Seven year old Becky was bored. Her mom and dad had finished unpacking almost two hours ago, and the former had gone grocery shopping while her dad was setting up his computer so he could have access to his work as quickly as possible—Dr. Brightly took great pride in his work.
“Basically, I study what the world is made of,” he once told her. “The more we know about it, the more we can accomplish. Knowledge helps us grow and advance.”
Being a child prodigy, she was able to understand some of what her dad did, though he did use less complex words when he explained it to her. He did suggest she consider the same field when she grew up, but she wasn’t sure that she wanted to do ‘smarty pants grown up stuff.’
Smart as she was, she was a kid at heart.
Deciding to explore the new house, she eventually found a hatchway in the ceiling of what her parents had decided was the guest room. Luckily, standing on one of the beds gave her enough of a boost to reach the cord used to open it, and doing so released a ladder. She climbed up, and found herself in an attic.
From the looks of things, the last family to live in this house hadn’t taken everything with them—there were still several toys and other things lying around. What caught her attention, however, was a large mirror attached to the wall opposite the window, its frame painted in blue, red, and yellow stripes. Something about that mirror made it impossible to ignore.
Approaching it, she was surprised to see the mirror did not show her reflection. Instead, a boy about her age looked back. The boy had the same dark brown hair and the same clothes she did, although he wore pants instead of a skirt. Even more strangely, he didn’t move when she did.
Raising a hand and placing it on the mirror’s surface, she looked at the boy curiously.
The boy didn’t say anything, so she tried again.
“I’m Becky Brightly.”
This time, he did respond, looking surprised.
“My name’s Ben Brightly.”
Her curiosity was heightened further.
“You look kind of like me...except you’re a boy.” Becky ran her fingers over the mirror’s edge. “I don’t think this is a normal mirror.”
“Neither do I,” Ben replied. “And it’s not like a funhouse mirror, either. If it was, you’d move when I do, and you don’t.”
“Becky!“ her mother’s voice called. “I’m back, and I brought dinner!”
Becky looked over at Ben. “I’ll be back.”
As she descended the ladder, she failed to notice Ben hadn’t moved out of sight. Only a minute later, however, he glanced over to the side, as if hearing someone’s voice, before walking out of view.