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Her DLS (Dirty Little Secret)
Once upon a time, in an enchanted land there was a realm of magic and mystery ruled by a beautiful queen. Like the star she was named for, the queen, Adorra, was a beacon of hope for her people. All loved and worshiped her as a goddess. But the queen was not happy, for she had a terrible secret.
As a child Adorra had been gawky and awkward with straggly blond hair, squinty gray eyes and a face full of pimples. Her parents loved her very much for she was their only child but despaired because they knew that all who saw her would despise her for her ugliness. The servants whispered in corners in tones of pity about how the poor princess would never find a handsome prince to marry, for whom, except her parents, could love someone so ugly? Adorra’s parents hid her away from everyone, even the suitors who sought her hand in marriage. Locked away from outside contact, Adorra set herself to explore the only world she knew, the castle. She explored from the highest turrets to the lowest dungeons. One day in a forgotten catacomb behind a hidden passageway she found something that changed her life forever, a Magic Mirror.
“Dorry! Come up to dinner!” Adorra’s mother’s magically enhanced voice echoed as it reached the small Mirror Room.
Adorra reluctantly twisted away from the mirror to yell up to her mother that she was on her way, and then looked back at the Mirror. She was always beautiful in the Mirror, always looked the way a real princess was suppose to look.
“I wish I was as beautiful as you.” She whispered to her reflection before going back up to the family rooms. She turned back to the door and hurried up the stairs too quickly to see the ripple that crossed the mirror.
Every day after that Adorra grew more beautiful and the mirror became uglier. Everyone who had known her before this miraculous change was amazed at her extraordinary transformation. Adorra never told anyone the truth. The Mirror was her dirty little secret.
Adorra had not seen the Mirror in ten years. Not since she realized what had happened and how the Mirror’s magic had made her as beautiful as her reflection had once been. The last time she had seen the Mirror it had been as ugly as she had been Before. That’s how she thought of it: Before and After. Adorra was afraid, afraid that if she saw the Mirror her stunning, magical face would disappear. She told herself that was silly. Hadn’t the Mirror been down in that forgotten Room for decades, centuries even, before she had uncovered it? Even so, she couldn’t bring herself to even peak at it; what if someone should realize the truth?
Adorra’s beauty was famed throughout the land and her twenty-fifth birthday was going to be the party of the age. Everyone who was anyone was going to be there. Fountains of Champaign, mountains of sweets, and tons of presents encircled a huge twenty-five course feast that had the birthday guests laughing in delight at the delicious flavors and groaning in despair at the amount.
Adorra stood surrounded by exotically dressed princes and wealthy foreign dignitaries flirting. A flash of dimple and a sparkle of her lovely gray eyes had them all falling over themselves and each other, begging for her hand in marriage. Candlelight glinted off her shining golden hair making her seem as though she really was a goddess, or at the very least an angel.
Adorra giggled as she sipped the glass of Champaign that one of the handsome men had brought her. She had lost count, there were simply too many! She giggled again, not sure if she meant too many handsome men or glasses of Champaign.
Maybe it was the Champaign or the arrogance that had grown out of years of shameless flattery and adoration after so many years of being ugly that made her decide to confront the Mirror. After all, she was a great queen, more beautiful than any other woman in the world, and one of the most powerful people to ever live. Nothing and no one could stand in her way, especially not some dumb Mirror! Adorra giggled again at the thought of the Mirror being intelligent.
Maybe it is though, after all, didn’t it make me beautiful? Adorra smiled as she escaped from her party guests into the darkened castle. Yes, and what was given can be taken away, said a voice in the back of her mind that sounded remarkably like her stern governess that had schooled Adorra in all the necessary skills for a proper lady. This was an uncomfortable thought because that governess had always said that Adorra would never amount to anything. Well look at me now, b!@#*, Adorra thought viciously as she squashed the distant voice in her head.
It didn’t take her long to reach the hidden passageway in front of the Room. It was as though her feet still remembered the rough hewn stones and had just been waiting to carry her down them once more. She stopped before the small door to the Room giving herself one last time to change her mind. Nope, I’m going to do it, she thought, my victorious celebration won’t be fulfilled if I don’t. With a laugh she pushed the door open.
The Mirror still shown as brightly as it had the day she had bid it farewell over a decade ago, but the face in its reflective surface horrified Adorra. Pockmarked and scarred, a woman aged beyond her years glared out at her. Gone were the golden locks that had graced Adorra’s head, in their stead there was a dreadfully matted, gray mane that hung over the woman’s shoulders like a shroud of death and despair. Adorra couldn’t make out the eyes of the vestige because of the crack that split the Mirror in half. She didn’t want to see those eyes for she was sure that they were as terrible as the rest of the woman.
Adorra couldn’t seem to pull her gaze from the grotesque image the Mirror showed her. She drew a deep breath, preparing to flee from the Room. The woman in the Mirror smirked, revealing rotten teeth. Adorra screamed. Her shriek bounced off the walls and echoed back at her, making it sound as though a thousand banshees filled the Room with their desolate cries. The Mirror shattered, and with it the magic that kept Adorra beautiful. Adorra’s hands flew automatically to her face to protect it from shards of glass. She felt the pockmarks and scars that had adorned the reflection in the Magic Mirror. The shock and horror of this discovery struck Adorra’s heart, making it skip, falter, and then stop.
After the party the servants looked for their beloved queen, but never found her. Instead, they found a hideous crone dressed as the queen had been. A single shaft of glass from a broken Mirror pierced the woman’s heart.