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Upon Reflection
by Ian Curtress

She rubbed the sleep from her smiling eyes and lazily propped pillows into a sitting position
No cause to rush this morning, an easy weekend ahead.
That was no ordinary dream, remarkable, but a little disturbing. Every detail was quite vivid and caused her to become a little disoriented .
Firstly the cottage. A perfect calendar picture, isolated and yet surrounded by friendliness.
No other occupants but others were “there”. Not seen but “there”
She, did not cook the delicious breakfast placed ready on the spotless chequered tablecloth.
Did not think it strange at the time nor was she surprised when answering the tap on the door and a soft reliable voice said, we will do the caves today.
She could still hear that voice but could put no picture from whence it came.
The path to the sands was narrow and a little difficult in parts but she felt strong hands giving security.
It was a tiny cove and the sand seemed very fine and warm. She sat on a smooth rock to enjoy a sea more blue than she had ever seen. No thoughts about her unseen guide.
It all seemed natural enough.
Details vivid, squeezing the sand between her toes, picking up an unusual shell.
It was like a large cockle shell, pristine and when opened it had the most radiant Mother of Pearl lining. She put it safely in the large fancy pockets of her sunshine yellow dress.
She felt a reassuring hand take her arm and walk her to the end of the cove where the sea was shallow.
Why did she not see to whom that hand belonged? All seemed so natural.
The water was indeed shallow and they strolled in its welcome warmth for a very short distance to the hidden entrance to a cave.
She now realised she was alone but not concerned, the cave seemed a happy place with the wind making music as it squeezed through the ageless cracks in the rock.
She made her way to the end of the cave where it became strewn with boulders, stopping to move some of the smaller ones.
It was while doing this she saw what looked like a large piece of driftwood.
Upon closer examination it appeared to be the remains of a box or chest.
After tugging at the edge excitedly it crumbled into lumps of now rotted wood which exposed an old cracked mirror.
Carefully lifting it out she was surprised to see except for the crack it was in reasonable condition.
She wiped the surface with the corner of her dress and held it up peering expectantly.
There was no reflection! She moved it around but was unable to see her reflection
Suddenly she felt uncomfortable noticing she could clearly see the cave walls behind her, but could not see herself.
Her pillows moved and feeling a little apprehensive she gathered her thoughts and started to get dressed.
Her lovely yellow dress was hanging behind the door, that dirty mark on her dress could have happened anywhere she told herself, I’ll wash it and all will be forgotten.
As she shook the dress putting it in the linen basket something dropped to the floor.
A lovely large cockle shaped shell.