demiurgos_girl: (Until you finally fall off into the sky.)
[[OOC: Links from here.]]

Elaine was trying to mingle. Despite the rising lump in her throat and the flushed warmth of alcohol in her body, she found the time to dance a little, exchange a few conversations here and there. So far she thought she had done alright. Maybe that was more to do with the drinks than anything else, but that didn't bother her.

Sitting near one of the walls, she fiddled with the dress Poland had picked out for them both. It was too bad he wasn't here- she really missed-

"Let's dance."

A cold hand had reached out suddenly and taken her own, pulling her forward out of her seat, toward the dance floor. The grip was tight, almost painful. Who-? But following the arm up, Elaine saw herself in another dress: her mirror. It was the first time Elaine had seen the other girl since the start of the event. She stumbled, trying to resist, but before she could even catch her footing the mirror stopped- and with a painful twisting of Elaine's hands she found herself face to face with Eve, an all-too-familiar arm around her waist, and with a disgusted- vile- realiziation, their fingers intertwined.

"Mm? Dance, Elaine." A sharp pull, and both girls were flowing down the dance floor.

Elaine wouldn't play along. She twisted violently, trying to free her fingers from that maddening grip, but it was impossible. Eve was too strong. Her arm around Elaine's waist tightened. Elaine brought up her knee, trying to separate the two of them, and her dress was making all the movements difficult. She didn't even know what was happening anymore- Were they dancing? Fighting in the middle of the ball?

Suddenly the movements stopped. With a gasp she found Eve had pulled her even closer until she couldn't move, pressed against each other, the mirror's mouth inches from her ear, the mirror's hair mingling with her own.

"Be still." Eve's breath was warm, and the panic was rising in Elaine, paralyzing her. "The witching hour, the entrance to the garden maze. Come, and come alone, or I will burn this hall to cinders." There was a moment's pause, enough to make sure Elaine had understood. Finally releasing her, Eve took a step away, smiling pleasantly, cheerfully.

And then Elaine stepped forward and slapped the mirror with all her might.

She thought the music might still be playing. Certainly there were still people dancing. But there was a ringing in her ears and she couldn't see too clearly: it almost looked like Eve wasn't smiling anymore, when Elaine half-ran off the dance floor, into the safety of the crowd.

She found an empty table, sat shakily, and buried her face in her hands, shuddering with tears and sobs.

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Elaine Belloc

December 2011

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