The Gorgon's Mirror Room
A key is left in my room, enclosed in a letter.
Enter the Gorgon’s Mirror Room after midnight to see how others often see you.
To prepare myself I bathe with neroli and jasmine oils. The warming scents relax and open my minds eye.
At midnight, the corridor is quiet. I can hear water dripping and soft echoes of night creatures. My smoky blue cloak drags on the floor making a hissing sound as I move. I feel like I am being watched. I distrust the dark; you never know what is there. The Gorgon’s heavy key has a patina of rust, softly worn down but unmistakably shaped like the head of a snake.
The door looms massive and ancient; the lock makes a satisfying clunk as I turn the key. In the darkness, I grope forward hoping not to crash into anything or anyone. My hands reach out and touch a cold, flat surface. As my eyes adjust, I see a large standing mirror, looking through it the room is filled with candles. A hooded figure stands before me. I push back my hood to see myself as a much older person with long grey hair. My face is wide with good eating and wrinkled with worry and laugh lines.
The room behind me is filled with paintings. The light shifts and it looks like a gallery opening, I see myself chatting with very well dressed people. That’s a good sign. The mirror dims and all is dark.
Light comes from the corner of my left eye. Turning , A little girl screams at me in the mirror. I am not sure if it is me, but probably how most folks see me: a spoiled brat. The mirror goes dim like the other one.
Far away another light catches my eye, I slowly move toward the back of the enormous room. Now I notice the room is truly full of mirrors, but the lit one calls to me with its brilliance.
A standing mirror sits on a table. I sit in a hard chair and look straight into this old, rough mirror. The light fades and swirls of mist churning, I wait. After many minutes of silence, I whisper, am I suppose to ask a question? A little swirl creates letters that oddly form the word, yes.
I cannot imagine what to ask this mirror. So I sit and meditate. My brain wanders around my foot begins to itch and I get a flash of a house with a funny shaped roof. I open my eyes and this funny roof is in the mirror, a house appears with a garden.
A house, roses are in full bloom, it is a slice of heaven when I see it. I smile and the image fades. I sense that the room is all quiet and done with me. The room is pitch black. Light comes from under the door and I make my way back to the corridor.
Two towering mirrors face each other. I get a funny feeling this is not over. As I approach, two giant samurais in full warrior battle gear appear in the mirrors, one red the other steel grey. Yes, I see you great warriors. I have not forgotten you. They incline their heads towards me and whisper: Shinjo, be brave, do not fear darkness, and vanish. Ah yes, my intense ancestors reminding me of honor and what it means to live well and without regret, which is a challenge.
The door opens on its own, the Enchantress looks up and smiles. Well done. Your ancestors wanted me to give you this… So you don’t forget. She slips me a blood red pouch, inside is a garnet and gold bracelet. It is so beautiful; I will think of them often as I wear it. I put it on and smile to myself walking back to my room in the dark, thinking about honor.