The flashes started blinding her as soon as she stepped onto the balcony. Years of training overrode instinct and neither her smile faltered nor her poise. Smile… wave… pose… legs lightly crossed… hip tilted away from the cameras… She had it down to a science.
Predictably, tomorrow’s tabloid would read – The princess got the look just right.

For heaven’s sake, the princess always got the look just right. When her mother died, when the head of security took it upon himself to ‘comfort her’, and even when she was too stoned to care, the princess still got the look right. That was what she was, after all. A pretty head on display for the world to fawn over. Never mind that she felt like a horrid hopeless alien in her own skin, the makeup had to be perfect and the hair coiffed just right. Appearance was everything.

She looked at the immaculate grounds below visualising crimson splattered over pristine white marble. If she jumped right now what a pretty picture it would make. What a splash! What would the tabloids write about then – her dress, her addictions, the abortion?

Just one jump and blissful nothingness.


© A Mixed Bag 2009


In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt of 30th July 2017.

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12 thoughts on “Picture perfect

  1. Loved the way you have used the alien head in a figurative sense here. The Princess’ inner turmoil and feeling of utter loneliness amidst the crowd comes through perfectly. Well done on a great take on the prompt. Cheers, Varad

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  2. This is an interesting take, rather she is just playing ‘head of state’ and Hayes her life, what she was taught to be, the perfection she must play out. She’s miserable and I would think quite depressed if she is thinking about what jumping off the balcony would look like. A sad one but you do feel for her and what they think of her a head, a pretty face. Great write!

    Liked by 1 person

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