In that mirror, she saw a version of herself that would haunt her for the rest of her life.
She saw herself in the mirror, her face was deadly pale, and her mouth ached. She was in anguish: her mouth gaped wide open. She just couldn’t control her bottom lip, drool started dripping from the corners. she tried to holler, but no one came. A purplish color was forming in her mouth. Moments later, she started seeing crimson liquid mixed with violet blushes of the flower which gushed out while she shouted helplessly.
Her body jolted forward immediately, and her eyes were unsealed by the instincts of predominant menace.
She woke up, in the middle of the night, again. It was the same violet windflower, that petrified her for all those days of insomnia. Yes, a purplish flower, that could torment a poor girl’s soul for days of gloominess.
She did not come to such bitter unpleasantness from the first day. It all started merrily but was shattered brutally. I do not deny, the possibility of fortune may have drawn her in. Despite the circumstances, I was laid on her table, enjoying the grim light on the table.
Dawn came, she was twitching. I remembered the days when she would put me on a pin and dress her hair. It was the same mirror, but the temperament was a different breed. She looked splendid, confident and “protected”.
That’s how she felt, or the fact, that’s what her mother told her. Her mother is a narcissist, who looks upon the mirror in uniformity regurlarly. Her head was often blushed with flowers, one of which was of the very breed I belong too. There seems, to be a certain prevalent use to our breed anemone, or as they call it by its folk-name, windflower. Different colors belong to a different meaning, the purple offers protection and white offers sincerity. However, mostly linked to good fortune and anticipated future, it is an undoubted fact why fellow people like my breed.
When did she come to such hate then? I suppose I should tell her name, it’s Zita. The Spanish name for “little luck”. From her head to toe, she was masked with the impression of fortuity. When Zita was still of a young age, she would pick and sort out my breed—the purplish, violet ones. She picked them with her diminutive, tiny hands and gave them to her mum. Her mum would always crack into laughter, then Zita would too.
“Lovely breed are they! My dear girl! Go and pick that one! Look! There’s still one over there!”
Her legs sprang, I was feeling the jolts sitting on her head. The pin I was attached to vibrated as her head was shaking.
She ran into the fence.
She saw the last windflower at the edge of the garden, where the fence stood.
She wants to see her mother beam with laughter.
Then she tripped over.
She felt her head was wet. Crimson. Thick. Liquid.
Her mother gasped, she was forcing her arms to roll the wheel at the quickest pace.
“Wait! I am going to call the ambulance! M...Mam...Mamma’s coming to s...ss...ave...”
Her mother slumped to the ground. Just like that. Her wheelchair flipped.
There was no plot twist, Zita and her mother were discovered by her neighbors a few hours later when the couple came back from their duties.
“It was a heart attack,” the doctor said in a monotone voice. “However, Mister, there were some remains of a purplish liquid in your mother’s mouth. Her jaw had been unnaturally opened as if someone tried to put her hand to forcefully open it.”
“I am afraid I do not have a clue, I just came back from a 13-hour flight.” Her father held up the ticket.
“Understood. I am terribly sorry for your loss, Mister and your little Misses.”
They left the room. That’s when Zita noticed something. Her father bore no windflowers. Nowhere. Not on his shirt, nor on his head or his neat trousers.
That's when things altered.
Zita started having nightmares about me. She would scream in the middle of the night. They were mostly about me, or of my breed. Her father would be woken up three or four times in the night. Then after a long awhile, they would both slump back to sleep.
I would lay there, thinking of the places Zita paced throughout the day. Yet, I was only an ornament, taped to a hairpin of sorts.
Then, one day, she held onto me and rubbed me into her palms. I could feel her palms were cold. She prayed to me loudly.
“Windflower. Give me fortune, and luck. All I wished was some good fortune. Please. Oh Please! Oh please!” Her voice was weak, vibrating hastily in the bitter morning.
How could I answer her? I am, a plastic ornament made to shape into a purple windflower.
I can’t help you, my dear. I kept these words to myself.
“Give me s...str...ength...to carr...o...” She had no strength left in her.
Don’t beg me for help. Please. Don’t bet on a plastic ornament. How can I speak such words? I have no vocal cords, nor any way to project my voice.
Suddenly, the door swung open. A very violent swing.
Her father rushed hastily into the room and grabbed Zita.
“Daddy’s going to be a superhero and save you. Alright! I am going to drive you to the hospital immediately! Just stay calm, little girl!”
Her dad smelled terrible, the stale and sour smell billowed in the air.
Zita didn’t know what was going on, she only felt her heart beating a mile a minute.
The car sped through the dusky morning. The road was rough all the way. Zita jolted and her head twitched. The ride seemed topsy-turvy. The car was going in zig-zags, then in curves, then irregularly. Her father was clearly drunk as he continued to steer in Brownian motion.
The morning was an unusual one. The road was littered with leaves and flowers, but not with vehicles of any sort. The sea breeze blew through the window and the salty fishy smell was billowing in the air.
That was the last smell she had smelled.
Then she saw the purplish liquid. She screamed and shrieked. She tried to struggle out of her seat but she couldn’t. She visualized image from that mirror, she was gasping in pain. This time, however, was for real. Her father poured the liquid into her mouth and threw her out of the car, into the sea.
Suddenly, she felt she was floating. Not a normal type of buoyancy. She was floating in a lightly colored sky, painted with white clouds. She was floating on the clouds, feeling soft and soothed. Suddenly, a gust turned into a swirl, drawing everything in and turning it into a purplish liquid. The beauty, the protection of her life—gone. Reawakened was the same haunting image. She screamed and kicked and she fell straight through the clouds.
“Hullo, dear, you alright?”
Zita opened her eyes. What she saw was a dull, muscular and wrinkly old man. She had been rescued after being thrown into the sea by her father.
She was still in pain, her mouth gaped wide opened, drool started coming out. She couldn’t make a sound. Her mouth, her jaws, her teeth, her lips, her gums. It was such agony, such that every nerve ending, every cell in her mouth ached.
The fishermen held her up and carried her on his strong, bulgy biceps.
She had been carried to the hospital, and her father crashed into a bulk end. His skull was shattered instantaneously.
The doctor came in. He spoke solemnly.
“My poor little child. You were being poisoned.” He stuttered “by your, biological father, I am afraid.”
“Take a rest, my dear child. We will try and fix that gaping mouth of yours.”
They never did.
They couldn’t make out which nerve lapped over which. They couldn’t have made it. Two plus two doesn’t make five.
She was stuck with a gaping mouth on the surgical table. Doctors were baffled. What could they do for a weak, orphaned little girl with a gaping mouth?
As for Zita, I never saw her again.
I did forget to mention a fact though, Windflowers are poisonous, and Zita is allergic to pollen, inherited from her mother.
As for the purplish liquid, it was taken from a real windflower.---
Winner of the First Prize in the Undergraduate Category of the 15th English Short Story Writing Competition