book by its cover

Faceless

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It was around about this time last week that her face had fallen off. Right into her lap, with a squelch. She remembered the squelch in particular. The soundtrack to the horrific picture before her eyeballs, which, now, stuck out on their stems like bubble gum flavoured Chupa Chups lollies. At least her face hadn’t landed on the floor. Even with the five second rule in force there was something stricter about infection control when it came to one’s own inner skin.

The face had been placed in a special machine next to her bed. Her laptop was plugged in next to it. Laptop on the left. Face on the right. The machine kept the cells in the face alive. Or something. The doctors had explained, but listening wasn’t her priority at that point. It lay there under the clinical light, looking cool and stable, but unreal. Unhuman.

As the week had gone by along with passing doctors and surgeons, all with the same baffled looks that said we-can’t-do-anything-but-we’re-not-going-to-tell-you-that-yet, she considered her loss. She’d lost her identity. The thing that people relied upon to tell her apart from the rest.

Yet, she’d never felt so identified.

Groups of people had brown eyes, blond hair, long noses, full lips. The surface by which other faces made their judgments. The evolutionary shallowness that meant the human brain, the inside, could process faster, decide quicker, and efficiently make choices that ultimately boiled down to death or life. Run or stay. Spend time, or not. The amount of effort she had made to affect their judgment. Cleansed and moisturised. Primed and painted. Buffed and polished. But there was no mascara for the soul. No lipstick for the heart. The unmade-up invisible inside needed a different kind of nourishment, and a different kind of reward. And it would change every day, renew itself, grow into a unique shade that no eyeshadow could conceive.

She was the only woman with no face. In the whole world. She smiled (she thought). Her face glowed. Then she pulled the plug on the right.

 

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