Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lashes - a super-short story

By Mary McCallum

The art of mascara isn't hard to master. It just needs a firmness of touch, and a wiggle before the brush leaves the lashes. I've applied it on the run: on the toilet, eating breakfast, driving to work - one hand on the steering wheel, one on the mascara wand, both eyes on the road. I swear, I'd only look in the rear vision mirror once or twice.
       That last time was different. Something scratching - a dislodged lash? The mascara clogged on the brush. I remember tipping the mirror and looking deep into the weeping white of my eye. The flash of yellow out of nowhere. Tiny candy-pink tights cartwheeling. One shoe. On the bonnet, the daisy from the little yellow hat.  
      That's all I see now, and I refuse to frame it. I can't. No more black plasticky lash-paint for me. Lashes, only lashes.


Lashes is one of the two short-short stories I entered in the brand-new section of the BNZ Literary Awards which you enter via Facebook. These stories are so short you could read them on an cell phone. It was fun writing them - more like writing a poem than a story.

Anyway, the winner has been announced and it isn't me, it's the very deserving James Francis with 'Whoo eh'! with Will Harvie and Grant Aldridge, Highly Commended. Go here and scroll down.... Graham Beattie was the judge and there were hundreds of entries apparently. Anyway, that leaves me free to post my story here. I entered it under my Gran's maiden name: Elsie French (a pseudonym was required.).


Lani Wendt Young said...

I enjoyed that! Thanks for sharing it.I find it WAY too difficult to write short short stories and always admire it when others can do it succesfully.

Elisabeth said...

A powerful piece, Mary. i enjoyed it. It had my eyes twitching under the mascara wand.

Helen Reynolds said...

wow, what a powerful story . of course you can use the image!