The Mirror

Ryan Moriarty September 28, 2017
Retold Fairy Tales
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    Once upon a time there was a rich man who had a wife and nine sons. They longed for a daughter however, which was why they had nine children already. Finally, his wife gave birth one winter to a baby girl. They named her Miley, and the porcelain skin and straw colored hair she possessed immediately endeared the child to her family, as well as their servants. As the baby grew, she was doted over and given everything her heart could desire. However, as time passed it became impossible to ignore that the asthma which many children grow out of would be with her for her entire life. As it was only brought about by going outside, Miley became a creature of the indoors, staying as white as she was born even as she turned 16. While this limited the attacks, the difficulty breathing still sapped the energy from her, causing her to have an almost lifeless aura. Her joys in life were correspondingly limited, and her greatest treasure was a small mirror that one of her brothers had given to her on her birthday. As she was unable to leave her house, her parents procured the services of a live in tutor to instruct her in everything from mathematics to the arts. They got along well, and when she was in the mood proved herself an intelligent student. However, she was not a happy girl and spent her time uncomfortably dreaming of living anywhere else and being anyone other than who she was. One day, while searching for a pen in his desk, she saw a line of white powder on his desk. When she smelled it to see what it was, her nose went numb and a bolt of energy shot through her spine. From her reaction she could guess that this was no ordinary substance, and this was confirmed as her tutor ran into the room and began to admonish her. “You are too young Miley, you can’t do this yet!” he said. Miley however could not get the memory to fade from her mind. Instead of dreaming about being someone else somewhere else, her vision was filled with this enigmatic white powder. “If it gives you so much energy and feels so good, how could it be bad for me? she wondered. She decided to sneak in her tutors room and see if he had any more she could take, as she had to other way to get the substance. As soon as she crept through the door, she could see a white rock gleaming on the desk and instantly knew she had found what she was searching for. She chipped some off and put it in one of the bags next to it on the table and ran back to her room. She spent the whole night with it, using her mirror and a card to crush the rock into the powder she could not get enough of. The next morning, the tutor was easily able to tell who had been in his room. Her bloodshot eyes and shaken demeanor were all he needed, and he confronted her about what she had done. Instead of denying it, she begged and pleaded with him using the same justifications she had told herself. When she was done, he began to tell her a tale she had never heard before. He told her of the dubious origins of her family’s wealth, and the reason she lacked an extended family. The history of drug abuse is her family was in her blood as well, and was the reason this substance was consuming her. However, the tutor was not doing this out of the kindness of his heart, as he had fallen in love with Miley the day he moved in and saw her. Now, he saw his opportunity to take her for his own. He told her of his penthouse in Milwaukee and how she could stay there with the rest of what was on his desk. He told her how there was no reason to fight what was in her blood, and she should embrace who she truly is. Miley went along with his plan, but had no intention of staying under his jurisdiction. She desired freedom from everything, including him, and could begin to understand how this substance had the potential to ruin lives, including hers. So, once ensconced in his penthouse, she took the opportunity to take everything of value to a pawnshop and walked away with enough money to set herself up with another penthouse in a more affordable city. She used the cash to get an uber, and as she left the Milwaukee city limits she looked in her little mirror behind her at the reflection of the city, then threw the mirror out the window and never looked back again.

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