Wasty Presents: Choice Of Your Pain

The Face In The Mirror

It happened in 1912 on the magnificent estate of the millionaire Mrs. Le Neve. The story was so unbelievable back then, so strange and horrifying, yet true, that no one could make any sense of it and that it had to be kept from the public with the greatest of efforts. Over the years, piece by piece of the truth has trickled through and the story can be well comprehended by the modern people of today.
Like every morning Mrs. Margery Le Neve had difficulties getting up. Arduously she stretched her arms, tossed and turned and ached and yawned. With a special call button she called for the butler who came right away. She ordered him to serve breakfast at the bed. After that she closed here eyes again, overcome by tiredness, and tried to sleep some more.
Though she was a widow she didn't have to work and could afford this great villa with all the luxuries. She had inherited huge wealth from her mother and invested the money in banks and stock that it multiplied quickly. She also owned a lucrative furniture business that belonged to her late husband.
She usually stayed in bed until noon and only when she tended to acquaintances in the afternoons she really woke up. But this information just on the side to shed some light on her daily routines.
The butler entered with a silver tray and put it on a table next to the bed. Mrs. Le Neve nodded and the butler was allowed to leave. While she enjoyed bread, eggs and ham she read today's paper. She paid the newspaper boy double the amount so that he would deliver as early as possible.
Nothing exciting had happened and her focus was on the food. Suddenly, her house cat, that had already won three beauty contests, jumped on the bed covers and gazed expectantly at Mrs. Le Neve. She ran her fingers through the shining, soft fur. Actually she thought that she didn't have time to spend with a cat and wanted to give it away for quite a while already but she found she just couldn't do it, besides it had brought in a nice amount of money three times and the next beauty contest was to take place soon. The already stuffed cat now received at piece of cheese and hid away in a corner of the room.
Mrs. Margery had the remains of the breakfast taken away and dedicated herself to sleep again that usually went by dreamless. She could not complain about sleeplessness at all. She didn't have to take sleeping pills, or any other pills for that matter, and was in good health. Yet, the personnel did their duties silently. A rare silence laid over the villa and the estate. Not even the servants talked to each other. It seemed as something was going to happen. Even Mrs. Le Neve suddenly dreamed all kinds of confused things that she couldn't recall when she woke up.
Sweating a bit she was awakened by a maid. The servant helped her dress and resumed her usual work. Mrs. Le Neve read a single page in a book. That was a habit of hers that she tended to daily. She claimed that she would memorize the book better that way.
After a deep breath she put on her fur coat and went on a walk in her own park.
A huge lawn extended from the main door. The back of the estate featured a gold course. If it wouldn't have bothered her to have a lot of strangers here, she would have made it public with a club house and everything. With her poodle she walked leisurely across the green.
She arrived at the little forest that her ancestor Count George Le Neve had planted and that contained a small pond. Mrs. Le Neve enjoyed the sound of walking through the fallen leaves. A tree-free spot appeared and in the center of it was the pond that had reeds growing on one side. Fishes swam in the clear water. Mrs. Le Neve observed them and saw the reflection of her face on the flat surface. She noticed that she looked quite unkempt, at least for her own standards.
The cute poodle suddenly whimpered and limped around on three legs. Mrs. Le Neve examined the fourth and saw that a thorn was stuck in it. She removed it. Suddenly she was overcome by a queasy feeling; not because of the dog. After all, she once was a nurse and was used to the sight of blood. That did not bother her. She wanted to get away from the forest immediately and even took the dog in her arms in order to get out of there faster.
She asked the butler to bring tea and retreated to her bedroom in order to dress up. She just didn't get anywhere today. To win time she decided not to have lunch. She sat down at the make-up table. She thoroughly combed her hair - herself for a change - and powdered it afterwards. Then she took the lipstick and began to apply it. She looked at herself in the mirror, turned her head back and forth and smiled. But strangely the image in the mirror didn't follow that movement. The lips remained pale and straight. Her eyes flipped wide open. A death-rattle escaped her throat. The mirror shattered as if it had stood under tension and the cat leaped across the table into her corner. Jars and glasses fell all over.
With an apology for the delay the butler entered with the tea. He saw the motionless Mrs. Margery Le Neve and the shattered mirror of which only the wooden frame and back was still hanging on the wall. With the help of a doctor Mrs. Le Neve was pronounced dead.
The media was reserved about the event and only mentioned it in passing because no one could really tell them what had occurred. Only a few insiders dared to make assumptions and those had to remain secret. Who wanted to know back then that she did not die of natural causes?


Copyright © November 1980, Wasty, The Face In The Mirror
German title: Das Gesicht im Spiegel
93 lines
Reading time: approx. 5 1/2 minutes


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Last updated February 12, 2001 by Martin Mathis, e-mail lastbandit.com