Annabeth stood in front of the mirror, lit the candles, and lined them on the counter, next to her notepad. It was silent, except for her breathing. She saw the lower half of her face reflected in the mirror.
“Alright. Time to see if you are real too,” she said aloud. Annabeth opened her notepad and wrote “Bloody Mary” on the top of an empty page, next to “Nessie.” She’d have to wait until she travelled to Scotland to find the Loch Ness Monster.
Annabeth took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “Bloody Mary.”
A candle flickered.
She opened her eyes.
A sudden wind blasted from behind her and blew out the candles. Annabeth was left in pitch black for a few seconds -breath caught in her throat- until the candles lit again, one after the other. But instead of her face in the mirror, Annabeth saw someone else.
Bloody Mary stared at her through the mirror.
Annabeth dropped her notepad, staring at the woman with wide eyes. Bloody Mary’s sunken eyes blinked once, then she raised her pale hand and placed it on the mirror. She smiled through closed lips, and blood dripped from her cracked lips. Bloody Mary opened her mouth-
“Oh my god, it’s you!” exclaimed Annabeth. Bloody Mary paused.
“Oh, that’s great!” continued Annabeth. She picked up her notepad and smoothed the pages’ crinkles. She scribbled down “Real” underneath the heading. “My mom tried to summon you when she was little. Do you remember her? She told me she thought she saw you, but she said it was probably her own reflection.”
“I-uh-maybe,” said Bloody Mary, looking very confused.
“That’s all right,” said Annabeth. “I’ve always wanted to meet you. My name’s Annabeth.”
She offered her hand. Bloody Mary stared at it.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” She put her hand down. “Unless you can come through the mirror?”
“Well, yes...I-uh-Wait, what’s going on?” said Bloody Mary. “How aren’t you scared of me?”
“I’ve dedicated my life to finding the real monsters behind the legends,” said Annabeth. She wrote: Can come through mirrors. “One question, what are you?”
“Sorry, that was insensitive.” Annabeth dragged over the bench and sat on the towels. “Who were you? Were you someone before you became Bloody Mary? Or were you always Bloody Mary?”
Bloody Mary eyed her critically before sitting down herself on a chair Annabeth couldn’t see.
“It won’t come to any surprise to you, I suppose, but I was once the queen of England,” said Bloody Mary. “I was the most powerful woman in the world.”
“I don’t mean to interrupt, but-” Someone knocked on the door.
“Is everything okay in there?” asked her mother. Bloody Mary rolled her eyes.
“I’m talking to Bloody Mary, Mom,” said Annabeth. She glared at the spirit.
“That’s nice, dear, but can you continue your conversation somewhere else, please? I need to shower.”
“Will do,” said Annabeth. “Er, Bloody Mary-”
“I prefer Your Majesty,” said Bloody Mary, folding her arms.
Annabeth rolled her eyes. “There’s a big mirror in my room. Can you go there?”
“Of course I can,” said Bloody Mary, looking salty. “My whole thing isn’t only appearing in bathrooms, you know!”
Annabeth wanted to say it was, but she didn’t answer. Satisfied with her silence, Bloody Mary disappeared.
Annabeth met her mother at the door.
“The bathroom is now open,” she said. Her mom smiled.
“Thank you. Does Bloody Mary remember me?” she asked.
“I think so,” said Annabeth. “She was Queen Mary, so that part of the legend is true.”
“I knew it,” said her mother. “Have fun!” She walked in and closed the door. Annabeth heard the water turn on as she walked to her room.
Bloody Mary was waiting for her when Annabeth came in.
“Oh, you’re not in your mirror,” said Annabeth.
“You didn’t believe me?” asked Bloody Mary. She was sitting at the desk in the corner.
“I did, I just didn’t expect you to come out.” Annabeth walked closer to the woman and sat on the bed.
She does look like the portrait of Mary 1, thought Annabeth. Bloody Mary was tall, too.
“How come you speak English?” Annabeth asked her.
“I’ve always spoken English, girl,” said Bloody Mary. “Even before my death.”
“Modern English, I mean.”
“Child, do you know how many girls and older people have summoned me this past century?” said Bloody Mary crossly. “I have to keep with the times.” She looked at the pictures hanging on the wall. “What are those ghastly creatures next to you?”
Annabeth grinned. “The tall one on the left is Bigfoot. He’s really shy, but he’s a sweetheart. I met him when my parents and I went camping in Ohio. The other one is the chupacabra. I caught it trying to attack the farm animals in Mexico. If you’ll look to your other right, that’s a drawing of Dracula with my family from six months ago. He used to be our neighbor.”
Bloody Mary squinted at the dark image. Next to Annabeth’s father, there was an old, pale man wearing a black coat. He was hunched over.
“What happened to him?”
Annabeth twirled her hair. “Well, uh-” She glanced out the window. “You see that small mound below the oak tree. That’s his, uh, dust. It was an accident, I swear!”
“You’re a very odd girl,” said Bloody Mary.
“That’s what Dracula said.”
“I hate to admit it, Annabeth, but I enjoyed your company very much,” said Bloody Mary. “You’re the first person to not be terrified. I’m glad I didn’t kill you.”
“Thanks, I guess,” said Annabeth. She took out her camera. “Hey, before you go, can we take a picture. For memories.”
“I suppose so, yes,” said Bloody Mary. After they took the picture, Bloody Mary positioned herself in front of the mirror.
“Goodbye, your majesty,” said Annabeth.
“Goodbye, Annabeth. Maybe I’ll see you around,” said Bloody Mary. The mirror started shimmering like water, and she stepped through. Annabeth waved to her one last time before Bloody Mary disappeared in a red smoke.
*Excerpt of a larger work