Alnwick, Rotary Club


Antonia Johnson has won the Alnwick Rotary Club Young Writer Competition and the Rotary North East District Competition, Intermediate age group. Here is her piece, written on the theme Reflection.

Scarlett gazed into the mirror, admiring her blonde curly locks. It was raining, a soft, miserable drizzle that dripped down the dreary windows of the newly opened hair salon.

After re-applying another coat of ruby red lipstick, she paused to examine her beautiful complexion. Smugly, she batted her long eyelashes and stroked her soft, pale cheeks. Satisfied, she dug her bright pink nails into her purse, and grasped a wad of cash in her bony fingers. She counted out the correct payment, and laid carefully by the counter.

By the time the young hairdresser had returned from the bathroom, Scarlett had disappeared into the vast streets of New York.

About half an hour later, Scarlett had arrived at her ornate apartment in the centre of the city. She positioned herself on one of the plump cushions and retrieved a magazine from the mahogany coffee table. She examined it briefly, then threw it aside, appalled that her own face wasn’t smiling up at her on every page as it had been 30 years ago.

She yawned loudly, and walked along the corridor, her heels echoing as they hit the floor, which was so shiny, Scarlett often took time to examine herself in its polished surface.

Scarlett quickly changed into her pale, satin nightgown, then lay down on her bed, engulfing herself in the luxuriously soft sheets. A wave of relaxation came over her as the breathtaking scent of lavender rose up into her nostrils.

Completely at ease, she raised her eye line up to the silver mirror that lay above her head, ready to see her own face smiling up at her as she fell into a deep sleep. Scarlett, therefore, was very shocked when she realised all that remained in the mirror was a void of empty nothingness.

A shrill, unearthly, horrified scream erupted from Scarlett’s lips. The noise filled the air, and the whole room shuddered; ornaments fell from shelves and the crystal chandelier fell to the ground, smashing into a million shards of broken glass. The only piece of furniture that remained intact was the mirror.

Scarlett stared at it, and her tears ran down her face causing her make-up to run down her face. A cold, withered hand slowly emerged from her beloved mirror and began to grasp at her hair, yanking her forward.

Scarlett screamed again, desperately trying to escape from the clutches of the mirror, but her pathetic struggles and cries for help gained her no pity. The unforgiving hand pulled Scarlett further still, and she began to fade into the glass.

Desperately, she wailed as her beautiful face was washed away by the pain, sorrow and regret she was now faced with. Scarlett screamed for help, but no friends or allies came to her aid, for she had shunned everyone in her efforts to be envied for her glamorous lifestyle. Now, as a punishment for her vanity, she was destined to live alone in the mirror, forever.