A ghost story (The Mistress and Aigilas)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Aigilas, Jun 3, 2013.

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  1. Alvin Winter's father had been talking about getting a new house in some quiet place for at least ten years, since Alvin was seven (he didn't remember so well before that), so when one day he announced that the new house was indeed bought, both Alvin and Mrs. Winter were almost as surprised as if he had bought an elephant. But since neither of them had thought of any objection in the previous ten years, they piled their most indispensable possessions into the battered family car (the house was already furnished, Mr. George Winter assured his wife and son), all three squeezed into it, and left the city behind.
    Alvin didn't mind moving; he was leaving behind no close friends, wasn't exactly attached to his school and didn't really care about the prosaic flat that used to be his home. He was even looking forward to seeing some of the countryside; he liked walking, and the dirty grey streets and vulgar neons of the city made for very uninspiring walks. One could argue that for an almost grown-up man Alvin had entirely too much imagination. His best friends were made up. He spent more time reading than sleeping. But if one asked him (not that anyone did), he would have said that if there was nothing interesting and beautiful in real life, then imagination was the best asset a person could have.
    The new town was little and old, like something out of a picture book; the new house, however, was huge and old, also like something out of a picture book. The kitchen could probably contain their entire previous flat. "We cannot afford that house," Mrs. Winter said as soon as they got out; Mr. Winter calmly pointed out that they already did, and it was hard to argue with that. They got it really quite cheaply, he expounded; nobody else wanted it because somebody disappeared there, or somebody killed someone, or somesuch, he really hadn't paid any attention when the real estate agent told him. Superstitious rubbish, but it's all for the better, since they got it cheaply. (Alvin, of course, immediately decided he wanted to know, and he would ask around later.)
    The house had many windows, with such odd placement that it was obvious even from the outside that "floor" had been an alien concept to the architect. Most rooms were at least a few steps up or down from each other, and it was often hard to decide which ones were meant to be beside each other. It also had several balconies, a huge cellar full of cobwebs and irregularly placed arches, and a tiny tower on one side. It was anything but prosaic, and Alvin fell in love with it at first sight. He spent the entire day after their arrival exploring it, and was quite certain that he could spend any number of days with the same and not get tired of it. Every corner had something to discover.
    It was night by the time he found the attic. Found, because the staircase that led up there was located in what seemed from the outside a built-in wardrobe. He felt the thrill of something forbidden as he entered, as if it was hidden on purpose; he had to remind himself that he lived here now.
    The staircase was narrow and dark and so full of spiderwebs that his hair (that was, according to his mother, in urgent need of a haircut) went from blonde to grey by the time he reached the top. The upper door had gone unopened for so long that it stuck shut with cobwebs and he had to tear it open. So he did, and stepped out into the attic.
    In what was almost unprecedented in this house, there was not a single window up here. Without his torch he wouldn't even have seen his own hand. He shone the light around on the crates that filled the room: they were wooden crates, not cardboard boxes, and he could see large, heavy padlocks on some. He resolved to open them later.
    There was only one thing not in a box, something that was too large to fit in even the largest of them. That something was covered with a black velvet drape and many years' dust. It stood far taller than Alvin, so tall in fact that it had to be stood in the middle of the attic where there was space for it. Alvin set down his lamp on a crate to shine in the right direction, took hold of the edge of the cover carefully on both sides and eased it off.
    And he found himself looking into the largest, most beautiful mirror he had ever seen.
  2. It had been hundreds of years since the mirror had seen any sort of light. Natural or even artificial... So when the light from the lamp lit up it's world and the thick velvet curtain lifted, it was a breath of- well, fresh air. But that wasn't the point. Inside the mirror, something far more interesting was happening.

    As he stands in the glory of the beautiful mirror, something flickers in it and slowly his own reflection began to fade. And something unthinkable happened. Someone else slowly came into view. It was a girl, maybe 16 or 17. She has porceline features like a doll, tightly curled blonde hair and pale skin with cherry lips and dark, full, long eyelashes. She had doll like perfection. Dressed in a beautiful green dress from sometime in the victorian age perhaps and a petite figure. Slowly her eyes open, a hazel green mixture, her face framed with her golden locks. She stares at the boy standing before her on the otherside of the antique mirror in astonishment.

    The girl had been called Elizabeth Mirian when she was alive. Her life was an happy one until that day....

    Needless to say, she'd seen very few people since she had been trapped on the other side and her eyes begin to well with tears at the happiness of simply being able to catch a glimpse of someone other then herself.
  3. However active his imagination was, it never crossed Alvin's mind to ascribe what he saw to his imagination. At first he didn't even try to explain it. Perhaps it was that the house itself was so strange and so wonderful that he expected the unexpected; perhaps it was the beauty of the apparition that rendered him unable to do anything but stand and admire her. She was perfect, fragile and yet timeless, like a butterfly preserved in a drop of amber.
    Only when tears welled up in her eyes did he found the spell broken. Until now he admired her only as one admires a painting; now she became a person in his eyes, a person whom he just met and who cried.
    "Good evening. My name is Alvin," he said; it only seemed proper to have good manners with her, despite the surreality of their meeting. Her angelic delicateness demanded that. "What's wrong?"
  4. She stares at him happily at him feeling lighter then she had in many hundreds of years. A smile appears on her features as tears falling down her slightly rosy cheeks, "I...I haven't seen anyone in so many years...I've lost track.." Her elegant hands touch the otherside of the mirror. "I'm so happy..." she smiles a bit more, eyes sparkling with the tears. "My name's Elizabeth..." she speaks in an old sounding way, but her voice is soft and sweet, almost angelic.
  5. As he saw the beautiful maiden smile, Alvin felt he had to smile back. He put his hand against hers, as if to shake it, then remembered something and decided it would probably be more polite to kiss it; her clothing appeared to be not from this age, and this was - he supposed - what a gentleman ought to do. So he bent down to her hand and touched his lips lightly to the glass.
    Yet there was something so sad in her smile, something so sad in her words. How long could she have been in the mirror? Centuries, surely... And alone all the while? How very lonely she must have been... He wanted to ask what happened to her, what she was, how she got in there, but he dared not. She was too much of an enigma. Maybe this was something he must not intrude upon. As he was getting more used to her presence and so more and more aware of the outlandishness of their situation, he also feared she would dissolve like a dream if he pried too much. There was only one thing he could ask.
    "Can I help you in any way?"
  6. She watches as he leans down kissing her hand, in a matter of speaking. She tilts her head with a smile tears still falling, "I....No," she shakes her head, "I'm afraid not...People have tried, none have succeeded..." she studies him, happy someone is there after so long. "So, who are you exactly? What year is it? Why are you wearing such odd clothes?"
  7. Until now it didn't occur to him that he was also odd to her. Yet how could he not be? He tried to imagine himself with her eyes, and admitted to himself that he must indeed look rather peculiar. Inwardly he cringed as he answered. All the years that passed her by, all the change in the world, will those upset her?
    "I just moved here today. These clothes are... common now," he said, gesturing at his jeans and zip-up hoodie sweater. "It's the year 2013." He bit the corner of his mouth, fearing her reaction.
  8. She blinks a bit, her green eyes widening a little before running her gaze up and down, taking in his appearance. Her lips make a small 'o', "Wow...It's been so long..." she smiles happily, wiping her eyes from the tears, eyelashes still slightly wet. "What's it like?" slightly enthusiastic, curious about what the world had turned into.
  9. Alvin felt surprised, but pleasantly so. Though he himself didn't consider the world he lived in interesting, he could see that it could be so for someone who had been away from it for so long. However, he also felt at a loss for words. How was he going to explain what everything was like? There was just too much to tell.
    "I'll show you," he said. He dived into the pocket of his jeans, fishing out his telephone. He rarely used it for its original purpose of communication, more interesting to him was the camera built into it; and now that would come in handy. "This is, ahem... it's a talking machine," he explained. "If both I and a friend of mine has one, we can talk into it and hear each other. But it can do other things too." As he spoke, he had already slid his phone open and was searching through the images. "It's also a picture machine. I made some pictures as we arrived."
    He held up the device so as to show the display to Elizabeth; the whole street was visible in the image. She probably knew this place, so it was best to start with how this changed. There were also some passersby in the picture, and he zoomed onto a young woman for a few seconds. "This is what girls wear now. But it's not as beautiful as your dress."
  10. She listens intently, gaze full of fascination as he speaks, taking in every word like she was a person who was stuck in a desert without water for days and had finally found some. It was boggling how much the world had changed. The pictures, and the talking machines...It was almost to even take in but she managed it as she blushes slightly at his compliment, "Ah...thank you." fiddling a bit with a ribbon on the skirt of her dress, looking down a bit.
  11. "I would be glad to show you more," he said. "I will make more pictures later and tell you about things." As it was, his only other pictures were of plants, of sunrises, of interesting cloud formations; nothing that would show much of a change.
    Now, however, it was time to try to satisfy a little bit of his own curiosity. He was no longer as afraid that she would disappear; she seemed quite permanent for now, but he still wanted to tread carefully. "Is this your house?"
    #11 Aigilas, Jun 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2013
  12. She keeps smiling listening and nodding still, enthusiastic. Then he asks his question... She pauses tilting her head a bit. "Well, I suppose...it was my families second one. But I never got to look around it. I've always been up here for the most part."

    After she was stuck in the mirror, a few years past and her family had been forced to move. They'd brought her mirror along, however they gave her her own room in the house. It wasn't the attic, and they visited but it was like they were a bit afraid of her. Like she wasn't right. Which she wasn't, and she knew it, but they didn't have to treat her so harshly. It wasn't a mean harsh, it was just an underlying tone of their actions she doubted they even noticed.
  13. "That's a pity," he answered. "It's the most interesting house I have ever seen. I would take you around, after all it's only proper that you see your own house, but I don't suppose I can carry the mirror..."
    He could no longer resist. He had so many questions. He tried to find the most harmless ones, but he knew he couldn't keep that up for long either. It was like having a whole river dammed up and only taking spoonfuls of water from behind the dam instead of letting the whole flood loose.
    "What is it like on your side? Are you in the reflection of whatever room the mirror is in? Or is there a... space of your own somewhere in there?"
  14. The girl smiles at his offer. He seemed like quite the generous thoughtful person. She slowly sinks down onto the bottom of the mirror, her skirt pooling around her as she sits there, thinking about her answer.

    "It's quite boring...there's nothing really here...It's impossible to explain," she shakes her head. "It's really horrible to be stuck here for so long, there's nothing good about it." She tilts her head a bit
  15. Alvin furrowed his brows as he considered that. Then his face lit up.
    "I have an idea," he said. "Are you able to hide? I don't know what my parents thought if they saw you in the mirror, but I don't really want to find out. I thought that maybe we could arrange to have the mirror taken down into my room. It's a larger, better-lit room, and then at least you would have a view on the garden. We could talk often and you wouldn't be so bored. You would only need to hide while we carry the mirror." For a moment he paused and quickly added, "Don't worry, I have a separate bathroom, I would always be clothed when you see me. I don't know that you would feel it appropriate to live in a man's room or not, but... well, if you don't want to, it was just an idea..."
    Wonderful, now he managed to embarrass himself. He didn't really have any experience to speak of in being around girls, he didn't even have a sister. What's more, Elizabeth was not just a girl, she was a lady, and how does one go about inviting a lady to his room?
  16. She blinks a bit in astonishment. He was inviting a girl trapped in a mirror into the place he slept and spent his time? Most people would be--very--freaked out at the idea of even having her around. She stares at him for a minute longer before she smiles clapping her gloved hands together slightly, laughing a bit.

    "I'd love that very much! It's so kind of you," she sings slightly, eyes sparkling happily. She'd have company once more... The idea made her feel fluttery inside.
  17. "It's my pleasure," Alvin said earnestly. Elizabeth fascinated her, not only by what she was but even more so by who she was. By her innocent, childlike joy at things he thought would disconcert her. By how naturally she took her strange situation. Even just by staying sane after such a long time of loneliness. He didn't want to abandon her after this fortunate discovery. "Let me get some help, and I'll be back shortly. I will talk when we come upstairs, so you know when to hide."
  18. She smiles brightly nodding, "Alright!" still sitting in the mirrors glass. She couldn't wait to see the garden, his room, and everything! The darkness she'd been sitting in so long had begun to make her feel like her very being was being corroded by the shadows she was saturated in for so long.

    Elizabeth sits, quite patient. She'd learned to be patient. Very patient. Her green eyes watch him as he leaves swiftly, still smiling happily, folding her gloved hands in her lap
  19. Alvin raced down the stairs in complete darkness. He couldn't even think of taking the lamp, not when Elizabeth had spent so long without a single glimmer of light. In his excitement he didn't consider until later that he could have broken his neck; it seemed inexcusable to keep her waiting any more than necessary.
    He found his parents enjoying a late supper after having packed out. His mother threw him a reproachful glance.
    "We called for you at least three times. And you are filthy! Is this any way to show up at the table?"
    This was no time to argue. Alvin thought it was unreasonable in a house of this size to expect him to hear them, but he made his best effort to be apologetic regardless. "I'm sorry, Mother, I'm sorry, Father. I was in the attic and couldn't hear."
    Mrs. Winter nodded. "Well, just wash yourself quickly and sit down."
    Alvin bit back a retort. Why, are my sandwiches getting cold? He knew that they would never help with anything until he had his supper. What was he, five? He could have supper on his own. But no... Regardless, it was best to be nice if he wanted a favour, and he could spend that time convincing them to help.
    He threw the sandwiches into his mouth with the speed of a semi-automatic weapon with sandwich rounds, while trying to speak as articulately as he could. His request took his parents by complete surprise; he had to admit, it was strange, why would a seventeen-year-old boy want a full-length mirror in his room? He barely paid attention to what he wore. He had to make something up.
    "I found a book on optics, I want to perform experiments with light. My window is perfect to catch the rising Sun, so I'd love it if we could take it down now, so it will be there by morning, please, please?"
    He saw his father's expression soften: he had always encouraged an interest in sciences in his son. Alvin made a note to himself to actually acquire a book on optics as soon as possible, in case he wants to see how the experiments are going.
    His mother declined going up there in all the dust after having had a bath, but Mr. Winter was willing, and the two of them would surely be enough. Alvin gathered everything he ever heard about optics so he could make intelligent conversation while going up the stairs.
    "Tomorrow I'm going to buy some black cardboard to make apertures from, and a few prisms. But this next morning I will just use a glass of water. We do have some straight-walled glasses, don't we?"
    He really, really hoped his father won't ask to see the book until he gets one.
  20. Elizabeth waits, humming a tune she used to play on the piano sitting in the warm light of the lamp. Time passes swiftly for her before she hears the sound of the Alvin and his father coming up the stairs. She shushes herself swiftly, fading from the mirror, leaving it as a normal seeming looking glass.

    She could hardly contain her excitement. She'd be exposed to real light again! And she'd get to see the world after so many hundreds of years. Curiousity was filling her to the brim and she clamps her hands over her mouth so as to stop a few squeals of excitement from escaping.
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