“Bloody Mary the origin story” (micro-fiction) by Bel Nel

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Another 500 word challenge story. I forget what the guidelines were, but it was something along the lines of “a reflection of yourself” had to be included.

This is “Bloody Mary the origin story”. Some trigger warnings*** mentions or references to blood, death and murder.

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The town came out in record numbers for the viewing of Thomas Cranwell. For this time of year, there were no crops to tend, no building projects or winter festivities left to be celebrated.

Mary Wilson walked into the Cranwell house with her family. Their home was pleasant and comfortable, with the only reminder of death being the black sheets covering every mirror.

Her parents greeted the mourning family and pushed all of the Wilson kids to do the same. After the respects were paid Mary was free to roam around. The other girls her age sat in the main living area using the sad occasion to attract potential husbands.

Mary walked through the home looking for objects that may have belonged to her would-be husband; had he survived his illness. She had never been to his home and being in her secret love’s residence brought on an unbearable misery. Alone in his room, she gave way to tears, but she was determined to follow through with her plans. Mary went to his pillow as a likely source to collect hair. She placed it carefully into her handkerchief just as her aunt Marie specified was necessary for conjuring spirits.

When her father came into the room she was looking out of the window. He told her that he and her mother would be staying the night with the Cranwell’s in order to support them further. Mary was instructed to go home with her siblings.

Mary was always obedient, but this request played right into her plans. She readily agreed and gathered up her siblings for the long walk home.

Once home she fed them supper and rushed them off to bed; with the promise of a treat if they obeyed.

With the younger children fast asleep Mary unwrapped the pieces of hair collected and commenced the ritual her aunt had described to her. Upstairs in the long mirror belonging to her mother, she tucked the strands into the joining edges of the mirror.

She retreated back downstairs and turned off the oil lamps, leaving herself in the dark. Then at the foot of the staircase, she gripped a single lit candle and proceeded to walk backward chanting the name; Thomas Cranwell, Thomas Cranwell, over and over again.

Halfway through the light flickered despite the air being still. When it died completely she took it as a sign. She hurried through the steps, chanting her true loves name until she reached the top of the stairs. Eager and lovesick she dashed to where the mirror was.

Her heart felt little explosions at seeing Thomas in the mirror. He looked as he did in the casket earlier; pale, with purple circles around his eyes.

“To join me my dearest, you must shed blood, my love.”

“I will do whatever I must!” Mary replied eagerly.

“Destroy those closest to you, then join me in the mirror. It is the only way.”

Mary was always obedient and hurriedly ran to fetch the butcher’s knife.

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Thank you for reading!

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