Voting Short Story Contest (143) Theme: Narcissism We have two excellent entries, both short so I expect lots of votes! The winner will be revealed in two weeks and a winner thread will be stickied until the next contest's winner is crowned. No more entries are allowed in this contest. Entries are listed in the poll in the order I received them. Voting will end Sunday the 17th of November 2013 to give everyone a chance to read the stories. I encourage authors to vote. It is acceptable to vote for yourself, but I encourage you to vote honestly. In the name of good sportsmanship only vote for yourself if you have read all the other stories and given them your honest evaluation. Consider how the author has responded to the theme, as well as the quality of the writing and overall impression of the story in making your decision. ___________________________________________________ Within the Hour [625 words] The slipper fit me. I can’t believe it. I mean it was my slipper, but still, part of me thought it was a dream. One moment I was working for my Stepmother and my ugly sisters, and the next I'm at the royal palace, looking at myself in the mirror and preparing for a wedding. My wedding with the Prince, soon to be King. And I shall be Queen! My Stepmother and sisters shall be invited of course, but they are to wear rags, sit on the floor at the front, and be jeered at by my other guests. It is what they deserve, and I shall give them no less. Doesn't my hair look pretty? I'm not sure what will become of them. That is up to my Prince – pardon, King – to decide. Perhaps he shall throw each one into their own cell, where I can visit them whenever I need to be reminded of where they are and where I am. Then again, perhaps it shall be death. After all, they insulted me, the Queen. To insult such royal greatness is mockery in the sight of the King and of God, and it cannot be tolerated. Aren't my eyelashes long? I shall be married within the hour. There shall be a feast, and we can feed the scraps to my Stepmother and sisters. Wouldn't that be funny? I would laugh until the King would command me to stop, and of course I would listen. I am a Queen now, and Queens must be pretty. Beautiful, in fact. I’m not sure I’ll need much done before I get into my dress, as my complexion is already perfect. That’s why the King chose me. That’s why we fell in love. It was my foot that fitted the glass slipper, and it is I that shall be Queen. Queen! Isn't it silly that I sat down in front of the mirror at all? Why, I look marvellous for my King. I wake up with my hair like this, you know. As soon as I was to be wed with the King, people passed me on the street and said just how nice I looked. I remember one woman told me she would kill for a figure like mine, and I smiled at her. Then she told me I had a nice smile. Oh look, I'm smiling now! Such lovely teeth. My ugly sisters must have been jealous ever since I lived with them. My Stepmother, too. That’s why they treated me like dirt, when they should have been prostrate at my feet. The feet which held the glass slippers. Fairy godmother hasn’t been to visit since the night of the fancy ball. I suppose she realises just how perfect my life is going, now that I’ve been seen for my true potential. Anyway, I must get into my dress. Such a nipped-in waist. So beautiful for a Queen. And oh my, look at my legs! So long and supple. My King has seen them before, and how his eyes widened! Just like a little boy, wishing to have that sword to play with. I’m so young, too. Only a girl of nineteen. The King is a whole ten years older than I am, but that just means that there are no girls his age which he feels obliged to marry. He wanted to marry me. He is marrying me. There, the dress fits wonderfully. Now, what to wear for my feet? Why, it simply must be my glass slippers! That will make the King smile. And I shall wear that ball of ruby round my neck, the necklace he gave me when he saw me again, after the fancy ball. Ah! They’re knocking on my chamber door. It is time to marry my King. But first…yes, one last look in that mirror! ______________________________________________________ Ordinary [564 words] You wouldn't normally notice David, he was an ordinary teenager dong the things teenager's normally do. David was on this way to his friend’s house. He walked down an typical street in an unremarkable town on an day much like any other. David liked to dress well. Whenever he went out, he always made sure his clothes were clean and in good order. He took time to choose what to wear and liked everything to look spotless and new. "Hello David." It was Julie. She was with her boyfriend Gavin. David knew her from school. He'd fancied her for ages and even plucked up the courage to asked her out but she'd refused. Gavin was a few years older than him, a car mechanic with his own car and looking to move out of his parents’ council house soon. David presumed that Gavin and Julie would be setting up home together. "Hi" replied David meekly. "You queer? You look like a girl!" demanded Gavin. Julie looked at Gavin scornfully. "Hey," she protested, "don't talk to him like that, he's my friend." David didn’t reply but just walked on. "Y' puffder" he heard as he put some distance between himself and Gavin. Julie and Gavin made their way to the pub. They'd often spend their evening there since there was little else to do and it was nice to have a drink and a chat. The men would usually talk to each other about cars, football and other male pursuits while the women would exchange the latest gossip and talk about events in the soaps. They were worlds apart. “That you first pint?” Gavin asked a group of young men who were sitting at a table. Gavin always kept count of how much everyone drank. He made a point of drinking at least as much as anyone else and if he could manage it, one more. With drinks in hand they made their way to an empty table. "Why are you so horrible to David? He hasn't done anything to you" said Julie sternly. "You were really nasty to my friend Ahmed as well.” "But they're just pathetic" replied Gavin dismissively, "Couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. I don't know why you bother with them. I'm miles better than they'll ever be." Julie stared at Gavin. She liked him for who he was and for what he was but she couldn't help but desperately yearn for him to be completely different. Julie wondered about Gavin, 'He thinks he's so great. So much better than anyone else' She thought, sarcastically. Julie wondered what kind of future she'd have with him. Would her social life be filled with him bragging to everyone about how much better he was? And evenings down the pub, watching him spend all their money on larger and pouring it down his neck and for what? So he could say he could drink more than someone else? As if that mattered. 'Perhaps I'd be better off with David' she thought. 'David's nice and he'd be nice to me. But Gavin's such a rouge and I do love a 'bad-boy'. I suppose I could have either. I suppose I could have any man I like. All I have to do is crick my little finger and they'd come running. What's a girl to do? What do I want most?'