The mirror stood in a corner of the drawing room, not a fancy thing, just a simple black frame with no ornate decoration. I treasured it, though, because it belonged to her, my mother who died when I was but five. A fever took her, and my baby brother, leaving only sister, my Father and myself.
He favoured my sister, Father did, doted on her. Although he treated me well, I knew he loved her best. It bothered me sometimes, this uneven love, but I had my mirror. I often sat in front of the glass and stared, wishing I could walk though, like a storybook. I knew it held magic, but I never found the key to it.
Then one day, the year I turned seventeen, Father took my mirror away.
That year my sister married. She was nineteen, and a man -all of thirty- came to take her to be his wife. I heard them talk, how he had money, a good position in society, so arrangements were made. For months, the wedding preparations went on in our house, all fuss, flowers and lace gowns. I enjoyed it all, until the day Father came to the drawing room and boxed up the mirror.
I sat curled in the chair, and watched in horror. "What are you doing? Where are you taking the mirror?"
"It's to be a wedding gift for your sister. Something of your mother's for her to take to her new home."
I wanted to scream, rage, but I said nothing. The mirror left with my sister.
She put it in her parlour, so I did see when I visited, but it seemed different, more, vibrant. I puzzled why, and then, one day, I knew.
I confronted her.
"You found the key, didn't you? That's why Father gave you the mirror?"
She stared at me, with her perfectly coiffed curls, and for a moment I thought she would lie. But she didn't.
"Yes. I found it." She rose, strolled to the mantel and opened a cherry wood box sitting there. She turned, her arm outstretched, her palm open. Sitting on her hand was a shimmering golden key.
I quivered. I couldn't help myself. "Have you unlocked the mirror?"
"Of course, you ninny! And I've been through its portal many times. You wouldn't believe where it leads to, such a beautiful exciting world. Such splendour and freedom."
"Would you show me?"
She frowned and curled her hand around the key.
"Please." I kept my tone pleading, and soft.
"All right. But you can only have a look."
We went to the mirror and my sister touched the key to the glass, which melted, changing to a liquid suspended in the frame. She pushed the key in and turned. Slowly a scene of a golden city played out on what was once glass, a thing of heavenly beauty. I smiled, a wistful grin, with that glimpse of my dream. Then I grabbed my sister's hand and yanked.
I wrenched the key from her hand, twisted her around and pushed. As she fell, into our mother's mirror, I inserted the key and turned off the magic. I'm sure she would have screamed, if she had the chance.
That afternoon, I had the mirror removed from my sister's house. No one questioned my story that she gave it to me. I hid it away until I married and left my father's house.
What happened to my sister when I turned the key? She stuck fast, her body fused into the glass and turned to stone. She's still there, locked in the magic, frozen in time, forever part of the mirror.
I caught her between two worlds, trapped her, and I'm glad. She was a liar, and a thief, stealing my Father's love from me. I hated her, always. Now my mirror, stands in my drawing room, with my sister on display as a curiosity. She is my showpiece of art, and no one knows the truth. No one but me.