Created for The First Line Spring Submission: (Write a flash fiction using the first line prompt.)
Rayna sat in front of the mirror removing her makeup and wondered who she would discover underneath. She tossed the wad of towelettes, covered in blackest-black Long Lash Mascara and deepest beige CoverGirl liquid foundation and bronzing powder, into the Hello Kitty trash can alongside the scuffed table that doubled as desk and vanity. She stared with great disdain at the face in the beveled glass mirror. Without the skillful application of foundation and bronzer, her naked face appeared hideously bloated. Father said she was fat; therefore, her face lacked structure. It lacked the stately definition of her mother's strong proud nose and contours of her sharp cheekbones. A face that defined their heritage. Their people.
Father’s surgical tools, tools she’d taken out of his medical kit while he and Mother slept peacefully in the oversized master suite downstairs, were arranged neatly on a stainless-steel tray in descending order, based on the size of each blade. Using the largest scalpel, she cried out, biting down on her bottom lip as she quickly made the first cuts, then turned her head—first left, then right—gauging the depth of the slices to her cheeks. Rayna turned her face forward, frowning with the critical eye of an artist as she judged the scope of the work that would be required. Though she wasn’t a doctor or even Catholic, she crossed herself and prayed for guidance from Saint Barbara, the patron saint of surgeons before proceeding.
She placed the used blade in the sterilization pan then pulled a handful of fluffy cotton balls from the glass canister situated to the right of the pan, plunging them in a vial of alcohol to soak. She would need them later; she couldn’t risk getting an infection.
She had a vision of the girl she would become. A girl with a new face embodying her people, a girl her father would love.
Rayna continued the process, moaning as she sheared away mounds of flesh, one thin layer at a time. She was an artistic genius with the scalpel, shaving and sculpting while whispering through clenched teeth, “No pain; no gain.” Cutting then dabbing with the saturated cotton balls, she scaled down to increasingly smaller blades as the work became more intricate until there was nothing left to carve away.
She laid the final scalpel, a tiny #15 blade, in the pan and used a handful of dry cotton balls to absorb the puddle of blood on the table. She stared at her new face. Father would be so happy. The high prominent cheekbones—a desirable genetic trait of her ancestors and proof of her proud heritage—were finally visible.
She wept at the beauty of the thing she’d become. Rayna’s transformation was complete. She was a masterpiece of destruction. A living sculpture only a father could love. A gloriously structured monster.
Lisa H. Owens
The First Line: Create a story using the first line provided. (below)
Rayna sat in front of the mirror removing her makeup and wondered who she would discover underneath.
Due date: February 1, 2022
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