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Mirror Syndrome

  1. Prologue

    It’s a real pain to travel cross-dimensionally. Don't get me wrong, the trip itself is kind of fun when you look back on it. But when you're completely unaware of the whole thing, it could make you a little delirious. For example, an incident that happened to my best friend, Bailey Weir, and me, Arianne Zorion.
    Every Wednesday, I spent the night at Bailey's for three reasons:
    One: We had a Japanese class at the college with our teacher, Satomi-Sensei
    Two: My mother didn't want to hear me complain about my older sister, Adie, who is the spawn of Hades.
    Three: We had just moved into this huge, old, Victorian house and I used to get nightmares
    So when we got together on Wednesdays, it was more like going to a sleepover than attend a class. But I shouldn't be talking about that. What I should be talking about is what happened afterwards. As in, staying up half the night talking in Bailey's basement room, finding out the hard way that her alarm clock was broken, and that we had to walk the half-mile to school.
    Chapter 1
    "Wake up!" A familiar voice demanded. I was too involved in my dream, having lunch with Orlando Bloom and the Jonas Brothers.
    "Mmmcfagle-mmph." I mumbled into my pillow, trying to get back to the imaginary Orlando passing me a grilled cheese sandwich.
    “Ari! Wake up!" the voice, belonging to Bailey, demanded again. I heard a smacking noise, and suddenly my butt was stinging.
    "OW! What the hell?" I jumped up, smacking my head on an open drawer. "Mother eff! Son of a bee! And all profanity ups its A!" I said, cursing like a sailor and holding my stinging forehead. I glared at the girl I considered a sister from my place in the sleeping bag on the floor. She was rushing around, pulling her tangled root beer-colored hair into a ponytail. "Bailey!? What the heck!?" I gave her an angry glare. I always loved Bailey's room. The way she painted it with different shades of blue made it seem like you were underwater. Coupled with the tropical fish stickers she put all over the walls, the sand-dollars glued to the roof, and the dolphin posters on her door, made it seem like a piece of the Bahamas in her basement.
    "Check the time." She said through clenched teeth, obviously annoyed at my lack of speed. Her pointed mousey nose was wrinkled as her strawberries-and-cream face was furrowed in an angry frown. I glanced at her cheap digital alarm clock sitting on her bedside table. It still blinked 5:30, like it did an hour before we went to sleep. I had broken it last night when I had kicked off my shoes and, being the great aim that I did, hit it but missed the lamp. I glanced at the Velcro sports watch my father had given me and saw the real time.
    "So what it's only... SEVEN THIRTY!!" My panic sensors overloaded, I launched myself in the direction of the closet and grabbed the first pair of jeans I saw on the floor. I yanked them onto my slim legs while I searched for a shirt. "School starts in twenty minutes!" I shouted; as I slammed myself into a black t-shirt Bailey never wore. I shoved on one purple sock and one red, not caring about trivial things such as sock color. I grabbed a brush from the vanity to attack my bedhead, only glancing at my face for morning crusties. Tawny completion on an oval face with high cheek bones and almond-shaped ebony eyes stared back at me. I liked my face, especially when my flint-black hair was brushed to a silky sheet. But today was not one of those days. In about three seconds, we were dressed and up the stairs.
    "Isn't your mom supposed to make us breakfast?" I asked irritably. I can get a little cranky when I'm hungry.
    "She did." Bailey said, handing me my backpack and a paper plate of toasted bagels with cream cheese. "Now let's go!"
    "Ur mom muh be fhickec." I said through a mouthful of bagel as we hurried down her street.
    "Why?" She asked. I swallowed
    "Because she didn't make that whole continental breakfast that she usually does." She frowned
    "Just because my mom didn't hear the alarm clock go off doesn't mean she's got super mind powers. Now, less talking, more walking!" She glared at me. But I was oblivious. After the first shock of lateness was over, I started to take in the scenery. Bailey's street in the early morning was magical. It’s lined by two-story cottages with trees growing on almost all of their lawns. Leaves scattered over the sidewalk. It seemed so enchanted. As I passed one of them, across the street was one with a hole in it next to a curb sewer grate. It had ivy growing around the edges and a carpet of dead leaves inside it. It looked like a fairy hideaway. I stepped across the street, stepping carefully over the sewer grate.
    "Ari?! What are you doing?!" Bailey yelled as I stuck my head in the tree hole. "We're late as it is!"
    "Aww, come on, Bailey! I'm trying to find some adventure!" Bailey sighed. Usually, she was the first to jump at the chance to have fun. We were like two nerds in an escape pod; we’d rather watch the entire Original Star Trek series than go dancing with the popular crowd. But lately, she was intent on growing up, of finishing high school with honors.
    "Ari, you can't find adventure if you're looking for it. Now, come on!" I scowled and extracted my head from the fairy hideaway.
    "Fine, whatever." I said, loud enough for her to hear. She rolled her eyes and walked away. I stuck my tongue at her back and went to follow her. I wished the fun Bailey would come back, even if it was only for a second. I'd forgotten that my shoes were untied. The shoelace got under my food and tripped me. I went to break my fall with my hand, wincing as the grate covering bit into my palms. The rusty metal gave a groan and collapsed under my weight. There was a rush of wind that roared out of the broken grate and I felt myself falling again. I was spinning through pitch blackness, the wind cutting razor-sharp waves of cold through my plaid jacket. I must have been doing summersaults, because seconds later I was standing on solid ground. A blazing light was shining under my closed eyelids. I opened my eyes to see thousands of glinting lights that dazzled and shone in a haze of dust under the light of the noon sun. An onslaught of noise hit my ears. The clanging of metal, horses and human screaming alike. I was so dizzy; my eyes wouldn't focus on anything. I felt my legs give out on me, scraping my knees on hot, hard ground. Waves of heat made me think of a desert. As I tried to concentrate, I could make out the shapes of people wearing armor and swinging swords. Before I could make sense of it, I witnessed my sister riding a horse, wearing armor as well. Her heart-shaped face with cream-colored skin and the same eyes as mine were all familiar with me, even the angry expression on her face.
    I must be dreaming. I thought getting to my feet. The world still looked like I was in a soap bubble. Our eyes met. She grinned menacingly at me and started riding in my direction. She lifted something and aimed it at me. There was a flash of light as she threw whatever it was. An unbearable pain blossomed in the left side of my chest and radiated through my body. I felt my knees give out under me as the warm, sticky liquid that was my blood rushed out of the point of my pain and soaked my clothes. I couldn't breathe. I heard a wet sucking sound and the pain doubled. There was a wailing sound that took me a second to register as my own voice screaming. The world was now a darkening mess of pain and sound.
    "Hold on, Jalan!" A familiar voice echoed in my head as strong arms lifted me into the air. More pain shot through my chest. There was a wet wheezing sound as I tried to talk. It felt like I was drowning.
    "Everything is going to be fine. I've got you. Don't worry." A male voice whispered in my ear. I felt a spreading warmth go through my body as I lost consciousness.
    "Damn shoelaces..." I muttered thickly, then passed out


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