'The Price of Vanity' by Bernie Laverty



They all come to gaze and I love to see them. They don’t realise I see everything, every nuance, every flick of the hair, every expression in their quest for perfection. They can never resist a sideways glance, I am beguiling you see. Some are addicted to checking every day. They pout and stare analytically with no inhibitions to hinder their indulgence. I love these people, because I hold a secret they don’t know. They have no idea what I can do. Well there has to be a price doesn’t there? I am providing a service after all.

I always show the truth even when their look of disbelief touches my heart. I do feel sorry for some when I meter out my magic, but I try to do it slowly and gently, but not for the vain ones. I especially love inflicting a spot, usually septic yellow, surrounded by a red angry ring, just like Saturn. Or a blemish and worry lines that still manage to seep through thick layers of make-up, like annoying creases on a freshly ironed linen suit. Some have the audacity to try and mask the signs of age. They don’t understand that time cannot be camouflaged, so I give them a drooping eye lid or a frown, like a ploughed field, just to remind them. If I’m feeling really vindictive, I take their confidence too and then languish in their efforts to try and get it back.

So remember, the next time you gaze in the mirror and see a new wrinkle or a grey hair, this is the price you pay for your vanity and all mirrors charge.



FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words).  So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?
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