The Enchanted Mirror of Mystic Beach Lighthouse

Submitted into Contest #225 in response to: Start your story with someone buying a cursed — or perhaps blessed —mirror from an antiques store.... view prompt


Fantasy Fiction Bedtime

"Gateways to moments suspended in air,

Time's threads in the fabrics it weaves,

Blessed with enchantments, unseen and rare,

The Mirror makes Magic for one who believes."

Luiza Maria felt a shock as she looked at the strangers around her wearing clothing from over 100 years ago. 

She remembered gazing into the old-fashioned mirror from the antique store. It's wood frame was intricately carved. She recalled reading the poem engraved on the back of it.

Luiza Maria recalled looking into the wavy glass of the old mirror and seeing her dark eyes and black hair, and her blue chambray shirt and blue jeans reflected in the mirror for a moment. Then something happened.

Now the mirror was missing from the wall, she saw strangers around her, and the furniture in the room was not the same. She saw her little dog, Breezy next to her. Jeanean and Andre', with their children, were still standing near her too.

Breezy, wearing her red harness and decorative leash with a dog bone pattern was moving her head back and forth while her eyes explored the room. Her long black body wiggled on its short stumpy legs. She sniffed the air. Her tail was held high but barely wagging. She knew something was different too. Maria Luiza reached down and picked up Breezy, holding her snuggled against her shoulder.

“Hello, you must be the visitors we were expecting.” A smiling woman with dark hair in a bun, and friendly eyes, greeted her. She wore a long, flowered cotton dress. 

In a flash Luiza Maria’s mind went back through her day, trying to make sense of what was happening. Where was she and who were these people?

She hesitated and the smiling woman looked at her curiously. Breezy wiggled in her arms and Luiza Maria averted her eyes from the woman and stroked Breezy, trying to think fast.

Luiza Maria's mind raced. Earlier events of the day unfolded. She saw it like a quick movie. The events of the past few months had been difficult and her spirits were dragging. She was hoping her life would be touched with a sense of wonder and magic again.

She remembered strolling through the antique store that morning in the village of Mystic Beach on the Oregon coast. 

Then she recalled purchasing the antique mirror and thinking it would fit in well at the old 1890s Mystic Beach Lighthouse.

“What a find,” she congratulated herself.

She carried the mirror out to the car from the antique shop, elated with finding a treasure.

Wrapped in plastic, the mirror sat on the passenger seat of her car. Luiza Maria drove the snake-like turns of the road along the ocean bluffs out to the Mystic Beach Lighthouse. It was a pleasant, sunny day, with a light breeze. Breezy sat quietly in the back seat.

Today was another quiet day in the coastal forest, just the way Maria Luiza liked it.

The tall, white lighthouse with its red roof gleamed in the sunlight and the rotating beacon flashed across her when she drove up to the lighthouse keeper's house.

The old Queen Anne Victorian building had a wrap-around porch with gingerbread designs and multiple pitches to the roof. Framed by green lawns, a garden and trees, the unique structure was always a pretty picture.

The waves splashed below on the sand and rocks. The shore curved inland slightly to form a small bay. A wide beach showed where the bay reached inland but disappeared on each side where forested cliffs and volcanic rock stacks stretched out into the ocean.

Luiza Maria could see the tide was going out now and more of the beach was beginning to show where the land reached toward the sea. At extra low tides, when the ocean level went down, the sandy beach was revealed even beyond the cliffs and rock stacks. It was covered again by the ocean when the high tide began coming in.

Parking close to the building, Luiza Maria walked with little Breezy trotting along on her leash and she carried the large mirror to the back door. 

Andre’, the host of the keeper’s house, opened the door and Luiza Maria put the heavy mirror down. His short, round form was wearing a cook's apron and he had a baseball cap over his dark hair. The smell of homemade cookies drifted through the air.

“What have you brought us this time?” Andre’ said to her.

For an answer, Luiza Maria smiled and pulled the plastic from the mirror. A beam of light through the stained glass window reflected off the mirror surface, sending rainbow colors around the room.

Andre’ drew in a quick breath. “Magical,” he said.

Jeanean, Andre’s wife, and their two children came into the room. Jeanean's slender frame was attractive in a denim jumper with a green shirt. She carried a plate of cookies.

"Would you like some?" Her hazel eyes sparkled and she swept her brown hair back from her face. They all began eating cookies and Luiza Maria reached into her pocket and brought out a dog biscuit for Breezy. The two kids, a boy and a girl of young elementary school age, ate cookies and petted Breezy.

The five people stood looking at the mirror with awe. Breezy wagged her tail and smiled.

Maria Luiza thought she saw something move in the mirror that she did not recognize. Like a daydream, a vision appeared there of a woman in the mirror. Luiza Maria saw the woman holding a small tool and working on the mirror frame. 

The woman had curly silver hair and her face wore the patterns of time in etchings like roads on a map. She wore a long patterned skirt and her dark hair was pulled back into a bun. Holding the tool in gnarled fingers, she was making detailed cuts in the mirror frame, creating images of sea lions, seagulls and whales. 

The woman's eyes narrowed as she made intricate woodcuts that gave life to the images. The carver was sitting on a stool in a shed, the door open to let in light. The shed sat on a hill above the ocean. Below it were sea lions on the waves, gulls calling in the winds, and whales swimming by in their winter migrations.

Luiza Maria saw the woman lean back and survey her artwork on the frame, smiling. Then the woman placed both hands on the mirror's sides, closed her eyes began speak in a low voice.

"Mirror blessings, joy and wonder,

Time's embrace and twilight's call,

Bring enchantment to believers,

Magic blessings to enthrall."

The mirror lit with a soft aura and Luiza Maria believed the woman was infusing it with a spell or supernatural power.

The vision in the mirror faded.

“Don’t touch,” said Jeanean, Andre’s wife, as their little girl pressed tiny fingers against the mirror glass. 

“But Mom, I saw someone in there looking at me,” said Natasha, Jeanean's little girl.

Jeanean laughed. “That was you, my little honeybunch.”

“I thought it was someone else, she had grey hair," said the child, and everyone chuckled.

Luiza Maria and the keeper’s house family continued gazing into the mirror as the 1890s stained glass window reflected in it. 

Next to the mirror on the wall was a historic photo of the wooden wagons pulled by horses that used to travel the beaches at low tide to deliver supplies in the 1890s and early 1900s.

"Mom, look at that," said Natasha, pointing at the picture. "Wouldn't that be neat, the horses and wagon on the beach? I wish we could have been there."

“This afternoon we can go down to the beach and play let’s pretend,” said Jeanean.

Luiza Maria knew that in 1895 there were no bridges along the Oregon coast. The only way to reach the lighthouse was by sea at low tide or by crossing steep mountains and wide creeks. 

When the tides were at their lowest, revealing more sandy beach area, workers rushed their horses to gallop over the beaches, pulling wagonloads of supplies. They needed to reach the bay below the lighthouse before the tide surged in again. Otherwise, the strong undertow currents could sweep them out to sea and drown them.  

The village of Mystic Beach sat a few miles inland on a river. To cross the river people used a large raft made of logs lashed together. In 1895 the little cluster of houses and shops on the bend in the river had a growing population of over 1,000 people already.

Supplies went to the lighthouse by land until the bumpy dirt road met the steep mountains. Then the wagons followed struggled over areas with access to the beaches and raced out to the lighthouse to beat the high tides before they rolled in.

Standing in front of the strange woman in the Lighthouse Keeper's House now, and looking around at the unfamiliar furnishings, Luiza Maria recalled seeing the arches over the front door of the Keeper's House reflected in the mirror. 

She recalled that as she looked the arches seemed to multiply into an arcade that led deeper along a walkway to a light in the distance.

Luiza Maria remembered the poem engraved on the back of the mirror and her whimsical thoughts about the mirror possessing magic.

Now feeling puzzled as she stood near the unfamiliar woman who wore old fashioned clothing, Luiza Maria remembered looking into the mirror and feeling a magnetic pulse seem to flow through her.

She recalled seeing glimpses of fleeting movements of shapes and faces, as if from another time.

After that, outside the window, the beacon from the 1890s lighthouse swept by. Then sounds around her faded and became distant. The aromas from the kitchen grew fainter. The images of the room faded and became faint impressions.

Then the wavy antique glass in the mirror made their reflections look like they were floating on the ripples of a quiet pond.

Luiza Maria recalled seeing her eyes widen in the mirror, the pupils large and dark. A strange feeling came over her. Her breath came faster and her heart beat harder.

A soft hum sounded, then silence. In a dreamy haze, she floated through many arches of an arcade in the mirror. A few moments of darkness like an eclipse created shadows.

The darkness lightened and she came out of the arched walkway in the mirror.

That was when she found herself in the Mystic Beach Lighthouse Keeper's house surrounded by people in clothing from the 1890s.

Now Luiza Maria looked at Breezy, Jeanean, Andre’ and their two children standing next to her. 

The woman in the long print dress smiled gently at her, “Is everything all right? Are you feeling ill? Can I get you anything?”

Jeanean was the first one to awaken from their shock and take charge. She said, “We’re fine, thank you.”

Turning to Luiza Maria, Andre’ and the children, Jeanean motioned for them to come closer and she whispered, “Something has happened to us. That mirror has taken us somewhere or has turned time around. We are somewhere else now.”

They walked to the edge of the porch. To their right sat another Victorian house and several small children rode bareback on horses in the yard.

Below them the Pacific Ocean was at very low tide, exposing wide areas of beach that stretched out beyond the volcanic rock stacks. 

From beyond the rocks to the south a wagon pulled by horses in their harnesses emerged, leaving trails in the wet sand. On the wooden seats sat several men. The back of the open wagon had boxes and parcels. There were four horses straining to drag the wagon through the sand.

“Henry,” called the woman in the print dress. “They’re here. The supply wagon. At the beach.”

Feet drummed on the wood floors as people ran out of the house toward a path. The figures on the beach were small and far below. Men and women in old-fashioned clothing disappeared down the trail that led toward the beach.

“Come on,” said the woman in the print dress. “Let’s get the supplies and the news.” She walked briskly down the path. Luiza Maria and her friends followed.

“I went into the mirror through arches and now I think we’re in another time,” said Jeanean to Andre’. “I think we are really here in the 1890s.”

Andre’s face still had a shocked expression. The children smiled with pleasure while they enjoyed the adventure.

Luiza Maria noticed the path in the 1890s was rough and they walked carefully over ruts and rocks. There were fewer trees compared to their present time and the old bridge beyond the beach was not there now.

Excited voices floated over the ocean air from the wagon on the beach. When Luiza Maria and her friends arrived they heard the wagon master say, “We’ll stay overnight to rest the horses and go back tomorrow when the tide is low again.”

People unhooked the horses from their harnesses and began leading them to corrals on a hillside behind the beach.

“We have a special present for you this time,” said the wagon master and he unwrapped a large, rectangular shape. The friendly woman in the print dress said, “Ooohhh. Beautiful! Thank you.” 

Luiza Maria and her friends came close and saw it was the same mirror with the carvings that started their journey through time.

Now the ocean waves and setting sun reflected on the wavy glass of the mirror. As they drew in closer to it they saw the clouds arching over the horizon as the sun began to go down in a golden glow.

While they looked into the mirror, they felt a strange magnetic pull, like the one that brought them to the past. The smell of the salt air and the sounds of the waves flowing into the tidepools faded. There was silence and a floating sensation.

Then the sounds of the cries of gulls and water rippling over sand grew more clear. The sky showed the afterglow of a colorful sunset. The beach was empty except for Maria Luiza, her friends and the happy figure of the little dog Breezy playing on the sand.

“Come, see if you can catch me,” said the little boy as he ran off down the beach with the small girl chasing him.

Luiza Maria looked up the cliffs at the Lighthouse on the bluff and at the 1890s Victorian Keeper’s House. 

The magical mirror of blessings must have originally arrived on the wagon crossing the beaches. Through the years it could have been given or sold to someone. Eventually it wound up in the antique store.

Then Luiza Maria found it and brought it to the Keeper's House. The mirror's magic blessed her with this unforgettable experience of visiting the past.

Andre’ and Jeanean shared glances with her, their looks saying more than words.

They all wondered the same things.

“Do you think the antique mirror is up in the Keeper’s House?”

“Come on kids,” said Jeanean, and they hiked back up the path to the white Queen Anne style Victorian. 

They walked up the wooden steps, with Breezy leaping up each step, and looked at the stained glass windows.

"I feel thankful to the mirror for blessing us with time travel to the 1800s," said Jeanean.

Luiza Maria smiled, feeling a sense of wonder and magic. She reached down, picked up Breezy, and cuddled the little dog next to her shoulder.

“Let’s allow the mirror to keep its secrets," she said, knowing its blessings would flow again when it was time.

To this day, if you go to the open house events at the Mystic Beach Lighthouse, you will see an antique mirror on the entryway wall of the old Victorian Keeper's House, reflecting the stained glass windows. Sometimes it blesses people and shows them special experiences.

But the Spell of the Mirror only reaches out to bless those who believe in magic. 

November 23, 2023 23:24

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James Lane
02:22 Dec 02, 2023

A magical story Kristi ;) You have a knack for creating visuals and evoking the senses. I really liked this sentence. "The smell of the salt air and the sounds of the waves flowing into the tidepools faded. There was silence and a floating sensation." One critique is the use of "1890s" I think you could leave that out after the first mention. Also, good to look out for extraneous words (I'm very guilty of leaving too many in), like: Then the sounds of the cries of gulls -> Then the cries of gulls. The happy figure of the little dog Br...


Kristi Gott
18:15 Dec 02, 2023

Thank you James! I appreciate the feedback! I can see there are extraneous words and next time I will edit more carefully and watch for that. Thanks again! :-)


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Emilie Ocean
14:40 Nov 28, 2023

Kristi, what an enchanting story! I loved it. I felt part of the journey, too x Thanks :)


Kristi Gott
19:29 Nov 28, 2023

Thank you Emilie, I am so glad you enjoyed it! :-)


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Kristi Sturgeon
04:09 Nov 26, 2023

What a fun story! Very descriptive. Thanks for blessing us with this story. By the way, is Breezy a dachshund? I'm a doxie mommy, and his description leads me to believe he is.


Kristi Gott
05:26 Nov 26, 2023

yes, Breezy is a chihuahua-dachshund mix. Love the cute doxies. Thank you for the comment. :-)


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