Am I Pretty Now-Short Story

Use this forum to post short stories that you have written. This is for getting comments and constructive feedback. This is for original, creative works. You must post the actual text, no links.
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Elldarling
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Am I Pretty Now-Short Story

Post by Elldarling » 18 Jun 2018, 08:41

This girl loved to dance. Ballet was her favourite. She was very talented at it too; the best in her class her teacher used to say. That's how she got the lead in the show and the other girls didn't. That's why the other girls hated her. Jealousy had turned them sour.

They told her after every rehearsal that her face was too ugly to show to the world and that the teacher only praised her dancing because she felt sorry for her. At first, the girl simply ignored their vile words as she continued to dance proudly with her head held high. 'No one will stop me from dancing.' She thought to herself confidently.

The girl said these words to herself after each shove, each accidental step on her foot and each poisonous glare. Her only concern was perfecting her dance for the show. To prove to those horrible girls that they were wrong.

However, when the taunts began to play over and over like a broken record in someone's head, it's wasn't that easy to forget. The girl suddenly found that her confidence had started to wither like a dying flower. She tried to tell her parents about it, more than once. Their consistent blaming of her hormones discouraged the girl from bringing it up anymore.

On the mornings of her rehearsals she stood in front of the mirror and tried to put a little make-up on her face to conceal its hideousness like a mask. Then she would pull her hair into whatever fashionable style she could. After this, only one question swam like a lonely fish in her mind:

"Am I pretty now?"

Thinking that the makeup might stop the girls' harsh words, she walked into the studio with a hopeful smile. Scornful laughter filled her ears as a response and she just sat alone on the creaky bench, tying her pink satin slippers to her feet as she fought back tears of shame.

The girl pretended not to listen as they struck her with insult after insult like a sharp dagger. Those girls were always smart enough to stop before the teacher came and ordered them all to start warming up. It was only then this girl could breathe. Yet the knot in her stomach stubbornly held its place.

Not wanting to stand out anymore, the girl started making mistakes in her dance that she hadn't done since she first started to do ballet. She used to feel like a delicate feather whenever she jumped into the air. Now she just felt like a lumpy rock, almost hurling herself from the side of the studio. To direct her feet with the wrong steps almost broke her spirit.

Sensing that something may have been wrong, her teacher pulled her aside and asked her. Nevertheless, the girl shook her head almost mechanically and made up an excuse that she hadn't slept very well the night before. Even though this wasn't the truth, it was also not a lie. As soon as her eyes closed at night, her mind was haunted by nightmares that caused her to wake up in the middle of the night, panting and covered in sweat.

The truth was on the tip of her tongue, ready to spill right out of her mouth but she would never let it. The other girls were snickering wickedly as they watched and she glanced over at them, her eyes glassy with tears.

Her chest tightened as the question she yearned to ask them formed on her anxiously chewed lips.

"Am I pretty now?"

Soon the girl became ill. With each glance at the mirror she wished she could claw away at her skin and become someone else. Her thoughts were unstable and she criticised everything she did. Once she had gotten so angry at her reflection that she punched the mirror, sending shards of glass to the floor. Blood had dripped from her wounded hand but she swore to her parents that it was an accident. Her parents were very alarmed. But not alarmed enough.

The thought of dancing made her stomach churn painfully as if someone was squishing it like dough. She had to quit the only thing she was so fervent about. One of the girls received her leading part instead. That was what those girls wanted wasn't it? She pondered this thought as she pushed her untouched food around her plate. Everything she tried to make right brought her slowly into an empty abyss. What was there left for her to do?

One night she couldn't find an escape from the grim war between her thoughts and the small bit of sanity she held deep in her heart. She gathered all her ballet supplies, her trophies and medals before bringing them all to her garden and dumping them on the ground.

With her ballet slippers still in her hand, she lit a match and dropped it into the pile. Everything went up in flames within minutes and she watch her achievements melt slowly. There was no way she deserved those trophies anymore. Losers don’t win anything. It was the saddest bonfire she had ever been to.

The girl fell to her knees, tears streaming down her cheeks as she started to scream out. She hated herself now. She hated that she let something so stupid get to her and ruin her life. Now she just wanted a way out.

Kissing each slipper, she fed them to the flames. They consumed the slippers greedily. The fire crackled as her passion crumbled, a final farewell.

There was a small feeling of relief inside the girl's mind but she knew she wasn't done yet. She picked up the box that once held her memories and walked into the house. On the box she quickly, with shaky hands, wrote on it.

Then the girl went into the medicine cabinet and started gathering every single pill she could find. She placed them in a plastic bag before crushing them carefully with her dad’s hammer. What she was going to do didn't scare her. She felt as though she was finally cutting the strings from the immense feeling of depression that had continued to drown her day after day.

She poured the now powdered pills into a glass of water, knocked it back and sat in the corner of her bedroom before covering her head with the box. The last thought she had was receiving a standing ovation for her dance if she had got the chance to perform it. Before she could even smile, her broken heart ceased.

A neighbour had called 999 after they noticed smoke blowing thickly from next door. The girl's mother had been called from work by the the police shortly after the fire had been put out.

Having sensed that something bothered her daughter, a wave of guilt washed over the mother as she bounded up the stairs. With a trembling hand closed around the bedroom door, she took a deep breath and opened it.
No sound escaped her mouth as her eyes fell upon the corpse of her daughter. The urge to deny the truth of the scene almost caused her to close the door again. If she hadn’t seen the words written on the box that concealed her daughter’s face, perhaps she would have. Entering the room, the sound of her heels were an intrusion to the serene ambience of a girl at peace. She walked closer and knelt just in front of her daughter. A tear splashed onto the floor, seeping into the carpet. Her eyes landed on her daughter’s hand. It looked normal. She wanted to grab it and squeeze it.

"They wanted me to change. I didn't know how. Though with my face hidden, there remains one question: Am I pretty now?"
I am haunted by humans.”- Markus Zusak

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Elldarling
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Post by Elldarling » 18 Jun 2018, 08:42

Hope someone enjoys reading it as much as I did writing it :)
I am haunted by humans.”- Markus Zusak

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achile James
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Post by achile James » 18 Jun 2018, 09:36

you can change human, unless he/her have made up mind to change... but basically motivations matters a lot to rebuild one mind set...the book have performed the hypothetical characters of Young people.

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Naizy2+
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Post by Naizy2+ » 18 Jun 2018, 10:11

Yeah quite a good story but it was suppose to have a happy ending and not sad one and this will help educate people who shun others from being themselves just because of certain shortcomings they might be having

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Jane-Deluxe
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Post by Jane-Deluxe » 18 Jun 2018, 11:03

Whao.... amazing!.
She shouldn't have listened to them though..it isn't all about your FACE.
Have self confidence and be courageous.

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ccranston
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Post by ccranston » 05 Jul 2018, 18:53

Wow, thank you for this story. It's heartbreaking, but a sad truth of what many young girls go through. Trying hard to live up to society's ridiculous standards and dealing with "mean girls" is a harsh reality for some. Makes you think twice before saying that ugly thing out of anger or jealousy.
“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." –Paul Sweeney

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