From Red Writing Hood we are challenged in 500 words or less, to write about a makeover of your choice (hair, clothes, makeup, facial hair for the menfolk), fictional or memoir/creative non-fiction. Let’s think about how physical appearance changes can affect the inner landscape.
From Story Dam we have 750 words for the following:
Dam Burst Prompt:
For this week you can write fiction or non-fiction. Write about a time that you, or your character, had to do something you really didn’t want to do and the truth that came from the doing of it.
Wet Feet Prompt:
Start the sentence with, I remember the time I had to… and keep writing. If you get stuck start the next sentence again with, I remember the time I had to…
In the following fictional piece, I opted to go with a small window of time between the makeover and doing the thing we don't want to do, and the 500 word limit to meet both site requirements.
I offer the following in response: Fairytale Ended
Mild soap removed the evening from her face. Foamy lathers stained with mascara and rouge disappeared down the hole of the wash basin. The mask was off.
Numb, Tracy looked in the mirror and Truth looked back. The fairytale was over. Her skin was marred with splotchy-pinks from the recent scrub. Pores were small, but visible under the vanity lights. The perfectly groomed eyebrows perched above her blue eyes failed to find a purpose on the crest of her naked face. Why be extraordinary when the rest of the image was so glaringly normal?
She exhaled and reached for a nondescript plastic bottle, splashing its contests cautiously on a cotton pad. The cold liquid leeched through to her fingers as its antiseptic odor caused her nose to twitch. She dabbed the pad at her face and felt the familiar sting of witch-hazel attacking her sensitive pores, stripping away the last, broken layer of skin. Another look in the mirror told her she was getting closer to her core person. After a rosewater treatment, she left the midnight princess at the sink and walked away as the little cinder girl.
Her cellphone pinged as she crossed the darkened threshold of her room. She hesitated, eager for bed, debating over her answer. With a flick of her thumbs, the keyboard slid out from the touch screen.
You still awake? The yellow conversation bubble was from her friend Amy.
No, she replied. She ignored the text pings after that and hung her wedding dress in the closet with a sense of finality. As she climbed in bed, she heard a soft rap at her bedroom door before it opened.
“Trace?” her brother asked. “Mad at me?”
“No, Josh, I’m not mad at you.” She made room on her bed for him to sit. Propping her shoulders against the headboard, she swallowed the lump in her throat. Her brother was her best friend. She idolized him when they were children. He protected her fiercely. How could she be mad at him for that? “I’m glad you punched him, or I’d’ve killed him.”
The light from the hallway highlighted his smirk to its fullest advantage. “If I didn’t think I’d spend the night in jail, I’d’ve killed him too. He’s lucky I didn’t want witnesses.” He rubbed his fist and asked softly, "You gonna be okay?"
"No." Her cellphone pinged again, and she groaned. “My bridesmaids won’t leave me alone. What’s the chatter on Facebook? I’ve been afraid to look.”
“Oh, there’s several threats posted on his wall.” He gave a short laugh. “That bastard will get what’s coming to him for sure.”
“Eventually I’ll have to face caterers and return gifts. Somehow try to pay Dad back.” she said. “Right now, I just feel so numb.”
He stood to leave. “Don’t worry about anything. Tomorrow we’ll take your dress to the shooting range and use it for target practice.”
She laughed for the first time that night. “Awesome. Love you, Josh.”