Master class is back, and with perfect timing for my determination to keep up with writing on a regular basis in the new year. The first one of the new year has a pretty simple requirement – use the quote from Divergent (excellent book) as your first line. Click on the quote below to go over to the Master Class linkup and add your own story, or read the other submissions.
There is one mirror in my house. She is my solace and my despair, as tempestuous as the sea. At times she is docile, granting me my requests sweetly, glimpses of elsewhere and elsewhen – a bustling village market, or a peaceful family taking their ease of an evening, perhaps. The wind picks up and she is derisive and spiteful, twisting my desires, showing instead that same village at its end, all smoke and blood and death, the family’s suffering, the hollow cheeks and broken sobs of starvation and desperation. Each picture worth a thousand words, look at what you’ve done, over and again.
She rages and storms, my looking glass, and for days at a time, all I see is my true self, no cruelty or disfigurement left cloaked, unswayed by my tears. Soft as a kitten, my Lady sidles up to me, all soft words and kisses, my face as I once was reflected in her gaze, my own hideous rictus of pleasure mirrored in that long-ago boy’s delighted grin and wide brown eyes.
Whatever her mood, she is my companion, gripped tight while I stalk the desolate halls of my prison, or hugged close as I toss in restless slumber in the den of tumble-down furniture and shredded bedding that was once a grand and bright bedroom. The only time I feel able to set her down is when I tend my roses. Their hidden barbs save them from my fits of despair as no other thing of beauty here has done. I long to believe that there is some beauty yet within me, unseen as the rose’s thorn.
I sit up late into the night, thinking of nothing and everything and staring into her depths. My past, the innocent boy I was. The gradual change in me, I pick at the threads of my memory. Was that it? Was that the first of my cruelties? The first time I failed to care, to be human? Was that when I began my descent?
I have thought of countless ways to avoid my fate, but redemption lies beyond my twisted grasp. It is as I think on this, a full year into my captivity, one claw absently scraping gilt from her frame, that she begins to show me the girl, pale and plain and solemn. Her path leading her ever nearer.
Perhaps there is yet hope.