So, a theme that pops up in my book quite a bit is the issue of dualism – and with that, the idea that it’s not so much the triumph of good over evil, but the capacity in all of us to commit good, commit evil, and the inherent power of choosing. And, in fact, the trouble begins in our little town of Hazelwood when a dreadful man splits a powerful and magical being into two separate entities, one good and one bad in order to unlock the power that exists in stasis between good and bad. Each entity, therefore is robbed of the power of choosing and, in Hazelwood, Things Get Sticky.
Anyway, I love this conversation between Wendy (Prickly Girl You Don’t Want To Cross) and the Mouse Boy (Magical Creature With Unclear Intentions). But I had to cut it because the Mouse Boy was aborted from the text. Poor Mouse Boy.
Anyway, here’s the cut bit for the day:
Wendy stood in the center of dancers. The very small boy sat on her shoulder. The dancers were strange, of course. Really, anyone who pops into being after whirling around in a broken mirror is simply not expected to be ordinary. That there were men and women covered in fur, or moss, or leaves, this, Wendy felt, was probably to be expected. Similarly, that there were dancers as small as the mouse boy on her shoulder, and dancers as tall as the four pines at the edge of her back yard – this she could accept as well. But the double vision, this was entirely too much.
“Why, “ she asked the mouse boy, “are there two of everyone?” Each dancer, locked in arms with their partners, had a mirror image that slipped from side to side. When the dancer smiled, the mirror image smirked. When the dancer laughed, the image cackled.
“There are two of you, “ the mouse boy answered, “when you look in the mirror.”
“But it’s not two. It’s just a reflection.”
“You can think about it that way. Or perhaps the you in the mirror is you in opposite. Perhaps you have two faces, one kind and one wicked. You never know, really. In the end, how do you know exactly which side of the mirror you’re on?”
“You’re insane,” Wendy said, but then she noticed something. She pulled out the mirror shard that she had carefully placed in the pocket of her cut-offs. At her feet, another shard gleamed, and she picked it up. The boy on her shoulder whistled. In each shard a dancer with green hair and skin made of violet petals danced around and around. The same dancer, with her mirror image danced closer and closer her violet petal arms fluttering in an imagined breeze. Both dancer and image looked at Wendy with opposing expressions – one hopeful, the other worried. Each shard had a jagged edge that mirrored the other.
“Look,” Wendy said. “They fit together.” There was a click and scrape of glass, a flash of light, and a loud cry of – pain? joy? – Wendy could not tell, though she suspected it was both.
The dancers stopped. The room fell silent, and Wendy could hear her own breathing. The dancer stood before her, examining her violet hands, her feet that looked more like roots than anything else. She was herself. She had no image. The dancer fell to her knees, panting heavily and laid her head on the stone floor.
“Oh my god, I killed her,” Wendy said, laying the two mirror shards – now fused into one – on the ground.
“Nawp,” the mouse boy said. “She’s just sleeping. It’s exhausting, you know. She’ll feel better when she wakes up. Not so dizzy.”
The dancers waited.
“What are they waiting for,” she whispered.
“What do you think?” the boy said. “Fine. It’s a story, you see? Or an explanation.” He took a deep breath. “It’s the same thing, you know. Honestly, even a child could get it. Once there was a fairy with two faces, one good and one bad.”
Wendy listened to the story. It didn’t explain anything. Until it did.
“Oh,” she said, and her heart sank. “Oh.”