Gardenia

Allison stood in front of her mirror.

I’m not pretty. I’m not thin enough. My skin isn’t light and it isn’t dark. I don’t fit in. I’m too tall for my age. My hair’s not blonde. I’m not popular. I hate high school.

Allison studied her hair. It was frizzed, brown and too long.

She sighed, “I’m never gonna fit into high school. Yesterday was the worst first day ever.” “I wish I could just go into that mirror and hide from the populars, hide from my mom, hide from the world.”

Allison touched the mirror. Her finger-tips met the icy cold glass. She sighed again and turned around. Allison leaned against the glass, but somehow she fell backwards.

Allison sat up and rubbed her head. She looked around herself, and gasped. She wasn’t in her bedroom anymore! Instead, trees and hills where everywhere.

Suddenly, a creature swooped through the sky. It landed right in front of Allison. The creature’s golden scales where brighter than the sun and could blind the sun.

“What are you?” Allison called out to the creature. She looked closer, then turned and ran.

It was a dragon.

The dragon came after her, only needing to hop, skip and jump to reach the girl and stop her.

“Read to me.” It boomed at Allison.

“What?”

“Read to me, now!” The dragon stooped down and picked Allison up by the shirt like a mother cat carrying her kitten.

“Let me go!” Allison screamed, struggling and wiggling to be let down.

The dragon jumped up, and flew. It flew far. Over the hills and trees and lakes and even some small towns scattered along the country-side. Finally, it stopped. It let down by a miraculous waterfall on top of a fallen tree. It produced a book from who knows where and threw it to Allison.

“Read.” It said, settling down on the log.

Allison cautiously picked up the book and began to read the book. She read about princesses and princes, balls and carriages, magic pumpkins and glass slippers. She read until her voice grew hoarse and the pages left to read where few. Finally she stopped and stared up at the dragon, who had been listening and absorbing every word.
 “Mirrors are passages to fantastic worlds, guarded by creatures called the Ferrymen.” The dragon suddenly said.
“What? Who are you? Were am I? What is that supposed to mean? How did I get here? And why can you talk?” Allison flooded the dragon with questions.
“I am Epimethius,  the dragon of truth. You got here by a magic mirror. What I said means that you aren’t supposed to be here. And I can talk because every dragon in Gardenia can talk.” The dragon answered simply.
“But… but… I’m so confused!” Allison sighed.
“I will explain.” And Epimethius launched into the story of Gardenia, and the mirrors and how all dragons came to exist. But then he said, “You must leave. The Ferrymen are coming for you. I can feel it.”
Allison jumped up and onto her dragon friend, who flew off with her. Allison didn’t want to leave, but she didn’t want to be caught by the Ferrymen either.
The dragon set Allison down near a river and pointed toward it. “You must go in there.”
Allison hugged her friend, and stepped into the clear water.
It’s like a mirror. She thought.
Holding her breath, Allison ducked into the water and swam down. Suddenly, she was in her room again, in front of her mirror like before.
She picked up the mirror an hugged it, wishing she could go back. Maybe, just maybe, she could.
Allison stuck her hand into the glass. It acted like water, allowing her to draw her hand in and out.
Suddenly, a shout sounded from outside. Allison looked out the window and saw an elf like creature standing out in the backyard, waving a sword and trying to climb the house and up to the window.
Allison gasped and ran down the stairs, clutching the mirror against her chest. She ran out and onto the driveway, but knew that she would not be able to escape the angry Ferryman.
Allison suddenly had an idea. She stuck her leg into the mirror. She was going back to Gardenia.
The Ferryman’s sword slashed the mirror, shattering it into a million pieces just as Allison transported back to Gardenia.
She landed on a street in one of the cities of Gardenia, shattered glass lay all around her.
I can’t go back. The mirror’s broken. I’m here now. I’ll stay here forever. And Allison got up, and walked out into the world of Gardenia, never to return to the real world again.