The Witch and the Mortog: Part Three
Quivering a bit, Edna stammered, "How—how are you speaking to me?"
The square mirror seemed to glint as the voice from within answered, "I was always different from the other mirrors. I am special, you see. Your magic spell released me from being bounded forever by silence." The mirror had a cold, smooth voice that was both captivating and threatening.
"Do you know what happened to the Fairground?" asked Edna.
"Something terrible happened, something terrible indeed. But do not worry your pretty little face. We shall be safe, quite safe."
Edna gulped and decided to ask the question she desperately wanted the answer to. "Do you know Vira the Acara?"
"Vira, that silly girl," the mirror sneered. "She has moved to Neopia Central with her family. How she cried so! She begged her parents to let her stay because she was in love with me, the perfect mirror. She even attempted to steal me from the tent, but unfortunately for her, I cannot be moved without permission."
"Whose permission?" wondered Edna aloud.
"My own permission, of course."
Edna noticed her reflection had slowly changed again. She was no longer supermodel beautiful but normal like before. Disappointed, she asked, "Do you show the future?"
"I show what you can become," was the smooth reply.
Edna was torn between running away from the creepy mirror altogether and taking it with her. The square glass seemed to know what Edna was pondering and spoke again,
"You are pretty, but only I can make you beautiful."
"Could you show me as a supermodel again?" asked Edna hopefully.
"I can, and I will, but only if you take me with you," replied the mirror. "I have been alone in this deserted tent for some time now, and I need to meet new faces."
Edna slowly agreed against her better judgment.
Okay, okay, I know what you are thinking. You are asking, Why is this story so long? Why are all these Gallery of Evil characters popping up? WHAT IS THE RELEVANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE MORTOG??
Fine, I suppose I will talk about Edna's Mortog some more, since that is a crucial part of the story.
Edna's Mortog was born and raised on a farm in Meridell. He was just a regular Mortog, no prince in disguise or anything like that. That's all you need to know for now.
Edna was vacation with her classmates in Neopia Central one spring day. They toured the Chocolate Factory, the Magic Shop, and Usukiland. Edna's Mortog was back in the Neolodge, along with the spooky square mirror.
The mirror was angry. It failed to take over Edna as a victim to its hypnotizing powers. So now it hungered for Vira, the Acara the mirror had almost completely hypnotized years ago. The mirror was evil, as I'm sure you have guessed by now. It fed on vanity, self-absorption, and fear. Vira had plenty of the first two.
"Mortog," the mirror hissed quietly from the nightstand.
Edna's Mortog, which had been taking a long nap, opened its eyes in puzzlement.
"Mortog, come here," the mirror ordered quietly.
Of course, the petpet was confused as to where the voice was coming from. For a moment he thought his owner Edna had returned but then realized the room was empty. He started to fall asleep again, but then the mirror spoke sharply,
"Mortog, you will release me. You will turn into a prince. You will be a curse."
The Mortog followed the source of the voice and came to rest on top of the square mirror. He glanced down into his reflection. To his bewilderment, he did not see the usual large pair of yellow eyes and green body. Instead, he saw the head of a handsome Zafara prince. The petpet jumped back in fear, but then crept forward again to admire his new reflection.
"This is what you can become, " the mirror said in its cold voice. " Take me outside and let me escape. You, too, shall be free if you do so."
The Zafara prince in the reflection pointed in the direction of the window. The Mortog understood. Grasping the square mirror in his mouth, he hopped onto the open windowsill... and jumped into the open air outside.
Don't worry, the Mortog landed safely (Mortogs have strong legs and great balance). The mirror, however, hit the sidewalk and broke into several pieces. Thin wisps of smoke rose from the cracks in the glass.
Then, who should stop by but—you guessed it—Balthazar!
The now grown Lupe was carrying a large duffel bag of bottled faeries, humming to himself merrily. By now, he was known as the notorious faerie bounty hunter, exacting revenge for what those Dark Faeries did to him years ago. He was on his daily trek to the Money Tree, where he donated a bag of bottled faeries every morning. The Lupe saw the shiny pieces of mirror glass on the sidewalk and stopped.
"Say... those look mighty familiar," Balthazar growled. Then he remembered: the Fairgrounds, the Tent of Mirrors, Edna, and Vira. "Oh, it's that special mirror that the Acara loved," he snorted. He picked up a piece of jagged glass and glanced at his reflection.
"You are... but only I can..." came the faint voice of the mirror.
"What?" Balthazar gasped.
"Your dreams... fears..." the mirror whispered.
"What is this, a magic mirror?" Balthazar reached into his duffel bag, extracted a bottled faerie, and released the faerie. "Tell me what this is!" he ordered the quivering Light Faerie.
"Yes—yes, as long as you let me go—" the Faerie quickly agreed. "Let's see—oh dear, let me fix the mirror—" The Light Faerie waved her finger, and the broken pieces of mirror instantly repaired itself into a perfect square again.
"Thank you, young faerie," the mirror said with much more clarity. "Lupe, I remember you from before. And you know the one Neopet I am searching for."
Balthazar squinted at the square skeptically. "Mirrors aren't supposed to talk!" he growled.
"I am not simply a mirror," was the reply. "Let us get straight to the point. You know an Acara by the name of Vira. She is the one I seek. Bring me to her, and you shall be rewarded."
Balthazar remembered Vira and the way she treated him and Edna. "No way," he growled. "Besides, I do not know where she is."
"You can if you try," the mirror stated. "You are a very good hunter, are you not? I could make you even better if you wish."
Balthazar eyed his duffel bag. "Well, I don't see how I can possibly be any better than I am now," he said arrogantly. "I am the best hunter in Neopia, you know."
The mirror quietly absorbed Balthazar's pride and magnified it back. "You are a good hunter, Lupe," the mirror answered. "You are the greatest hunter in Neopia. Only you can find the one I seek."
"Probably," agreed Balthazar, becoming prouder by the second.
"Show me your wonderful skills, Lupe. Fetch me Vira with your keen sense of hunting. Show off your talents, and let me glorify them."
"Yeah, okay. I'll find Vira for you," agreed Balthazar against his better judgment. He picked up the mirror and placed it inside his pocket.
It took three long days, but Balthazar was fueled by artificial pride the mirror had reflected to him. Through shops, streets, and sidewalks, through rain and hot sunny days, he finally managed to track down the Acara.
Vira was still beautiful but still just as vain. She was sitting in a grassy meadow by herself when Balthazar found her.
"I told you I could find her," boasted Balthazar to the mirror.
The only reply from the square glass was, "Place me behind her and leave."
Balthazar blinked rapidly; suddenly he felt as if he had awoken from some kind of trance. He glanced at the innocent Acara, then looked back at the mirror and growled, "Are you going to harm her?"
"I harm no one," replied the cold mirror. "I only reflect the dark truth. You have done your part well, Lupe. Go and continue hunting those faeries."
Still hesitant, Balthazar tiptoed stealthily behind the unsuspecting Vira and placed the square mirror a few feet behind her. He silently bid the mirror farewell and left, feeling oddly empty and slightly guilty.
Vira was making a daisy chain to braid into her long, flowing hair. The sunshine made her appear all the more radiant, but her personality was still the same. "I wish I was the most beautiful Acara in the whole world," she sighed to herself.
"You are pretty, but only I can make you beautiful," said the glassy voice of the mirror.
Vira gasped and turned around. She saw the familiar square mirror and nearly screamed with joy.
"My mirror! How is this so?" Vira grabbed the mirror and hugged the square glass happily. "I missed you, my mirror! I have never found another mirror like you. Only you gave me warmth and showed me my true beauty... But wait, I didn't know you can talk! Are you magical?"
"Yes, indeed I have given you warmth," the mirror replied stoically. "I am indeed magical."
Vira's expression brightened. "Can you grant wishes?" she asked eagerly.
"Perhaps," the mirror answered wisely. "I have magical properties, perhaps even more so than faeries do. What is your heart's deepest desire?"
"I want to be the most beautiful Acara in all of Neopia, then," said Vira resolutely.
"Look into me, child, and see what you can become..."
To be continued...