Mirrored Beauty: A Flash Fiction | Inktober is Hijacked by Writers

Hello, dear readers,

I know what you’re thinking– Isn’t Inktober for artists?

Well, yes, you’re correct. However, several writers realized the prompts could also work wonderfully for inspiring flash fiction pieces. I’m the first to admit that although I enjoy dabbling in art, I prioritize writing far more, so I’d much rather sit down to write a flash fiction than draw something.

I’m usually terrible at keeping my flash fiction attempts short. I fall into the typical high-fantasy writer trap, and my “flash fiction” becomes a full-fledged short story.

This time, though, I’m actually pleased with how this piece turned out. It’s brief and in the slice of life genre, but it’s full of bittersweet emotion and the realization of what’s important in life. I hope you all enjoy!

Mirrored Beauty

Pain bloomed across Maya’s lower lip as she chewed it. She stared into the mirror, seeing her own face screwed up in worried concentration as she attempted to wrangle her hair around the wand of the curling iron. 

Maya had two minutes until she needed to walk out the door and head to her graduation, so naturally her hair still looked like a nuclear testing zone.

Carefully, she unfurled a dark lock with bated breath. It flopped back to her shoulder, as limp and frizzy as ever. 

“Oh, come on! Can’t I just look pretty for once?”

Maya tossed the curling iron onto the bathroom counter and felt frustrated tears slip down her cheeks. 

It should have been her mom doing her hair today. Instead, her mother lay in a six-month-old grave as her daughter fought to get herself pulled together. She couldn’t even get her hair to cooperate.

Maya looked away from her own crestfallen expression in the mirror and glanced at the picture of her mom sitting on the shelf. Her mom smiled at the camera, brown hair pulled into a ponytail, looking as if nothing could shake her joy or peace. 

Maya inhaled and closed her eyes. Mom wouldn’t have cared about looking fancy— she just would have been proud of her daughter’s graduation. 

“Maya, we’re ready. You coming?” Her dad’s voice called up. 

“Yeah, be right there.” 

Maya pressed her lips together and pulled the curling iron’s plug. Then, she gathered her dark hair into a ponytail. 

“Thanks, mom.”

That’s it! I’d love to know what you guys think. Are you participating in Inktober in any way?

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