reflection

Alice At The Lake

Alice looked up after a sup from her daisy cup and said, with a frown, “Everything in there looks upside down”.

At this the toad remarked, “Whatever’s good for you, for us it’s the other way around”, and with a hop and a plop he disappeared below.

“Strange fellow”, thought Alice, and the voice in her head agreed, “Strange fellow indeed. Though wouldn’t you like to follow, just to see, the world not as it is but how it could be?”

Alice didn’t like the voice in her head; it was always too clever by half, often just contradictory for the sake of it and, on occasion, not beyond a little sarcasm. She sensed the start of a battle of wills.

“Follow him, in this dress?!”, she cried. And the voice in her head, caught off guards, replied, “Oh well, dear, you know best”.

But then it continued, “Oh! I can’t stay here all day gossiping, I’ve got better things to do”, and was off. Alice knew not where the voice went when it was sulking; suddenly she felt alone and melancholic.

“One needs to break the tension.”

Alice looked around but saw no one. “Pardon?”, she said.

“The tension, one needs to break it.”

“Who are you?”, asked Alice, “and where are you?”

“I am the lake”, it said. “look, down here.” It went on,

“For pity sake, I see your confusion but what you see is just an illusion; it’s as I did mention, all down to the tension, which one may break by casting a stone, then one will see, what lies beneath will be gone.”

“Oh”, thought Alice and picked out a nice stone by the bank but hesitated. Ought she to cast it? The lake noticing her dilemma, said,

“One ought to do as one’s heart wishes. But, please, if one does it, do mind the fishes.”

Alice considered the fishes, and the kind toad, in their upside down world and dropped the stone where she stood. She wiped her hands down her dress, because, in the great scheme of things, wearing a clean dress didn’t really matter. Then, taking one long last look at the lake, she went off to find where the voice in her head was hiding.

(373 words)


Written for Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo #writephoto Prompt – “Beneath”

Yes, it Lewis Carroll’s Alice. I was thinking of calling her something else but a) it was a problem coming up with a name, and b) it would be too obvious who it was really.

I think it became, unconsciously, a bit of a parable of first world politics. If you can see this, all well and good; and if you can’t, just go ahead and cast a stone, I don’t mind.

Mirrors

The funniest thing I found out about Mirrors is that their inventor was Justus von Liebig. Lie Big! It’s disappointing that all mirror manufacturers aren’t obliged under law to have “Lie Big” engraved across the top of their mirrors.

This was in 1835. Before then, reflections weren’t that great; probably good enough to tell if your hat was straight but not enough to notice that pimple growing on your nose. Folk had to make do with polished metal plates, the richer had acolytes, servants or slaves to burnish a satisfying reflection for their master. It was a wise slave who didn’t polish too well for their ageing mistress. No, you are truly the fairest in the kingdom, ma’am – if only this tin plate had more shine, you could see for yourself.

How long until the mirror is obsolete due to this error? Has anyone tried putting on mascara or lipstick, or brushing their teeth looking at an iPad, or other tablet, using its camera app? I might try this out as an experiment tonight; the teeth business, I mean – I never wear mascara to bed.

The obvious big lie, I trust, when looking at yourself in a mirror, is that it isn’t you you’re seeing; it’s a mirror image. We get so used to the mirror image, it can be a shock seeing yourself as others do. This could be why many people hate seeing themselves close up in photographs. They don’t recognise themselves, their personal identity is called into question.

The second big lie is how we look at ourselves in mirrors. Not as others would look at us, as we look at others, that is taking in the whole of their face in one go. Instead, we nearly always pick on a single part of our face and study it intently. The consequence of this can be that we notice flaws which are unnoticeable to any other person but to us seem hugely evident. The mirror persuades us we are just an enormous nose, a sagging chin, the guy with one eye lower than the other. We are monsters, and we have the mirror to thank for that.

It is said, the Vampire has no reflection. Strangely enough, neither do people born between five minutes to eleven and five past on the night of the 29th February. It’s uncanny. No, wait, it’s just another big lie.


For Reena’s Exploration Challenge – Week #53 – Mirrors