I opened the worn leather case. A silvered hand mirror reflected my blank expression back at me from atop the pile of photos within.
I stare into the face in the mirror. Dull gray eyes sit sunken deep within a withered skull. Thin gray hair gathers in wisps about the beast's shoulders.
Its lips are blood red, barely stretching over a mouth filled with long, yellowed teeth. It licks its cracked lips to reestablish a sheen over its smudged cosmetics.
I dare not raise a hand to the creature's face as I tuck the mirror away, removing a photo from the pile. There I am.
Bright blue eyes smile back at me, long platinum blonde hair flowing in gorgeous waves around my full, rosy cheeks.
A tiara rests atop my head, a taffeta sash crossing over my chest with the words, "Prom Queen 1942" embroidered across its surface. Perfect. Perfect. This is me.
I raise the mirror high above my head and smash it against the ground. The imposter within explodes into thousands of tiny pieces.
The door to my room opens with a clatter a moment later. My daughter, Jenette, stands grasping the knob, my evening chamomile resting on its usual saucer in her free hand.
"Oh mother," Jenette croons, "don't move. I'll fetch a broom."
"Thank you, darling."
"You really do treat me like royalty."
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