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         Scarlett’s Estate tricked the small population of Amboise. Sprawling and rich, it was configured to fit the culture: French. Dark, yet beautiful. Bleak, yet romantic. But also so very dead. An exterior so flawless, twisted with misery and lies. 

         Within the estate was a room, and within that room sat a girl, eyeing herself. So perfect was she in the mirror. The strands of her hair; a starking burgundy red. Her pupils, piercing and deep black. Her mouth sharp and shaped (though tainted with words of disdain). The epitome of what I imagine to fall beneath the abstraction of femme fatale. 

         I stare into the illusory portrait reflected to me on this metallic never-ending glass of silver water; so clear and rejuvenating is it. 

         I smile thinly. This feeling is bittersweet. The estate toys with me; taunting me with the doll of my former self. The girl in the mirror never stops with its lies; for its presence exists to taunt me out of life. 

         The simplest motions of my hand never alter the reflection shown in silver liquid. In spite of how hard I shake it, nothing spills - it tricks me and you, time and time again; only exposing the exterior. Yet, it all seems clear. Beauty is a boon and a bane. Its complexity keeps us from realizing who the real monsters are. 

         November 3rd. The blaze is tinted lilac, merigold, and pink -  cascading forth into the Victorian sofa. The paintings in the mansion crackle under the passion of the heat. My clothes burn and sizzle. I’m plastered on the floor, choked by the incandescence of the room. The tangled red-pigmented strands of keratin intermix with the blaze that fuels upon it. Red and red fuse together. I see nothing and everything, nothing is clear. My vision is clouded. My face is in heat. I’m blinded and bleeding, the red is everywhere. 

         The psychological aspect of beauty is terrifying. My sisters see me through their blind eyes, but never pierce within - it’s a shame their eyes aren't glass; in truth, they haven’t been since the 3rd. Am I so hard to crack that my insides can never be divulged? Sadly, this is why deception exists in such a cruel world.

         The perspicacity in the glass is fake. It’s a lie producing the evil concealed beneath my layers of fraudulent innocence. This sinister truth amuses me: humanity yearns to protect its sensitive mind from reality. This place in my head? This is where my true happiness lies. Beyond my physicality, is my mind — my mind protects me, it’s the family I wish I had. 

         The silver liquid churns out from the glass, the glass cracks into miniature little crevices. Broken, and solid. At least I’m not blinded. Light bounces off these cracks and exposes me: Glistening coats of water laquer my eyeballs sending droplets of salty water rolling down, cascading down the valley of flesh. The moonshine creates a spotlight upon me, my eyes dawning with the realization. The reflection still persists, but the me I am is no longer the beautiful girl in the mirror. The me on the inside would never have that starking red hair, those luscious black eyes - alluring features now reduced to a distant memory. The others in the other rooms do, but I exist to be the hidden child. I exist with shame. The beauty once there died that day. I exist as a monster. Never am I in family portraits and never am I allowed to be seen. Scarlett's estate hides me forever; in its own twisted, dysfunctional way... I look again, my eyes are not where they are supposed to be. Neither are my lips, my hairline, my nose. It all looks so clear now. 

         How odd. 

         How bittersweet.


BY amadine alcantara


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