The stage was set.
“Who is that?” Leila Bridge looked at the mirror in front of her. Her eyes darted between her companion, Caden Mistral, and the mirror. Caden shook his head and inspected his reflection further. He reached for his hand towards the mirror. His reflection mimicked him. Things had always worked logically for this man. He would move and his reflection should also move.
It was only natural.
Yet just as naturally as it mirrored him, his reflection unnaturally showed him a man that didn’t look anything like him.
This man had pointed ears like an elf, glowing green eyes, and long brown hair that was tied back into a ponytail. He didn’t look anything like Caden. Caden was sure he didn’t bring a bow and arrow with him, nor did he dawn leather armor. He was also very sure he was human.
Yet it still acted as a reflection.
Caden looked at Leila who also waved her hand at her reflection. Her reflection waved back. As it should.
Yet her reflection didn’t show her long luscious chocolate locks, falling like waterfalls down past her shoulders.
The mirror showed her a woman whose hair was braided to keep it out of her weapon's way. The woman had a bow and arrow as well. She had leather armor and pointed ears. The only thing the two of them shared was the ephemeral gleam of their green eyes. They were two women, separated only by a mirror forcibly telling them they were one and the same.
She didn’t look like Leila at all. She looked like she was about to go to war.
As many would expect, confusion struck the pairs. Whether or not that statement included the reflections, we would soon find out. With bated breath, Leila and Caden looked at each other and back at the mirror. They nod and reach out.
The two didn’t expect to feel the warmth of their reflection’s skin.
Our story took place in two strikingly different worlds.
There were two bedrooms quite a distance from each other. Two different people sleeping at the same time. Taking a look at the male among the two, he slept softly and soundly. A small dog, a chihuahua, laid nestled on his face. The dog was white save for a patch of black that covered both of its eyes. A slightly bigger dog, fluffier and brown, laid nestled on the other side of his head, also sleeping soundly. His bed seemed to be built for two and his blankets are of a plain hue. By his bedside, on top of a small counter was a half knitted dog sweater folded next to balls of yarn with knitting needles stuck into them. It rested in front of a picture frame that contained a younger image of the man besides what appears to be his grandmother.
The room was rather plain but very tidy. The decorations were minimal and there was a single pot of lucky bamboo growing in one corner. If we look at a desk in another corner of his room, we can see a stack of papers neatly set on the center. Judging from the pen resting on top of the papers, it seems like he has a couple of assignments he finished before turning in. A small digital clock on one corner of the desk reads 10:21 PM.
In the second bedroom, thousands of kilometers away, there was a clock that read the same thing. In contrast to the first room, this room was a bit brighter and more decorated. There was a strip of lights hanging on the bed’s headboard and the sheets were a mix of blue and pink pastels in a cross pattern. Above the headboard was a wire grid that had wooden clips holding several photos of the occupant in various places with a variety of other people.
The said occupant wasn’t slumbering in her bed like the man before. She was in front of an elaborate computer setup talking into a microphone. Aside from the string of lights on her headboard, it was the only source of light in the dim room. It was spacious and spoke volumes of the owner’s personality. There was a single electric bass resting on an amp near her bedside. Various posters and paintings hung on her wall. Going to the door, we see a cute toy dangle on the top. It was a stuffed hunting dog. It seemed to welcome us.
Soon, the clock that read 10:21 PM now read 3:32 AM. The female in front of the computer stretched in her chair and stood to wash her face and brush her teeth before retiring to bed. A lot of thoughts were swimming in her head yet her body felt too tired to dwell on them for now. She opened the door to let a bigger dog in. It is hard to determine the dog’s breed but certainly, it wasn’t a street dog. It was, after all, living with this young woman. It seemed to resemble the plush hanging on her door.
After cleaning up, she plopped down on her bed and patted the space beside her. This is where her chocolate dog climbed and settled down. She lightly wrapped her arm around the canine, and she soon drifted off to sleep.
In the world of dreams, we find a man staring at a door. The same cute hunting dog toy that welcomed us now welcomes this man. We ought to recognize him as the owner of the first room. He looked at the door, wondering why the hunting dog was welcoming him. It was strange.
Even though it did not talk, it gestured with its motionless eyes for him to enter. He wondered why.
This should be routine with him. After all, he had been looking at doors in this void all his life.
It is then we understand, the hunting dog wasn’t beckoning us to go inside at all. No.
It was he, the hunting dog was speaking to.
He raised his hand to touch the knob. Why was this door so different? Whose dream is this?
He looked back at the void, several floating doors strewn around the massive darkness. He had marked all of the other doors. He looked back to this one, a pause.
Why is this motionless hunting dog plush so entrancing?
Why did this hunting dog seem to talk to him, as if it were leading him to a place that might change him?
He thought for the longest time.
If destiny was waiting for him, it could afford to wait for him longer.
He turned around and floated back to the void, looking for familiar doors. He ignored the loud call of the hunting dog. He entered a familiar one and back into a familiar world.
The plush hung silently on the door. It cannot do anything otherwise, after all.
It was only a toy. It had no ability to speak. It had no ability to move. It could not even see with its two eyes.
A wind blew, making the toy dance a little. It is the only time we have seen this toy move.
If we were to pause and realize, why was there wind in the void in the first place?
The toy hangs innocently on the door, waiting.
If he had stopped and looked at the glass button eyes the dog had
He would have seen his reflection.
He who avoided the gaze of the toy breathed a sigh of relief. He looked into the world he just entered. He looked at his clothes and with a snap changed it into an oversized hand-knitted green sweater. He ruffled his lengthy short hair a bit and breathed in. He looked forward and saw a fairly large, but modest suburban home painted a pale yellow. It rested on top of a meadow and it was the only house in sight. He hopped out of the door frame and landed on the ground and walked, the crisp green grass tickling his feet.
Once he arrived at the door, he opens it calling for the person inside.
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