The mirror was much heavier than my father and I had thought it would be. At first, he thought he would be able to lift it up himself, but, once that failed, he asked his friend, Tony, to come over to help him lift it into the back of the car. Tony was not a weak man, but the two of them struggled to get it from my bedroom and through the house without dropping it. Personally, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had dropped it. I could imagine mirror being quite pleased with itself, watching us pick up the shards of glass scattered throughout the hallway. But, then again, maybe the mirror wasn’t as vengeful as I thought.
Initially, I thought that the shapes and patterns in the gold-coloured trimmings of the mirror were nothing more than a grotesque attempt at being artistic. They certainly didn’t fit any sort of theme an eight-year-old boy should be aiming for in his bedroom. It’s what you do when your grandmother buys you something you don’t really enjoy, though. You put it in your room and you pretend to like it. Which is what I did. The mirror managed to take up far too much space in my bedroom for three days before I realised that the shapes and patterns around its frame actually formed pictures. It would take me another four days to figure out that the pictures actually told a story.
I was intrigued by the pictures and stared at them for longer than any sane person might have done. I had found a beauty in the details in several of the pictures. Many of the pictures displayed a young boy and I admired the attention to detail by the addition of creases in his shirt and reflections of the sun on his knees. It seems ridiculous now, but I was almost hypnotised when exploring the images. I came to appreciate the details in the leaves of the trees, the ripples on the surface of the lakes and the roughness of the rocks and pebbles on the ground. The more I stared at the images, the more beautiful they became. Not only that, but I started to think about the person who made the frame for the mirror. Were they paid to do so? Was it made out of love? Could it be both? Why else would they spend… I’m not even sure how long, on an otherwise frivolous object?
Then, one afternoon while teasing out as much detail as I could, I stumbled across something of great interest. In the top, left corner, the artist had carved out the image of a baby. How did the artist know have the skill to know what makes a baby look like a baby and how did they then manage to translate that into the frame? Moving my eyes left to right, following the rocky path etched into the top edge of the frame, I settled upon an image of a somewhat older boy, exploring the outskirts of a lake. There was a story here. I just had to figure out what it was.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
Illustrations by Alisha Towers: FACEBOOK
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