Beauty and Madness

By Joseph Logsdon

Victoria Bronson was a very beautiful woman. Like most women, Victoria wanted to be loved, but she soon found that men were only interested in her beauty. As the years passed, Victoria began to feel worthless and broken. In Victoria's delicate mind, her skin had become old and tired. After years of self-loathing and doubt, Victoria finally decided to have plastic surgery.

Madison Winter was Victoria's best friend. Like Victoria, Madison was quite beautiful, but she had learned that beauty was only a passing quality. One rainy afternoon, Victoria visited her close friend.

"Madison, can I ask you a question?" Victoria asked.

"That depends, why are you here?"

"I need your advice," she answered.

"What's wrong?"

"Do you promise to keep this conversation between us?"

"I promise," she answered.

"How do you feel about plastic surgery?"

"It's okay, I guess."

"Have you ever considered it?"

"Why, do you think I need to have an operation?"

"No, it's not that."

"What is it, then?"

"Do you think I'm ugly?"

"Vicky, you're the most beautiful woman that I've ever seen."

"Do you mean that?"

"Yes," she answered.

"You've always been a good friend, even when I was horrible and mean to you."

"That's water under the bridge."

"Still, I need men to love me."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about my face, about the fact that I'm an old, tired woman. If I were smarter, I could get over the fact that my beauty is dying."

"Darling, you're smart, you just can't see it."

"I wish I could believe that, I really do."

"Trust me, you can believe it."

"Even if you're right, I still need to get that operation."


"I've already made the necessary preparations."

"Have you found a surgeon?"

"Yeah, one of the best."

"Can you afford him?"

"Unlike most surgeons, he's very cheap."

"That isn't always a good thing, Victoria."

"Believe me, he knows his stuff."

"Are you sure about this?"

"If I had any doubts, I wouldn't be doing this."

"What is he going to do, exactly?"

"Well, first he's going to operate on my nose, then he's going to operate on my breasts and jaw."

"Do you want me to come with you?"

"You can, but only if you want too."

"Are you sure that you know what you're doing?"

"Trust me, I know what I'm doing."

After several suspenseful days, Victoria's surgery was finally scheduled. One drizzly afternoon, Victoria and Madison made their way to the surgeon's office. Once there, they sat quietly and patiently in the waiting room. Madison was afraid, not for herself, but for her friend. Within minutes of arriving, the surgeon finally came out of his office.

"Hello, I'm Walter Paterson."

"It's nice to meet you, Mr. Paterson," Victoria stated.

"Who's your friend?" Walter asked.

"This is Madison Winter," she answered.

"It's nice to meet you," Madison said.

"You should've come alone!" Walter shouted.


"This might seem strange, but I do my best work when it's just me and the patient."

"Tell me, what kind of surgeon are you, Mr. Paterson?" Madison asked.

"I'm a good surgeon, but I don't like nosy people, understand?"

"It was only a question," Madison replied.

"Victoria, your friend will have to wait outside."


"I told you, I work better alone!"

"Madison, will you wait outside?"

"Vicky, I don't trust him."

"Do you want my help or not?" Walter asked.

"Madison, I'm begging you!"

"If it will make him happy, I'll leave."

"Thank you, I appreciate it," Victoria replied.

"If you hurt her, you'll answer to me, understand?" Madison threatened.

"After tonight, Victoria will look better than ever," Walter replied.

"For your sake, I hope you're right," Madison stated as she left the room.

"Now, shall we begin?" Walter stated as he led Victoria into the operating room.

"Will it hurt?" Victoria asked.

"I assure you, you won't feel a thing."

Without further hesitation, Walter strapped Victoria to the operating table. Within minutes, Victoria felt faint and out of breath.

"Are you comfortable, Victoria?"

"I think so," she answered.

"I hope so, I'd hate to wreck that pretty face."

"How long have you been doing this?"

"Frankly, I don't even have a license."

"What are you talking about?"

"Goodnight, Victoria."

Within seconds, Victoria fell into a deep sleep. As she slept, the knife penetrated her face repeatedly. After hours of endless violence, Walter Paterson put down his tools and left the room. Eventually, Victoria awoke and found herself strapped to the table. Within seconds of her awakening, Walter and Madison entered the room. In that moment, Victoria was horrified as Madison kissed Walter on the lips.

"What's going on?" Victoria asked in a weak voice.

"Isn't it obvious, Victoria?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Come look, you'll like what you see," Madison stated as she produced a mirror from her pocket.

"Madison, what's going on?"

"Don't you like the new you?"

After several agonizing seconds, Victoria saw her reflection.

"Oh my God, is that me?"

"I'm afraid so," Madison replied.

"I'm hideous."

"So, how does it feel?"

"Madison, what's going on?"

"Shut up, you bitch!" Madison shouted as she grabbed Victoria by the throat.

"Madison, you're hurting me."

"I know, that's the point."

"Why are you doing this?"

"After all these years, Victoria Bronson is finally uglier than me."

"What are you talking about?"

"I was always jealous of you, even as a child. Do you remember a boy named Tony Watson?"

"Yeah, why?"

"You stole him from me, remember?"

"Yes, I remember."

"Well, I've finally gotten revenge!"

"Do you really hate me that much?"

"I don't hate you, I despise you! You've been beautiful all your life, but you've never been able to see it, not even when boys got on their knees and begged for a piece of you. I would've given anything to have been you, but now you will give anything to be me."

"It's a shame, she was a pretty woman, at least before the surgery," Walter stated.

"Who are you?" Victoria asked.

"He's my boyfriend," Madison answered.

"How is that possible?"

"I knew every surgeon that you contacted would be too expensive, so I decided to make one up."

"She even gave me a website," Walter laughed.

"It was all a lie?"

"It was, except for the part about you getting a new face," Madison laughed.

"Kill me now, just kill me now!"

"You'll have to live with that face for the rest of your life," Madison laughed.

"Kill me now!"

"I'm tempted, but this is more fun, at least for me."

Madison and Walter left the room, leaving Victoria to her own devices. After several hours, she managed to get free, but her life would never be the same. From that day on, Victoria Bronson would be an ugly woman, an old woman, and a sad woman.