The prompt was:
The mirror’s surface remained devoid of any reflection.
The soft glow of the overhead light casts my shadow across the looking glass, but the glass isn’t looking as it should be. For only my shadow’s twin dances beyond the portal, but my own reflection remains yet to be seen. Where has it gone? Am I so invisible to the world that not even the mirror recognizes me before it? Is this not me, standing here for all to see?
My honeyed hair, which once flowed wildly down my back, now circles my brow as a braided crown fit for an enchanting princess. Is this not me, a resplendent portrait of royalty?
A layer of powders and creams conceal my facial flaws, blending colors and neutrals to highlight and accentuate what fair features lie beneath. Is this not me, a living doll painted in perfect beauty?
Moderation has been cast aside for fashion through the leather-and-cork needles I now walk upon, labeled by some as strikingly sensual but by others as sadomasochism. Is this not me, sacrificing comfort for misery?
I consider my heart-shaped neckline, the underlying padding and wire bringing a revealing glow to capture the appeal of the coveted womanly figure. Is this not me, a bare goddess of femininity?
My smile, friendly and inviting, never reaches my eyes. I feel its falsehood as strongly now as I have every day I’ve worn it. Of all the insecurities I’ve buried beneath this facade, my words are the only ones that lie of their own accord. My hopes and dreams, my loves and obsessions, my fears and pains, all masked behind the nectar that draws the flies.
Is this not me, a jester among self-proclaimed kings, truly?
Must the outward rhyme with the inward to be heard by those who listen?
Locks of my hair trickle down my back with the removal of each stiff pin until free it flows once more. Splashing water and bubbling soap send the colors running down the drain. A kick of each foot propels my shoes into dusty abandon. A shirt covers my chest and modesty gives thanks.
Ah, there you are, my reflection at last. And look! The joy in my eyes. So bright, so true. A smile that shines from my soul. My words are my strengths, the truths of my being, the proper cage of insecurity and self-doubt. Never again shall I wear the face of a crowd. The girl in the mirror nods her acceptance. This is me.