A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams
So that brings us to where I began. Soon after entering that cave I found myself in a strange maze with even odder mirrors hanging upon blue wallpapered walls and no ceiling above me, only a dark void of nothingness. Each mirror was of a different size and shape to the point where some were weird zigzag shapes. And each showed me some kind of image from my past and even images that I think are the future that will never be, all of them acting like some messed up peek show into my life. Some showed me things I'd really not like to have seen. I now understand why my father shot himself and part of me is glad he did so because if he didn't I think I would kill him myself. One of the mirrors showed him in my room late at night when I was very young and he was doing things to me that I would rather not repeat. I'm not really sure if these mirrors show the truth or not, but after staring in a few of them I could feel my will to live being drained from my body. Now I lay here upon the cold marble floor with a strange icy fog drifting over me.
To think I worked my way through this dream world only to die in this insane hall of mirrors. I wish the Guardian was here to help me on my way. It would know which way to go, but I can't even find the entrance that I'd only recently come through. Corner after corner I'm faced with more halls covered in these annoying mirrors. Finally I gave up on searching and decided to just lay here. It is so frustrating to think of the Doctor sitting in his office, going on with life, while I, myself, die here without being about to return to my life. It just isn't fair. I want to be with Liz. I want to curl up with her and never let her go, but I guess that will never be. I guess I was always destine to live miserably and to die alone.
I hope someone finds this journal and it helps them in some way for it did not help me in one bit. Maybe my tale will find its way back to Liz and she will understand that I did not leave her. That she was right about my choice in life, that it did lead me to a horrible end. Please Liz find someone who makes you happy and live a wonderful and fulfilling life. I love you...
I must have lay there on that floor for hours because I know I fell sleep for a time. It is strange what despair will do to one's heart. To think I believed I would not ever escape that place. As I lay there allowing my self pity to pull me into the marble floor I had an unexpected visitor.
"What are you doing laying there?" I glanced up to find Beth staring down at me with a rather disappointed look upon her face.
"Beth!!!" I jumped to my feet and stared at the woman before me, "How did you get here? Am I dreaming?"
Beth shook her head, "I came to see how you were doing." Beth explained as she crossed her arms in disapproval, "What happened to the charmer who never gave up on anyone?"
I lowered my head in shame, "I couldn't do it Beth. I couldn't find my way out of here." I stated miserably, "I'm not as strong as you thought. It was all an act. I'm just a child, inside and out. I'm worthless and I couldn't even save you when I really wanted too."
Beth let out a deep sigh, "That is because you keep trying to hard and you don't see what is right in front of you." She pointed at the moon pendent that dangled around my neck, "Why haven't you tried that yet?" She inquired.
I took the necklace in hand and stared at it. There was still a tiny glow of moonlight within its crystal surface, "The necklace? How is that going to help." I looked up to find Beth no longer with me, a ghost image from my own insane mind more then likely. I glanced back to the necklace and thought to myself. If Beth was an image from my own mind then maybe there was something to what she was saying, but how did I get it to work.
I removed the necklace from around my neck and held it before me, the heart shaped key still dangled from its ribbon as the pendent swayed to and fro. I took the key in hand and stared at it. Maybe the answer was not just the crystal, but a combination of things. Unsure if what I was planning would work I prayed to any spirit that might listen in hopes that they might guild me along my way. Holding the pendent tightly between both of my hands I concentrated upon the face of Liz.
"Please show me the way back to the one I love." I muttered softly, "I want to be with her more then anything else in this world and I would be so grateful if you could show me the way." When I opened my hand the crystal was glowing with the blue light of the moon. A beam of light suddenly shot froth from the crystal, bouncing off several mirrors and around a corner. Quickly I raced after the light, skidding around the corner I tried to keep up with it. Finally the light stopped bouncing from mirror to mirror and caused one of the mirrors to glow ever so slightly. I must have passed this one mirror several times in the past, but until now I never considered it as anything but another strange mirror, just like all the others.
I rushed to the mirror and stared at it's surface. Before me was the image of an empty room, what appeared to be a washroom as far as I could tell. It looked like no washroom I had ever been in before. Then the door to the room opened and Liz walked in.
"LIZ!!!" I pounded at the mirror frantically, "Liz, It is me!!!" I cried out in an attempt to get her attention, however it appeared that my words did not reach her. I punched the mirror one more time in a vain attempt to reach out to her, "Please see me."
Liz turned to face the mirror and approached it. Instantly I could tell that she had got no sleep over the past while. Dark circles filled under her usually cheery eyes and she looked miserable. She wiped at her eyes as she turned on the water at the sink and filled her hands. I watched as she splashed water upon her face and glanced up at me. I knew she could not see me and it was her own reflection that she was actually staring at, but seeing those eyes again made my heart jump. I placed a hand upon the mirror as I tried to reach out and caress her cheek.
"Where are you Brenda, Beth?" Liz mumbled to the mirror, "What happened to the two of you?" She tears began to build up in the corners of her eyes and she wiped out that frantically, "Come back to me Brenda, I need you. Please come back."
"I'm right here." I cried out as I pounded at the wall next to the mirror, "I'm right here!!!!" I watched as Liz turned away from the mirror and left the room, "No, Don't leave... I'm... I'm right here..." I could feel all the strength in my voice begin to give and I started to sob uncontrollably.
I glanced down at the crystal in my hand and the tiny heart shaped key. My eyes moved back to the mirror in a vain attempt to find some way to escape this nightmare. The mirror was framed by an old metal frame with elegant designs around its surface. I traced the entire frame of the mirror with the tips of my fingers, inspecting it closely, in search of any way to move it. That was when I found it. A small section of the mirror, in the middle of the lefthand side, slide opened to reveal a small key hole, just the size of the key that I held in my very hands.
Shakily I raised the key to the hole and found I needed to use both hands to get it into the lock. With I deep breath I turned the key until I heard that wonderful clicking sound of a lock sliding out of the lock and I pulled upon the key. The frame opened like a strange door and instead of a mirror I found a hole in the wall that lead to Liz's bedroom. Cautiously I placed my hand against what I was expecting to be yet another mirror only to find my hand passed through thin air and I touched a bottle of hand soap that sat near the edge of the mirror. I was so happy and excited that tears streamed down my face. I was really going to escape this nightmare and be with Liz again after all. I grabbed the frame of the opening and was about to pull myself through when I heard the sound of something howling.
Glancing up I saw several shadowy creatures descending towards me at a rapid rate. They did not appear to like the idea of me leaving their nightmare realm, but I had no inclination on staying in that world any longer. Tossing my journal upon the counter I hauled myself through the mirror and scrambled over the counter. As I stood up again I could see the mirror was still open and the howling was growing all the louder. I pulled the mirror shut only to find it did not stay closed.
Suddenly something slammed against the mirror and a set of bone white claws snaked their way through the crack around the edge of the mirror. I glanced around the mirror in search of some way to keep it closed when I spotted the key, now on this side of the mirror. Grasping the key between my fingers and pulling the mirror closed with all my might I twisted the key until I heard the lock click closed and pulled the key free of the lock. The moment it came free the key hole disappeared and I found myself staring at an ordinary bathroom mirror.
I staggered backwards in exhaustion. The mirror reflected that I had returned to my originally age, however hospital gown was covered in muds and dirt and there was more across my face and hands. Uncaring about my appearance I picked up my journal while pocketing the key and pendent, to find the key the spider gave me was still there too, then left the washroom.
The hall was dark, but I could see the flicking light of a television at the ends of the hall. I stepped forward to find my leg did not want to work. Glancing down I noticed that my leg was again in a cast. Using the wall for balance I worked my way down the hall until I reached a small living room where I found Liz sitting on a sofa with her back to me. I stood in the hall entrance as I watched her sitting there. I could hear the occasionally sob emit from the woman and a small smile crossed my face.
"You sound like someone died." I said.
Liz jumped and spun around. Her eyes grew wide as saucers as they realized who they were looking at, "B... Brenda?!?" She stammered.
"I'm back..." I smiled at the woman as I watched her get up from the couch and move towards me.
"H... how..." She glanced from me to the front door at the other end of the room, "How did you get in here?" She inquired nervously. She reached out and touched my face, "My god you are not a dream are you?"
I pulled her into my arms and held her tight, "This is no dream." I assured her then pulled back and looked her in the eyes, "Do you still want me in your life?" I inquired worriedly.
Liz nodded as tears spilled from her eyes, "Yes... Always..."
"Me too." I leaned forward and lightly placed my lips upon her. We kissed ever so lightly at first, but soon it turned into something much deeper. I could feel her warms fill me and I decided at that moment that this was where I belonged. This was where I wanted to stay.
To be continued
Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.
This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at http://www.KatAndNekoManga.ca
Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at Kathryn@KatAndNekoManga.ca