Chapter 1

Written by: Priya Rajvansh

Alice rummaged through 'Google' searching first for 'mirror', then 'mirror with strange reflections', then 'evil mirror', to 'black mirror', to 'mirror which predicts future'. There were millions of web-sites and after spending an exhausting five hours on the internet, Alice felt drained of whatever energy she had had for the day. 


"Maybe the mirror predicts the future," she mused, "or shows reflections of the onlooker's future".


"Or is plain evil," she feared. Totally tired by her train of thoughts, she slowly fell asleep on her computer desk, leaving her cup of cappuccino untouched. 


During the night, her eyes opened to some strange music. In half slumber, she got up, still wondering that she had not gone to her bedroom to sleep. Mesmerising music was coming from the hall. Surprisingly she felt no fear but neither did she have any courage. She just dragged herself drowsily to the hall. 


Beams of dim light shone through the mirror as if the sun's rays were coming through her French windows in the morning. Then the apparition of an old lady walked out of the mirror and sat on the sofa. Alice was wonder-struck. It felt as if she was watching a film projected in her hall. There was no element of horror to it. The lady was dressed in a Victorian outfit which she remembered having seen on ladies in movies like"Pride and Prejudice" and "Wuthering Heights". A moment later, a young lady walked out of the mirror and faced the old lady. They seemed to be deep in conversation. Alice tried hard to hear. 


"Emma, you have to understand, infatuation and love will not feed you when you are hungry. You should not make the mistake of choosing Oliver. Lord William is a perfect match, rich, educated, and he lives in a huge mansion surrounded by fruit orchards. What does Oliver offer?"


"But mother! I love Oliver,” the pretty young lady retorted. 


"Look into the mirror. Your beauty is your only asset and it will launch a thousand ships. Your father died leaving us nothing and you must marry someone like Lord William and settle down," the mother continued, infuriated by her daughter's reply. 


The mirror must have belonged to them, Alice thought. A few minutes later the young girl left hurriedly through the mirror. The old lady sat brooding, and then lay down. Her apparition diminished and then went to the mirror where it remained as a framed picture for a while, then disappeared. 


Not knowing what to make of it, a dream or active imagination, Alice went to her bedroom and slept.


The next night she was surprised to see apparitions of sailors in her hall.


"This ship is surely going to sink," said someone who seemed to be their captain.


There is so much action and yet a sense of mystery in this chapter. You capture the sense that these are visions and apparitions really well. One grammar point in speech, "....sink," said someone... the comma goes after the final word and before the speech marks as in the above example.
But apart from that, the chapter is well paced, it has vivid characters and fits in well with the story starter suggests... Great ending. Well done!