Show’s Over, Folks (Inspiration Monday, January 2013)

I hate to make my debut submission for Inspiration Monday on such a dark note, but this was the way the prompt took me.  Sorry guys!  🙂

Show’s Over, Folks

The music stops and a desultory scattering of applause heralds our departure from the stage.  The club is half-empty again tonight.

A punter grabs hold of my wrist as I make my way through the tables to the dingy little alcove that serves as a dressing room, and he shoves a piece of paper down the top of my skimpy thong, taking as much time as he can before the bouncers check out what he’s doing.

I brush him aside and shake my head at Tony, who’s already starting forward, smacking one meaty fist into the palm of his other hand.  It was a twenty pound note; I can live with it for twenty pounds.

Mitzi and I draw aside the cheap velvet curtain and perch before the dressing table in front of the cracked and bloom-ridden mirror, preparing to patch up the ravages of the hot, smoky beams of the footlights.  The alcove reeks of perfume and stale sweat; Mitzi’s not big on personal hygiene.

“Big date tonight,” she says, applying another layer of mascara so thick that it looks like a couple of spiders are crawling across her eyelids, “Tony’s taking me to a McDonalds.”

Her laugh is harsh, cracked and bitter.

I shift my boobs so they sit more closely together, even though it’s a futile gesture.  I’m not the woman I was.

Mitzi falls uncharacteristically silent, and we continue our routine.

“How long you been with Tony now?” I say, more to break the silence than from any wish to know.

She doesn’t answer.  I think she might be working it out.

I glance at her reflection in the mirror, and gasp as I see that she’s drawn a thick scarlet line of lipstick from the right side of her forehead, right across her eyelid and nose to the bottom of her left ear, like a great chasm in the pale background of her face.  She’s smiling.

I turn to face her.  Stunned, I can see that her face is unmarked, though she’s gazing at her reflection, and I know she sees what I see there, because horror is stamped all over her features.

I look back to the mirror; the reflection is still there, smirking with unholy glee before it transfers its gaze to me.

Mitzi groans, and grabs at my hand, and I see her eyes rolling back in her head as her body sags.

I look back at the mirror, and see that Mitzi’s reflection has now placed an arm around my shoulders, and is tugging at my hair to tilt my head back, whilst it etches a crimson line of lipstick right around my throat.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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9 Responses to Show’s Over, Folks (Inspiration Monday, January 2013)

  1. Judee says:

    Oh my, you do have a vivid imagination. Your first foray into Inspiration Monday is going to make an impression, for sure! You always take it the extra mile.

    Oh and have a great 2013, full of creativity and fun.


  2. Sandra says:

    Thanks Judee, I hope I’m not generating the wrong impression. 😉 Thanks for your good wishes, and the same to you. I’m hoping to be a bit more prolific this year, I kind of taled off the last few months of 2012.


  3. Sharp work! Creepy and riveting. What haunts these women, I wonder; an old ghost from the theater the building used to be, or the ghosts of themselves, lost under layers of makeup and pasted-on smiles?
    Great stuff – glad to have you on board!


  4. Sandra says:

    Thanks for commenting. I’ve always been fascinated (and slightly unnerved) 🙂 by the idea of reflections having a personality of their own.


  5. Pingback: Inspiration Monday: sky writing « BeKindRewrite

  6. Mike says:

    Wow! That was great Sandra. This could be the start of a longer story or a series around this mirror and the horror it inflicts.


  7. Oh, I love it. Descriptive, great pacing, and a timely end. Mirrors are creepy in general and when you start thinking about reflections having a life of their own… Ick.


  8. elmowrites says:

    Wow, Sandra, you never cease to amaze me with you versatilty. Another vivid story, this time scary. Welcome to InMon, I love that I’ll get to read more from you this year.


  9. Abraham says:

    Wow! I think you write very well.
    Disturbing story.


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