Tag Archives: black comedy

Growing Old Gracefully

My name is Grace Walden and when I turned forty – like most women – I gave into vanity. Those little wrinkles started to appear at the corner of my eyes, my hair lost its shine and my body was drooping in ways it never did before. Something had to be done. 

As I wandered through the aisles of Keep Dreaming cosmetic store – conscious of the fact that the perky, twenty something, store girls were watching me – I picked up various bottles of potions with girls on the label promising me I could look just like them. It was all air brushed nonsense of course but as I said I gave in to the vanity. Life so far, with all it’s ups and downs, had left me looking tired and pale. I snatched a bottle up greedily and brought it to the counter.   

“Did you find what you were looking for?” asked the teller who looked as though she had a professional make up artist on hand to prepare her every morning. 

“This will do, thanks,” I replied. I was eager to get home and lather myself in the stuff. 

“Try not to use too much of this,” warned the store girl. “It can be quite potent.” She must have noticed that hungry look in my eyes. 

I took it home, pasted my face as instructed and that night I had the best sleep of my life. 

In the morning I dashed to the mirror. I was delighted to find a fresh faced beauty of a woman staring back.  I smiled, making me look even more luminous. My skin was soft. My teeth gleamed. When I stepped outside I even drew an admiring look or two (something that hadn’t happened since I had had my third child). It felt great. I was fabulous at forty. By the time I got home I had started to droop again. My eyes clouded over with tiredness. The potion wasn’t long lasting. I ran immediately back to the store. 

“It works wonders,” I told the clerk, “but I need some more.”

“I did warn you not to use too much,” she said again.

I bought two bottles. 

I used more that night, the whole two bottles if you must know. In the morning I looked better than I ever did. I could have graced the cover of a magazine, let me tell you, but it faded faster. By the time I paid a visit to a friend who was only just around the corner I had gone from super model to super scary. The only magazine I would be gracing would be a horror one. The wrinkles were deeper, the face paler. I looked like the only sleep I had was in a crypt. 

I dashed back to the shop – covering my face with a scarf like the invisible man. I cleared my bank account and bought the stores entire stock of the miracle lotion. 

“Please be careful,” the clerk said. 

What did she know? She had to be all of twenty five. 

I bathed in it and by the time I was done Cleopatra would have been envious. That’s when it happened. Now I can’t bear to look in the mirror. Now I long for my own drooping body, my wrinkles that laughter over the years gave me. When I look at the creature I’ve become I really wish I hadn’t gone chasing that impossible standard. 

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I Confess!

Tracey Campbell was a go – getter. Since she was a girl she always knew she was destined for greatness. Things got tough for her in her second year of medical school.

Nothing was going to get in her way. She would reach the top of her class no matter how many bodies she had to climb over to get there!

Tracey first featured in Myths and Tales volume 1. Click HERE to read the short story – Confessions of an Anatomist.

After ten years in prison Tracey is back on track. She has a new career path and a new dastardly plan in mind. Click HERE to read – My Silly Little Confessions.


Tell me it’s not true!

She sat down on the uncomfortable, plastic chair. The room was cold. Paula Campbell wished she had worn a heavier top. She wrapped her arms around her frame and rubbed heat into them.

The guards watched her. She wasn’t an inmate at the Montefort Prison for women but she couldn’t help but feel the guards were suspicious of her.

When her sister was led in Paula’s breath caught in her throat. Tracey was the younger of the two. Her usual sci fi T shirt and stone washed jeans had been replaced by an orange jump suit. Tracey’s short, stocky frame didn’t wear the outfit well.

Tracey was seated across from her sister. She rested her cuffed hands on the table. Her brown hair was pulled back in a tight pony tail.

“You shouldn’t be here,” Tracey said.

Paula shook her head. “Neither of us should be here.”

Tracey’s lips stretched into a smile. She had a pretty face with warm blue eyes but Paula couldn’t help but think she didn’t recognise the person sat across from her.

“Tell me it isn’t true,” she urged. “The things they said you did.”

Tracey raised her hands demonstrating the cuffs.

“They don’t put you in this flattering attire and give you free digs at this five star hotel for nothing,” she said sarcastically.

Paula was glad Tracey hadn’t lost her spirit. It was something of a comfort.

Tracey had been studying to become a doctor. She had always been studious and aimed for the stars. She had a more promising future than her elder sister. Paula couldn’t help but wonder where it all went wrong.

“How could it have come to this?” Paula asked.

Tracey raised her eyebrows.

“Clearly I’m not as good as I thought I was.”

When her sister shook her head she added, “They wouldn’t let me finish my final exam. The bastards arrested me right in the middle of it. I would have gotten an A for sure.”

Paula interrupted. “After what you did it wouldn’t make a blinding bit of difference! They would never let you become a doctor.”

A large woman in a guard uniform unfolded her arms and looked over at them. Paula calmed herself and lowered her voice.

“You still haven’t denied it,” she said in a stern big sisterly tone as though Tracey had borrowed an item of clothing without asking rather than finding herself behind bars for the next few decades.

“Why should I deny it?” Tracey replied. “I did it. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

Paula looked distraught. Her eyes clouded with tears. “I can’t believe it,” she gasped.

Tracey laughed. “The only thing I can’t believe is that I actually got caught. It took them long enough.”

Paula sobbed. “Think of those families,” she urged. “All those people.”

“Twenty all in,” Tracey finished for her. “Roughly half of my anatomy class.”

Paula used her index finger to wipe underneath her eye. “Do you feel no remorse?”

Tracey’s gaze moved to the guard at the back watching them.

“You don’t understand, Paula,” she said finally sounding serious. “I am destined for greatness. I was failing the class. They were breezing through and they weren’t caring. I worked so hard. I really did. I spent days and nights at the library. The little coffee lady even refused to serve me more expresso. My eyes were popping out of my head. Did it make a difference? Not in the slightest. I had to correct it somehow.”

Paula wasn’t convinced. “All those people are dead.”

“Trust me, they were a sorry bunch. I did the world a favour.”

Paula had heard enough. She stood but before she left the table Tracey said, “ You don’t know the full story. Hear that and then you will understand.”

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