The Mirror This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   King Andrew was a suspicious man. He feared his subjects were plotting tooverthrow him, so he visited a witch named Guenevere Gunther. He asked her whathe could do to make sure the peasants weren't conspiring against him. She led himto a small room in the back of her cottage.

There stood a tall, shinymirror bedecked in rubies, emeralds, and an occasional diamond. "The Mirroris not an ordinary mirror. It reflects what is inside the person. An ugly girlwho has a kind heart will see herself as gorgeous in the Mirror. A handsome manwho is surrounded by riches and medals, but is evil inside, will appear as ahideous monster. It will separate the innocent from the conspirators, too,"she told him.

"How much is it? I'd like to bring it to the castleright away, if I may."

"I'll let you use it for free. There isone condition. I must be the only one to operate it, so I'll have to live in yourcastle."

King Andrew thought over this condition. "Let me seeyour reflection first," he demanded.

She obediently stood before theMirror. She whispered, "Mirror, let the truth be seen. Show if I am good ormean." She bowed her head and King Andrew was awe-struck as he saw in theMirror a beautiful blond woman with a friendly smile.

"All right,witch. We'll bring the Mirror to the castle now. You'll stay in thetower."

The witch settled in her room and the Mirror was attached tothe wall. Ten minutes after returning to the castle, King Andrew brought fivepeople to the Mirror. "Show me their reflections, witch, " hecommanded.

"But I haven't ..."

"We don't have time,witch. Show me the reflections," he repeated forcefully.

The firstsubject was a tall, lean man wearing dusty overalls. "Mirror, set the truthaglow. Is he friend or is he foe?" chanted the witch softly. She bent herhead.

An image of a horrible beast formed in the Mirror."Podunk!" cried King Andrew. "I always thought you were one of thefaithful ones. Guards, bring this man to the dungeon."

The next fourreflections were equally awful, so the king sent them to the rat-infesteddungeon. "That will be all, witch."

The next two days were busyfor the witch and her Mirror. The king brought in every subject for examinationand was dismayed when each had an evil reflection. Eventu-ally, he had sent allhis subjects, even the children, to the dungeon.

King Andrew's suspiciongrew. Maybe his guards were part of the conspiracy, too. "Witch, show metheir reflections." Each guard had a reflection of a terrible, insidiouscreature that caused the King to shudder. He threw each into the dungeon, whichwas very crowded by now.

The King noticed his son, Hugh, giving him secretglances. So he placed his seven-year-old son before the Mirror. "Mirror,here is the King's child. Be he mean or be he mild?" crooned thewitch.

The Mirror cast a reflection of darkness and gloom. "My ownson," the King whispered sadly. He marched his heir to thedungeon.

He had his wife and grandmother tested by the Mirror, too. To hisdismay, both were images of ugliness and horror. So the King threw his owngrandmother and his true love into the dungeon to let them suffer like therest.

There was no one left. The kingdom had an unsettling quiet to it.The King paced across the dining room floor, lonely and sad. He marched up to thewitch's room and threw open the door. "Witch, everyone is against me! Areyou sure that your Mirror is working properly?"

The witch murmured,"There is one way to check. Let me see your reflection."

"I... don't think that ... well, I mean, it wouldn't ... " the Kingfumbled.

"Step before the Mirror, your highness," commanded thewitch. She chanted, "Mirror, I place before you the King. Is he a gentle manor an evil thing?"

The room shook violently and the Mirror emitted aflash. The witch bowed her head and the King peered into the Mirror, scared. Whathe saw was a hideous beast with evil eyes and a sickening grin. The King fell tothe ground in sorrow.

"Dear King Andrew, you never let me tell you.You were too anxious to examine your subjects that I had no time to tell youthis: When you look into the reflection of another, it will be different fromwhat they see. All those people had good reflections, but you were too blind tosee them! You judged every friend and family member wrongly! What kind of King isthis?" The witch asked with a melancholy voice. "Not one fit to rule akingdom."

She ran past him to the dungeon and unlocked the door. Allthe survivors rushed out and began singing and dancing. They ran to the tower andencircled the King in a loving, forgiving embrace. He could only stand weeping,ashamed of all the damage he had done. His wife kissed him and his son hugged hisleg, yet he could not move.

The witch pulled the Mirror from the wall."Good-bye, King Andrew," she called. "Let this be a lesson toyou."

As he watched her leave the room, he saw a miraculoustransformation. The haggard old witch named Guenevere Gunther changed into thebeautiful blond he had seen in the Mirror. She sprouted wings and a shiny goldhalo. He tried to call to her, but it was too late. She had flown off into thesunset, ready to help another.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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ButterflyNebula said...
Apr. 26, 2016 at 8:48 am
I like your story. It has a nice lesson that the King learns.
 
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