Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blessed With (Red Writing Hood Fiction Prompt)



Prompt: Physical beauty. It can open doors - and can also shut them.
Write a scene in which a physically beautiful character is somehow impacted by that trait. Come back and link up here Friday. Word limit is 600.



She stared hard at her reflection in the mirror. The mascara streaked tear tracks did nothing to hide the beauty that she'd been "blessed with". Blessed with, that's what her Mama had always told her, but she wondered if her Mama would ever understand what a curse it could be at times.

Ever since she was a little girl, people had told her she was beautiful. Oh, that was all right and fine for a little girl but as she got older, well...let's just say it was not always the best way to make friends and influence people. The men? Yeah, the men were impressed but she always wondered if they were truly interested in her or just liked the way she looked on their arm. Turned out that was the case with her ex.

Everyone always called them the perfect family. Two blonde heads, two sets of ice blue eyes, two perfect children who looked just like them. How sweet. But there was nothing sweet about it. There was nothing sweet about his constant nagging when she ate more than a bite or, God forbid, had dessert. Can't have the perfect wife gaining weight, now can we? There was nothing sweet about the leers from his buddies or the satisfaction she could see on his face where there should have been disgust. And there was nothing sweet about him moving on to to someone younger and prettier when he grew tired of her. No, there was no perfect family in that house.

The women were worse. Nod and smile, that was the most she'd get, they were polite but never approachable. Sometimes, they weren't even polite. Take this morning for instance. She'd walked the kids to their new bus stop, still grieving the loss of their home and father. Not that he'd been much of one, but kids still grieve. The group of moms gathered seemed friendly, all chatting and laughing as they approached.

"Hello." She'd started simple, smiling at them in turn.

The smiles she received in response were cold, forced. They'd managed some stilted conversation before one woman had blurted out, "I thought you would have driven them to school? Or sent them to a private one?"

She was rather taken aback. What was that supposed to mean? The mom in the sweatpants and tank top, hair pulled back into a tight ponytail, was only too anxious to explain.

"I mean, c'mon, look at you. You don't look like you've spent a lot of time hanging out at bus stops." The woman had stared her up and down, taking in her silk top, designer jeans, and wedge heeled sandals. The Coach bag probably didn't help matters but she doubted it would have made any difference if she'd told them she'd bought her whole outfit at a designer discount store.

She'd stuttered, "I...well..."

The bus came rambling around the corner and had saved her from further embarrassment. She had kissed the kids goodbye and sent them off, hoping their first day would go better than hers.

She'd watched as the other moms walked off together, their words floating back to her in the wind as they planned for coffee dates and sporting events. She knew it shouldn't bother her so much, she knew in the scheme of life this was rather trivial, but the tears came quickly, strongly, and had run themselves dry by the time she stood here, at the mirror, glaring at her own reflection and wishing she could just be average, wishing she fit in better, wishing someone would see the person inside the skin and mostly, wishing she'd never been "blessed with".






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