#AtoZChallenge - Reflections

Boy it was nice to have a weekend off from blogging, wasn't it? I hope y'all enjoyed yourselves :)

So, reflections on this year's A to Z. First off, THANK YOU to everyone who voted, ever at all, but most of all those who visited multiple times throughout the month. I couldn't have done my theme without your votes, so thanks for keeping me going! If there is anyone visiting who doesn't know what I mean by voting, I encourage you to read my story quick. It was super fun!

The voting was so much fun! There were times that y'all picked options that were not what I was expecting, and thus challenged me to come up with bits of story that I hadn't really anticipated writing. Those days were both awesome and difficult, but helped me feel I was really *in* the Challenge mindspace.

But man... Staying in that mindspace for the whole month was exhausting. I knew it would be difficult but didn't really anticipate how tired I'd be by the end. It got harder and harder to visit lots of blogs to keep the voting flowing, so by the end there were only a couple regulars keeping me going (thanks so much, y'all!).

I have a present for you.

Amy sat at her dressing table, gently holding a silvery handkerchief with aged hands. She looked in her mirror at her reflection. Her face had become wrinkled, with laugh lines around her eyes and mouth. Her eyes, though showing her exhaustion and sadness, still shined brightly. But the sadness...

She raised the handkerchief to her lips and kissed it, gently.

"Hellooooo, Sugar! I was wondering when I'd hear from you! Took longer than I thought it would," Cal said, stepping out of the shadows. She was surprised to see that he did not wear his traditionally flamboyant sequined gown, but instead wore skinny jeans with holes at the knees and an oversized black leather jacket. She noted with pleasure that his shoes were bedecked with sequins.

"What do you need? As I remember, you have one wish left. And please, remember what happened the last time you asked to see someone who had passed on. That's how you ended up here."

"Yes, I know. Cal, my life here has been wonderful. I have loved, and watched a child grow, and known contentment. But my loved ones have gone. We... had a measles outbreak. I guess the power of my vaccines carried through the mirror - everyone said it must have been through magic that I survived - and my Prince and Irena have died. I cannot stay here any longer. Please, take me back through the mirror."

"Ohhh Sugar. Going back through won't take the pain away. And, I can't do that anyhow. Your body on the other side... It has... Well, it's not usable."

"I don't want to die. I just can't be here anymore. Then, Cal. Do you remember that tapestry? By the Man in White's room, when it looked as though the figures were moving? Could you put me there? It seems like such a simple life, hanging in the beautiful scenery, watching the bustle of the castle. That way I can stay in this place I have loved, but no longer feel the pain of it."

"Well, Sugar. You've always been creative. Take me there."

Amy and Cal walked slowly through the hallways. Amy told stories of her time in the Palace. Here where she had found Irena kissing a boy, there the ballroom where she and the real Prince Leo had had their first dance. When they got to the hallway on the west side of the Palace, Cal was surprised to see specks of paint still on the window.

Amy laughed, "We were never able to quite get it all off. All these years I've said hello to the Man in White every time I've passed this window. He's almost an old friend now. Please, this tapestry."

Cal nodded and kissed her on the forehead, "You've always been a brave one, Sugar. Enjoy your new life." She smiled as he snapped his fingers in front of her face.

And within a moment a small embroidered lady appeared in the tapestry. She held hands with a little girl and waved a silver handkerchief in her other hand. And waited out her days watching in the back hallway of the place where she Lived.

The End.

If you haven't already, here is the place to sign up for the Reflections bloghop!