Was there a neighboring couple arguing on the other side of the wall, he may have thought a thrown plate or book had just been ducked by a guilty spouse to hit the wall directly behind the trembling image. But there was only silence. Still, his eyes were now drawn to the spot. As he watched, the wavering distortion became focused. It no longer shook, but rather formed its convex effect into the outline of a man.
It seemed as though the wall itself bubbled outward to wrap and outline the shape of the figure stepping into the room. But the wall color gave way to the countenance and colors of a healthy flesh tone encompassing the top half of an impressively muscled man; the lower tier shaping into khaki shorts and strong, if not bulging, legs and sandalled feet.
Whether Finn turned to face this visitor or stared into the mirror in some semblance of disbelief, the figure behind him gave no aura of threat. "Do not be alarmed, Finn Ashbroken. It is peace I seek to bring, not recrimination or verdict. Tell me, if a garden has one row overflowing with vegetables, several that are of middling yield, and one row of dry, withered stalks, which are the rows that draw the most attention?"
He did not wait for an answer before confirming, "The most and the least, of course. The most to see what it is that makes it so successful, that it may be shared, and the least to see what afflicts it, that it may be healed. My awareness is naturally drawn to acts of great forgiveness. But it is equally drawn to where it falls into emptiness. While the wielder of such gracious acts may be recognized and rewarded for their inclination, the one that struggles to embrace it is the one that most truly needs it. That is why I am here."
Ymiden did not bid Finn to follow or rise. He simply sat as the mirror that had first hinted at his arrival began to grow to engulf the wall on which it hung. As the reflected image grew further to engulf the room, a small, repeating reflection, gave the impression of stretching off into a repetitive infinity, for a second mirror now hung on the opposite wall to reflect the reflected reflection.
But there was change within the repetitions as the image in the second mirror altered to become a street in a distant city, where a dark-haired woman walked happily, going about her business. If Finn tried to leave, he would only find himself upon the same street; upon the same walkway a block away where a second woman now approached the dark-haired woman.
She too, was dark of hair, yet wisps of gray added to a subtly haggard face; one whose lines were borne of grief and regret, rather than toil and weather. Her age was sufficient to lay the foundation for the imprints of tribulations that marked her. But it was more a world-weariness and loss of purpose that hunched her shoulders and dragged her feet along the cobblestones.
By the time the second woman came within easy hearing distance, an odd blend of dread and hope both brightened and darkened her face. A war of emotions was written in the tension there, as the first woman now closed the distance, only becoming aware of her presence by the contrast of her statuesque stillness amid the flowing citizenry around her.
Tears suddenly erupted from Carlene Varlich's weary eyes as she sank to her knees before Faith...
Ymiden turned to Finn, "Here now, is an opportunity for a lesson in forgiveness."