Back in January, I posted this for part of Fairy Tale Central’s Snow Queen month. At some point between then and now, I got around to writing a sequel-ish of sorts.
And now, you all get to see it. Because cliffhangers really aren’t fair.
Four corners and bare walls. No tables or chairs, no windows or drapes.
Only a once-active mirror that was frozen solid.
Mette traced the delicate patterns on its edges. Who had last used this mirror? Was it one of the Snow Queen’s victims? The Queen herself, perhaps?
She didn’t know what lay beyond the mirror. The glass was frozen over so much she could only see a long strip of darkness with no defining features.
The only light was an ever-glowing orb of yellow and orange that hung on the other side of the mirror. Mette assumed it was a lantern or torch.
She tapped on the frozen glass. As expected, it did nothing.
A whoosh of cold air filled the room.
“Come to gloat over your victory again?” she said without turning around.
The Snow Queen’s voice sounded as chilly as ever. “I never gloat twice over the same thing, dearie. It’s pointless.”
Mette turned. “You’re still going to monologue though, aren’t you? My father taught me that was your weakness.”
The Snow Queen scoffed. “Your father’s heart was frozen when I dealt with him. He’s not supposed to remember what happened before your mother came along with all her pretty little tears.” She made a face and shuddered. “Love is disgusting.”
“Of course you would say that,” Mette remarked dryly.
A few snowflakes drifted about, and the Snow Queen raised a pale, blue-tinted hand to play with them. “Anyway, that’s not why I came here. I came because that oh-so-precious traitor you call a friend thinks he’s going to rescue you.”
“Gunnar?” Mette blinked. But he went with his uncle…why would he come back?
“Do you trust me?”
“Not anymore. You just betrayed us a second time.”
He raised an eyebrow and lowered his voice. “But did I?”
“I wouldn’t think too much of it,” the Snow Queen said. “He likely has a different destination in mind and will pass by this place completely without giving you a thought.”
Almost as soon as she said it, the Snow Queen’s violet eyes widened and stared past Mette, who turned out of curiosity.
There was a distorted, shadowy silhouette of another person outside of the mirror. Mette approached, not caring about the possibility the Snow Queen could stop her.
“Hello?” she said, wishing she could see who it was.
A muffled voice came from the other side, and though she didn’t hear exactly what it was the other said, she could’ve sworn it sounded like her name.
The figure suddenly retreated. Mette’s shoulders slumped.
“Oh, good.” The Snow Queen said. “For a moment there, I thought-”
She was cut off by a thud against the frozen glass.
For a brief moment, Mette saw a melted spot where the impact had landed and her eyes widened. Whoever was on the other side was trying to break it.
The spot froze over again. There was another thud, leading to another melted spot, and the briefest glimpse of a boot. A hairline crack also appeared in the middle of the mirror.
“That’s impossible!” The Snow Queen said, eyes wide. She moved forward and stopped when the foot hit the mirror again.
Mette didn’t bother to ask what she meant by impossible. She watched, bouncing up and down on her toes, hope rising as the mirror continued to thaw and crack with every thud. She heard a few more muffled shouts, but still couldn’t make out what was being said.
The Snow Queen shrieked. “No!”
Cracks spread throughout the mirror, distorting the image of the person on the other side even as it thawed.
Then all was silent for one tense moment. Mette stopped bouncing and held her breath as she waited for the boot to strike again.
When it did, the mirror shattered. Glass and ice fell to the floor, joining the Snow Queen’s indignant shrieks of “It’s impossible!”
The mirror-breaker stepped inside, causing Mette to squeal with joy and jump once more before rushing forward.
Gunnar’s initial look of relief faded as quickly as it had come when he saw her, and he grabbed her arm, whirling her behind him as he drew his sword and held it up.
“That’s impossible!” The Snow Queen continued with her tirade. “How? How did you break it??”
“With my foot.” Gunnar stated.
“But it shouldn’t have happened!” The Snow Queen stomped one foot, reminding Mette of a spoiled child. “You shouldn’t have been able to break that mirror with only brute force! There had to be something else, something invisible!”
Gunnar’s stance relaxed slightly, indicating his confusion. Mette peeked from around him, also confused.
“What is this invisible something you speak of?” she asked. “And why is it impossible?”
“He doesn’t love you!” the Snow Queen spat. “He betrayed you!”
“Did I really? Because I’m right here,” Gunnar said. “Look, if you’re not going to give us any answers, we’re just going to leave. On second thought, we don’t need answers.”
With that, he grabbed Mette’s hand and started running.
©H.S. Kylian 2020
(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)