Venetian Hood

Venetian Hood

Of all the places she loathed, sitting before her grandmother’s Venetian mirror topped the list. Her brush strokes came with the strength it took to brush a tangled horse’s tail, always ending with two perfect braids, two pink bows, her red face, and her grandmother’s fuchsia pink smile behind her reflection. Grandma had kept her to this tradition since she’d turned two, but now she was sixteen, and preened to look like a twelve-year old porcelain doll.

At the end of each session she thanked her grandmother, stood and curtsied, then headed downstairs to the dining room to wait for the dinner guests. They never arrived with children, and the women who came with their husbands always told her grandmother she looked like a doll, without ever speaking to her directly.

She was used to slipping away to the woods unseen after dessert had been served, and she didn’t think that night would be any different, except it was.

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