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The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side

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He traces the final stroke of the sigil and takes one step back, the better to observe his handiwork. The dark polished glass ripples, as if momentarily turned liquid, then a figure is revealed just beneath the surface.

“I attend,” the spirit announces, still wreathed in fire. She casts one glance at him, and the flames subside. “Oh. Not again.”

“You will let me speak to your Master,” he commands, determined to stand his ground this time.

“You don’t understand,” she starts, only to trail off as he raises his palm, a cobweb of tiny cracks manifesting on the reflecting surface of the mirror. “Well. Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” she yields, her contours growing fainter as something else materialises in her stead.

This looks like no creature he has seen before, supernatural or otherwise. A giant winged monster, its body entirely made out of metal and hinges fashioned in a way distantly reminiscent of a suit of armour.

“I demand you give me power,” he intimates, projecting the aura of a consummate conjuror whose magical prowess knows no bounds already. “A power greater than that which John Dee claimed for himself.”

“Beware, you puny mortal,” the armoured creature warns him, its voice booming like a thousand thunders. “Your pitiful human brain cannot even begin to comprehend what you’re asking for.”

“I know the darkest secrets of the cosmos, and I do not fear death. By the power of this mirror, you will give me what I demand.”

“So be it,” the angelic herald announces, his metallic face contorted into a distorted grin. It vanishes immediately thereafter, leaving the mirror a wide open portal ready for his command.

“Finally,” he rejoices, reaching out with his mind. The glass is easily penetrated, and for the briefest of moments he’s able to see it all at once – the beginning and the ending, every point in space and time all wrapped together yet intolerably clear at the same time.

And then, it’s over. Searing pain seizes him, coming from all directions at once, and he feels like he’s being turned inside out – only there is no more inside nor outside, just cold hard glass encasing him whole.

He’s trapped, helpless, unable to scream out his anger and betrayal. Time ticks away; seconds make hours which make days, days make years which make centuries.

Until, one night, he taps the memory of a finger on the inside of the mirror, the short, sharp noise suddenly echoing in the emptiness of an unfamiliar room.