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Mirror Site: The Right Things

by: SsiRuuk25

 

Stan Barr walked down the street. The scene perfectly matched his mood. Any observer could have told you the street was definitely in some city, but the buildings were decrepit, and any observer would have an urge to leave very quickly. The buildings seemed devoid of inhabitants, except for shadows, creeping along, a hovering threat. Stan didn’t care about that though.

He was depressed, very much so. It wasn’t the fault of poor upbringing, being poor, or anything like that. He was intelligent, he went to a good college, his grades were good. He was a nice guy. There were probably a lot of people who wished they could be in his shoes. But that didn’t make him happy. He lacked a simple, basic ability, the ability to make friends. Keeping them was no problem for him, but making them was a major problem. In his three completed semesters in college, he hadn’t made one friend, though he had dozens of acquaintances. Life was hell for him.

A cold wind was blowing, and Stan’s light jacket wasn’t enough to keep out the cold. Not that it mattered. Stan just trotted down the street, with no particular destination in mind. He passed the time thinking up tunes. Maybe he’d get around to playing them on his guitar, and maybe he wouldn’t. He might even write out a tab for it if he liked it enough. Then he saw what looked like a circus tent in an empty lot. The bright colors of the tent contrasted with the rest of the scene. Stan felt an indescribable desire to see what it was, even though he didn’t really feel like it.

As he approached, a young man, stepped out of the tent. He was dressed as a showman.

"Why hello there, Stan. You can call me Barker. It’s my name and it’s my job," the man said with a smile.

"How did, you…never mind," Stan said, looking at the tent, and at the sign next to the entrance, proclaiming to all the world that this was the ‘Hall of Mystic Mirrors. Admission of $1.’ Stan reached for his wallet, and saw Barker’s features change from a winning, salesman’s smile to a look of concentration or deep thought, then to a frown.

"I don’t think you should go in there Stan," said Barker, looking concerned. Stan just threw his money at him, mesmerized by the tent, for some odd reason he couldn’t explain. Stan went into the tent.

Barker stood there, and simply shook his head.

"Oh, my. I think I’ll need a bit of help with this."

***

Stan went into the tent, and saw another entrance, this into a much more permanent looking structure. There was a sign above it telling him to ‘Enter Here.’ Stan walked through the entranceway, and as soon as he did, heard the sound of the door closing behind him. Stan turned and eyed the spot where the door had been warily, but turned towards the mirror lined corridor.

Walking past the mirrors, he saw at first only what you would expect. Mirrors that made him fat, tall, short, thin, and everything of that sort. As he continued, the effects got better and better.

There were mirrors that showed him as an old man, a young girl, an asian woman. The effects were incredible. Stan didn’t know how it all worked. He usually could get a sense of how things worked, but he was completely mystified. This was definitely worth the dollar, and brightened his day significantly. Then he came to a mirror with an image of a young woman, dressed fashionably, with a backpack on. For some reason this image was much more compelling. He stood there staring for a few moments before moving on.

He finally came to a six sided room, one side being the door he had walked through. There were mirrors on all the walls showing his image. That was when the door he had come in through closed suddenly. Stan jumped around and simply looked at the wall where the door had been a minute ago. He looked at the wall closely. That was when the walls seemed to start to spin. Slowly at first, then faster and faster. That was when his image began to change.

He lost weight quickly, and his hair began to grow out. He lost a few inches of height. He could feel that the changes in the mirror were actually happening to him. His hair, originally a moderately dark brown was now blond, his brown eyes were blue. He felt a tightness against his chest as it expanded and was pressured by his shirt. His hips grew wider, putting pressure there too. His waist shrank, and he felt a pulling sensation in his groin. And during all this, he could do nothing but stand there silently. Then the changes to his body concluded, and his clothes changed, changed into the same fashionable clothing and backpack that the young woman in the mirror had been wearing, the one which he now bore an amazing resemblance to. Then Stan blacked out.

***

Stacy Barr stepped out of the tent to see two of her friends Lara, her roommate, and Teresa.

"Happy now, Stacy," Lara called, shaking her head. Stacy knew she took too much pleasure in the simple things in life.

"Yeah," Stacy said, then turned to where Barker was still standing, and thanked the young woman for the mirror show. The three friends then went home, leaving this dark, dreary and dangerous neighborhood as quickly as they could.

Stacy was laying in bed later that night, alone, with Lara just outside, in the hall, talking on her cell phone. The door was closed, but she could still hear her talking. She sighed contentedly. She felt as though today had been the best day of her life, but it had been no different from any other. Then an old man appeared in her room. Just appeared. Stacy screamed and the old man cringed. He was dressed in something that could best be described as a bathrobe. He looked old in a dignified sort of way. He took the moment of her confusion to mutter a few unintelligible words. Stacy shook her head, and Stan looked at his surroundings. And then he looked down. There was another scream, though this one wasn’t anywhere near as intense or loud. The old man had been prepared for that one though, and so simply shook his head.

"Are you through, Stan," asked the old man.

"Who are you, how did you know my name, and why am I in a girl’s body," Stan asked, half afraid and mostly angry.

"I am a wizard, that is how I know your name, and as to why you are in possession of a female body, that is a bit more involved. Oh and by the way, 28," said the old man with a smirk. He had caught the question and the answer before Stan had a chance to answer. Stan sat there stunned, his anger ebbing already.

"Now that’s better," the old man, pulling up a chair to the side of the bed Stan was lying in. "No one should disturb us, and no one heard you scream ... twice. In any case, Stan, you have a decision to make tonight. Do you want to stay a girl," he said, bluntly and earnestly. Stan started to answer when the wizard held up his hand.

"Now don’t rush this, Stan. A lot’s at stake here. The simple answer may be to change back, but are you happier this way or the old way," he asked.

"Well," Stan started. He paused, thinking, searching his feelings. The answer surprised him. "This way. I guess I’d like to stay this way," he said, slowly, with great thought and deliberation.

"Now wait a moment. I’m not done. I figure I’ll give you fair odds. Anyway, I’m here for a reason. The choice is yours, but I wouldn’t be here if it were that simple," said the wizard. The wizard took stock, then began again.

"It is true that you are happier this way, I can tell that. However, your decision will send you down one of two paths. Each has it’s perks. First, you could stay as you are, as Stacy. Tomorrow you would meet a man named Fred Garner. You two would eventually fall in love, get married, have children, and live long, very happy, lives. However, Stan has an important day for himself tomorrow. You see, Stan, tomorrow a talent agent would find you, you would be discovered. You would get a record contract. You would become a very prominent recording artist. You would make millions happy through your music, inspire love and happiness, and even stop a war through the impact you would have in your music. However, you would die young, after a moderately long career, and would be unhappy through most of your life. So the choice is yours," the wizard said, sitting back in his chair. Stan just laid there, stunned. Happiness. A family. It could be his. But there was the music, the happiness he could create. But he would have to stay as miserable as he was now. His head swarmed with possibilities.

"I don’t know what to think, what to do. What do you recommend," asked Stan. He really didn’t know what to think. The wizard was taken aback.

"I can’t tell you what to think. That is up for you to decide. But," the wizard said slowly, thinking. "But, let me give you this advise. Life is only worth living if some of us at least do the right things sometimes. Not everyone, and not all the time. But the right things sometimes require sacrifices, sometimes great sacrifices. And it is up to each and every one of us to decide which sacrifices are too great for any one person to bear," the wizard said. After saying it, he sat back, happy with how that had come out. Stand pondered more, for several more minutes. Then he lifted his head up out of his hands where it had been in great thought.

"I think," he started, "that I would be happier as Stacy. But, I don’t think that it would be right. I don’t think could do it and turn my back on what you tell me will bring such happiness to many more people. So," Stan halted here, "I think I want to return to being Stan, if for no other reason than I think it is the right thing."

The wizard nodded gravely, happy that Stan had chosen the way he had. Not even such a powerful wizard as himself could have foreseen or affected Stan’s judgment. It was his decision and his alone. And the wizard, for one, thought he had made the right choice. The wizard muttered a few more unintelligible words, and for Stan Barr, the world once more went black.

***

The next day, a talent agent did indeed find Stan, and decided to pick him up and sign him. Stan began recording his first record shortly thereafter. For the first year or two, the recording company forced Stan into the mold of a teenybopper type. But Stan got tired of this, and finally was able to break the mold.

His career from that point on featured hit after hit, innovation after innovation. He was popular without losing his dignity. And after twenty years in the business, he was hit by a car, and died a few days later. He had had a great impact on the world of music, and had reinvigorated the art of popular music. He was treated with about as great a respect as a ferocious media could muster, and was loved by fans the world round, for his was a truly wonderful gift to the world.

However, true to the wizard’s words, even though he never remembered them, the Hall of Mystic Mirrors tent, or the events of that one fateful day, he was miserable throughout his life. He never married, and only dated sparingly. But he wasn’t without compensation in this regard. He had feeling through the remainder of his life that he had somehow done the right things in life. It was all he needed.

 

 

 

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2002 by SsiRuuk25. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, compilation design) may printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without express written consent of the copyright holder.