Belle of the Masquerade
By Poisoned Twinkles
(A/N: The edited version of the 500-word story for the lost souls based on a very striking painting I saw at the mall. Enjoy.)
Do you think life is a party? Because she thought so. She thought it was a chance to wear all those lovely masks she kept. You know, the ones with sequins, and feathers, and all that glitter glued to the velvety cardboard. And she loved how exquisite each mask was, with the way it felt so secure when she tied it around her head with a golden ribbon. Or maybe any other kind of ribbon for that matter.
Yes, she loved masks, for they made her feel beautiful. They made her glow in the party. And whenever people noticed her beauty, she'd smile underneath that mask. She'd laugh at the people and charm them; she'd dance around their heads and thank them, thank them for praising her beauty.
It was in that way that she had built her shield. Each mask she wore served as the guardian of her corroded personality, her presumably 'ugly' face; she was the very definition of plastic. And yet, she denounced that piece of fact. In her defence, her masks weren't synthetic slaps of satin which served to make her less confident about herself. They were simply the cocoons of her internal alterations. They protected her from exposing the crudeness of her visage. She wasn't ready. She wasn't ready to come out into the brutal cold, for she knew that she would only be rejected. Her masks would protect her for the meantime.
But one day, something unexplainably terrible had occurred, which made her stop wearing masks. What was it?
It was a time when she was just about to wear the most dazzling mask she kept (I remember it resembled the milky twilight) to this party of grandeur that would give her the prestige she desperately craved for. I watched her caress the fine masterpiece as she lifted the ribbon to tie it around her head. But the moment she saw her reflection, she became completely alarmed. Her eyes grew wide with shock.
There was already a mask on her face; one she had never remembered having. It was the most bewildering colour of pastel sky, with a fusion of clouds exploding all over. The satin burned her fingers when she touched it, but it felt extremely icy on her face. I guess she screamed since I saw her open her mouth wide, her ruby lips parting, and her eyes carrying smoky tears.
She looked at her hands, trying to figure out what was happening.
And that's when she saw what she was holding. She wasn't holding her most beautiful mask of twinkling dusk anymore, but she was holding her real face which was on a porcelain stick.
She realised that the unknown mask had become her face, and her real face had become just another mask to add to her collection.
She didn't feel beautiful at all.
So now you ask me. How do I know her? How do I know of the thousand masks she kept?
I was her mirror.