[WP] While exploring an abandoned hotel you find a mirror in one of the rooms. It has a sign placed on it “Please do not enter mirror.” Thinking it must be some kind of joke you place your hand on it. It quickly becomes apparent that this is anything but a prank. – r/WritingPrompts
He hovered over the scrying bowl. Water dripped into it from the canopy above him. What was he trying to gain coming here in bad weather? The light had faded from his skin. Warmth was beyond him now. His brother had left, his father was angry. Those around him wanted him to brighten parties and to be the new shiny toy to show around. His lyre no longer sounded right beneath his fingers. Even the raven had stopped crowing.
He sighed. The hum of the earth beneath his feet steadied his nerves. He placed a hand to the water and muttered. A sigil glowed across the ripples. Leaving the huge brass bowl, he headed back to the small shrine hidden beneath a large camphor tree. He sat down on the short porch, rested his head against the door frame, closed his eyes and waited for eternity to take him away.
It was a stupid dare. I know. But, hell, fifty bucks was fifty bucks, and it was easy money. Hop the fence and go sleep in the old hotel. Not like it hadn’t been occupied by squatters and homeless folk before now.
It was coming down in a couple months. It had been closed down since the 90s. Camelot. The Outsiders was filmed near it. It was perfect. So what if it had lead and asbestos and fire alarm problems. Most of the houses in Tulsa had that crap and no one batted an eye at it. Creepy? Oh yeah. Especially after dark. It was butted up against the high way, so road noise was constant until midnight. Fire engines and ambulances would add to the eerie factor.
“You sure you aren’t gonna chicken out, Eric?” Travis goaded.
“You’re the real chicken here, Trav. I don’t see you going in,” I pointed out as I eyed the ten foot fence and the barbed wire.
“Oye, want the easy way in?” Corey yelled from over near a dead light pole. He pointed out a bust in the chain link.
“Brilliant.” I clapped him on the back and pushed in through the tight fit. Travis lobbed my ratty backpack over the fence. It caught on the barbed wire spiral for a moment, bobbing precariously before dropping into my hands.
“Fifty bucks. Get the film developed with the date stamps and it’s yours,” Travis promised. A siren went up along Peoria.
“Twenty-five more if you come back with a picture of the ghost,” Corey whispered conspiratorially as we all ducked.
“That’s another hundred there, Corey. Twenty-five isn’t gonna cut it at that,” I hissed.
“Fifty and your unwrapped collector’s edition of Bioshock.”
“Either Fifty or Bioshock.”
I turned and scurried off to the back of the building under the shadows cast by the goliath. The windows on the bottom floor were all boarded up. I was almost done with circling the back when I found one of the boards had rotted out. I pushed in on it and the whole plywood panel fell in. I stilled the tremble running through my fingers as a flash of lightning lit up the sky. I ducked at the following thunder and slipped into the decrepit building.
It was rank. Mold and smoke were the first two overwhelming smells. I’d have to make for one of the upper rooms to escape from the rot of water line breaks and sewage back ups that had plagued the building since it’s closing. The room I had gotten into had to be some kind of back office. The door was busted off the frame. I pulled my flashlight out of my bag and clicked it on. Black mold crawled the walls. Travis would make fun of me for this. I pulled a dust mask out and shoved it on my face.
I wandered through the first floor, snapping pictures of the old rooms where there was once a throne and the kitchen. Rats were everywhere, and I swear I heard racoons. Rain started coming down and the first floor had rivers running through it shortly.
I found one of the fire wells and took it up into the second floor hotel rooms. Several hours of exploration and two rolls of film later, I still hadn’t seen a ghost. Too bad. I had hoped to get my hands on the collector’s edition.
I was still hyped up, but exhausted. The rain did little to alleviate the July humidity. I found a room that was relatively mold free. I tossed my bag to a vacant corner and walked around to look out the window on the back side of a line of buildings. Not much of a view.
I turned to go look at the bathroom, which was like every other one I had seen up to now. The tile was falling down and the walls were sloughing. The mirror over the sink was dusty and cracked. A tiny scribbled note on faded yellow paper had fallen on the counter. I picked it up and turned it over, trying to read it in the dark. Flashlight, right. Click.
Please, don’t enter the mirror.
Oh boy. Crack heads had nested in this room. I glanced back out the door to my bag. I’d need to check the carpet for needles before I sat down for some sleep. I tossed the note back on the counter, a puff of dust rising. I turned at a red glint out of the corner of my eye. I looked up to the left corner of the mirror. I waited, listening. No firetruck or EMT. Where had the light come from? I backed up, trying to get the light to come back. Nothing. I stepped closer. A glint, now from the lower right. Nothing. The hell?
I put my hand to the glass and wiped the dust off.
A coughing gasp and splash of water drew him from his meditation. He blinked, pulling his brain back into his skull. The rain had calmed. The trees dripped in tone. Another splutter. “Help!”
Hands reached up through the scrying bowl. A mouth, a nose. He rushed to the bowl and reached for the floundering hands. Heat radiated from his hand, ran up his shoulders. He pulled, dragging a man not much older than twenty out of the water and brass vessel.
“Where, what the, how?” I looked around me in horror. There was something else in the hotel and it was making me trip balls.
“Are you healthy?” A man in a full blown white toga asked me. I blinked at him. He was glowing. That wasn’t quite right. He was golden. Maybe he was glowing. I rubbed at my eyes and took in a couple deep breaths, trying to clear my lungs. The man and the forest I was now in had not evaporated.
“Highly doubtful,” I responded, turning to my right and left to get a better view of the remote space.
“Are you in pain?” the man asked with concern. He had a bizarre accent that I couldn’t quite place. An uneasy feeling sat in my chest when he talked. Like he wasn’t speaking my language, but I understood him.
“Nope, just confused. What is this place? What was that? Who are you?” I demanded.
“This is my private retreat in the realm of The Great Houses. I set a sigil on my bowl to call a companion and you answered. I am Apollo. Who are you?”
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