The small group of three found themselves standing before a displaced patch of "forest" within Central Park. The shimmering and shifting surface seemed to hold about it a subtle pull, the effect of which made Linda grin and shift her weight in excited anticipation. Chris on the other hand held a nervous dread of what would occur on the other side of the mirror. His face grew fairly pale and was quick to stuff his quivering hands within the confines of his pockets to hide the trembling.
Wolf grinned widely as he spun to face the younger two before him, "Shall we get going?!" Linda nodded her head with enthusiasm with Chris staring tensely past Wolf toward the doorway to his world , but as it were, Chris's apprehensions proved to not be completely misplaced...
As with many things, events rarely turn out in the manner expected and fate plays a strong part in things that occur or perhaps it is all a strange coincidence that events happen as they do.
While Wolf, Linda, and Chris made to step through their mirror to Wendell's castle, another mirror with similar abilities was opened and a person stepped through. All traveling mirrors coincidently open to the same general "void" in a sense, more or less like a door opening into a hall or grand room with several doors along the walls. Each door corresponding with another so that a person could step into a traveling mirror and come out in a different corresponding location. The problem laid in the fact that at the exact same moment, two mirrors had been stepped into and fate, or rather chance took control.
Linda instantly sensed that something was off as the feeling of being pulled along while being immersed in some form of liquid consumed her and the sound of shattering mirrors filled her ears. Despite the familiarity in all of this something felt wrong. The pull that she felt while passing through the mirrors wasn't right. All at once though she was thrown from the feeling and landed heavy on top of something rather lumpy.
Riding Hood stood before her mirror with a slight grin. Her mood from earlier had subsided into nothing more than a sly glint in her eye and an air of her usual brimming confidence about her. A red traveling cloak was pulled tightly to her being as she muttered the location that she desired. Her reflection was replaced by a wavering swirl of color before the image of a small cottage appeared on the glassy surface. The queen smiled as she stared at her loophole...
Mirrors adhered by several strict and immutable rules but witches...witches were quite another matter. Riding Hood ran over her plan once again as she prepared to pass into the mirror.
The witch she sought was named Sarafina and was neither good nor evil, but was highly self serving and a connoisseur of lavish accessories and rare trinkets. A heavy satchel of gold would do well to satisfy the witch's tastes and gain the Queen aid to find the location of her son and the wolf brat and reassure the success of her plans.
At once she stepped through the mirror and after a moment of being drawn through the consecutive line of mirrors. She felt a strangeness as she traveled through to her destination and at the end was dumped rather unceremoniously onto a rather hard surface.
Linda groaned as she stared down at the lump that laid under her...or what she supposed was a lump until it groaned and shifted as well and an all to familiar pair of brown eyes opened and were staring into her golden ones.
"Ah, sorry." Linda muttered while scrambling up. She looked distractedly about the room in puzzlement. Something was familiar about the room but she truly could not tell exactly what that something was. The one thing that she could discern though was that the room they were in was most definitely not the mirror chamber in King Wendell's castle and that there was no sign of her father.
Chris stood as well and brushed himself off before glancing around the room too. The realization of where they were becoming all to clear to him. 'How did we end up here though?' he though nervously as turned to Linda who had an utterly confused and, if he guessed correctly, slightly frustrated expression on her face. He knew then that something had most definitely gone wrong.
"Where the hell are we now?" Linda growled out with eyes flashing dangerously as annoyance took over her previous confusion. Another headache was proving to win over her mind and muddled her thought process into something that could be related to a think fog or nasty snow storm only helping to raise her irritation towards the situation.
Chris blinked in surprise that she still hadn't figured out their location. "We're in my mother's mirror room...again. I thought that mirror we used was supposed to take us to King Wendell's castle."
Linda grumbled a soft curse before muttering coldly, "It was. I don't know what happened or how we even wound up here." She placed excessive emphasis on the last word to accentuate her agitation.
"I don't know." She gave a sudden harsh growl. "Why can't anything be simple!" she nearly yelled as she began to pace steadily back and forth across the width of the room.
"By the way, where's your father?" Chris said noticing for the first time the missing member of their recently formed tiny group.
"I don't know, not here obviously but I can't tell you where he wound up. Maybe he's at the castle...I hope..." Linda suddenly got nervous. If herself and Chris had come out of this mirror, then where did her father wind up. And what had happened in the first place that had caused such an awful mess?
"I'm sure he's fine, Linda." She only cast his weary glance before noticing something else...
"We need to get out of here before your mother decides to show up."
Wolf landed hard on the floor and as he stood up he was met with the stunned expression that crossed his wife's features. He smiled brightly at her and was about to speak when her voice cut him off, "Who is that?"
Just as she had spoken, a soft mumble came from whoever was behind him and Virginia made a sudden gasp, drawing her hand to cover her mouth. Wolf turned and immediately came face to face with the object of Virginia's surprise and he was fairly stunned as well to find that his daughter and her friend weren't the ones behind him. Rather, Queen Red Riding Hood was staring right back at him with such a shocked and disgusted face that it probably would have been comical under other circumstances.
"How did you wind up here? Where's Linda." Wolf asked with his usual bluntness while looking about the room. It was for the best that Wolf held his tongue in mentioning his daughter's companion. It was also considerably convenient that Wolf had never met the Prince of the Second Kingdom and so did not know what he looked like.
The Queen gave him an exasperated glare as she stood up and dusted herself off in the most regal manner possible though failing miserably. She turned toward Wendell, making a pointed effort toward ignoring Wolf. "My apologizes for suddenly appearing unannounced and in such ill apparel. I fear I had no control over the matter though and I hope I my abrupt presence hasn't caused you any troubles." She said with a flourish of her cloak as she moved into a curtsy.
"My dear Queen," The King addressed Riding Hood using a diplomatic smile to mask his true emotions, "it is hardly any problem at all. You are always welcomed at my castle." He made a formal bow to match her own formal greeting."Though if you do not find me being to bold in asking, how did you happen to come through this mirror?"
"I am terribly afraid that I have no fair answer to that. I was simply using my own traveling mirror for I had business that needed urgent attendance too when I came out here."
"Umm, Wendell?" Virginia suddenly called out from behind him. Wolf was standing next to her having moved out of the path between the two rulers during the course of the formal exchange.
"Yes?" he asked.
"Considering this is concerning magic mirrors, and none of us here know how any of this occurred, wouldn't it be best to consult someone who was familiar with the workings of mirrors and such?"
"That's a fabulous idea, Virginia! Now all we need to do is find a dwarf." Wolf grinned happily.
Wendell nodded his head in agreement. "I'll send a courier to the ninth kingdom immediately to summon someone who can be of aid. In the meantime, Queen Riding Hood, you are more then welcome to stay until we discover the cause for all of this. I'll have a room prepared for you as well."
"I am much obliged, King Wendell. Thank you for your help and understanding concerning this matter. I have been so distraught with the disappearance of my own son and I know that you have several issues to attend to yourself. Your help is greatly appreciated."
"It is of no concern. Now if you will follow me this way, I'll show you to a room."Wendell said as he and the Queen went to leave the room.
Virginia took this moment to turn to her husband. "You found Linda?"
"Ya, she was in New York at our apartment building. I'm not sure how she came to be there but she was with a boy whom she said was from the kingdom. I think she said his name was Charlie or Carl or Chris or something like that."
"Was she all right?"
"Yes, she was fine..."
"Oh, thank God!" Virginia sighed happily, placing a hand to her chest in relief.
"...though I do have to say that she seemed a bit odd..."
"Odd? How so? I thought you said she was fine!"
"She is! Don't worry, my dear. It's just that her eyes were gold and she seemed a bit...well, different."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm afraid I really can't explain it. I guess its just wolfish intuition but something seemed slightly off."
"I wish she was here! My poor child, I hope she's all right where ever she is right now. We need to find her as soon as possible!"
"I know Virginia, but Linda's a strong girl and I'm sure she's fine. We'll start looking for her once we know what happened with the mirrors. Besides we don't know where to start looking. The best we can do now is wait."
"So how are we going to leave this place exactly? I doubt we can simply walk out the front door considering every person here is probably looking for us."
"I'm thinking of a plan."
"We really need to leave this room though. With my exceeding luck, the Queen will waltz right in here after tea and I don't even want to think about what would happen next." Linda called from her seat on the floor. She was working on suppressing a growing headache by distracting herself by talking though her efforts were proving for naught.
Chris was moving about the room lost in thought, when he suddenly turned to face her with a grin. "Your absolutely right. My own chambers are not far from here and no one will enter it without my consent. Maybe there I can come up with a decent plan on how to leave unseen!"
"Wonderful. Let's go!" Linda said. She jumped to her feet and looked at him expectantly. "Lead the way. Anything to get out of this room and on the way to out of this castle!"
A woman lounged leisurely upon a simple wooden chair with her crossed legs propped up on the table before her. Chocolate eyes glanced lazily over a small dish of water placed before her that was at the moment projecting a swirl of images that to anyone else looked like nothing more than a fascinating mixture of colors.
"Things are moving in interesting directions. I'm curious to see how everything turns out in the end." She muttered idly as she rose to her feet from her relaxed position and lifted a hand to push brown strands of hair from in front of her face. The woman moved across the small kitchen to where a bottle sat on the counter. She seized it and shook it slightly to gage roughly how much was still in there.
"I suppose I will have to start playing a part in this little story...but for know," her gaze fell back to the small basin on the table, "for now, the only thing that I can do is watch and wait to see what comes next." She lifted the bottle to her lips and took a long draught of its contents.
Sarafina gave a long sigh as she glanced within the bottle before placing it back onto the counter, casting a glance about the kitchen. "Great, now I need to go to town for more cider!"
Yay, I'm actually updating for once!! I hope you all liked the chapter. I'd like to thank CommonGreatness93 for her great ideas for this chapter! I'd also like to thank everyone who has read the story and a special thanks to all my reviewer. Please review and tell me what you thought!