Once upon a time, there was a wicked little sprite who loved to spread mischief and mayhem wherever he went. The sprite was called Ice, and he wore a smart velvet suit of deepest burgundy and long white boots as clean as the sparkling snow, and around his neck he always tied a white bow, so as to look very respectable and fool kind humans into falling for his wicked tricks. In order to further this impression of being a good and honourable sort, Ice was very quiet and spoke only when he needed to, and did not smile too much, but instead acted very sensibly so as to startle gentlefolk when the time came for his wayward plans to be set in motion.
Apart from frightening humans and appearing trustworthy and reputable when he was, in fact, quite the opposite, Ice was also tremendously good at making instruments of the dark arts; and his very favourite creation was his Magic Mirror, which possessed a most curious power that I shall tell you of now.
The Magic Mirror, as any normal mirror does, reflected back whomsoever gazed into it; however, unlike normal mirrors, which reflect not only pimples and sticky-out teeth, and frizzy hair that could do with a good wash, and smudges of dirt across crooked noses, but also smiles and bright, happy eyes, and pink cheeks and dimples, this particular mirror only reflected back the ugly and, in fact, made those perfectly human pimples and that perfectly ordinary frizzy hair so atrociously unpleasant to gaze upon that one would scream and cry and faint at even the quickest glance across that shiny glass.
One day, after taking his mirror hither and thither across cold seas and barren deserts, over hot, wet rainforests and dry, flat grasslands, into the tiniest hamlets and through the noisiest cities, Ice was suddenly taken with a wicked idea. A terribly, terribly wicked idea; so wicked it would have made demons themselves blush. For it was all well and good scaring men and women and babies, and little children and not-so-little children, and dogs and cats and butterflies; But, thought Ice, hardly able to contain his excitement, But, wouldn't it be far more entertaining to carry my mirror up into the heavens and shame the gods themselves, and all their attendants? Why yes, indeed it would.
And so, the very next morning, Ice burst his bony white wings from the back of his velveteen jacket and sprung from the grass up, up, up, into the clear blue sky. He carried his mirror higher and higher, miles and miles up into the air and, as he grew close to the soft, bright clouds upon which he knew the gods reclined, the wicked device began to whine and tremble in his grasp, as though it too thrilled at the mockery it was about to make of those ancient, powerful beings.
Higher they flew, higher, higher still – and the mirror whistled and whined and shook, and Ice actually struggled to hold onto the thing – until, suddenly, it slipped from between his fingers and fell back down to the ground at such speed the little sprite had no chance whatsoever to catch the thing. He could only squint and watch in dismay as it hit a small, grey rock far below him and smashed into thousands upon thousands of pieces, many no larger than a grain of sand washed in upon the shore.
Out of nowhere, a great wind struck up and began to roar, and – quickly – Ice flew back down to earth; but he was too late. His mirror was gone – blown far and wide across the land, lodging minute, evil specks of clear glass into the eyes of poor unfortunates for miles and miles around, freezing their hearts and souls until they saw no beauty; only cold darkness, and shadows, and ugliness.