Charley Bibelot Blue

A Short Story

By Maggie Dweller

Charley Blue related life to a costume party; people creating barriers of lies with masks of false truths. The reality of the party was that you could never quite see past the maskā€”even if it was cracked. Like looking into a mirror. All you saw was what was reflected back at you.

Some people were better at creating their costumes than others. Some people only let you see what they wanted you to see.

Other people were worse at creating their false truths. Others created their masks cracked in the beginning, but the end result was the same.

Charley Blue was a bibelot. She was part of the party, but she was not a participant. She was a decoration in the most useless sense. She was a watcher.

And what means could a watcher have when all they saw were reflections? Cracked or otherwise?

The end result was the same. The reflection of a costume party.

Even Charley Blue could not slip into another's shoes so simply to completely see past the mask and completely understand the person behind it. People were too complicated. Too convoluted. The hidden faces were double-sided, and she couldn't decipher the true one.

So she watched. And waited. And when she found a costume that interested her, she attempted to see behind it.

The most intriguing costume she had ever had the privilege to encounter belonged to a man named Mason Echo.

Its brilliance caught her eye the first moment she laid her eyes on it. The throat clenching, heart skipping, beauty did not seem to affect everyone around it like it affected her. It was not whole. It was tattered, cracked, and shattered in parts. But the effect of the visible darkness on it sparked her curiosity into discovering the light beyond it.

Soon enough, within minutes of watching, waiting, when the spark had been fanned into fire beneath her feet, she drew closer. Out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

She paused in front of him. He glanced down at her with obvious confusion, as if her presence as a bibelot was incomprehensiblea. Her lack of purpose confounded those around her into not knowing quite what to do with her.

They did not know that she watched them shed costumes, grow into new masks, layer false truths onto old ones. They did not know that she understood what they did. That she comprehended the world beyond what they saw. The reflections. She was just a bibelot.

And his confusion made her freeze. What was she doing? Attempting to shed the mask to see the person beneath? His reaction told more than her efforts ever would. He only saw a bibelot. Not a person.

Just as she had only seen dark beauty and assumed there was something more underneath. But perhaps, and this had never occurred to her before, perhaps the costumes were empty. Perhaps in some, they were only image. Simply reflections. The most captivating, most riveting, most awesome, were truly only something to admire.

And so she drew back to the shadows. The confusion on the mans face disappeared and he continued weaving mindlessly through the party. The encounter with the bibelot leaving no mark on his outward appearance.

She continued to watch. Decipher if there were truly people beneath the masks. Which ones were more puppets than persons. Reflections, empty, pretending to be whole. Being purposeless in her entirety. Shadowed as a decoration, a trinket, a backdrop to the party.

Charley Bibelot Blue.