We recently published Mileva Anastasiadou’s thoughtful “Mirror, Mirror.”

Here, we ask her two questions about her story:

 

1) What I really like about this story is that it has that moment of hope, of light at the end — the narrator is having trouble connecting to her old self, loses sight of her old self, but at the end she says: “I’ll grow wings. … (W)e’ll meet and we’ll be one again….” Do you think she will make it? Do you think she will fly?
I’m not certain, I’d love to believe that she will make it, but things don’t always go as we wish, the girl is hopeful in the end, hope is necessary, hope is always necessary, but despite common belief, it takes more than positive thinking for things to go well. I don’t usually write happy stories, but lately, I’ve come to realize that there is always hope, even if there isn’t, even in case there is no light at the end of the tunnel, even if there is no reason, any logical reason for hope to exist, deep in our minds, there’s always a spark. Human beings are programmed to feel hope, we have invented hope to deal with all hardship and despair, it’s what keeps us going in everyday life, what makes us evolve.
2) In a piece this small, it’s sometimes hard to create a character that readers can connect to, but you give us what feels like a wholly formed person here. Does this mean there is possibly a secret backstory for this character that informs this story?
The way it started out in my mind, there has been some kind of violation. the girl has been violated, her values have been violated, she has done something she knows she shouldn’t have done, or someone she loves has done something unacceptable, or perhaps she’s seen someone doing something she finds unacceptable, but she didn’t speak, or she spoke but couldn’t stop it. Either way, she’s trapped in a moment, or time, or life, she doesn’t like. There’s not a well-formed, secret backstory, the piece is mostly about that feeling, or the epiphany, that you’ve lost yourself, like you’ve turned into someone you despise, someone you cannot respect, and this could be only for a moment, or it could be a sad realization you may reach late in life and you’re not sure if you can reverse it or not, like in the song “Karma Police”, by Radiohead; I’ve always suspected the ‘narrator’ is calling the Karma Police for himself, he’s the one who for a moment there, he’s lost himself, after all.