Martha stared into the mirror and tried to find the end of its depth. Half of the mirror had a bright blue tinge, the other half a dull grey. In front of the colours were two identical ethereal images of Martha’s face; one was looking to the left and the other to the right. The one looking right was in front of the blue colour. The blue face was called Arthama and the grey Arthame. Slowly their eyes turned to look at Martha’s. Arthama smiled warmly.
‘Please read me the story,’ said Martha. The grey face frowned.
Martha looked towards the left. ‘Its ok Arthame, we’ll listen to your story as well.’
Arthame screwed up her nose, ‘I’m always second.’
‘Well, you’re the past; it’s the future that I’m interested in,’ replied Martha
‘If you listened to both stories at the same time you’d be hearing about the present,’ said Arthame.
‘Don’t be stupid,’ snapped Martha. ‘I can only hear one story at a time.’
‘You’re just like everybody else, nobody listens; they either live in the past or the future, never in the present.’
‘Oh do be quiet, the present is boring.’
‘It wasn’t when it was the future,’ said Arthame.
‘Shut up, I want to hear the story,’ Martha bellowed.
Her mother called out from the garden asking if she was alright.
‘Yes fine,’ yelled Martha towards the open window.
Martha sat crossed-legged on the floor of the little den that she’d created under the dressing table in her bedroom. The mirror was propped against the wall at one end. She called her den Mongolia. She escaped to Mongolia whenever she could, to be with Arthama and Arthame; but especially Arthama.
It frustrated Martha that Arthama and Arthame were inseparable; they existed together. However Martha saw them as individuals. Arthama and Arthame never argued or disagreed with one another.
Occasionally another image, set against a sun orange background, appeared between the other two. It was very faint. The third image never spoke. Martha called her Martraya.
Martha closed her eyes to concentrate on the story. However fragments of a dream that she’d had during the night distracted her. She really wanted to remember the dream and to understand what it meant, but the harder she tried the more absurd the dream became. Why was the elephant pulling the bus through a cobbled street in the desert? The street was full of shops and a teddy bear waved happily from the bus.