It’s time for another Terribleminds challenge! This time, we were tasked with creating a story around a random song title. I opened up Pandora and found Mirrors in the Moonlight, by Noosa (great song, btw). So, here it is!
Mirrors in the Moonlight
Four boots crunched through the deep snow. The forest was deathly still; their tracks lay exposed with nothing to cover their path. Red droplets leaked from the bandages on Adrian’s leg. They spattered the snow in an uneven line. He glanced up at the night sky. Clouds as big as mountains drifted past the full moon. On the horizon, a new storm raged. Adrian beckoned for his son to hurry. There wasn’t much time left.
A few paces behind, his son stumbled and fell to his knees. The boy’s tears froze halfway down his face. Adrian knelt down next to Luca. He wiped his son’s cheek with a mittened thumb.
“Not much farther, now. Everything will be better when we reach the glade.”
Distant, angry voices interrupted him, followed by the bark of hunting dogs.
Adrian yanked Luca up by the shoulders.
“Hurry! We have to move!”
As they ventured deeper, the trees became thick with bushes and brambles. Adrian pushed through as thorns tore his face and coat. Luca clung to his back for safety. He exhaled through his nose. There was no time for obstacles.
A new cloud blocked the moon’s light, but Adrian could still hear it: the ethereal song of the glade. He closed his eyes and let the music guide him. He charged ahead until, finally, they burst into the glade.
Adrian watched the sky again, waiting for an opening. The hunters drew closer. Flashlight beams flickered through the trees. Luca whimpered into his scarf. Adrian held his son to his side. He grabbed a thick branch with his free hand – a club to use against the dogs.
Then, the clouds parted. Adrian backed over to the center of the glade as the first of the mirrors appeared. There were twenty in all, tall crystalline ovals that reflected the moonlight. Amid the reflections were glimmers of other worlds. Luca gasped when he noticed the mirrors, and reached out.
Adrian grabbed his son’s hand.
“No! Not that one. Look closer.”
The boy’s eyes grew wide when he saw the writhing, black shapes.
“Where does it go?”
“Nowhere good. Find the one that contains a meadow. Quickly!”
The boy dashed from mirror to mirror. Adrian kept his eye on the flashlights and gripped his branch weapon tighter. The first of the dogs jumped out of the brambles. It snarled at Luca and bristled the fur on its back. Adrian rushed forward, roaring like a wild beast as be swung the branch. He struck the dog in the side, sending it crashing into a snowbank.
Two more hunting dogs emerged as the first shook off the snow. They circled around Adrian, who continued to lash out with the club. The flashlights were getting closer. A rifle went off, blasting the bark off a nearby tree. Storm winds whipped the old snow. Time was running out.
Luca shouted from the opposite side of the glade.
“I found it! Hurry papa!”
A second rifle fired, and Adrian felt a new, searing pain in his chest. He staggered as his son looked on in horror. He took another good swing at the dogs and gritted his teeth.
“Go Luca! I’ll be… right behind you.”
The boy sobbed as he touched the mirror, and slipped into a safer world. The storm clouds encroached on the glade, causing the mirrors to disappear as they lost the moonlight. Adrian watched as the last of the mirrors vanished. He collapsed, knowing the hunters would never find his son.