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Auditions on the 24th! the flyer screamed in bright purple letters. Come down to Westborough High’s auditorium to audition for Sleeping Beauty!
I snatched it off the wall, sparks of glee dancing inside me, and hurtled down the hallway to my best friend’s locker. “Teagan! Teagan, will you come with me? I audition today!” I practically shouted, waving it madly in her face.
“To the auditions? Heck yeah!” Teagan’s green eyes met mine and the fire in them danced with mine. “Sierra, you’ve been waiting for this, what, like three months now?”
“Yes!” I did a little dance.
“Of course I’ll come support you!”
The rest of the day was agony. I sat through lunch and the remainder of my classes, about as antsy as a kid in a candy shop.
As soon as the bell rang in my ears, I dashed down to the auditorium and joined the line of teens waiting to be inside.
Teagan met me and we squeezed inside the doors, jostled by the crowd, and took our seats.
“First up, for the part of Aurora or Sleeping Beauty, we’ve got Inez Adders,” announced Mrs. Holle, the drama teacher.
Inez auditioned, and yeah, she was good, but I knew that I would be better.
“Next... Jocie Boudin?”
The names blurred together and I zoned out, until finally... “and lastly, we’ve got Sierra Ziady?”
“Yep!” I launched myself up from my seat and flounced up the steps to the mahogany stage.
“I’ll be doing the piece where Aurora, or Briar Rose, is in the forest, just before she meets Prince Philip,” I say smugly, and begin.
I wonder why each little bird
Has a someone to sing to
Sweet things to
A gay little love melody.
If my heart keeps singing
Will my song go wing-ing
Who'll find me
And bring back a love song
“Very nice, Sierra,” Mrs. Holle said, smiling.
I grinned back at her as I left the stage. As I sat down with Teagan, I whispered, “I’m definitely the best. I know I got the part.”
“Yeah you did!” she whispered back.
Auditions ran for another hour or so until Mrs. Holle stood up one last time and announced, “The list of all actors will be posted on the auditorium door tomorrow. Expect to work the day after that.”
“How’s it going?” Teagan called to me as she painted sets. I straightened the golden crown on my head and blinked prettily at her. “Just fine, thanks!”
We continued with rehearsal until four, when we had a short break.
“Sierra, can you go to the basement and grab the old mirror for me?” Teagan called. “I’m busy painting these trees.”
“Yeah. Brb.” I headed down to the basement, flipping on the light switch. The basement lit up, flourishing all sorts of costumes and props.
“Whoa! Cool!” I gasped, spotting the mirror in the corner.
It was leaning up against the wall, thick with dust and cobwebs. Its oval shape was ringed with black paint, its feet and top elaborately carved.
“Cooool,” I said again, slowly. The mirror seemed to glow with an inner light, although I told myself that it was just my imagination.
I reached out to brush off the dust, and then I spotted the writing.
“Huh? Who’s idea of a joke is this?” I cried, sweeping the spidery letters away.
“It’s not a joke.”
“Who said that?” I whirled around. No one was there but my reflection, which seemed just a little... off, peering at me through the dust with glitteringly intelligent eyes.
I was a little taller, with porcelain skin and perfectly spaced features. My eyes, though they shone their normal bright blue, were just a bit brighter than they should have been...
My reflection grinned- which I didn’t do!- and morphed into a demon with skin the color of the deepest night and fiery blue eyes that burned into me.
Her hands shot out, wrapping around my wrists and burning like her eyes. She grinned, displaying needle teeth and a red, forked tongue.
The thing pulled me forward, through what felt like rubbery water, and I was suddenly looking out into the basement… from inside the mirror. My reflection was looking back at me, from the real world.
“That ‘run’ trick. It gets them every time,” she said with a voice that I can only describe as filled with hellfire, growling into the corners of the room.
“Let me out!” I pounded on my side of the mirror, which held fast.
“Oh, I don’t think so,” the She-Demon said, studying a pointed claw. “It’s quite nice out here. So many souls to devour. The last girl somehow tricked me back into the mirror after only three hundred or so souls! I’m not making that mistake again; do you have any idea how hungry I get?” she wailed. “Anyway, I dealt with her good and proper, with methods to stop even the cleverest future victims.”
I swallowed. “What… what happened to her? What have you done?”
My reflection conjured a cracked skull and I had the horrible feeling it was the girl before me. “And as for your new home, I bewitched it with black magic. You’ll feel the effects soon. You’ll become like me.” Her fangs clicked together. “And soon, you’ll have your own victim, and you’ll be free to feast upon souls, and the next will take your place…”
“No,” I gulped. “Never.”
“You know in your heart that you lie. Now, let’s see…” she reached in and scratched my forehead. “Good life.. ah, an actress? Very nice!” she gave me her fanged smile again, seeming to analyze my life from the blood dripping down my forehead. “Now…” she shimmered like a mirage and transformed herself into my perfect reflection again. “it’s time to join your life. Enjoy your millenias of suffering.” She laughed, and it eerily sounded just like me.
“No!” I banged on the mirror, tears streaking my face. “Please…” My fists trailed down the glass as my reflection disappeared up the stairs.
I slumped to the floor and curled into a ball, no sure of what else to do. All I was trapped in was a… mirror image, so to speak, of the basement, only this version seemed to be rotting.
I pounded on the mirror one last time, though I knew my attempts were futile.
Something seemed to snap inside of me, sending tremors throughout my black skin… wait a minute. Black skin? I shrieked like a banshee, scrabbling against the mirror one more time with fingernails turned claws. I was consumed with Get Out! Get Out! GetOutGetOutGETOUT!
“Have to get out,” I muttered drunkenly. “Gotta get out. Havetogetoutgottagetout. Hungry… so hungry…” I peered out of my home with my new eyes, my beautiful flaming eyes… “Must eat souls…!”
“Hey, has anyone seen Sierra?” Teagan asked, concerned. “She’s been down in the basement for a while.”
“Here I am!” Sierra said cheerfully. “Sorry, Teagan, I couldn’t find the mirror.” Her eyes glittered strangely and something about her seemed weird.
“S’okay. I’ll pick one up at a thrift store or something,” Teagan shrugged. “Now, who’s up for a snack break?”
“Snacks… sound delightful.” Sierra licked her lips.
“Hey, was that…?” Teagan brushed the thought aside. Who the heck could have a forked tongue? “...never mind.”
“Oh, you saw correctly.”
To Teagan’s horror, Sierra began to… to change, into… something.
“And I am hungry, especially for nice souls like yours,” the thing that had been Sierra said, tongue flicking between needle-like teeth. She crouched as Teagan and the rest of the musical members screamed and scattered like leaves in the wind.
“I’ll give you a head start,” Sierra suggested as the auditorium doors slammed shut. “Not that it’ll do you much good, but souls are so much better on the run.”
“Stop! What are you?” Teagan shrieked, scrambling away madly, tripping over a paint can, and crashing to the wooden stage.
She lay on the ground, trembling with the pain of what felt like a broken ankle, as Sierra the Demon looked at her hungrily with those burning blue eyes. “Ten… nine… eight…”