She was so beautiful.

The moment I saw her, I couldn’t stop staring. Something about her was calling me, urging me to move closer, and I saw her moving toward me too. Soon, we were face to face. I smiled at her. She smiled back.

Then something else caught my eye, and we both turned to look. Another face, just as beautiful. How could all these lovely eyes be looking at someone as plain as me? Again, I walked to the alluring new arrival, as she did to me. Perhaps she was a little prettier than the first…

More faces appeared around the corner, all of them calling me forth. Some were like the first two, but many were different. Some were hiding, no doubt shy like me. Some stood in the light like regal beings waiting for attention, my attention. Some were slim, some were wide. Some were tall as giants, some were short as dwarves, and others still had the most unusual curves. But they were all beautiful.

Soon, I was lost in their world. Around every corner, another face waited to greet me with a smile. They made me laugh, a lovely sound that echoed through the still halls of their mysterious land, a sound I hadn’t heard since before my broken heart told me I was plain and made me believe I could never be as beautiful as these hundred faces watching me now. They were laughing with me, telling me a different story. Maybe my heart was wrong.

And then I was at the edge of their world, where one last face, the most beautiful of all, was waiting to see me off. Above her head was a sign, telling me I was now leaving their “House”. I spared one last look into her lovely dark eyes, and in a single step, I was back in the outside world of people and noise and fun of all sorts. Fun that I could finally join in once again.

I looked back into the house I had left, but I couldn’t see that beautiful face anymore. She was gone. They were all gone. They were never there.

But my smile remained. I didn’t need them anymore.

I held my head high and walked away to the pier. Alone.

This story was my entry for the Carnival Style Contest recently held by Writer’s Carnival. The rule was to write any piece as long as it was carnival-themed in some way, so I chose to write a story set in a house of mirrors. With the contest now over and the winners already announced, I decided to share my piece here on my blog for others to read. Enjoy!

Special thanks to Writer’s Carnival for hosting the contest! It was a lot of fun!

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