The sign on the fair booth read ‘PSYCHIC READINGS’.
“I’ll catch up with you in a minute,” I told my mother.
I wanted to believe in a promising future, having dropped out of college single, overweight, and depressed after not having obtained my ‘MRS.’
A voice from the inside the booth startled me. “You,” she said. “You look like a Jane.”
I gasped. She didn’t have a normal face: irregularly-shaped circles for a nose, bird-like slits on the sides of her head for ears, and eyebrows singed off, leaving a thick line of scarring above her big blue eyes, a perfect circle of porcelain skin surrounding each one.
“Y-yes,” I stammered. “How did you know?”
“I’m Matty Nevans.” Her mouth twitched as she pointed at another sign. “The reading costs five dollars.”
I paused, then opened my purse.
When she lifted the tent flap, she revealed a long, dimly-lit room with a concrete slab floor. When she closed it, the crinkly walls transformed into perfectly flat mirrors and Matty disappeared. I tried to reopen the flap. It wouldn’t budge.
My face and body stretched and squashed in each frame of the mirror. When I got to the last pane the clarity was flawless, but the face staring back at me wasn’t mine. No ears. No nose. Large blue eyes under scarred eyebrows.
I felt my face and ran out of the tent. “Mom! Mom!” I screamed.
I threw myself around her. She shrieked and pried me off. With tears in my eyes I could see the disdain and outright fear in her eyes. I was no longer Jane. I was Matty Nevans.