What if mirrors were a way between worlds - a chance for us to look into another place without realizing it, or to look into the past? This story is based upon that idea.
“Whatever you do, don’t open your doors,” Verity had warned the past ten nights.
She was the ghost who lived in the mirror from whence the knocking at 1:53 AM came every night. Her pale skin was dashed with freckles. Her hair auburn and wavy, but our eyes, our strange hazel colored eyes remained the same, as though they linked us through the mirror.
Still, I was in the twenty-first century, Scotland on a working holiday to research the Covenanters. I had rented the house for the six months, but the knocking at 1:53 AM, which began a month after I arrived, and had continued for the past two weeks began to wear on me. The house was old, cold, and more than a bit eerie even in the middle of the day.
Oddly it was the ornate mirror full-length mirror hanging in an upstairs bedroom which had convinced me to remain. Like a gateway into another time, it seemed to hide secrets within its glass. Secrets, apparently, only revealed themselves at 1:53 in the morning.
According to my research, and the information she could give me, Verity MacThenia, the woman in the mirror, had lived during the darkest days for the Covenanters. Her home was the one I rented, and she used its location as a way to shuttle Covenanters out of the city to the New World. Her own brother had been one of the most recent ones.
On the fifteenth day of the knocking, I waited for Verity. We could be doppelgangers, but I was black and she white. I was doubly mixed Mom would say – black father whose ancestors had been slave and master; Mom’s parents were white and black, with my mom appearing white. Both Mom and Dad were MacThenia’s though their connection extended all the way back to the same slave owner family. An uncle and nephew, so the story went.
Worse still was this uncle of hers, my ancestor it seemed, who haunted the territory around the house. “I spoke with a witch,” Verity had said the previous night. “She said the spells she gave me would protect the house up to your time.”
“What about after that?”
Verity had said nothing; the time she could talk having run out.
Now, I waited, books, print-outs and magazines scattered across my bed to keep me alert while I waited for my call. Seven minutes was all she had each night. A lot of time, but never enough it seemed, and things on her side were quickly deescalating.
“We’ll have to do something tomorrow,” she told me last night.
The research I found on them left me chilled. The man, set upon by burglars attempting to abduct Verity, had been found unconscious. He would die two days later without ever regaining consciousness. It was assumed the medical practices of the day finally did him in. Verity was never seen again after that night. She implied she would run to America, but I hoped I wouldn’t see her death at the hands of the burglars.
Verity’s scream woke me up.
I scrambled to me feet, cricket bat in hand before comprehension. My room was strangely quiet as though the eye of the raging storm. I could see lightning, but heard no thunder.
“Give me your hand!” Verity demanded, her hand flat on the mirror
I touched the mirror, and she yanked me through. “What … where?”
The oak door to her room shuddered and creaked from furious pounding from someone throwing himself at the door.
“You stay here; we have to fight him on both sides at once. I can fight the spirit, but you have to fight the living.”
She disappeared into the mirror back to my time.
Cricket bat in hand, I twirled it once. Daddy taught his children to defend their house no matter what. If an intruder enters your safe area, fight.
The door moaned and gave way to a boar of a man. He thundered for my name, but I answered with a crack across his temple.
Stunned, he stepped back, cleared his head and charged me.
Dodging the onslaught, I brought the bat down on his back sending him to his hands and knees.
“Who are you?”
He rose and lunged for me, catching my arm, but I swung in close, stood my ground and flipped him again. In the mirror, bright flashes filled my room revealing Verity tiring. If my man and her spirit were one in the same, better to finish him before the burglars arrived.
“My niece …” the boar clutched his chest. “What is this?”
“Now, Krysta!” Verity yelled.
I swung the bat around and landed it in his face, hard enough to knock him out, but hopefully not kill him.
He sank first to his knee then crumpled to the floor.
Verity collapsed in front of the mirror. “We did it,” she whispered.
“He’s still breathing,” I answered.
“Not for long; one of the maids has been slowly poisoning him for the past year.” She lifted her hand to the mirror. “I can only manage one more time through.” She held up three fingers. “That’s all the travel the witch could give me for such a long journey. Only one of us can return home, and I for one am content where I am, though, I wonder where I am.”
Footsteps pounded up the stairs. “A burglar!” Someone yelled. “Send for help!”
I glanced around, ready for the next attack and backed to the mirror. “There’s a burglar in the house, Verity. He knocks your uncle out.”
Behind me, she laughed. “I only see one. Give me your hand, and I will save my burglar friend.” Moments later, I stood watching the servants comb the room, rescue the man and find nothing.