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Steps into the Mirror (Until it Wasn't) - 1/?

by mephistophelesangel

  1. And if you go I wanna go with you

Gale doesn’t recall how long he has been buried under the snow when he blinks to see a gray sky.

Above him is a hand, an arm then a face. The hand moves one last time to brush the remaining traces of snow away from Gale’s face, then disappears. Allowing a plume of white breath to escape into the air, Gale stares around him at the remnants of trees that are frozen blue and a flat landscape of ice.

“A bit too cold around here,” a voice tells him. Blinking slowly, Gale lowers himself back into the snow. Almost instantly, a hand curls around his upper arm and snaps him out of the ice.

“Come on,” the voice says again. “Get up. Lots of things to do. Get up.”

“Teal,” Gale responds, stumbling on the sleek sheet of solid ice that he doesn’t remember being there. The hands brace against him before he can fall. As his arms flail limply, he recalls faint hints of green and red and blue, and attempts to burrow back into the ground. “Teal? Teal. Teal, Teal.”

He cannot recall what the word means. Blinking again, he clutches wildly at his face and chest and sinks down onto the ground when the hands let him. When he catches another glimpse of the sky that is crumbling gray, he clutches his head and wails into his knees.

“I can’t believe it,” the voice grumbles, then Gale can hear feet shifting next to him. There is a crackling of ice, which stops abruptly after a short moment.


A hand falls on his shoulder. “I don’t think you even know what that means. Do you?”


A sigh escapes into the air from beside him, and Gale shudders as his ears ring sharply. “Teal?”

Two hands forcefully tilt his head up and before he can tug away, he’s staring blankly into a pair of eyes that are even whiter than the snow around them. Gale parts his lips to say the word once more —a word that he’s spitting out to rip into his own stomach— when a finger touches his forehead.

Red and green rush into his head, wiping away the endless field of white that he still can feel under his body. A lake forces itself into his vision and a hand plunges into the water. As he watches, frozen with a bird singing high and low behind him and into his ears, the reflection on the surface of the lake distorts with the song. The clear water roars and bubbles into blood. The leaves turn gold around him then shatter into a million screaming blades.

As abruptly as it shifted, the world melts back into the palest shades of blue and gray. Unable to put any weight onto his knees, Gale collapses into the ice, coughing and choking on parts of himself that are boiling and flowing out of his eyes.

“Teal,” he manages. All of a sudden, the cold air presses down upon him and crushes him onto his stomach. He sobs as the vast emptiness of the icy world rushes into him.

Next to him, the voice is laughing.


2. Don’t fall, don’t fall, nobody’s there to catch you

The man with white eyes introduces himself as Jack. 

Looking off into the sky blankly, Gale rubs his fingers against the ice-covered tree trunk.

“Jack,” the man repeats, this time with more force. His hair is as pale as his eyes, and tied in a ponytail, the strands flutter like wings in the whistling winds. “Now tell me your name.”

Instead of replying, Gale brings his gaze down onto the tree that has been dead for too long inside the thick coverage of ice. “Autumn,” he murmurs to himself and thinks of a mountain covered with golden leaves.

“Talk to me!” Gale can vaguely hear Jack yelling hoarsely. “Talk!”

“Teal,” Gale says softly, and when uttered like a fading breeze it is not as sharp and painful. He smiles to himself. “Teal.”

There is a low snarl, then Jack slams a hand through Gale’s ribcage.

Later, Gale tells Jack his name after he finds out how to put himself back together. The feeling makes him sick and his hands turn white, yet he finishes wiping away the blood and looks up at Jack from the icy ground.

“I’m Gale,” he coughs. Jack stares at him, then whips around to rip open the air and steps through without a word.

(Some time after Jack has left, Gale stretches out a hand and turns the world into a shower of red and gold that doesn’t look nearly as beautiful as he thought.)

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User avatar
33 Reviews

Points: 364
Reviews: 33

Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:28 am
Becky2421 wrote a review...

Okay interesting story there...but you should have used 'I' instead of Geal tells, Geal sees, Geal says, Geal brings and you know what I mean. It would have been much more effective if you had used your perspective of the story with the use of 'I, Me'.
Just a suggestion because I kind of find boring when I kept on reading about Geal does this and Geal does that.

If you had used 'I' it would sound effective like this:

Blinking slowly 'I' lowered myself into the snow
Almost instantly, a hand curls around 'my' upper arm and snaps 'me' out of the ice.

Anyways love this story very imaginative and moving!

User avatar
359 Reviews

Points: 455
Reviews: 359

Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:32 pm
steampowered wrote a review...

Hello, steampowered here for a review! As someone who really, really enjoyed reading the original Steps into the Mirror story, I’m absolutely delighted that you’ve decided to add more to this world. Since I followed the link you posted on my wall, I didn’t see the description for this, but I’m going to assume it’s a sequel. Yay for sequels! I can’t wait to read more about Gale, and maybe Teal will make an appearance. You never know… Anyway, onto the reviewing! :D

“Come on,” the voice says again. “Get up. Lots of things to do. Get up.”

Whoa. Just… whoa. This almost feels like Jack is the one in control, like Gale is the one being randomly killed and he’s also lost his memory… And how does Jack manage to break Gale so easily? Either he’s freakishly strong, or else Gale has found a kindred spirit (literally a spirit… some kind of other god perhaps?) Ooh!

One of the things I really like about this story is the way things are left to the reader’s imagination – the key one, I feel, being the exact nature of the relationship between Gale and Teal. As the typical teenage fangirl, I ship those two pretty hard, and I love the little hints you drop throughout the piece that they were close. Personally, I feel like Gale and Teal were in love – or at least, Gale had some kind of unrequited thing going with Teal (story of Narcissus, anyone?) But the great thing is that there are different ways it can be interpreted. It could have been a brotherly relationship, or a fatherly relationship, and I like how this is nice and ambiguous. I have a thing for relationships in fiction, particularly close friendships between guys… I’m not even sure why. I’m going to blame anime for that. :P

He sobs as the vast emptiness of the icy world rushes into him.

You meanie. I nearly cried here. Poor Gale.

I feel like this sequel has got off to a really promising start, and I’m really excited to read more and find out what happens next. My biggest questions have got to be: who is Jack? What is Jack? Is Jack connected in some way with Teal? Why did Jack react in that way when Gale told him what his name was? I will follow this story to the ends of the earth, because I want to know more! This was really well-written, and I really enjoyed reading it. Keep writing, and please, please, please do let me know when you upload more!

You won't know the outcome of something unless you try it.
— manilla