In The Mirror   Leave a comment

Clarissa looked on as her sister, Michelle, spun in front of the mirror in her wedding dress. The white fabric swished around her legs and Clarissa thought she looked much like a princess. She bit the inside of her cheek, forcing a smile.

“You look amazing, Michelle. So beautiful. Stephen is such a lucky man.” More like Michelle was lucky to have the man. Clarissa had introduced the pair a little over two years ago, when she’d brought Stephen home for Thanksgiving. If she’d known the pair would hit it off so well, she never would have done it.

Nothing had been the same after that day. To her knowledge, Stephen and Michelle had not begun seeing each other immediately. But they didn’t need to see each other for Stephen’s interest in Clarissa to wane. He’d ended their relationship shortly after the New Year and had gone public with Michelle for Valentine’s Day.

Clarissa looked in a nearby mirror at her own reflection. The pale pink bridesmaid dress looked good against her tan skin. If she weren’t so consumed by jealousy, she might actually be able to enjoy the fact that her sister had chosen such a beautiful dress for her. Instead, she longed for the white dress that would make Stephen hers forever. She ran a hand through her black hair and sighed.

“I’m so excited, Clarissa,” Michelle gushed, obviously not recognizing the lack of sincerity in her sister’s smile. “There’s nothing I want more than to be married to Stephen.”

“I know,” Clarissa replied. She knew exactly how that felt. Running her hands along her dress, she moved to her bag, pulling out a small book.

“What’s that?” Michelle asked, looking at the book curiously.

“Oh, just a little something I picked up in that bookshop downtown.”

“The weird one with the skulls in the window?” Michelle asked, her face scrunched up in distaste.

“Yeah. It’s an interesting little place.” She set the book out, open to a page about halfway through. Then she reached back into her bag for a small cone of incense and a picture of the pair of them when they were teenagers. She lit the incense, setting it atop the picture.

“Why would you even go in there?” Michelle asked, coming closer to look at what Clarissa was doing.

“I knew we needed something borrowed,” Clarissa explained. “And I figure borrowing your life will work for me just fine.”

Michelle’s face was full of confusion as Clarissa began the short chant that would trade the souls of the two girls. She sucked in a surprised breath just before both women became incredibly disoriented.

Clarissa gave a small cry of pain, hearing her sister echo the sound. She opened her eyes slowly against the pain that pounded in her skull.

“What have you done?”

It was eerie to hear her own voice speaking to her. She smiled and opened her eyes to watch her sister examining her new body. If Michelle thought this was bad, she hadn’t seen anything yet. Clarissa approached her sister slowly. This chant she’d memorized. Her sister’s eyes widened in fear at the grin on her face.

Beginning the spell, she backed her sister up against the full-length mirror behind her. She finished the rhyme, feeling triumphant, and smacked her palm on the glass of the mirror. When her sister disappeared in a puff of smoke, she couldn’t hold back a laugh. She looked at the temporarily visible image of her sister in the mirror before her.

“Sorry, little sister. But I couldn’t take the chance that you might find a way to get your body back.” Smoothing her skirt, she looked into the unhaunted mirror and smiled. “You do look gorgeous in this dress. It’s just too bad you won’t get to experience your own wedding.” She pinched the skin beneath her eyes as she heard the music begin to play in the chapel. She would look so sad when she informed the family of her sister’s last minute decision not to take part in her wedding. And when they discovered that she had recently moved out of her apartment and quit her job, they wouldn’t report her missing. She had planned everything so perfectly.

Clarissa picked up the bright bouquet that was now hers, and left the dressing room, ignoring the sight of her sister pounding against the mirror from the inside.

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Posted January 23, 2008 by Maidenfine in Challenge of the Badgers

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