My reflection squinted back at me in the magnifying mirror, wanting to make sure what it saw was real.
Sure enough, those wrinkles were still fading.
I picked up the jar of foul smelling gelatinous goop and slathered it all over my face and neck, trying hard not to breathe it in.
A bit of vomit caught at the back of my throat and I choked it back. You would think after using it for months now that I would have gotten used to that smell. Still…
A small price to pay for looking youthful again.
I screwed the top back onto the jar, making a mental note to pick up more later this week. There was one more thing I had to do before bedtime.
Pausing at the top of the stairs to pull my bathrobe tighter against the chill, I flicked on the light before descending into the basement. I had hidden them behind the boxes on the third shelf by the washing machine in the far corner. The dust made me sneeze as I shifted the large cardboard boxes to expose the small carved dark one in the back.
There you are!
I ran a hand over the box of mementos, caressing the ridges with my fingers. It was a ritual now. Every evening the same thing, tucking them in for the night before turning in myself. I kissed the lid, then returned everything back to its place.
At first, my need to stalk and kill came as a surprise, a dirty secret that I did not understand. Then I had discovered where the stem cells for my face cream had come from.
He had grown up now, was locked up in San Quentin, on death row, the most notorious serial killer in recent memory. I could have stopped using the cream once I realized what was happening, I suppose, but it was working so well…
Other women throughout history had done worse in the name of vanity.
Slowly, I made my way back up the stairs, closing the door firmly behind me, turning the lock to keep them safe.
I crawled into bed and turned off the light, snuggling up under the soft, downy warmth of the feather duvet.
Thanks to C. S. Boyack for the idea!