I will admit I haven’t read the entire list. That being said, this one threw me for a loop.
I have never considered myself attractive, not ugly, just not attractive. Being bullied about having zits and other things didn’t help either. I got to the point where I would fix my hair before school, and if it went sideways during the day, I didn’t care. I never wore makeup. I still don’t.
I just wanted to fade into the woodwork and wish for people not to notice me. Even though the strategy didn’t work for the 12 years I was in school, I still did it.
Enough about me, let’s get into the prompt.
Rafael, as he was nicknamed, sat in the cell in the laboratory gathering his courage to take a first look at what he had become. The “scientists” were trying to awaken both troll and elven genes in his DNA, but in doing so, they created something that was unrecognizable as either. After they were finished, they put him in the cell at the end of the hall and fed him by sliding trays through the slit at the bottom.
He loped over the mirror. He already knew his gate was off-kilter. His left leg was shorter than his right leg. This gave him the illusion of losing his balance with every step. His right leg was as thick as a tree trunk. He guessed that was his troll half asserting itself. The left was lithe and toned like an elf’s. Rafael knew many people that had morphed into magical races once magic returned to the land, but he didn’t think that he would have the blood of two different magical races within him. Every step to the mirror was painful as nerve endings shrieked and joints popped.
His eyes were closed with bandages. He reached out and felt the mirror. He could barely feel it. He tried with his left hand and felt the frame around the glass. He tilted his head downward.
There’s no time like the present. I know I feel hideous. The doctors said they did all they could for my pain. They said they could help my condition. I haven’t seen my mother. She hasn’t come to visit me. I wonder if she thinks I’m dead.
He kept his eyes closed as he removed the bandages from his head and face. Taking a deep breath, he opened his eyes and shut them again.
That can’t be me. That can’t be me. That can’t be me.
He took another deep breath and slowly opened his eyes this time. A contorted visage stared back at him. The left side of his face was rigid and course. His left eye was inset and the large teeth that came out of the left side of his mouth hurt. He lifted his left arm to feel the horn coming out of the left side of his head, and stared wide-eyed at the huge fingers, palm, and arm.
The right side of his face was smooth with sharp features and his right ear was slightly pointed, but by this time he hadn’t noticed. He sunk down along the wall and was sobbing into his hands.
I’m a monster. Why? Why did this happen to me? I wouldn’t blame mom for dumping me if she saw me like this. I must be the ugliest thing to walk the planet.
He was startled into a brief silence when a guard knocked on the door, “Here’s your lunch, freak. Be sure to eat it.”
A tray with a ham sandwich, stale chips, fruit cup, and water slid under the door. He crawled his way to it and was about to start on the sandwich when he heard the guard again.
“You think you’re getting anything to eat? You’ve been nothing but stubborn and uncooperative.”
A meek make voice replied from the cell directly to his right, “I just don’t want to be poked and prodded any more. It hurts. I feel like an experiment and not a person.”
The guard scoffed, “You think you’re a person? You’re a disjointed mix of halfling and dwarf. One half of you is adept at building shit and the other just wants to cook and get too fat to move. No lunch for you.”
“You haven’t given me anything to eat since yesterday at breakfast. Can I just have a piece of bread?”
“No, not until you stop complaining about the procedures.” The guard walked away.
Rafael slid the tray with his right arm to the cell to his right, “Here. I’m not hungry.”
“But, but I heard you needed to eat.”
“Nah, I just took a look at myself and lost my appetite. The name’s Rafael.”
Rafie chuckled, “Either they really like art or they’re addicted to ninja turtles.”
There was a brief silence before a small laugh came from Don, “Yeah, now that I think about it, you’re right. You sure you’re not hungry?”
“Positive.” Rafie pushed the tray closer to Don.
Don took the food off of the tray and slid it as far as he could back to his new friend just in time to hear Rafie’s stomach growl. Don smiled and shook his head.
He’s been doing that ever since I got here. I wonder what he looks like behind that door.
“Hey Rafie, you mind my asking what you look like?”
“Hideous. I look hideous. I would sculpt it, but I don’t want people to puke.”
The guard returned with four more and opened Rafael’s cell. He walked with them to the corner where they chained him to a wall and placed clay in front of him.
“Here is the order. They want it in five days. You don’t do it, they withhold medicine. Understood?”
A weak ‘yeah’ came out of Rafie.
They guards walked out locking the huge steel door behind them.
Rafie’s vision blurred as the tears came anew.