The puddle water is a mess. It whispers and looks like goop.
It splashes what's left of her dress, ruins the skirt. She feels small the longer she stares into it. Azuma doesn't skip home, doesn't walk or run or hurry. Home is nowhere to hurry to. Even though he's waiting.
Even though Bunchou-chan is waiting.
He will wait. If there is trouble, he will call for her. She will come for him. Bunchou-chan is abandoned, or was abandoned. Then Azuma picked him up and everything was okay.
Even if no one but Bunchou-chan loved her, Azuma would be fine. She knew it.
As long as she saw the strange world, she would be fine. With it she could be anything or anyone. As long as she kept looking in the mirror, reality could go away.
She returned home that day, thinking this, steps slow. She came home and wanted to find her Bunchou-chan.
But Bunchou-chan was gone, stolen by a cousin.
He looked so proud too.
She didn't hear what he said. She didn't care. Bunchou-chan was hers. He took him away. She snatched the body, snatched it and ran back to her room, back to the mirrors.
The mirrorland should have told her. It should have sang. She was supposed to protect Bunchou-chan.
But they hadn't. And she didn't.
She hated them. Hated, hated, hated. Maybe dying would be better.
That night only got worse. She didn't scream.
But the mirrors spoke.