literature

Blemish

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         It was a beautiful day outside. But it could've been better if there were less clouds in the sky. I continued to stare out my window when I heard a knock on my door. When I answered, I was then met with a tall, blonde man who looked exquisite. He gave no evidence of untidiness. Each crease was where it was supposed to be, each seam firmly pressed to a crisp edge. I studied him for what seemed like a few minutes well, before I was greeted with a ball. Perplexed, I took it in my hands. I immediately took note of the smoothness of its surface. So smooth was this ball that my hands fumbled trying to grip it. It was as if my nerve endings and its polished surface saw each other with great disdain. Having almost dropped it the blonde man placed his slender hands under mine and this message appeared on its surface:

         “The ball is perfect. The ball makes you perfect. The ball will vanish only when you’re perfect.”

         What persuasive powers entered me I could not tell for I accepted the beautiful stranger’s gift without hesitation. With a more careful grasp I clutched the perfect orb and bid the man farewell. He raised his hand to his head and lowered it away from him with a graceful bow. Wordless he came and wordless he left.

         It was only after I shut the door that I began to wonder the identity of that man. But it soon became of no matter for I was now accompanied with the strangest of artifacts. I use the word artifact because I knew that despite its modern, almost otherworldly perfection it also seemed to emit an ancient history. I grabbed a pillow from my room making sure it was the finest pillow I had. I placed it on the floor and carefully placed the ball on top. There we sat, facing each other in the middle of my living room. At first I was unsure of how the ball worked. How do I activate it? I was beginning to feel like I had been the victim of someone’s cruel jape when my reflection caught my eye. I saw myself in the ball. I noticed how despite the ball’s curved nature the reflection was as flat as if I were to look into a mirror. The difference was the reflected image was crystal clear. If I didn't know any better I would have shaken hands with myself for it was like looking through a paneless window.

         Now, I wouldn't consider myself an ugly individual. In my youth I was met with many partners and yet despite my success in romance I was still unimpressed with myself. I looked on into my reflection and observed how cruelly time treated me. The wrinkles near the corners of my eyes and mouth caused great unease. But before I could express this I saw how the wrinkles slowly vanished from my face. It knew. I saw how my skin slowly filled in the creases and it did not stop there. Any age spots or blemishes I once had vanished as well. I was overjoyed. Any suspicions or doubts of the balls powers I had were now gone. Excitedly I looked deeper into the ball. I offered my hands and without delay those were fixed as well. My scars and calluses were gone, even the slight arthritis in my wrist was no more. I touched my face and noted its smoothness. I felt I had aged back forty years. I felt restored. I wondered if there was anything more of myself to fix. By this time my health was as great as any professional athlete. My muscles were well toned, my skin returned to its former elasticity. Any excess body fat I once held was now gone. I couldn't think of anything else for the ball to fix.

         And yet it stayed.

         I became slightly troubled by this. What did the ball see that I did not? What did it know? As I sat there still staring at the ball my mind glossed over classes spent learning about human evolution. My professor held wild theories that man will no longer need their pinky toe or finger. That we will become so technologically advanced that even our legs would prove of no use for we would have developed a more convenient mode of transportation. But I thought too soon.

         Immediately the room darkened to the point where the sun’s dim light peering through my windows became my only source of visibility. My fear grew but I still looked on. My reflection began to contort. At first I thought the surface of the ball was changing but the ball was perfect. It was my face that was changing. I felt my cheekbones crawl under my skin as it shifted to a new position. Then there was an immense pain in my mouth as my jaw began to broaden and become more defined. The ends of my eyes lifted upwards and became more tapered. I started to protest but the ball wasn't listening. My hair became lighter and more straight to the point where it was a platinum blonde bordering on silver. I felt my limbs stretch out from each other as my body became longer and leaner. The ball wasn't changing me, it was evolving me.

         The ball wasn't satisfied. When I thought it could add to me no more that was when it had began to take away. Gone were my pinky fingers and toes. And soon my joints began to vanish. Maybe the ball was displeased with the human body’s natural protrusions for my ribs began to shrink as well, compressing my lungs. Through breathless outcries I watched as my limbs began to vanish. Maybe humans really did evolve past the need for their own bodies but this was information I wish I was left out on.

         Formless, my body slumped over. I fell in such a way that my gaze was broken from the ball. That was when I heard a crack. The room began to return to its former lighting and soon after, I began to feel movement throughout my body. I realized that the horrors I witnessed was only from my reflection and yet it all felt so real. My hands were as normal as before and my limbs and joints stayed in their rightful positions. Yes, even my face remained its haggard, wrinkled self. But I was happy.

         I turned, slowly, fearing what laid behind me. I did not want to go through what I went through again but I needed to know the ball’s fate. Relieved I saw that the ball was now a pile of silvery dust. But then the dust raised into the air and for a moment I could see the stranger peer through the dust with a slight smile across his face. Then the dust rapidly collapsed on itself and vanished. That was the last time I saw that ball or its owner.

         Shaken, I picked myself up, took up the pillow and placed it under myself as I sat near the window once more. The sun still beamed down at me and the clouds seemed to not have moved at all. I counted seven clouds in the sky that day, and I wanted nothing more. And nothing less.
This is a short story I wrote about an individual that learns a valuable lesson of self acceptance. I tried to keep the main character as neutral as possible so anyone could relate to them. 
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