idol season nine | week 36, quick fire | 664 words
For all of the complaints about modern dating (all of them true), typical humans still had it easy compared to supernatural, unnatural, and immortal would-be romantics. The number of available, compatible dating prospects was much smaller for your average monster or trans-dimensional being, and still very limited for especially challenging cases such as lonely cave-dwelling centaurs, or succubi who were finally sick of the whole bang 'em and drain 'em scene. Where could a lovelorn non-human or super-human turn for help?
Some tried other methods at first. Witches and wizards might use spells to force attraction from their love-interests, and gods often just took what they wanted. But eventually, the results felt hollow and unsatisfying. Turning to sincere and direct methods sometimes had mystifying consequences, and forgoing love altogether created cranky outbursts that left holes in walls or the fabric of space-time, and might trigger an increase in drinking, wallowing, and keeping company with rats and toads. Clearly, none of these approaches were ideal.
There were well-known rituals, but since many of them consisted of unfathomable behaviors such as slaying unsuspecting monsters or offering your beloved a pebble, they had fallen out of favor. The moon long ago absented herself from influence and entreaties, preferring to focus instead on the serene fulfilment of guiding the tides.
Only the Magic Mirror offered recourse, for those willing to pay for its services.
The Mirror was available via any reflective surface, whether it was an actual mirror, a stream, or a mud-ridden puddle behind a disreputable hovel or adjacent to a swamp.
find the love that's right for me."
The Magic Mirror's face (masculine, neither handsome nor unappealing) would appear in the reflection, and the process would begin:
"How would you describe your appearance?" the Mirror would ask.
"Eh, strong and sturdy enough. Not one of those fancy elves or fairies, just good and solid."
"And what sort of activities do you enjoy?"
"Oh, a good stomping around, tearing up trees, grunting and roaring, plenty of food and drink."
"Ah. Your name?"
"Gadablorg. The younger."
"Well, this might take some work. You're a bit of a troll, I'm afraid."
"Hmm, yes, close enough…"
Payment would be calculated and upon agreement, the Mirror would undertake the seeker as a client.
Trans-dimensional beings were well-paired with ghosts and clairvoyants, provided they could find a workable schedule for time-and-place intersections. Witches got along surprisingly well with centaurs—far better than nymphs, who were overly sensitive and prone to complaining about hooves. Fairies and djinn had stormy but often satisfying relationships, whereas ghouls, the Loch Ness monster, and Zeus proved nearly undateable.
Still, the Mirror never gave up. Persistence and creativity were its most helpful skills.
"What are you looking for in a companion?" the Mirror asked a new client one day.
"Someone who doesn't judge, who doesn't buy into all the stereotypes," she answered.
"Is not as bad as everyone says! Almost everything is attached, and the amount of rotting is still fairly low."
"What about the tendency to attack others and eat their brains?"
"That's completely overblown! We're clumsy, we trip a lot, and yes—we fall on people. Mostly, we're just really glad to see them. And the diet is a conscious choice. I'm a vegetarian, just as I've always been."
"Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities?"
"Oh, anything, really. I'm happy just to watch other people have fun. Mostly, I'd love to meet someone who accepts me for who I am, and is confident enough not to care what other people think. Is that too much to hope for?"
The Mirror charged a pretty penny (or spell, although he never dabbled in fire-magic or first-borns), but his customers were grateful. He offered a sorely-needed service that no one else would undertake, and he did it proudly, with excellent results.
Successfully pairing up an ogre with a zombie was one of his greatest achievements of all.
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