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Behind the Face

by Katie Jordan

 

The sign on the fair booth read ‘PSYCHIC READINGS’.

“I’ll catch up with you in a minute,” I told my mother.

I wanted to believe in a promising future, having dropped out of college single, overweight, and depressed after not having obtained my ‘MRS.’

A voice from inside the booth startled me. “You,” she said. “You look like a Jane.”

I gasped. She didn’t have a normal face: irregularly-shaped circles for a nose, bird-like slits on the sides of her head for ears, and eyebrows singed off, leaving a thick line of scarring above her big blue eyes, a perfect circle of porcelain skin surrounding each one.

“Y-yes,” I stammered. “How did you know?”

“I’m Matty Nevans.” Her mouth twitched as she pointed at another sign. “The reading costs five dollars.”

I paused, then opened my purse.

When she lifted the tent flap, she revealed a long, dimly-lit room with a concrete slab floor. When she closed it, the crinkly walls transformed into perfectly flat mirrors, and Matty disappeared. I tried to reopen the flap. It wouldn’t budge.

My face and body stretched and squashed in each frame of the mirror. When I got to the last pane, the clarity was flawless but the face staring back at me wasn’t mine. No ears. No nose. Large blue eyes under scarred eyebrows.

I felt my face, and ran out of the tent. “Mom! Mom!” I screamed.

I threw myself around her. She shrieked, and pried me off. With tears in my eyes, I could see the disdain and outright fear in her eyes. I was no longer Jane. I was Matty Nevans.

 

THE END

 

Author Bio

Katie lives in the Pacific Northwest with her bonsai enthusiast husband, Brad, two daughters, and the world’s most stubborn beagle, Bailey McBeagleston. She dabbles in writing dystopian, fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and women’s fiction.


4 Comments

Julie · November 1, 2020 at 2:09 am

When you’re not satisfied being yourself you have to settle for being someone else! Good one!

Kelly Matsuura · November 1, 2020 at 9:56 am

Very clever!

Shawn M. Klimek · November 1, 2020 at 10:32 am

Letting the mirrors animate the transformation was very clever.

Dawn DeBraal · November 1, 2020 at 10:42 pm

The picture is unsettling but the story has a good message and well worth the 5$ she paid! Sometimes it’s better to be a Plain Jane! Nice Job!

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