Just a heads-up: Disney is getting to my head. And this is set somewhere between BotL and TLO. I think.
I'm not good at much. Mostly I'm just a pretty face that's good with the pegasi and is nice and sweet to everyone. Oh, did I mention that I'm a traitor and a spy?
I'm also being stalked by a piece of jewelry.
How much more of a failure can you get?
Jewelry is supposed to be my specialty, since Aphrodite's my mom and everything. But that bracelet keeps following me everywhere – especially to the important places. You know, counselor meetings, the campfire some nights, anywhere there's information Luke needs. I just can't get rid of it, jewelry or not.
I hate it. I hate that horrible voice, I hate how charming Luke can be, I hate the cold silver of the bracelet and I hate how that scythe charm cuts me whenever I try to keep the information to myself. I just can't keep living like this. I'm almost looking forward to the final battle, because maybe I can finally do some good. Or if I can't, I can at least die quickly, so Kronos doesn't have his non-existant hands on me anymore.
This morning was the scariest one yet. Not that I have a lot of scary mornings; but sometimes the nightmares stick around for a little bit before I succeed in forgetting them.
I had another one of those dreams last night. One where everyone found out I was the spy, that I was the one who had passed on the coordinates for the Golden Fleece all those years ago. But I wasn't allowed to leave camp, so I had to live the rest of my life there, going through the days with everyone hating me and looking at me like I was something stuck on the bottom of their shoe. For an Aphrodite girl, that's the worst fate that you can get. We can't stand being shunned.
This morning, I was looking in the mirror, pretending everything was all right. You don't end up a spy for the Titan lord if you wear your heart on your sleeve. I've learned to wear it underneath my sleeve instead. So the girl in the mirror was just a fake – what all the campers saw when they looked at me.
Makeup, hair, clothes, done. It was second nature by now; I'd been picking my own outfits since I was seven. I hoped Charlie didn't notice me. The last thing I needed was to break one more heart than I needed to when everyone did find out about me.
"Why you?" I whispered to the girl in the mirror, who smiled and waved back at me. "Why is it you? You didn't do anything wrong, did you? At least, I don't think you did."
I thought about the future. Maybe I could sneak up to the Oracle and ask her what was going to happen to me. Then I shivered. I'd only seen the mummy once, and that was already way more times than I'd wanted to.
An image of the evil stepmother from Snow White asking the mirror about the fairest one of all flashed through my brain. I wondered if my mirror could answer my questions. It's the demigod world, right? Anything should be possible.
Wondering if I was crazy for actually trying this, I cleared my throat, squared my shoulders, double checked that the bathroom door was firmly locked (I didn't need anyone walking in on me talking to a mirror), and looked straight into the eyes of my reflection, trying to think of a good rhyme.
"Mirror, mirror, uh, in the bathroom . . . show me what I'm going to do."
My voice sounded too loud, echoing off the tiled floor and walls. I felt stupid. Asking a mirror for advice? That was a new level of insanity.
I didn't expect anything to happen. But like I said, it's the demigod world, so of course something happened.
The mirror fogged up even though the shower wasn't on, blurring the fake girl in it, and became crystal clear in the middle, like I was looking through a frosty window. Pictures started flashing through, staying for only a second or so before changing into something worse.
In the mirror, I saw Charlie, sitting with me at the edge of the lake. He was laughing, his eyes almost shut, and I was too. But even though my smile was real, so was the fear in my eyes.
The picture changed to a muscled guy in bronze armor, wearing sandals and shouting in Ancient Greek: "To me, my warriors! Follow in the footsteps of Achilles!" But that guy wasn't Achilles – it was Hector, his best friend. I knew that because just then a spear struck him in the chest, stabbing right through the bronze armor and killing him on the spot. Another guy, this time dressed in just a tunic and open-heeled sandals, ran up, shouted curses, and – the scene changed again.
Instead of the mirror clouding over and clearing away to reveal another picture, the man in bronze armor grew thinner and shorter, long blonde hair splaying out from under the plume of his helmet. The armor shifted from bronze to the red of the Ares cabin, and Achilles's tunic molded into an orange camp T-shirt and jeans, stringy brown hair replacing the short haircut of the Greek warrior. The background slipped from a grass-and-blood battlefield to stone buildings and asphalt streets.
It whirled away only a moment afterwards, but a moment was long enough.
The last thing the mirror showed was a pair of solid gold eyes. They stared at me, cruel and hard in contempt, then blinked and were lost in the steam that had crept over the glass.
My knees buckled, and I sank to the tiled bathroom floor, not knowing that I had started to sob. Somehow my fist connected with the mirror, and a web of cracks spread over the center.
It was breaking apart from the inside out.
Just like me.
"No," I choked out. "Charlie . . . Clarisse . . . No!"
The vile scythe charm dug into the inside of my wrist, breaking the skin. A thin kind of pain scraped through my whole body, then the cut faded from my tanned skin, and it was gone.
Who had shown me those things in the mirror? My mother? Kronos? Why would Kronos manipulate the mirror to do this to me? Wouldn't he have wanted his trusty, perfect little spy to be perfectly loyal to him? Was Aphrodite giving me this unwanted insight? She's supposed to be the goddess of love, and showing me how I'm going to screw up the world didn't look very loving to me. The questions ran marathons in my head, knocking over all my other thoughts like bowling pins.
I sobbed again. What had I even gotten out of this mess? I'd broken a mirror, reopened the guilt in my heart, and all I had from it were bloody knuckles and even more confusion and fear than before.
"Why me?" I tried to scream, but it came out as a strangled whisper instead. "What did I ever do to you? Why do I deserve this?"
For a couple more minutes, I stayed there, curled on the cold tile floor and crying into my knees.
Charlie would be disappointed, a small, soothing voice murmured. Come on, get off the floor. You're better than this.
"Mom?" I whispered.
The voice didn't say anything else, but all of a sudden, I felt better. Warm. Beautiful. The way the daughter of the love goddess is supposed to feel.
Even a damaged daughter of the love goddess.
I picked myself off the floor and looked into the mirror again. The cracks had disappeared – another thing to add to my list of 'Why This Morning Is Freaking Me Out'. My makeup hadn't been smeared at all. On the contrary, it was styled to perfection, like my hair and everything else. I looked . . . strong. Almost glowing.
I made a mental note to sacrifice some extra blueberry muffins at breakfast.
Opening the door, I left the stuffy bathroom and smiled brightly at my siblings. But it wasn't the fake bright smile that nobody could tell was fake; it was an actual smile – because for once, I felt actually worthy of it. "Morning, everyone. What do you say about getting some breakfast?"
The cheering of my cabinmates warmed me from head to toe.
I might be a lot of things – a spy, a traitor, a fake – but I'm a person, too. Deep down, I'm still human.
I'm still Silena Beauregard.
Um . . . like I said, Disney is getting to my head. I was rewatching Snow White (that hag is ugly; she gave me nightmares) and obsessing over Percy Jackson, and it was like, "Mirror = pretty = Aphrodite = Silena = traitor = angst = story". Or something like that.
Honestly, it looked way longer on the Word document, and even longer than that in my head, but it turned into this instead. Maybe I'll delete it and rewrite it.
'I say that this isn't good enough for reviews! If you agree with me, press the little button and let me know! Yeah!'