This story is by D. J. Harvey and was part of our 2018 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Kylie Ann had been a beautiful baby, although she seemed a bit peculiar. Her Mother was told over and over just how beautiful her little girl was. She had hair the color of golden wheat which took on a glow all it’s own. Her eyes were like green sea glass giving them an almost see-through quality. Her eyes pulled you in, you could see the emptiness, or possibly soullessness in them. Her mother never shared her fear that something was very wrong with her beautiful little girl.
Kylie Ann spent most of her time in her room never wanting to go outside to play. At night she could be heard talking and laughing as if with a friend but no one was ever there.
Rachel, who lived next door was a very plain little girl. She had stringy brown hair and brown eyes. She wasn’t a beautiful little girl on the outside, but she had the biggest heart that gave her a beauty within.
Rachel tried her best to be friends with Kylie Ann. She made many trips to ask her to come out and play only to be told she couldn’t come out. One day Kylie Ann did come to the door and Rachel had a huge smile on her little face. The smile faded quickly though when Kylie Ann spat out the words, “You are too ugly for me to play with” and slammed the door. The poor child went home crying.
The very next day the children were returning home on the Bus. Rachel was first to leave and Kylie Ann followed, both were in a hurry to go home for the weekend. Rachel would be eight on Saturday. She’d turned to ask Kylie Ann to please come to her Birthday Party but somehow lost her footing. The Bus had just started to move. No one would ever forget the horrible scream that followed. To this day, no one is exactly sure just what happened!
Years went by quickly and she graduated from grade school. The years were not so easy for her parents as they were called in many a time for Parent/Teacher Conference. Teachers worried that Kylie Ann never tried to make friends. The only time she seemed to have fun was in Art Class. She showed a real talent for drawing portraits of children. The drawings showed features that were not childlike but distorted giving them an evil look.
On Valentine’s day, the children were allowed to give Valentine Cards to their classmates. Kylie Ann told her Mother that she needed to buy Valentines Cards to give to her “friends”. Her Mother thought that she had finally had a breakthrough! So, she took her out to find the most beautiful cards money could buy.
Kylie Ann was so excited she couldn’t wait to get home. She ran to her room to sign the cards and add a special present that she had made for each of them. She locked her door and didn’t come out till morning. Her excitement continued the next morning and she was ready for the Bus without her Mother having to yell “get out of bed Kylie Ann!”
All the Children had made a Valentine Box out of shoe boxes. They decorated them with hearts and lace and whatever they thought would make them pretty. They were called one by one to put their cards in each of their classmate’s boxes. That day was the first time her teacher noticed the twisted smile on Kylie Ann’s face as she dropped each card in the slit at the top of each box.
The Home Room Mothers who volunteered that day brought in sandwiches, heart cookies and red Cool-Aid for their snack. All the children ran to get their share, everyone except Kylie Ann. She sat at her desk waiting for everyone to open the cards that she had chosen especially for each of them.
Lunchtime was over and everyone was excited to find out who their “Secret Admirers” were. The Teacher gave the OK, and everyone ripped open their boxes to read their cards.
All of the sudden, loud screams came from most of the Children. The cards from Kylie Ann contained a hand-drawn portrait inside. It was a picture of each Child that had been altered to make their facial features grotesque. Most of the children started to cry. All the pictures had a caption which read “ Happy Valentines Day to the ugliest person in the class.”
Kylie Ann never returned to that School. In fact, she was put under Doctors care for a few years. While at the Hospital, she was an ideal patient and her Doctor gave her a clean Bill of Health. He also advises them to send her to a private school.
Kylie Ann was now fourteen and had kept up with her School work while in the Hospital. Excited when she was released she ran from the Hospital ready to start her new life.
The years had turned her into a beautiful young woman with the face of an Angel. The Boys took noticed as soon as she walked onto the Campus, the girls, on the other hand, did not appreciate the new competition.
For the first time in her life, she actually tried to communicate with others. She wasn’t very successful, all except for one girl who turned out to be her new roommate. They had a lot of things in common with many secrets to share. The two became practically inseparable.
Kylie Ann was asked out by almost every boy in her Senior Class, which made the girls dislike her even more. She didn’t let it bother her though, one friend was enough!
School flew by and she found herself taking part in a lot of the school’s activities. She especially enjoyed her dates and volunteering to help decorate for the Christmas Dance.
She had never realized how much fun it was to be a part of everything. The boys made her laugh, especially Dave who had the greatest smile. Yes, she had turned over a new leaf and felt almost normal for the first time in her life.
The Christmas Dance turned out to be Magic. The lights, the music, the dancing and Dave’s first kiss under the mistletoe. It felt so good to have someone who cared about her. To her surprise she felt a flutter, now she knew she actually did have a heart!
Morning brought a covering of freshly fallen snow. The tree’s branches were covered with frost that made them glisten like glitter! It was one of the most beautiful snowfalls she had ever seen.
Her Roommate was up enjoying the beautiful scenery too. They both enjoyed a cup of hot coffee while they exchanged Christmas gifts and hugs. They vowed to see each other next year.
Now that it was time to leave, she didn’t want to go. She had been happy here, things had been different, for some reason she felt as if she’d never return. She knew better, she’d be back so she packed and headed home.
Her parents were there to greet her. She was an only child, so it would be the three of them for Christmas. Her Mom and Dad were overjoyed to see the happiness on her beautiful face.
Christmas day, gift giving and dinner was the best ever for the whole family. As time grew late they all said their good nights and mother said, I have one more surprise for you, it’s in your room.
As she entered her old room, she noticed everything had stayed the same. Just as it had been when she was a little girl. The only thing different was something in the corner that was covered with a sheet. Mother told her to read the attached tag, it would explain everything. Mother said goodnight and with a hug and kiss left the room.
Kylie Ann pulled the sheet off the large surprise. It was the most beautiful mirror she’d ever seen. She touched the smooth dark wood of the frame and looked into the sparkling mirror. She reached for the bright red tag attached to the corner. As she read, she turned paler than normal. The tag read, we thought you’d like this mirror, it belonged to our beautiful daughter Rachael. She would want you to have it. Enjoy, love the Dennison’s
As Kylie Ann turned to run out of the room she saw a small figure in the mirror. The little girl was smiling, she seemed to have a glow about her. Somehow Kylie Ann stumbled as she turned to go. The last thing she heard as she fell towards the mirror was the little girl’s voice as she spat out the words, “You are too ugly to be my friend!”
The cry that her parents heard was something they’d never forget. To this day no one knows for sure what had happened that Christmas night! Two young lives had been changed and lost forever! We all have our Monsters within.