There was a large shed near our house. The top half was made of plaster and the bottom half was built with corrugated metal. It was surprisingly spacious inside and I had spent much of my childhood playing in there.
I put on a jacket, slipped quietly down the stairs, past the entrance hall, and out into the yard. The sharp morning air made my face sting, but felt thoroughly refreshing as I took a few deep breaths.
I opened the large door of the shed with some difficulty.
There was barely enough light coming through the wooden slats of the window to illuminate the inside. The room was about eight tatami mats large, packed full of shelves, with a staircase to the second floor at the far end.
Relying on my vague memories of the place, I went up the stairs. There were shelves along the wall, with sturdy wooden boxes on them.
Each box probably weighed a hundred kilograms or more. Using my cantus, I opened each in turn.
It was in the fifth box.
I took out a circular mirror about thirty centimeters in diameter. Unlike the usual silver-backed glass mirror, it was much heavier, absorbed heat very quickly, and appeared to be made of bronze. It was exactly the same as the one in my dream.
Slowly, memories began to resurface. I had definitely seen this mirror in the past. And probably more than once. I examined it carefully. Bronze left out for a long time would begin to oxidize, and in extreme cases, turn completely green. But the surface looked only slightly cloudy.
The last time I had seen the mirror was within the past five years at the very least. It must have been polished at that time.
I put the box back and brought the mirror outside with me.
I didn’t want my parents to see, so I went around the house and set off down the waterway in Hakuren 4. Even though it was still early morning, there were already quite a few boats on the canal. The wind coming off the water was cold. Doing my best to be inconspicuous, I traveled down the less populated waterways and stopped at an empty dock.