Click here for Part One.
Strange dreams troubled Mrs. Winters’s sleep that night. She awoke not feeling quote as refreshed but still ready to take on the day. As she showered and got ready, she thought about what she going to do today. Maybe she would visit the guys at the store. Then again, that seemed boring. Maybe she needed to do something different. Something exciting. Skydiving. She stopped for a second and shook her head. Skydiving! At my age! She had to laugh at the thought as she walked into the front of her house and stopped in front of the mirror. Her mouth hung open for a moment. Taking in her reflection, she thought, My God, I look good. Her face truly did seem to have fewer wrinkles in it. Her hair looked more alive than she thought it had looked in her younger days. I could pass for 40-45 easily, she thought. As she ran the palm of her hand over her cheek, she was startled by a knock at the door.
Not expecting anyone, Mrs. Winters looked through the peephole, only to see nobody there. Perhaps a package, she thought. As she opened the door, she was startled for the second time that morning by a very small man. He appeared to only be about three feet tall. He had long dark hair with matching beard while dressed nicely in a suit. In his right hand, he held a large black bag. A salesman obviously.
“Good day my lady,” he said, bowing to her. “My name is Dobbins, and I wondered if I might have a moment of your time.” Although shorter than the men she might like, Mrs. Winters thought how nice it was to have another man in her house, even if it was just a salesman.
“Come in, but I should warn you I don’t get paid again until the third of next month, so I probably can’t purchase whatever you are selling.”
The man entered her house, and his eyes fell upon the mirror instantly. “Please have a seat in the den, while I put the coffee on.” While it was brewing, Mrs. Winters went upstairs to change into something else, an outfit that would show off her figure. Later, as she poured the coffee, she asked her guest the nature of his business.
“Well, it’s rather complicated,” said Dobbins. “You see my employer has learned that you recently purchased as item that once belonged to her, an item of important sentimental value.” Mrs. Winters felt cold inside, as she immediately knew what the little man was after. “You see this item is family heirloom that should never have left her possession. My employer is willing to offer any amount for her own personal stock.” He paused to take a sip of his coffee. “How much would you be willing to sell that mirror in your hallway?” he asked.
Mrs. Winters was silent for a long time. She took several sips of her coffee. Finally sitting down her cup, she replied calmly, “I’m sorry, it’s not for sale.”
“You don’t understand my lady. You can name any price.”
“I’m sorry but I could not part with it now. It was a great bargain at what I paid, and besides, it looks good hanging in my entryway.”
Dobbins set his cup down on the table. “You’ve already been enchanted by it, haven’t you?”
“I’m sorry but I’m afraid I’m quite busy today and must see you out.” Expecting a protest, she was surprised when the little man got up and without another word walked out the front door. Mrs. Winters placed her hand on her chest. She looked into her mirror. What did he mean by enchanted? It doesn’t matter, it’s mine anyway. I bought it fair and square.
Although she meant to go out for a while, she stood there until nightfall.
It was cloudy the next day. This was a good thing, Mrs. Winters thought as she carefully selected a sleek blue dress from her wardrobe. The garden needs a little rain. After getting ready, she marveled at herself in the new mirror. She smiled at her reflection as she thought about going out today, maybe to see Mr. James or that cute boy Johnny from the grocery store.
It was hard to say how long the knocking had lasted before Mrs. Winters finally heard it and opened the door. It was Dobbins, the same strange little man from yesterday. “Sorry to trouble you my lady, but may I come in?”
Mrs. Winters was really beginning to feel put off by these constant intrusions into her life, especially when there were so many other things she could be doing. With a wave of her hand, she let the little man in. They went to the den and sat down. Mrs. Winters played with a lock of her hair, twirling it in her finger, as Dobbins opened up the bag that he carried with him.
“My employer is willing to increase her offer,” he said, as he groped into the bag.
“I already explained yesterday, no amount of money will make me part with it,” Mrs. Winters said coldly.
“If not money, then perhaps this,” Dobbins said, removing a large crystal from his bag. As Mrs. Winters looked more closely, she realized it was a high-heeled shoe of some sort. It was beautiful. “Wear this slipper and have your true love find you,” he said. Mrs. Winters held the shoe in her hand, studying it closely.
“My dearly departed Philip was my true love, and he is gone. Besides, this shoe would be most uncomfortable, not practical at all.” With that said, she handed it back to Dobbins. He put the shoe back into the bag and instead brought out a small vial of liquid. “Drink this to live forever,” he said. “Immortality is here at your fingertips.”
Mrs. Winters thought carefully about this. Living forever, never dying. I could be young forever. She looked toward the mantle at Philip’s picture. “It’s tempting, but I’m afraid I will pass.”
Snatching the vial back, Dobbins began to lose his patience. “Surely there is something you would want….a glove that turns anything you touch to gold….a sword that can strike down giants….”
“I’m sorry but I’m afraid not,” said Mrs. Winters, as she rose up indicating that the conversation was over. Dobbins held his head down, mumbled something foul, took his bag, and left. Mrs. Winters felt bad that she upset the little man, but she couldn’t part with the mirror. She gazed at herself in it. This time looking at her reflection didn’t bring the usual enjoyment. Instead, she thought about that tramp Christy Dearman. She thinks that she can have any man she wants, well guess what? Guess who is much more beautiful than you! I can have whoever and whatever I want with this mirror! Wealth, live forever, ha! This is all I need! Maybe I should go down to Secondhand Treasures. I’m sure James is there. You’re not the only one that can flirt with a man. Jimmy is too old anyway. Now Billy, he’s a young and strapping man.
She kept thinking about going out but never did. When it got too dark to see herself any longer, Mrs. Winters yawned and went upstairs to bed.
She awoke the next morning to the sound of thunder. It was raining cats and dogs outside. Mrs. Winters took a long hot shower, followed by finding something to wear, this time blue jeans and a tank top. As she looked in her bedroom mirror, she couldn’t help but feel cold. She thought she looked hideous. The reflection staring back was an old woman with lots of gray hair.She didn’t understand. She had been looking younger and feeling better. She would go look in her new mirror. That would make everything better.
As she made her way downstairs, a knock sounded. Dobbins just doesn’t know the meaning of the word stop, she thought. She opened the door without looking first. A very old woman greeted her in the doorway. Old was a nice way of putting it. This woman looked practically ancient, face all weathered with wispy white hair. A black hooded jacket covered most of her body. She carried what appeared to be a small picnic basket. When she spoke, it was hard to hear, almost a whisper. “Care to buy a piece of fruit from a poor beggar woman?” She reached into her basket and pulled out an apple.
Click here for Part Three!