The first time she looked into that pool could easily have been the last. Curiosity had led her to the sheltered spot under the overhanging cliff. When she saw the still pool that lay there it pulled at her. The pool was completely circular and barely three feet across, yet something about it called to her.
She looked into the waters and saw her reflection. Or so she thought. The face that looked back was hers, but the setting, the background, seemed different. Not in any of the details, but they all seemed darker, heavier almost.
For several minutes she stayed there, not moving, as she studied everything she could see in the reflection. Each time she turned her head her reflection did the same.
But then she moved, stretching her back out, and her reflection didn’t. It stayed as it was for a short time, then it moved differently than she had.
For several long seconds she stared in terror, her breath frozen in her chest. She felt trapped by the gaze of her not-reflection, unable to move at all.
It was her body that broke the spell. The need to draw down more air became a burning requirement, freeing her from the paralysis.
As she pulled down a shuddering breath whatever spell had held her in place was broken. She turned and ran from that place, silently other than her gasping for air, and she swore to herself that she would never, ever, return again.
* * *