I recently took a trip down memory lane by revisiting some of my earlier writings from my childhood and teen years. Most of it is pretty typical young writer stuff (very silly plots and characters!), but I’ve always liked this short piece, which I wrote for a high school English assignment. It’s kind of my riff on The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. Enjoy!
The sunlight streamed through the open window. The brightness of it practically blinded the old woman’s eyes—eyes that had once been as blue as the sky and now were lifeless, clear as glass. Out in the garden beyond the window, her granddaughter sat on the stone bench sewing a dress while her two-year-old daughter played quietly nearby. The grandmother watched as the sunlight danced off her golden hair, wishing she was the one sitting out there sewing instead of lying in bed.
She got up and staggered over to the full-length mirror. A small, stooped, and shapeless form greeted her sad eyes. Silver hair hung in twisted locks about her hunched shoulders. Her hands, once capable of sewing the finest clothes in the county, now could barely hold a cane as gnarled and twisted as they were. Her once beautiful face was shriveled and contorted with pain.
“Oh, to be young again!” she cried, smashing the mirror with her fist. It cracked and the pieces fell to the floor. She withdrew her hand, startled, and saw the blood on her youthful flesh. AS she wiped it away, it dawned on her what had happened.
“I’m young again!” She glanced in the mirror and gasped in astonishment. The mirror was unbroken!
Running to the window, she looked out over the gardens, bright and beautiful with the vibrance of spring. She fingered her golden curls and stretched forth her hands, admiring the slender, coordinated fingers. Her countenance glowed and her skin was smooth. She spun around the room, laughing in youthful exuberance. Round and round she went till her outstretched hand caught the upright mirror, sending it crashing to the ground…
The sun was setting, lighting the sky in a gorgeous array of colors but the old woman stood amidst the shattered glass, oblivious to the beauty of the world around her.