Broken thing it whispers. Cowardly thing…
Mirrors can’t talk. At least this one can’t, last I checked
It seems to taunt me though, as I stare at the blanket that covers the glass. A bit of green peeks out from the side, part of the colored glass pieces pieced together to look like swimming otters around the edge
I’ll leave the blanket there for now, I think
Shifting my gaze to the seemingly harmless glass bottles of hair oil, combs, brushes and bowls of hair beads and hair pins sitting under the mirror doesn’t do much to improve my melancholy. They seem to be begging to be used, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to pick them up. I want my hair where I can hide behind it, if I want.
A’ma banished me up here because of the terrible cold I’d had, although no one can catch it from me now, but it’s best not to make anyone nervous to bring their children or families in. Maybe I’ll sneak out in the yard and commune with the sheep and chickens. They won’t mind how my face looks, or my cold.
I hear Roan utter some absolutely vile swear words down in the yard. The ewes must have kicked over the milk pail, and if they didn’t, Roan’s language will have curdled the milk anyway. Maybe I won’t go down there. Roan will ruin my attempts at being gloomy all by myself.
The attic I sit in is warm at least, better than Roan has got, or my brother and Marek, where they sit on the beach, tending fires to make charcoal and shucking mussels. Maybe they’ll find a pearl…the attic is kept warm by section of warm chimney stones that passes through at the end of the room, behind the mirror.
At the other end of the room sits a big bed that my father carved designs into when he married A’ma. Shapes of crashing waves and birds frame the bed.
I never met my father. Zann and I were born on the beach where he now sits, after our A’ma fled the Scarred City because my father was killed. Our grandmother and my mother’s best friend came with her, and Biame, the needle monger, my mentor.
It’s getting dark and starting to snow. I light some candles and roll out my bedding to sit on and watch the flames play off the fishnets, hung with seashells and sea glass and other sparkling bits, draped across the ceiling. The candlelight also hits the thick glass windows on either side of the room, their sills lined with more treasures from land and sea. The ceiling is rather steep, but low enough you can only stand up at the peak in this room. Outdoors, the roof is excellent at dumping snow on anyone who opens the front shop door, and when it rains, the carved wood rain animals spit water on anyone who passes too close. But people come to the shop anyway. My grandmother’s herb shop comprises the front room of the house.
On a whim, I drag a small chest over, one of several lining the walls. Some worn dolls and all their household possessions sit inside: small clay pots and baskets and “food” of stones and dried flowers. With these dolls I pretended to be an A’ma. Well, now my A’ma thinks I probably won’t be able to have my own children, another source of my gloom. I might as well repair the dolls. They might be the only babies I get….
The wind picks up and starts to howl. I hope Roan finished his work before now….