Talespinning Tuesday: Shard, Chapter Two

Name me what you will,
even so, I’m a thing of fears,
I’m the unswallowed pill,
come here for your tears,
a caustic remark, a jagged reply,
I am the soul of mean spirit,
the canker I bring, you may deny,
but it is born of truth thus you fear it.

She slowly emerged from sleep, the sunlight slipping past her eyelids, clearing her mind of all traces of dream. Feeling the warmth on her face, a smile spread. This was exactly how she loved to wake up. Elsa opened her eyes in befuddlement. Everything was as she knew it would be, the sunlight streaming through the floor to ceiling window, the sticky buns on their platter by her bedside. It was all as it should be but she remembered. She remembered the thousands of times she had been here, she even recalled the times in the meadow and drawing room.
She tried to squeeze her eyes shut against the memory that sought to drown her. Failing that, she cast her gaze about looking for anything to anchor her in her distress. Her eyes fell upon the vanity mirror and reeled back from the dark reflection within. The image had etched itself upon her mind and overlayed itself onto her vision. It was a Stygian refraction of her room. Where Elsa’s room was light and airy, the other room was black and oppressive. As she could not rid herself of the image, she decided to do something wholly out of character in desperation and face the other room.
In trepidition, she approached the mirror. She slid from her bed, trying to avoid getting caught within the hungry vacuum of its twisted echoing. She pressed herself against the wall that the mirror sat against. As she sidled in close, she reached a tentative hand towards the looking glass. She gasped in shock, as she peeked to see her hand’s dreadful twin. The copy had taken her alabaster skin and made it sallow and unhealthy, like the skin of a grub. She knew she could not linger, so she screwed up her courage and before she could lose her nerve, touched the glass.
The glass was frigid to the touch, almost burning her fingertip with its icy caress. Just before she could pull away, Elsa felt the feel of skin to skin contact. She looked down in horror at where the two hands met. Time slipped. The next thing she knew, she was looking up to the full face of the mirror. Within stood her mirror image. In the mirror, her light blue, diaphanous nightgown was given an almost funereal feel. It was a deeper blue, a hue of tragedy and sorrow. Her breasts were still full, but they were pallid and dull. Her red lips were an unhealthy blue color and her cheeks had lost any vibrancy they contained.
She felt an almost naseating fear grip her heart with glacial fingers when the figure before her smiled and Elsa saw that her mouth was full of needle-like teeth. A forked tongue flicked out between the two rows of jagged spikes. “Eelllllsssaaa,” her doppleganger said in a horribly sibilant whisper.
Elsa screamed and tried to jerk her hand back from the mirror. The fingers of fear began squeezing her heart as her mirror twin reached out through the glass and grabbed her wrist. “Don’t go Elsa, there is so much I can tell you!”
“Let me go!” Elsa screamed in dread, terror inspiring strength in Elsa she did not know she possessed. She ripped her wrist from the other’s greedy fingers.
“Dddon’tt bbbe like that, Ellllsssa,” the twisted clone hissed, “I’m only trying to help you.”
Elsa stumbled back, falling roughly upon the bed, still scrambling back on instinct. The mirror Elsa seemed to flow out of the mirror, her body moving and swaying in a creepily sinuous manner. It twined itself upon the floor, snake-like, before standing in one eerily graceful twist of body. The tongue flicked out passed the teeth once more. “Does it hurt? Does it pain you that this place is just one more lie? To know the truth, that you forget so conveniently each time. That this place is merely a façade used to trap you? Does that pain you, will you cry?!?” she eagerly said with her viper mannerisms.
“It is not a lie,” Elsa rejoined firmly, “you are trying to trick me!”
“Why would I lie?” snake-Elsa said indignantly, “The truth is a far more powerful hurt than any a lie could produce. I want to see you suffer.”
“Well,” she started timidly now, her bluster of a mere few seconds ago completely gone, “that is something I expect someone trying to trick me would say.”
The other Elsa smiled, once more putting her stiletto teeth on display, and said, “You don’t have to take my word for it, you may go outside if you are so sure.”
Elsa looked at the stout wooden door that was the entrance to her room. “The door is locked, I cannot leave.”

“A simple matter,” the other Elsa said, smirking. She snapped her fingers and there was an audible sound as the tumblers clicked into place and the door popped open ajar.