Haven Shorts – Chapter 10 – Episode 15 – A Stranger Magic
Chapter 10 – Episode 15
Travis turned toward the mirror. Sam was right; the mirror was floating above the water.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Travis said, his voice barely audible.
Sam stood, taking in every detail. This was the most extraordinary moment of his entire life. It was unbelievable, incredible, and frightening all at the same time. His mind was racing; I’m no longer crazy, he thought. This proved it. Travis was here; he was a witness now. Did this have something to do with the dark stranger outside his home, he wondered. Sam didn’t know whether to stay or flee, but he had to find out. He had to know if there was a connection between the two.
He stepped forward into the cold water, inching his way little by little toward the ornate mirror.
“Ummm Sam, where you going …?” Travis asked. His eyes widened as he watched Sam move past him as if he were in some kind of trance.
Sam didn’t utter a word as he anxiously inched his way forward through the emerald water.
The water was freezing. It felt like a thousand needles were stabbing his feet as it seeped into his shoes and socks. But that didn’t matter to Sam. He had to know what was going on.
Travis stood resolute near the edge of the pool, reluctant to follow his friend.
“Sam, what are you doing? Come back here!” he said through gritted teeth.
But Sam continued to move forward, wading through the water that was up to his knees now.
Disinclined, Travis put his foot in the water, then quickly snatched it back out.
“Crap, that’s cold!” he said, his voice ringing out.
A small squeal echoed above them from something they could not see. Travis whirled around, swinging the lantern in all directions. Sam, who was several feet ahead of him now, stopped, turned back, and glared at Travis. “What in the world are you doing?”
“Sorry,” Travis sighed, looking at Sam remorsefully. He placed his foot back into the water followed by the other and waded through the water quickly trying to catch up to Sam.
“This is not a good idea, Sam. I have very bad feeling about this!”
Sam turned back toward the mirror.
“I mean, I am not sure if you are seeing what I’m seeing, but that’s a mirror, and it’s floating in mid-air!” Travis said.
Sam didn’t respond; he kept walking toward the unbelievable sight.
“Mirrors don’t do that, ever! Not to mention we’re a few hundred feet down in a cavern. That’s not a good sign in any movie! Oh, and we are standing in freezing cold water up to our knees. Now, I don’t mean to dampen your spirit buddy, but we need to get out of here!”
Sam finally stopped. He stood quietly, analyzing the mirror, deep in thought.
“Sam, are you listening to me?” Travis asked, his voice quivering from the cold water.
“Hold the lantern still,” Sam finally said.
“Fine!” Travis replied hastily. “But if my grandmother wants to know how their only grandson died you can tell them—Noo, wait, you can’t tell them anything! Want to know why Sam? BECAUSE YOU WILL BE DEAD WITH ME!”
As Travis approached, Sam turned and grabbed the lantern and held it closer to the mirror.
The mirror was gigantic, at least eight feet tall and trimmed in gold. It hovered about a foot above the water, as if it were hanging by invisible strings. The top was pointed and cambered down on each side to the base, much like a teardrop. The gold trim was heavily etched with the same twelve symbols on either side. An elaborate pattern of scrollwork and vines had been scored in silver between the ciphers.
“I’ve seen these symbols before,” Sam said, and lifted the candle lantern high into the air.
“What? Where?” Travis asked, scrutinizing the bizarre mirror.
“Here along the edges.” Sam pointed to one of the symbols that looked like the letters M and P written together in cursive. “I’ve seen this one for sure.”
“Hey, that’s the sign of Cancer,” Travis exclaimed, pointing to a symbol that looked like the numbers six and nine turned sideways.
“That’s it!” Sam said, his eyes wide with enthusiasm. “They’re Zodiac signs!”
“But what about this?” Travis asked, pointing to a different set of symbols. These symbols were a bit larger than the Zodiac signs. There were four in all, set in a silver inlay near the outer edge of the mirror, just beyond the gold and silver trim of the Zodiac signs. The positioning of these larger symbols reminded Sam of the four cardinal points on a map, one at the top, one at the bottom, and one to each side.
They stared at the strange design. Travis was still shivering, but Sam stood entranced. He was cold too, but it was like white noise to him now, just something in the background. His mind was focused on the bizarre floating mirror.
The first symbol looked like a pyramid with the top of a question mark inside it. The second resembled waves or water. The third looked like three separate coils in the shape of the number nine, and last was most definitely fire.
“Wait, water, fire … ELEMENTS!”
“Yes!” Travis bellowed, “The pyramid is Earth and the other must be Air!”
Suddenly, without warning, a mechanical grinding noise reverberated from the mirror, as if large gears were turning somewhere inside of it. Each Zodiac sign began to glow a brilliant gold. The grinding sound picked up speed. The two boys stepped back in alarm. Travis gasped and Sam’s mouth fell open.
“Sam! What … what’s happening?” Travis asked, but his voice was drowned out by the grinding sound that echoed through the chamber.
The Fire sign at the top of the tear was the first element to illuminate. The scarlet glow was blinding. Each symbol radiated its own individual color; Earth with a brilliant jade, Air, a stunning amethyst; and Water, a spectacular sapphire.
Both Sam and Travis covered their eyes. Sam almost dropped the lantern.
“Sam, what’s happening?” Travis repeated.
Sam removed his hands from his eyes just in time to see his reflection disappear from the surface of the mirror. Next to go were the glimmering cavern walls, followed by the emerald water. It was all vanishing, like a portrait being torn away piece by piece.
“Travis, our reflections—they’re gone!” Sam shouted, trying to speak loud enough so Travis could hear him over the grinding noise.
The mirror was blank for a moment, but then quickly revealed an unfamiliar image. Moonlight appeared, then tall trees, and all the makings of a forest from somewhere else beyond the cavern. The sound resonating from the mirror was getting louder, like that of a car engine being revved to top speed.
Squeals and shrieks rang out from above, as thousands of bats flew from the ceiling, flooding the cavern with a swarm of black fluttering wings.
Sam and Travis looked up in shock, stumbled backward, and fell into the icy water. Two of the small votives in the candle lantern went out from the sudden movement as they struggled to reach their feet. A barrage of colors bursting from the mirror streaked across the cavern in every direction. Shards of light reflected off the water in rapid flashing succession. It was like they were trapped in the center of a rainbow. Every corner of the cavern was illuminated now.
“Sam, the mirror!” Travis cried.
The glass on the mirror was quivering and rippling like water. Suddenly, hundreds of small black and green spiders fell from the mirror, splashing into the shallow water.
With their bodies soaked and freezing, the two boys scrambled backward, their feet sliding on the smooth rock beneath them. Sam and Travis watched in horror as the splashing wave of spiders moved toward them.
“Run, Travis. RUN!”
Good news! We are ramping up for BOOK 2 in the Haven Series: Revenge of the Viper. So in celebration and to say thank you for all your support we are giving away Book 1 A Stranger Magic for FREE!
If you already have a copy, get a new one! Each version (PRINT and DIGITAL) have been reformatted. You will love the new look. Also when you buy the PRINT copy of Haven: A Stranger Magic at Amazon.com you still get the DIGITAL copy in a bundle package for FREE.
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Enjoy the journey!
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