I’ve got a special treat for you today, gentle viewers. Two tales of vanity taken in different directions. Get ready to get chills.
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It was the mirror that told her. “You’re gorgeous,” it said, “You’re beautiful, stunning, breath-taking…” and who was she to deny it?
At first she accepted its compliments with grace and a shy glance from beneath her luscious lashes and a remark about needing to wash her hair then, as the flattery continued, she smiled and flushed with pleasure and coyly brushed her hair from her face.
And the mirror was determined to boost her self-esteem and soon she was pouting and preening and mwah, mwah-ing at the mirror’s complimentary words.
Her fashion sense improved no end. Gone were the tomboy togs; rough-kneed jeans discarded for skirts too tight to be called pencil-thin, casual shirts lost amid myriad sparkly, sequinned tops, comfy cardies destined for charity replaced by slinky, tight knits and street-fighting, puddle-jumping trainers traded in for heels that would give sky-scrapers vertigo.
And all the while the looking glass reported gorgeousness and unrivalled beauty.
“You’re amazing,” it told her, “much prettier than a picture…” and yes, she knew it.
The party did not begin until she arrived, and her sisters…well, ugly just wasn’t the word.
Dark as night hair was now platinum and bouffant, ribbons vanquished, shy fringe now swept away to show off blushed, sharpened cheekbones, and her lips plump and juicy and red; red as a crisp, ripe apple.
And the mirror loved her. Everyone loved her. Except, maybe, her sisters…they weren’t quite so keen, and her mother, it had been her mirror after all… But to everyone else, she was their darling.
Praises rained down, even on the sunniest of days, and the sunniest day came to town.
“Absolutely delightful, striking and so alluring…” said the mirror and she purred appreciation. She couldn’t find her flirty skirt, and missing amongst another mountain of rejects was the top she wanted, the lace one with strategically placed rhinestones.
“No matter,” said the mirror, “no matter at all…you look good enough to eat, just a dusting of powder and a dash of scent, and truly, you’re scrumptious…” and well, there was nothing more to be said, except. “Don’t forget your shoes…”
That day she was the talk of the town, but there was nothing new in that, the town barely talked of anyone else. Today, even her ugly sisters raised their badly-in-need-of-plucking eyebrows, and mother stepped out of her way.
All day long people echoed her mirror, salutations and accolades followed until the dwarf’s voice, grumpy it was not, rose above the tributes with a comment on her nakedness. And though people sniggered it was truly a compliment, after all her nakedness was pretty stunning…
Later that night, before the looking glass, she reflected. “Gorgeous,” said her mirrored image and smiled then the smile faded and her façade cracked, and the tear in the mirror slipped off the tip of her nose and landed on her shoe. The glass slipper which, in ten seconds precisely, would shatter the mirror forever…
“Yeah, baby! The Love-O-Meter says I’m hot!” Dylan hooted.
“Well, I can’t use that machine, it’s obviously broken.” Stephanie smacked his ass, blew him a kiss and sauntered down the aisle of games.
“You’re so smokin’, you’d break the damned thing, angel.” He scooped her up from behind, smelling of Axe and Edge and fun.
She shrugged him off with a smile, scampering out of reach. “As hot as Jessica Alba?”
“Hotter.” Smoldering eyes told her what he’d be wanting after the movie.
“Hey, here’s one that grants wishes.”
“I know what I’d wish.”
“Get your mind out of your pants and gimme a quarter.”
Both hands hit the limits of his pockets. “Last one.” He held out a brassy lint-covered coin. “Oh, wait. That’s not a quarter.”
“Lemme see.” Stephanie snatched the coin, inspecting it closely. Embossed on one side was ‘One Play’ and the other ‘Devil’s Den Games.’ With an impish grin, she dropped the coin in the slot. Lights came on. Cheesy music played. “Free game! I wish I was just like Jessica Alba, immortalized on film!” Stephanie squeezed the handle. Lights pulsed and the screen flashed WISH GRANTED. Then an electric pain shot up her arm.
“It shocked me.”
“That’s what happens when you cheat.”
Stephanie stuck her tongue out at him.
“You know, Jessica actually looks a lot like you in this movie, Steph.”
“Does she get the hot guy?”
“Um… You might not like the end. Randy and Ed saw it last night and…”
“Don’t tell me the ending. I’m not as squeamish as you think, okay? It’s called “Tortured Hook” for a reason.”
“Supposed to be really brutal.”
She silenced him with a kiss. “Then I’ll just have to spend two hours in your lap.” She took his hand as they followed the small crowd into the darkened theater. Her stomach heaved as the room spun. Her vision narrowed and she gripped her seat.
“Fine,” she fibbed. Her whole body started to tingle and itch.
After the previews, the screen flickered and stuttered. The intro music limped along, garbled. Then the screen went blank.
“Must be technical problems,” Dylan whispered. “Steph, just so you know – no one survives.” Dylan turned to apologize for spoiling the end, but the seat next to him was empty. He looked back, wondering when Stephanie had gone to the bathroom.
Music started and the movie opened with a shot of Jessica Alba asleep, looking like Stephanie’s twin.
Stephanie woke up confused and stumbled out of bed to the sound of blood-curdling screams. Bursting into the hallway, she stumbled onto a shadowy figure dismembering some poor girl. Gory pieces dangled from his metal claws. Blood spattered the walls. She ran. Hope was slim in those final gruesome terror-filled hours. In the end, all that remained was blood, and her sightless eyes.
At the 7:10 showing, Stephanie woke up confused and stumbled out of bed…
And at the 10:55 showing, Stephanie woke up…
Mmm, delicious. Like what you read? Sound off in the comments!
Love and kisses,
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