Snow white, ruby red.


They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
They see me at the mirror, hour after hour in close contemplation.
I know they think me vain, shallow, a woman obsessed with surface,
but they are wrong, I’m not beguiled by own face,my own form, this is not vanity,there is nothing superficial about this, this is the mapping of the beginning of the end of beauty.

The mirror knows the routine, a long measuring gaze and then a pause and then, the question
“mirror, mirror on the wall, who IS the fairest of them all?”

And as the years go by, the pause becomes longer, more fear filled, the question asked with eyes closed as if not seeing will make the answer more easy to hear.

After all, the mirror can only speak the truth and I have waited so long for this new truth,have rehearsed in my head how it will feel, how I will act, what will happen next?

Time passes , the ritual continues and yes, I have tried to cheat just a little, heavy velvet curtains to cut out the unforgiving daylight, candles strategically placed, creams and potions that promise to reverse the irreversible.

Oddly, though, I never really ask myself why I allow this to continue, why I torture myself, why I don’t simply smash the the glass, draw back the drapes, open the windows, start to live?

Trapped in our narratives, she and I travelling towards this moment, this point, this truth.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all ?”

A pause, heavy with everything I have feared for so long

“Snow white is far more lovely than you, Oh queen”

And only then, do I find the strength to hurl a goblet, glass on glass, sharp shards scattered, his voice stilled, but the sentence hangs…..

I call for the Huntsman, my lover, my obedient servant and set him the task.
It’s easy, straightforward, I send him off before he can see what the mirror shows.
His hands are greedy, needy on my body, grasping for comfort, for reassurance of the rightness of this act.
I let him know how grateful I will be ………………afterwards.

Alone, I sit on the floor, broken glass all around me, there is enough mirror left in the frame to reflect a thousand refracted broken me’s, all staring back, all waiting for it to be over, this time.

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About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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