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Sunkissed and Startouched

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Never occurred to me to be wary of mirrors. Not my entire life.

Even all the horror movies and books that I'd seen or read or heard about couldn't convince me that mirrors were inherently evil.

But I finally found the one that is and I don't really know what to do about it.

"Jesus, where am I?" I'm poking around in the dark after slamming into the mirror I keep in my living room. It wasn't new, in fact it was an antique- but this is the first time I've been attacked by it. "Fuck, where's my sofa?"

That's being a little dramatic, I guess. Still what else do you call it when you slam head first into it and it knocks you out apparently for hours.

It seemed like seconds to me, but seeing as it's so dark, I assume it had to be hours enough for the sun to go down. I never turn my lights on if I can help it. It keeps the energy bill low.

Relying on the sun to light my house just makes sense. Plus it keeps me warm and I've no need of a heater on the cool days between summer and fall, winter and spring. Winners all around.

I knock into something and fall over face first onto what feels like a table or a desk. "Oof. Eureka. My kitchen table. Maybe. Wait, no, my kitchen table isn't made of wood." I'm pushing myself up as I talk and feeling around the tabletop. I come across…something…

The texture is metal and…oh! It's a candle in a metal holder. Thank god.

Picking it up, I search around for a lighter somewhere, but find nothing. Growling to myself in irritation, I huff a frustrated breath-

And breathe fire all over the candle.

Which as you can imagine, does not do wonders for my nerves.

I drop the candle- or well, what used to be a candle and is now just kind of a bubbling mass of wax on the floor.

"Whatthefuck whatthefuck whatthefuck," I whisper as I cover my mouth with my hand to prevent any more flames from escaping.

And then the room starts glowing and I just want things to make sense, please.

When I turn around, the glow is coming from the mirror. And it's…

It's depicting another place.

And when I take a look around the room I'm currently in…I realize it's not my home.

It's an oddly old-fashioned looking office with weird jars and…scrolls all over the place.

"Oh crap, I fell through a magic mirror." The realization that I just said that out loud, without breathing fire and that I'm actually considering all this to be actually happening and not some weird dream hits me all of a sudden.

And my panic response is active.

So I run over to the mirror and grasp the frame. "Take me home, please god take me back. I don't know what's happening, this is-"

Reaching up to touch the mirror, I find myself sucked through it with enough force to send me sprawling onto the floor on the other side.

I curl up on the floor and huff my hair out of my face. "Alright, I'm done. I'm just gonna lie here until things make sense again."

"Extraordinary," a voice whispers.

And I am instantly on my feet and spinning around to search for the source of it.

"Who the hell are you?" I snap before I can think better of it. "…sir?"

And then I actually see who I'm talking to.

"Sir?" the blue-skinned man with sparkling stardust freckles and black sclera with gray irises quirks an eyebrow. "My… aren't we deferential."

"Look I just fell through two magic mirrors and found out I can breathe fire for some reason, cut me some slack, okay?" I sigh and again flip out because flames shoot out of my mouth.

The mysterious hooded man with blue skin closes the distance between us with two sweeping steps. I don't even have a chance to back away before he's making a symbol in the air with his fingertips and speaking in a language I don't understand- right in front of me. His fingers nearly touch my lips.


I cough a few times and realize whatever fire was inside me is…dormant. Sleeping or disabled or something. Shit.

"What- what did you do?" I cough a couple of times more before the effect settles and I'm back to normal.

He tilts his head at me. "I doused the flame within you so as to allow you control over your speech for the moment. Because you see…" He takes a step closer and looks down at me curiously. "No one has come here before. I am alone in this place and have been so for a very long time. And yet here is a mysterious human, one connected to a Primal Source, no less…within this place where I have been trapped for centuries…"

He steps back a bit, allowing me the room to breathe. "So as you can imagine, I do have a few questions."

The only reason I didn't move is really because I couldn't comprehend anything in front of me.

He's breathtakingly beautiful in more than one way. Lithe, athletic figure. Star constellations all over the exposed parts of his skin. His weapons-grade, panty-dropping voice.

Everything about this man is utterly perfect and I don't trust it one bit.

"I've got questions of my own," I say and cross my arms. "For starters…why are you blue?"

His eyebrows rise. "Is that such a strange thing to you?"

"Where I'm from people are not blue. Or purple, or…whatever that color is." It's like a midnight sky but I can't tell if it's purplish like the dawn or just…deep-bluish-almost-black. "And they definitely don't have stars sparkling under their skin. On their skin. Is that glitter or part of you?"

I look up and see an expression on his face like he wants to laugh at me but very muted and subtle. Lips twisted up at one edge, eyebrows cocked in different directions. Eyes half-lidded, as if pleased or amused.

So I cross my arms and glower at him. "What?"

"I would propose a mutually beneficial arrangement," he says. Slowly, and with purpose. "I will tell you what you want to know, and you will answer my questions."

"We'll trade," I say. "You answer my question, I'll answer yours. And we'll keep trading. Back and forth."

He nods, "that is a fair bargain. So to answer your first question, I am an elf. Elves can be many different colors."

I blink and squint at him. "I'm guessing you have pointy ears under that…hat, then. Where I'm from, all elves are thought to have pointed ears."

He smirks and a twinkle glints in his eyes, but he doesn't answer. "Do I get to ask you something now?"

I sigh and relish in the knowledge that no fire will be shooting out any time soon. He shouldn't have done that without asking, but I can't deny it's great not to breathe fire without meaning to. "Sure, fire away."

He blinks exactly once, looking nonplussed and forges ahead. "Where are you from?"

So I decide to be a little shit, because why not. "The United States."

His eyes slit like a satisfied cat, for just a moment. Then he looks normal again. Pleasant but blank. "I see. It would seem it is your turn."

I think I just started a war.

"Do you have pointy ears?" I ask. Going right for a yes or no question to see how he'll respond.

His smile is languorous. "I suppose I haven't checked in a while. Let's see."

And then he reaches up and dramatically removes his hood.


He just smiles pleasantly at me. "I suppose my ears are pointed, aren't they?" He reaches up and traces the point of one in demonstration. "My turn, isn't it?"

That asshole just gave me like five new questions to ask by answering just one. I hate that this is so fun.