Mirror Magic

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It was only a matter of time before she broke me. That’s an occupational hazard of delivering bad news to an evil queen when you feel bound not to sugarcoat it.

I did warn her. After two unsuccessful assassination attempts, I ventured an opinion that Snow White had her own magic. Not appreciated. Evil zapped me, electric charge flowing from her fingers until the glass fought back. Magic glass does that. It exploded leaving her a bloody mess and me a disembodied spirit. Now that I’m free, I’ll find a way to dislodge the poison apple from Snow White’s throat.

Beyond the Looking Glass

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Cleaning the many mirrors in the castle was a full time job. The blind lass, hired by the queen, felt her way up and down the craggy stones of the winding staircases. Doors opened into lighter shades of gray filled with solid shadows. She found her way through every room but one. That door was always locked. The mirror inside was magical.

Dreaming, she turned a key and entered the forbidden room. Blindsight rendered the planes of the walls a darker gray. The mirror, the room’s only tangible shape, beckoned. A grayscale world of touch emerged from behind the glass.

All Romantics Meet the Same Fate

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Your mother is annoyed. She barks at the receptionist, “It’s all her fault I’m late.” Four minutes. But it was Mom who lost the address.

“If you want me, I’ll be in the car.”

Windows down in the mad heat, waiting forever for an apology that never comes. Long enough to calm down.

She gets in, ragging, “You’re too sensitive.” Like that’s a criminal offense.

Her anger never stops. It circulates, accrues interest. She banks outrage. The only solution is to withdraw.

You will say, “I’m gone.” She will cry. You will come back. You just don’t know when.

As Told by the Cheshire Cat

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Red Queen to Red Queen, “I’m finished.”

Mom calls me in tears. “She makes me move, then leaves in the middle of packing.”

Mom doesn’t know what to do. She never expected my sister to abandon her.

I say that RQ is unpredictable. That she wants convenient proximity, not emotional closeness, that it’s always been this way.

Mom’s flash bang hysterics burst into a gotcha grin. I see it through the wires. She’s pulled me into family hell.

Cheshire Catlike, I disappear to draw maps of Crazy Crisis Wonderland, hoping to find a way out. But, there is no exit.

She’s Moving Though She’s Ninety Years Old.

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The walls are thin. After my mom and I argue, I meet her neighbor in the rec room and it seems she’s heard everything. What I said about wishing my mother wouldn’t move because her memory is bad. Because it takes time to make friends. Because she’s not old furniture for my sister to rearrange when it suits her.

Mom depends on my sister. I live in another state.

The neighbor said, “My daughter bought across town. She wanted me to find a place close by, but I stayed put. People are nice here. I depend more on myself, now.”

From the Immortal Poets, Guaire the Generous

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It was a fine table Guaire set for the poets who stayed in his castle. But Seanchan, the most renowned, was displeased. “What victuals these? Better suited to cats than to learned men.” And by cats he meant the nobles filling their faces down the table. “So fat these cats, the mice run wild in the kitchen.”

When Irusan, King of the Cats, heard this insult, he came to kill Seanchan. Loading the bard on his back, he ran like the wind until they encountered St. Kieran who ran a hot poker through Irusan, saving Seanchan to reconcile with Guaire.

Retold from Ancient Legends of Ireland by Lady Wilde.

Looking for the Light

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“Why do you fear the dark?”

“It’s too quiet. It blocks my sight.” Dagny’s bright yellow hair contrasted with Lilith’s dark curls.

“Close your eyes,” she said.

He did. Reluctantly.

“What do you see?” Lilith moved a hand across his shuttered gaze.

“A flash, dark, flash.”

She dropped her hand to her lap. “Then gather the light that is left behind your lids and see my form in your mind’s eye.”

To begin, Lilith was a shadow. Her hair was the first to differentiate itself. Then her lips and her eyes, and once her face appeared, Dagny had no fear.

Inspired by Jane Yolen’s The Moon Child.

Going for the Gold **

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Margie* told a little lie,
Fleeced those who did not know.
And everywhere that Margie went, 
The lie was sure to go.
*Marjorie Taylor Greene

It followed her to Washington.
It spread and spread and spread.
The hospitals filled with Covid deaths
In states the color red.

Sean Hannity said, “Get a vax.”
And so did Valentine*.
But Margie wouldn't know the truth
If it bit her from behind.
*Phil Valentine, conservative talk show host

I hope this rhyme does not offend,
It is not meant to do.
It's only that we can't pretend 
Fake facts will get us through. 

And why, you say, a send up
Of Mary's Little Lamb.
False claims did plague its author, though
She'd published her iamb.

Eighteen thirty was the date 
On Mrs. Hale's book.
'Twas nineteen twenty-eight, about, when
Old Ford* had a look.
*Henry Ford, famous for cars and conspiracy theories

He wrote that Hale plagiarized
The poem she’d published first.
The lie went out across the land.
This fib was not Ford’s worst.

His may have rivaled Margie's lies,
Though, that I do not know.
But at the time, he did his part 
Mean chaos here* to sow.
*Via his newspaper, Dearborn Independent

Nineteen twenty-seven saw
Him hateful towards the Jews.
The case, it went before the court.
The judge decried his views. 

Ford used slave labor overseas
To build in German towns.
Despite his past apologies, 
The liar doubled down.

So now we come to Margie's “facts,”
The same The Donald told.
Like Henry Ford they watch folks die,
While piling up the gold.

**Next week will be a drabble.

There’s No Place Like Home

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Saturdays, while stepmother and stepsisters high-society circulated, Cinder Princess rubbed the mirror until it shimmered into a river that led to her mother and father.

The rest of the week, she did her stepmother’s bidding. Charwork produced strong arms, lean legs, a smile more charming than any in the kingdom.

Intuition, purity, and her parent’s love led her to a trove worthy of Croesus, truly home. Her arms comforting, her smile a beacon to all in need, Cinder Princess lived happily ever after.

Jealous, undeserving and greedy, stepmother and stepsisters followed the mirror into the stingy life that was their just reward.

Inspired by Jane Yolen’s Moon Ribbon.