Mirrors

This is my take on the Bloody Mary curse. As fairy tale’d.

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Maire sat in her abject emptiness, waiting, waiting, waiting, for her hero. Somebody would free her, it had been promised. So many had come to challenge the curse, all had failed. But Maire knew that some day there would be one who would rescue her. It was fated. It was foretold. Some day there would be one strong enough to release her. Strong enough to face the unquenchable fears of their own selves, strong enough to face the horror of their own being, strong enough to set her free.

“I curse you, Maire of the Vale. I curse you once, twice, thrice. I curse you and all that look upon you. Naught shall you see but yourself and never shall you see the Laird of life nor death.”

The Crone’s voice echoed in Maire’s darkness, the only companionship she had had for more years than a mortal life could have contained. More years than the Crone could have spoken them. The same voice, the same words, always, forever. Until the day that was promised she would hear them. Every moment of every day until she won free of this horrific curse.

So long ago, so far ago, Maire could barely remember the crux of her suffering. A young lass, a rich traveler, passions refused, pain, but no pain such as she felt now. What pain could be worse than the abjection she was subjected to now?

Alone for so long. Maire tried to remember what a touch was. What the wind felt as it caressed her. The sun’s rays that once played upon her skin. The exhilaration of a chase, a dive in a pool, the satisfaction of a fast broken. All had been denied her for so long she retained only the tattered remnants of what they were.

“Mary?”

A call. A hope. Maire felt a surge of hope and beat it back down as hard and fast as she could. The call was wrong. Heard but misspoken. Her hero would know the words and her assailants knew them not.

“Thrice your name and thrice your crime, bespoke by innocence lost. ‘Til grace be granted all your days shall be reflected naught.”

Maire could see in her mind the grizzled visage of the horrid witch of Aetan as she lay those fateful words upon her. The witch, the sorceress, the queen. The mother of Maire’s destruction.

“Bloody Mary”

A thought, a hope. ‘Twas wrong, but mayhap close enough? A voice that spoke the words. Or words near close to count?

The name surely would abide, for had not Maire become Mary? But the crime. Though surely it was bloody was the blood the fault?

Maire cast back to that horrid day. The day she lay in love. So long had he courted her, so long had she refused. For one of his station and one of hers there could be only one recourse. She would not be kept, she would not! But love, so sweet. The candied words and velvet caresses. The seduction so complete.

“Bloody Mary!”

Said twice! A thrill! She thought again of her cursed revelation. The betrayal of her body shown red on her nightclothes, to match the stain on her lover’s trou. The Crone, the mother, full of hate and desperate vengeance. Her son was not for this like. Begone! Begone! Be…cursed.

“Bloody Mary!!”

The veil parted. Maire’s face as reflected before her changed. The hair, longer and lighter. The mouth, smaller and somewhat less, her cheek bones in her reflection slid sideways and her ice blue eyes turned brown.

She reached out. “Please! Hold me! Take me! Save me! Please!”

Her shadowed reflection reacted in horror. It screamed, it turned, it fled.

Like all the ones before it. Like the countless ones before it.

The Crone’s voice came again, as it did always. “I curse you, Maire of the Vale. I curse you once, twice, thrice. I curse you and all that look upon you. Naught shall you see but yourself and never shall you see the Laird of life nor death.”

Maire swallowed her heartache of despair but she did not lose hope. She knew. Some day one would come. One strong enough to face the unquenchable fears of their own selves, strong enough to face the horror of their own being, strong enough to set her free.

Until then, she listened to the Crone.

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