"Oh my God," she gasped, "What a gorgeous mirror! You honestly didn't have to get me something so… so…"
"Luxurious? Flashy? Antique? Wonderful?"
"Bah! When I saw this, I automatically thought of you. I didn't care about the price."
"Tut-Tut! No fretting now, Cassidy. We will find a place to place it and you are going to keep it. None of this 'Oh I put it in the garage' nonsense. Do you hear me?" Marcus replied, grinning from ear to ear. He stood in front of Cassidy, arms folded in a very determined manner. But with that grin, he looked more like a jester proud of a prank pulled than determined. Cassidy sighed.
"…Yes Marcus. Just one question. Where did you find such a gorgeous mirror?" She allowed her hand to trail along the cool, reflective glass.
"That's for me to know and you to never find out." Marcus quipped back, nodding his head for emphasis.
"Because you might tell your girlfriends, who'll tell their friends, and then there'll be a riot because they won't be able to obtain one."
Cassidy listened to her friend ramble on. She had known him ever since she could remember and the way he talked had never changed all too drastically. He always got flustered easily and always rambled, no matter the subject. Somehow he always managed to make some sort of point.
"It's the only one of its type."
"O..oh?" Cassidy raised her eyebrows, now running her fingers along the mirror's frame. The mirror, itself was a full length oval cut, held up by a wrought iron stand. The stand looked as if it had been true running ivy. A gargoyle was perched up top, wings splayed, stretching out as far as could possibly be. Its face contorted in a gruesome expression, jaw dropped for a silent hiss.
Engraved into the glass, running along the edge from one side to the other was Latin. 'Oh filius infusco. Ego vox ut futurus expedio'. Jutting out from the bottom was a plaque of white marble; blank.
Cassidy found this odd, and looked over at Marcus peculiarly. He, in return shrugged.
"I couldn't tell ya. Asked about it myself, and didn't get much of an answer. All the coot said was 'There's a good reason why Latin's considered a dead language." He ran his hand through his fluffy sandy brown hair. It came down to his ears in little wisps. His completion was one that saw a good amount of sun. Not too tanned and definitely not kissed by dark basements and computer screens.
"Come to think of it…" he continued, "she kept staring at me. Kinda made me feel wonky."
Cassidy giggled and gave Marcus a playful push.
"Watch out, she's on a mission to turn you straight!"
"Oh that is just wrong! She was surely sixty, at the least!" Marcus shuddered. He got interrupted by the ring of his cell phone. The noise startled them both, making him quickly shove his hand into his pocket. He took the cell phone out and looked at the caller id.
"Yuck. It's Geoff."
"Your brother?" Cassidy asked.
"Only one! Fuck. I gotta go, Cassidy. He'll probably want some 'quality family time'. He's my brother, sure. But I hope it won't consist of the same activities as last time."
"Three words: Him. Me. Camping…" He waved his hands about as if it were some mystical thing. Cassidy grimaced.
"Tell me about it." Marcus agreed. "He's the straight one and I'm the camping buff. I just don't get it." He shook his head. "Anyways, I'll see you later. Take care!"
Cassidy gave her friend a hug and led him outside. Once he was out of sight, she returned inside, closing the door. Walking into the dining room, she contemplated the task before her. Folding her arms, she tilted her head and stared at the mirror.
"You really are a beautiful mirror… With your wrought iron stand and your guardian gargoyle. Definitely unique! Now then, where am I going to put you?"
Mentally, she thought about the layout of her home. A quaint, two-story with a kitchen, dining room, living room, and bathroom downstairs with her bedroom upstairs, along with another room. A den of sorts that also served as a computer room and an art room. Putting it in the den would be the best, she thought. But how to get it upstairs?
Curse Marcus' brother for calling him away! She grumbled in annoyance. It was then that Cassidy remembered the toboggan she had stored in a closet. The plan was brilliant! And she was a genius for thinking of it, or so she thought. …Nevermind the part of her brain that scoffed at the idea of tying the mirror to it and pulling it up the steps. It would work. She would make sure of it. As she tried to carefully pull it up the first few steps, the phone rang. Deciding that it was too much trouble than what it was worth, she let the phone ring. If it was Marcus calling her, she could get hold of him again easily. Hearing the answering machine pick up, a streak of terror chilled her as she heard the message.
"Hey, babe. It's Joshua. What the fuck were you thinking, leaving me? You won't find anyone as good as me. I was the best thing that ever happened to your life and you know it! You're going to pay for your actions, whore."
The message ended with a click, and Cassidy could feel the breath come back to her chest. She slightly snerked at his declaration of being the best damn thing in her life. How was degrading the woman your with a good thing? Being so jealous or paranoid, even, of her male friends she hung out with. He was the sort who believed that liquor was water, his way was the only way and that even a gay man would steal away 'his' woman.
After a good while, the mirror was in the den, and looking good. It had survived the few times that the rope had slipped out of her hand and the toboggan went careening down the stairs. Not a single scratch. Damn, those old craftsmen definitely knew what they had been doing! Thoroughly tuckered out, she went to bed.
The next morning, Cassidy was awoken by a loud pounding on her door. Rolling over, she blearily looked at her digital clock. The time of 5:42 a.m. glowed mockingly at her. Downstairs, the pounding on the door grew more fervent.
Groaning, Cassidy got out of the warm, comfy confines of her bed, pulled on a housecoat and proceeded downstairs. Peeking through the peephole, she gave an annoyed sigh and flung open the door.
"What the fuck do you want?"
The man on the other side of the door was of average height with a tiny bit of tubbiness and a mop of shaggy brown hair. He gave her a drunken glare.
"Whaddya mean? I want you back!" he replied, swaying a tad.
She sighed, keeping her hand on the door.
"No. now leave, or I'll call the police."
As she started to close the door, the man shoved it open, making Cassidy stumble back with the force of it.
"Joshua, get the fuck out of my house!" she screamed, standing up.
"You want a reason to call the police!?" Joshua yelled, glaring down at her as he closed the space between them. He flung out his right hand, clocking Cassidy in the jaw. She fell onto the stairs behind her, dazed. It didn't take long for Joshua to grab hold of her to bringing reality rushing back into focus. She gave him a kick to the groin and wiggled out of her housecoat. Running upstairs, she went into the closest room and shut the door, leaning against it. Seeing the mirror, she realized she was in the den. Her eyes laid upon the engraving.
"Oh filius infusco ego vox ut futurus.. h'm? I'll have to look that up sometime." She said, trying to lighten up her mood slightly. It was then that she heard a bang and felt a sharp, searing pain in her shoulder. She cried out and ran from the door, trying to find a way out.
"No large windows, no doors.. Fuck!"
Hearing Joshua kicking at the door made her whirl around. Another shot was fired and the door swung open. Joshua entered the den, a gun in his hand. He walked towards Cassidy, raising it.
"You fucking bitch…"
This was it, she thought. She was going to be killed by her drunken ex and there was no way to stop him. She closed her eyes and waited, but the bullet never came. Maybe she was dead, but didn't feel it… She prodded her arm and cried out. Nope, still alive. Then what the hell happened? She opened her eyes and stared.
Holding Joshua against the wall was, well.. a man. He had a fit, effeminate build and black, sleek hair that hung down along his back. His skin was as white as could be. It seemed like he had been painted with white-out. He wore a pair of pants that fit him a bit too well. They were patterned with a harlequin diamond design, black on white. On his feet, he wore black knee-high boots. His ears were slender, elongated and pointed. Each was pieced once. The right with a silver hoop in the earlobe while the helix in his left was pierced; on his left arm, was an odd forked tattoo design.
Once Joshua stopped struggling, the man dropped him and turned, facing Cassidy. What really made her stare were his eyes. Almond shaped with white reptilian slit pupils while the rest was completely black. His pupils almost seemed to glow. He smirked.