The hall of mirrors was just that, a hall lined with mirrors of all shapes and sizes. And in each one they saw themselves standing in a different world. Their reflection transformed. Embarking on another odyssey, a voyage of breath-catching, white-knuckle, smile-widening wonder in a new land. Every day they would go into the hall, pick a mirror and step inside. And every evening they returned from a day of discovery. Beaches, forests, meadows, valleys, ice caps, mountains, prairies, mansions, huts, ocean liners, canoes, white-water rafts, yurts, toboggans, tandems, forest treks… the adventures were endless. The world was their oyster, right there in that hall. Reflected back at them.
At the far end there was one small mirror, they had to crouch down to see themselves in it. It would be a squeeze to slip through it, but that was of no matter. Because that was the one mirror they were forbidden to go through. The one reflection that they had been advised to admire but go no further. To be honest it didn’t show them in their best light, the colours were a little faded, there were no mountains, or crashing waves. Just a single wooded track, beneath a gloomy mottled sky. Not very appealing at all. And yet with each day the attraction grew, the desire increased. And with each day the view in that small, narrow mirror appeared to be more and more enthralling. Though in truth, the image did not change. What to do? There were still hundreds of mirrors and reflections and adventures waiting in the rest of the hall. But each morning they found themselves passing these, so they could go and stand restlessly before this other mirror. The one denied them. The one out of bounds. Surely there was no reason to avoid it. If every other adventure was on offer, why not this one?
And on that day, the day of crisis, as they glanced back at all the other mirrors, somehow they seemed the dull, faded, grim-sky ones. And this one appeared full of life and potential, wonder and mystery. They glanced at one another. Would they? Could they? They took a step forward. Then another. Then another. And before they knew it they had squeezed through the narrow frame, and morphed inside the reflection. And somewhere in the distance they heard the sound of a thud and a scream and a shudder combined. And it seemed as if the whole world had stepped off the pavement unexpectedly for a second, slipped and jolted and made vain attempts to right itself.