The Rare View Mirror
Tale Trivia: This story was born out of a typo I made in my last story. The typo was edited, but the story wove itself. To read my last story, click here.
THE RARE VIEW MIRROR
THE RARE VIEW MIRROR
Ronny was unable to sleep. He just couldn’t take the image of what he’d seen earlier that day out of his head. It was fascinating, and he couldn’t share it with anyone because everyone thought he was a freak.
All night he stayed up in his bed, staring at his blank wall-screen, waiting for the first rays of the sun to activate his windows. He always set his window on the ‘high-sensitivity’ mode, so it could detect the first rays at dawn and unblind to let them in. He loved to get up early and go for walks around the city. If anyone saw him going around on foot, they would think he has lost his mind; he would venture out of his residential cube when everyone was still asleep. He loved exploring the outdoors and imagining all the things that he has seen in his Rare View Mirror.
The Rare View Mirror had transformed his life. He had found the shiny piece of glass in an Antiques Room in the Old City. It looked like an ordinary hand mirror from the Old World, but sprung to life with live images when you held it upright in your hand. Someone had tossed it aside along with other uninteresting antiques like mobiles, laptops, car keys, etc. The Antiques Room was a one-of-a-kind physical shop in the city and quite the tourist attraction. For Ronny, it was like a gateway to the fascinating world of the bygone era.
Although, he had picked up the Rare View Mirror for only a few hundred Bitcoins, it had turned out to be one of his most precious possessions. He enjoyed it even more than his Game Cells and Virtual Vacays.
The Rare View Mirror showed him all those strange but fascinating things that he had always wondered about. It showed him the night sky full of stars, as observed by the naked eye! It looked so different from the astronomical views of the sky he was used to seeing. It was beautiful. It showed him places so green and full of trees, they almost looked like a fictional land. But they had actually existed, long, long ago. It even showed him the beautiful ways in which sweet water existed in its natural form on Earth – in rivers and lakes. Imagine, water flowing on the surface of the Earth, freely. He wondered how it came into being in the first place, without the help of the chemical reactors that combined hydrogen and oxygen in the water manufacturing plants. But it must have, because that was a time when humans co-existed with animals, and how would they get access to water, if it were not available freely?
What a world it must have been. Ronny couldn't stop talking about the Old World to his parents and peers. His friends thought his obsession with the Old World was dragging him to the edge of insanity. His parents were worried, at his prime age of 16 years, when he should be focusing on his future; he had lost his mind to the past. No one knew where the Rare View Mirror had come from. It did not find a mention in any of the historical records. Even the Antiques Curator was not very sure where he had picked it. It was as if Ronny has pulled it out of thin air.
Nevertheless, Ronny was in a state of bliss. It brought him everything he could only wonder about. The VR tours he took in history only showed him how humans existed in the Old World. None of them took him into the natural world, as it existed years ago.
But today, he had entered a new chapter in the Rare View Mirror. Today it was reflecting something man-made, yet something completely out of the world. And he couldn’t take his mind off it. He wanted it so bad! He wanted to touch its leaves, feel its box like form, even read it, if he could.
The Rare View Mirror called it a BOOK. Yeah, funny isn’t it? Like someone was registering you for an upcoming AR-flick or something. Back then, it meant a bundle of leaves stuck together, with written instructions that actually told you a story – that too without any audio or visual! The Mirror said that every book, through its instructions, created a world of its own in your mind. How intriguing! He wanted to enter and experience all those worlds. He wanted to know how something could create a visual in your mind without showing you any imagery.
He decided to go back to the Antiques Room and ask the assisting crew if they had access to anything like that and if they could get one for him? According to the Rare View Mirror, BOOKS were made of something called ‘paper’ which was made from some kind of tree pulp – very easily decomposed. But surely, the Old World guys must have had some way of preserving at least a few precious specimens of a BOOK?
So, today, at the break of dawn, instead of strolling around the city, he went straight to the Antiques Room in the hope of finding a sample of this fascinating thing that had kept him awake all night.
Meanwhile, his family and friends wondered what Ronny could possibly find in this unresponsive ancient device that wasn’t available in the millions of VRpedia galleries that he had access to at his residential cube.