The Most Beautiful Woman
Written by Rebekah Postupak
Helda was the most beautiful woman I had never met. She had a wart on her nose and feet the size of a baby elephant’s, yet reliable sources swore to me she was the most stunning creature on the far side of the Lake.
Her face paled before mine.
Of the women I had met, Thella (Northtown) and Marti-Rose (Seaside) usually swapped turns as the most beautiful, depending on which had quarreled with their husband that morning (scowls work wonders on uglifying a visage—smiles too, if applied too liberally or too often; this is why I have always made a point of conveying expressions with my eyebrows, which has worked its own wonders on building my forehead muscles).
Thella and Marti-Rose looked like toads next to me.
Before you ask—yes, for a short period I (reluctantly) scouted for potential at the Beauty Academy graduation ceremonies (until the year their incompetent security team banned me following a clandestine but humiliating trial on nebulous—spurious, really—charges). Eventually, however, I realized the so-called Academy honored graduates based not on the students’ complexions but on the size of their fathers’ wallets, and even had I not been banned, I would have quit attending. Plain girls and boys, all. Revolting.
Aside from my reliable sources and the ill-named Academy, these days I identify most of my candidates at regional balls and harvest festivals. Obviously this is not an ideal situation. Balls are grueling and tedious, on top of which I have had to spend a large percentage of my inheritance on gowns and accessories to complement my alabaster skin and dark eyes which (I have been told countless times) glow like midnight fires. Not to mention I can hardly manage above three events in an evening without killing a horse or two, which grows costly.
You will see, therefore, that while I do not shrink from hard work, this undertaking simply demands much more effort than I can physically afford, which is why I am now writing to you. It has come to my attention that you are developing a glass into which one may look and be instantly presented with the face of the fairest person in the world. I laud your frantic attempts at secrecy, but surely you did not expect your noble invention could escape my notice. Have no fear; I am fully prepared to pay you what I judge your glass and labors are worth.
Kindly convey your glass to me via my messenger. Do not be alarmed by his towering stature and rugged mace; rest assured he is fully competent to speak and act in my stead.
Your prompt compliance will be greatly appreciated. I have just been informed that a princess was born this night. Skin like snow, they say, with hair of ebony and lips red as blood. Though no doubt this is exaggerated royal nonsense, it would ease my heart to look into your glass and see my own face shining.
499 words, inspired by this week’s Finish That Thought flash challenge and incorporating a variation of the mandatory starting sentence and optional three Challenge words (Academy, nebulous, clandestine) within the 500 word count requirement.