Posted by: Author | January 27, 2014

Tuesday Tales- January 28, 2014- Mirror

Today’s word prompt is mirror. I was concerned about fitting this one in since one of the first “rules” of writing I was told was that I should never, ever have my character look in a mirror and describe her long, flowing hair and crystal blue eyes. So, see if I succeeded in keeping the rule intact.

I’m still in the 1950s at Edwards Air Force base and writing about Rick and Vivian.

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The local news channel’s reporter stood in the foreground of the shot. Behind him was a plume of smoke far out on the horizon. “As you can see, the wreckage is quite a few miles away. We still have no word on the condition of any survivors. We have a man on the way to the site who’ll bring us an update as soon as they arrive at the scene.”

“Come on. I’m locking up. I need to get out there and see what’s going on.” Mr. Jameson snapped off the television.

“I want to come with you.” Vivian stood and scrubbed her face with the heels of her hands.

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” Mr. Jameson said.

“Why not?”

“You seem quite upset and if there’s a fatality out there, it could affect you much more than it is here at headquarters.”

“Mr. Jameson, I think Vivian is more concerned about checking on Captain Logan than she is for herself.”

“I can understand that, Mary Lou but I think it would be better for you to take your sister home to wait for news there. As the head of the Republican party here, I’ll have to be talking with some of the military brass and seeing what we can do—”

“To what? To make the party look good in this terrible situation?” Mary Lou asked, the horror in her voice palpable.

“Of course not, young lady. What I was trying to convey is that the party will want to be a presence on the scene and brief the president along with the military brass. With President Eisenhower due to arrive in the next week, he’s going to want to be prepared to deal with the fallout of this and I need to be out there gathering information.” He turned to Vivian. “Come. Let’s lock up. I’ll call you when I know more information than the media is giving out.”

“Let me go wash my face first. You go ahead. I’ll lock up and put out the closed sign.” Vivian walked over to the sink. She heard the door close as she looked at her face in the mirror. She didn’t think she’d ever seen herself so pale and bug-eyed. If she wasn’t so upset about what was going on at the base and her stomach wasn’t so tied up in knots that it was cramping, she might have laughed at herself. The way her heart hurt, she wasn’t sure she’d ever laugh again.

“Are you going to be all right?” Mary Lou called over to Vivian.

“I think so. I’m a little nauseous but as soon as I wash my face, I’ll be ready to go.” Vivian turned on the water and splashed some on her cheeks. She patted them dry and turned off the water. “Let’s go.”

On her way out the door, Vivian grabbed her purse and dug out her lipstick to put some on in the car. She may be pale and scared but she always wore lipstick.


  1. What a powerful excerpt! Well done.

    • Thanks Vicki. I appreciate it.


  2. Love the emotion you convey here. The way you paint it, I can feel it. And yet the lipstick. A woman after my own heart. Love it.

    • Thanks Jean. Since it’s the fifties, I figure that they were very aware of how they should look in public even if they’re emotionally a wreck. Thanks for saying it was emotional.


  3. Well done! A woman in the fifties would have definitely been concerned about the lipstick, it was a great touch. Her emotions were so raw…I’m surprised she didn’t force her way to the crash site.

    • Sarah- you’re so good at guessing what’s next in my stories. LOL- she is headed that way….

      Thanks for the compliment on the lipstick and the well-done.

  4. Great emotion and I wonder if she’s going to the crash site anyways

    • ThNks Lindsay. And yeah, I’d bet on her heading out there. Lol

  5. Powerful and beautifully written scene.

    • thanks Sherry. I appreciate it!

  6. Excellent! Just having the book set at Edwards AF Base has me already attached to the story, since my parents owned several acres not far from there when I was growing up. I can see the research you’ve put into the story, yet you weave it all in seamlessly. Very well done!!

    • Wow. Thanks Trisha. I needed this comment today. Am having one of those days full of doubt about my writing ability.


  7. What an unfortunate situation for Vivian, despite her trepidation you have made a strong character.

    • Thanks Stefan. I appreciate that. I’m glad she’s coming across as I intended.

  8. Nice period touch. I remember my own Aunt always wearing lipstick if she wore nothing else. A woman wasn’t dressed without her lipstick.

    • You’re right, Morgan. My mother was a teen in the late 50s and she still to this day won’t leave the house without her lipstick. I’m the bane of her existence since I prefer chapstick. LOL

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