Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

Arabella hates mirrors. She hates their cold surfaces and their impersonal stares. She hates the belief that breaking one brings seven years bad luck. She hates the way they seem to be everywhere she looks.

But most of all, she hates them because of what she sees reflected.

Once, she was beautiful. Men flocked to her and women envied her. She was the Face that graced a thousand billboards. She relished in the worship and the adulation. She relished in her body and her face. She dressed herself in the latest fashions and kept herself young and beautiful through an endless string of surgeries. She used and discarded people like Kleenex, never caring about anything except her looks. Those above all she cared about.

She had no friends, only hangers on and lackeys that she used to advance her way further up the rung of success. She clawed her way to the top, never caring about those she stepped on to get there. To her, there was only one thing that mattered-Arabella.

But such an attitude cannot go unpunished forever, and Arabella found this out.

Even now, she has trouble remembering everything. There's a party, then all of a sudden there's smoke, and then an intense and horrible heat blasts her face, blinding her. After that, she recalls snippets of words, phantom-like conversations.

"...Almost completely burnt away..."

"We'll try to save as much of her face as we can..."

"She'll never look the same..."

"...Blind in one eye..."

She opens her eyes to darkness, and a professional voice-a doctor's, she thinks-is telling her that she had a narrow escape. "However, you did sustain some serious injuries."

"How serious?!" Her voice is raspy, and she trembles. The doctor hesitates.

"Miss Wilkins, you need to get some rest. We can discuss this more lucidly in the morning."

"I want a mirror."

"Miss Wilkins..."

"BRING ME A FUCKING MIRROR!"

The doctor sighs in resignation. "There's one on the wall behind you."

Arabella turns, and for a moment she thinks that an elaborate joke is being played on her. Surely the maimed and disfigured monster she sees isn't her! Why, she doesn't have those hideous scars! Both her eyes are a brilliant blue, not this faded gray color, and her hair is a long, luxurious black, not short and stubbly. Her lips are full and plump, not cracked and pitted like a dried up riverbed.

But then reality hits her. That is her. That-creature, that monster from the pits of Hell is her. Her hands come up, digging into her cheeks as her eyes go wide in horror, and she screams, and screams, and screams, at the realization that her life is over, that her looks, her perfect looks, are gone.

The screaming dissolves into insane laughter, and Arabella grabs the bedside lamp and throws it at the mirror, shattering it into a million pieces.

'Now', she thinks, 'I am beautiful again. I will always be beautiful.'

Always.

Forever.

Who's the fairest of them all?