. Not all other dogs are friendly.
3. There is a very large wooded area adjoining the park and there are other possibly diseased animals out there.
4. I witnessed one of the dogs taking a dump and because the dog was loose she did'nt see it so the mess was just left there.
5. Over the last couple of years there have been multiple reports of sick people leaving poisened bait in the parks.

So am I being too controlling or do I love my pet enough that I care about keeping him safe and healthy? Personally, I think the latter. Well that's enough ranting for today...gotta watch that blood pressure ya know! TTYL. D.