Within an Hair’s Breadth of Being a Princess

A Halloween Flash Fiction

A pretty girl, who has been transformed into an ugly werewolf on Halloween, has to find a way to break her curse before midnight.

Keywords: Halloween, Werewolves, Witches, Magic, Being Oneself, Sisters.
Release Date: October 1, 2018

I caught my ghostly reflection in a car window, and screamed. I had become what I always feared. Ugly.

I wanted to be a princess. Every day I spent hours making myself beautiful. However tonight, I was not pretty because of the Halloween costume my mother forced me to wear. Tonight, I was an ugly werewolf.

As I passed by a frightening witch, I gagged at her pustules looking as real as her crooked nose. “Disgusting.”

The witch jolted. “Darling, beauty is subjective.”

“Whatever.”

She chortled, rubbing her hands together. Her mouth uttered words as if she was reading a pumpkin-pie recipe, but she was not baking. She was cursing me, transforming my body into a real werewolf.

I caught my ghostly reflection in a car window, and screamed. I had become what I always feared. Ugly. “Please,” I pleaded, kneeling on a cushion of dried leaves, “lift the curse. I was wrong. True beauty comes from within.”

“You will remain a werewolf forever,” she explained, her screeching voice sending goosebumps down my spine, “unless you find, before midnight, someone who truly likes you.”

My heart flickered like a flame. I had a boyfriend who already liked me. I ran to his house where he stood outside, distributing candies. “Tell me you like me,” I begged him.

He jerked backwards, his face contorted in disgust. “Aren’t you supposed to be a princess!?”

“Please.”

“Not when you look like this.” He went inside, leaving me alone in the spooky night. My stomach churned in fear.

Then I remembered. Before we started dating, my boyfriend said that, if a nerdy girl spent as much time putting on makeup as studying, she would get prettier.

All I needed was to make myself beautiful again.

I rushed back home and locked myself in my bedroom. I spent the entire evening applying makeup and nail polish while my sister kept interrupting me. “Leave me alone,” I yelled at her the third time she came to my room. “I’m busy.”

“I liked you better when you were blowing up the house with your scientific experiments.” She pulled her tongue and left, slamming my door.

I glanced at the time, my heart stopping. Only fifteen minutes left before midnight. I had failed. Maybe if I did not waste my time trying to be pretty, I would have found a way to lift the curse already.

I grabbed my hair, hurting my scalp. What if people rejected me? I shook my head, knowing that the people who truly mattered would always accept me.

I walked outside to meet my sister, the wind howling. “You want to play?”

She smiled, and for the rest of the night, I embraced the werewolf I had become. “I like you better when you’re ugly,” she admitted, a web of sweat spread on her face.

My body shivered as I returned to my old self. From the kitchen window, I saw that I had mud on my face and leaves in my hair. I looked awful and I liked it.

Who cared about being a princess when I could be… me?

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