Ruth gasped as she suddenly woke up and saw the figure of a tall woman towering over her.
She looked around, trying to figure out where she was, it seemed like a dark attic.
“Don’t be afraid, you are out of danger now”, said the woman with a benevolent smile.
“What’s happening?”, asked Ruth, “how did I get here?”
Ruth’s mind was trapped in a fog, all she could remember was being chased by two men.
“The spirits tell me you are a very special little girl. I saw you were in danger, so I came to your rescue”. The woman pointed at a large mirror behind the child.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I want to go home! I don’t like this!”, shouted Ruth.
“You will get killed if you go back”, said the woman, maintaining a calm tone, “The outside world is quite unkind to people like you. But I’m sure you already knew that. You will be much safer here with me”.
Ruth stared at her with suspicion: “Why should I trust you?”
The woman smiled while she stuck her whole arm through the mirror, as if the glass were made of water. “Because you and I are not that different”.
Ruth touched the mirror, but not even her finger tips could get through the pane of glass.
She tried again and again, getting more and more frustrated, until she gave up.
“Who are you, anyway?”
The woman took her arm out of the mirror, proudly lifted her head up and said: “You may call me Mother”.
Living together was technically not that bad.
Sure, there were chores to do, but Mother was a very intelligent woman and did her best to give Ruth a proper education, thanks to a vast collection of books she kept in her house.
Yet the girl felt bored, there was nothing or no one she could play with.
There was a forest not too far from the house, but Mother had forbidden her from exploring it, as it was populated by dangerous creatures.
So every night, as the woman took a bath, Ruth would climb up to the attic and look into the mirror, pretending that her reflection was the twin sister she never had.
They would have tea parties and whisper stories to each other, sometimes Ruth would even bring a blanket and fall asleep.
One night though, as she was making faces at the mirror, something strange happened: her reflection stopped moving. Ruth slowly came closer, until her nose touched the glass.
Suddenly something pushed her and she fell backwards, hitting her head on the ground.
As she got back up she covered her mouth to muffle a scream.
A girl, who looked just like her, was standing right in front of her, outside of the mirror.