The next time he saw her was two months later, summer ready to burst with its heat.

She sat alone at a café table, watching the contents of her mug.

He almost didn’t recognize her at first as she looked more and more odd to his eyes.

Worn and paler. Thin as a rail. Quiet as a mouse.

He approached, sitting in front of her without a ‘by your leave’.

She watched him.

He in one of his best linen suits, fit and healthy, strong jaw and perfectly trimmed beard.

She was shabby, all her clothes in dark colors, with bags under eyes missing all the fight.

And what ails you, fairer lady amongst fair?

She ignored the sarcasm, pale fingers curved on the mug, eyes casted down.

Something cold, dark, gripped him raising his hackles.

The mirror, its reflecting quality gone, stood silent and livid.

Substance dripped slowly onto the floor, pooling in one big puddle full of mercury.

The unnamed feeling in his breast, so new, was fear.

1 § 2 § 3 § 4 § 5 § 6 § 7 § 8