March 2, 2009
By Jade Borgeson BRONZE, Carver, Massachusetts
Jade Borgeson BRONZE, Carver, Massachusetts
1 article 1 photo 0 comments

Looking in the mirror, she saw her face reflected cloudy and moist from the thickening condensation
of shower water gathering there. She removed the strand of ribbon from her hair; and strands of her
hair from her head, obliviously , with her new dark red paddle brush- with its blow-drying stylistic
features and patented anti-frizz technology- as she ran it through her wavy beach blonde hair.
Disgust. she thought. She always thinks these things. She always thinks in the mist and mirrors of
her paranoia, as she washes her skin with the burning alcohol, pulls back her excess hair with the
industrialized metal clips, and stares at, and only ever into, her own watery, deep, prominent,
dark, blue eyes.


Thick beads of sweat and gathered shower mist begin to cultivate upon her face; the light, strong
hairs which together form the distinct curve of her eye brow are a temporary resting place, a
distraction for those drips of moisture traveling down her face, which will later descend down the
curve of her nose, or the bulge of her cheek, to finally reach the sharp point of her sharp, pale,
'bearded' chin She turns from her sanctuary of self to stare into the cave of a shower that's
obstructing her view. Mumbling, she places the cotton ball back onto the marble counter, and begins
to rise.

Everyday. She thinks. She thinks too much sometimes.

The arch of her foot floats to the shower mat; her French manicured toe nails striking against the
grey piece of material beneath them. The mat only moves a sliver of an inch upon contact, but moves
none the less, and has over the past few weeks, gradually made its way towards a completely
alternate location than where it started.

She removes her thoughts from her head, the clothes from her back. I hate the cave. She thinks.
It's dark in there, with the black, thick shower curtain on one side, and the off white tiles on
the other. The light has been broken, and only dead flies occupy the space between bulb and cover.
Sometimes there are spiders. She hates spiders.

Soap. Water. Product on fingers. Fingers through hair. Breath. Dirt. Aging skin.

Someone's there. The doorknob, it moved? We can never tell if it moved. Turning, Creeking
Doorknob. A thief.

Alone in the cave, just don't think of it. Shave off your unwanted hairs, right down to the roots,
down the pipes. Distract us. They'll grow back tomorrow. Everyday. A definite noise. Something
must be there, there is something else. Confirmed, it must be there, the thief. The monster. The
rapist. The bad thing.

She struggles to come to a conclusion, razor still in hand. Everyday she thinks. Just like the

Pull back the curtain. Scare it away with her looks, her awareness of its presence. Seems logical.

Fabric. Hand. The force of some push or pull. Openness. Space. The view of the bathroom door.


Nothing is there. She feels like it's a mean prank they play. There's some sort of bad thing
here' The mirror stares at us. We stare at the door. Disgust.The dead flies seem to buzz in the
same way that the doorknob seems to turn.

Stop. Is thought. The level of ridiculousness becomes apparent to her; her paranoia suddenly an
obvious chemical imbalance or mental disorder. Anger rushes to her cheeks and blurs her eyes. Self.
Self-inflicted anger. So frustrating. Everyday she does this. We do this. It does this.

Subconsciously, she clutches the curtain for stability, squeezing her eyes as tight as the
constraint around her mind seems to be.

A sudden burst and she slams the curtain; black, ugly, and thick- closed, accidentally cutting her
wrist with the razor gripped in her other hand as she closes off from the light.

Red. Red is the wrist, Red like the water, Red like the hairbrush.

Blood. A fall. A scream. The razor hits the bottom of the shower floor, splashing in the burning

Grab. Grip. Clenched teeth. Tears. Hysteria

It won't stop.

Cheek to wall, she cries. The moisture everywhere; of tears, blood, hot water. I think I'm alive
still. I know no one's here. I hate the blood. I hate the razor. I hate the flies.

I hate the mirror. Disgust.

The author's comments:
My short story is a literary commentary on the effects of modernized media upon youth, particularly young women. Popularized media such as television broadcasts from major networks, fashion magazines, and "mass-advertising" have created many issues for the youth growing up in our society, making them question things such as their measure of beauty and identity, having to measure to the standards of these media influences. Portrayed as the quintessences of perfected beauty and sexuality, women, and even men, in popularized media set an impossible and imposing standard on young minds. Already struggling to determine who she herself is as part of growing up, the main character of the story also struggles to make herself meet the standards these influences set; causing mental anguish, confusion, and grief in a variety of ways.

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