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     She didn’t notice the dent made in the living room wall.  She had thrown the front door open brutally.  The protruding lock of the door knob inverted the dry wall where it met the wall.  The child’s piercing stare still visible in her mind.

     Children shouldn’t be out so late on a Thursday night.  Yet this one had been.  A gangly boy around ten years old scooted to the edge of his aisle seat.  His soft round face was incongruous with his long legs.  Oversized sneakers shuffled across the dirty bus floor as he inched closer.

     Another evening she would have looked away, avoiding the reflective surface of the window.  In her annoyance she defiantly stared back at him.  The child didn’t look away.  He showed little sign of terror.  To her incense he stared back wide eyed until his mother’s reproving hand pulled him away.

     With a blow to the wall the lavatory lights sputtered on.  Another strike and the dark cloth from across the wall floated to the floor.   She stared into the mirror, challenging.  She watched it surface, faster than it had before.  Her skin rippled and bulged.

      Angrily she watched it appear.  The eyes fixed themselves where her eyes should be.  The snout with slit nostrils dwarfed her short upturned nose.  A violent twist of the faucet her face was slapped with water.  The mask dripped across her visage.  With it gone she could now see the texture.  The scales and ridges pressed up against her cheeks.

      A glint of sharpness showed in the mirror.  Carelessly close to the slope of her brow.  She had lived with it for so long.  Letting it change her life.  It dictated where she looked, what she did.  She pressed the metal tool firmly against her skin.  She wanted her family back, her friends, and the chance for a life.

      A single bead of blood appeared above her right eyebrow.  This was pursued by a clattering caused by metal against porcelain.  A short blurry streak of red decorated the pale bowl of the sink.  She had liked her face once; its curves and angles, the even spacing of her eyes.

     The mirror drew her in.  It was still there.  Her own eyes looked glossy opaquely shrouding it’s.  Enraged by her cowardice her fist rose.  It wasn’t fair that she had to live this way.  To be overshadowed by such a monster even in her mind. 

     Seconds later the floor and counter shimmered.  The fluorescent lights played across the tiny shinning pieces brilliantly.  A thin rivulet of blood slowly flowed down her arm.  She couldn’t hide from it anymore.  She couldn’t see it but it was there now almost extending beyond her dermis. 

     She lurched forward as her mouth gaped.  No witness saw how her jaw protruded.  Unimaginably wide her mandible stretched open.  The skin of her face pulled at the sides.  Her eyes squinted closed, tears oozing through the edges of eyelids.  She couldn’t see it now; the beautiful horrific scene.

     A grating sliding sensation rasped her throat.  On and on it slid like watching the cars of a train go by without trying to count them.  She wretched; her stomach convulsed thrusting her.  A glimpse of leathery wing, rough callused scales divided by the thin sturdy ridges of cartilage were all she saw.

     Wet eyes and dry mouth she lay on the floor.  The uncomfortable shards dug into her leaving little cuts.  The pain was of no consequence she was free.  A large piece of mirror reflected her; truly her.  Exhausted she remained stagnant; her coarse throat gently nagging at her consciousness.   Relief flowed over her ragged form, relaxing every muscle in her body.

     She heard a creak and then a voice calling loudly.  It was Dylan’s too loud voice.  The realization crept into her knowledge slowly.  It fought against her newfound relief, replacing it with anxiety.  The door, she hadn’t locked it.  And now that she had been freed where had it gone?

The End

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