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The Price of Beauty
The glass in the mirror has an icy feel to it as I run my fingers absently over it. My reflection stares back at me, my face is hauntingly expresionless. The air around me is still and empty, trying desperatly to fill in the faded spaces.
Behind me, Corra cooes softly about my looks. Just like she’s been paid to do. I’ve become accustomed to tuning her out. Just as I do with the cat-calls from local village boys. Now it’s all just a faint reminder. A reminder that I do not need nor want.
“Mirabelle,” Corra beckons for me attention. In the reflection of the looking glass, I see her holding a evening gown that is the color of the winter sky, dappled with crystals around the skirt. Any girl would fawn over such a thing. I sniff in uninterest at the dress, moving my shoulders slightly in a shrugging motion. Corra sets it down and starts rummaging through the closet again.
“Anything would look beautiful in you, Princess,” Corra mumurs, her back to me. She cannot see the face I make in the mirror. Corra is short, on the larger side, and has skin that has been darkened by the sun. Her dark hair is pulled back into a bun. She is a maid, and today is her turn to help me dress for dinner. I’m counting the minutes until it is over.
I turn back to mirror, and once more, I find myself looking at the flawless face staring back at me. My hair is wavy and long, flowing down my back and it is a rich shade of gold. Though in different lighting, it can look almost be a light brown and sometimes can look dishwater blonde. My skin is the color of skim milk, my lips are pink, and my cheeks are rosy. My eyes are a spring water blue. I am beautiful, just as they all say.
And I hate it.
Corra is still rummaging through the closets, humming to herself, absent mindedly reminding me every few seconds of my perfection. Your flawless, Mira, she’ll say brightly. Your breathtaking, absolutely stunning. Any girl would kill to be you.
Kill to be me. Dry humor drips into my thoughts. If only she knew the truth.
And suddenly, I cannot take her remarks anymore. My head throbs. The mirror has a stinging chill to it as I touch it, my other hand is gripping the handle. Prince Hunter gave it me as a gift so I could look at myself every longing second of the day. Rage trickles into my veins. Hunter is more a fool than a prince.
If only I’d known that in the beginning.
It’s a split second decision. All the cooes and the sweet words and the comments on my looks are swirling in my head, hatred is pulsing through my bloodstream. I rip my gaze away from the mirror for once and for all. I’ve had enough looking for a lifetime.
Corra has stopped rummaging. She’s found another gown. I want to tear the dress to pieces. “Mira, what about this one-”
Her voice falteres as the shattering of glass sounds. I watch in deep rooted pleasure as the mirror smashes against the wall, showering tiny glass crystals to the hard wooden floor like delicate hail stones crashing to ground. Corra makes a whimpered sound in the back of her throat. A satisfied sound comes from mine.
And then I turn to face her full on. Corra recoils at my looks, just as they all do. Her large eyes take in my face and my hair and my lips and my eyes in one aweing sweep. But I do not care.
“You may leave now, Corra,” I say emotionlessly. Corra swallows in mix of fear and deign.
“But, L-lady Mirabelle...the mirror....”her voice falters at my stoney gaze.
“Leave, Corra,” it is more of a order than a direction. But there is some kind of pleading hidden deep within my words. I don’t know if Corra hears it or not. But she leaves either way.
When to door closes, I find myself sitting in the floor. A tear slips down my cheek. All that’s left is silence and a vaste emptiness. It’s all I’ve got left. No lover, no family, no friends. Just looks and lonely castle. If I ever find that witch, I’ll tell her I was wrong. But she’s far gone now, and she’s probably laughing at my stupidity. I was stupid girl when I wished for beauty. I didn’t think my dream had a catch.
But it did.
Because with beauty, there is always a price.