Challenge #01685-D224: Alarming ReflectionsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #fiction7 years ago


Traditionally, vampires could not see their reflection because mirrors were silver-backed. With the invention of aluminum-backed mirrors, a vampire sees their reflection for the first time only to find out... they are the ugliest thing they have ever seen. -- Anon Guest

For centuries, Vampires avoided mirrors. Silvered mirrors would not show them, and the ones backed in gold harmed them. Some would have mirrors made that were backed with brass or bronze... but by and large, Vampires avoided mirrors.

Pierce Opal Silkyoak was quite shocked in 1953 when, moving into her new residence at night, she saw someone else moving about. It was the shock of her undeath. Fortunately, Vampires are immune to heart-attacks and she investigated the motion with a handy weapon.

The ugly stranger was also walking cautiously and carrying the same baseball bat.

It took Pierce some time to realise that she was looking at a mirror and seeing herself. The hair was brushed, plaited, and then ignored. The dress was simple and black and looked like it hadn't been maintained in hundreds of years. Which it hadn't. The shoes were comfortable, roomy, black, and as ugly as sin. The sun had stolen her colour and left a bloodless corpse walking around.

"This," she said, "will not do."

Her assistant-thrall was sent out to procure every ladies' magazine available at the nearest newsstand. And install the curtains when they came back. Once that was accomplished, Pierce spent the majority of her day reading up on the current trends and beauty regimes. And found the best places to shop. And found out about a little modern wonder called Plastic Surgery. And makeup.

It was not an overnight transformation. Her thrall had to get most things for her because sunlight was her death. But when Pierce acquired a telephone, things... changed. Surgeons couldn't do anything for her sunless pallor, but they could adjust her nose and cheekbones. Add a little fullness to her lips. And edit her unfortunate chin. Makeup solved the rest.

The really good thing about surgery was that they gave her the blood, directly.

She took pains to get everything right the first time. She'd seen what multiple operations had done to some. Frog-like mouths. Skin stretched taut over their bones until it was ready to rip. And, after enough operations, the skin lost its living lustre and started looking as plastic as the surgery that made it. Besides, she had no real love of pain.

Her eighteenth-century stature was masked with kitten heels. Though she still wore black, it was the stylish black with a select few embellishments that always made her a figure to notice. Therefore, she had to keep moving. A new city, a time in seclusion. A diet that was difficult for mere mortals to obtain and maintain. And, of course, her famous aversion to sunlight.

Life was good to her. People were good to her, too. Now that she could stand her reflection.

[AN: Obligatory grumbling about Vamps being vulnerable to GOLD because it was incorruptible. I think the silver thing is symbolic of purity retroactively...]

[Image: (c) Can Stock Photo / lunamarina]

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