The Mirror is a 1978 occult fantasy novel by Marlys Millhiser about unwilling time-travel involving an evil antique mirror with unclear glass. This was Millhiser's most popular novel, of her fourteen novels published. The historical Arnett-Fullen House in Boulder, Colorado was referenced as a model of a "gingerbread house" in the book.
If, for instance, it was a book of metaphysics I opened, I had scarcely readtwo pages before I seemed to myself to be pondering over discovered truth, andconstructing the intellectual machine whereby to communicate the discovery tomy fellow men. With some books, however, of this nature, it seemed rather as ifthe process was removed yet a great way further back; and I was trying to findthe root of a manifestation, the spiritual truth whence a material visionsprang; or to combine two propositions, both apparently true, either at once orin different remembered moods, and to find the point in which their invisiblyconverging lines would unite in one, revealing a truth higher than either anddiffering from both; though so far from being opposed to either, that it wasthat whence each derived its life and power. Or if the book was one of travels,I found myself the traveller. New lands, fresh experiences, novel customs, rosearound me. I walked, I discovered, I fought, I suffered, I rejoiced in mysuccess. Was it a history? I was the chief actor therein. I suffered my ownblame; I was glad in my own praise. With a fiction it was the same. Mine wasthe whole story. For I took the place of the character who was most likemyself, and his story was mine; until, grown weary with the life of yearscondensed in an hour, or arrived at my deathbed, or the end of the volume, Iwould awake, with a sudden bewilderment, to the consciousness of my presentlife, recognising the walls and roof around me, and finding I joyed or sorrowedonly in a book. If the book was a poem, the words disappeared, or took thesubordinate position of an accompaniment to the succession of forms and imagesthat rose and vanished with a soundless rhythm, and a hidden rime.
Scarcely had the half-moulded words floated from him, as he stood gazing intothe mirror, when, striking him as with a flash of amazement that fixed him inhis posture, noiseless and unannounced, glided suddenly through the door intothe reflected room, with stately motion, yet reluctant and faltering step, thegraceful form of a woman, clothed all in white. Her back only was visible asshe walked slowly up to the couch in the further end of the room, on which shelaid herself wearily, turning towards him a face of unutterable loveliness, inwhich suffering, and dislike, and a sense of compulsion, strangely mingled withthe beauty. He stood without the power of motion for some moments, with hiseyes irrecoverably fixed upon her; and even after he was conscious of theability to move, he could not summon up courage to turn and look on her, faceto face, in the veritable chamber in which he stood. At length, with a suddeneffort, in which the exercise of the will was so pure, that it seemedinvoluntary, he turned his face to the couch. It was vacant. In bewilderment,mingled with terror, he turned again to the mirror: there, on the reflectedcouch, lay the exquisite lady-form. She lay with closed eyes, whence two largetears were just welling from beneath the veiling lids; still as death, save forthe convulsive motion of her bosom. 2b1af7f3a8