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Submitted on
January 9
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    The faded black and white photograph sits idly on the vanity. My exact likeness stares out at me from within the flowered frame. We stare at each other, admiring the intricate feature we share. She seems to understand how lucky I was to inherit such beauty from her, the ideal embodiment of femininity. A sort of arrogance glints in her eyes; her plump lips seem to smirk. Her creamy, alabaster skin glows with confident. She is aloof, to say the least. I know everything about this woman, my grandmother, as well as myself, by this photograph. I am the spitting image of her. I know that I am much more than my sorry excuse of a mother. I know that there is more to me than her. Because of my grandmother, I know that I come from more than a disrespected, cheap drunk. This photograph of my grandmother shows me everything that I could ever be.
    One day, I know I will leave this place I am forced to call home. I will abandon the lower-class without a second-glance the first chance I get. My deep resentment for where I come from is only soothed by the notion of all I could live up to one day. Even in this hopeless, miserable place, I will never let go of this slight trace of hope, mostly because it's the last thing I have to hold on to. Whenever the house is invaded by rats, or sewage fills the street, I remember how my grandmother wasn't suited for this life either.
     I was spending my morning sitting at my vanity, brushing my hair, as usual. I heard a hoarse shout from down-stairs. I typically ignore her, so I just continued to brush my hair, my eyes fixed on my reflection. Without a warning, a ragged figure appears in the doorway, clutching a bottle. "What is it, Mom?" I ask irritably, upset to be ripped from my euphoria. 
    "I can't pay the bills this time. We might be evicted." She starts to sob. I feel my resentment boil inside of me. Even by working four jobs between the two of us, we couldn't keep up with our debts. If she cared about it, then she wouldn't be wasting all of our earnings on alcohol. My knuckles turned white as I clenched my fists. My head starts to pound.
    Suddenly, Mom's head perks up. "You still have that old picture I gave you? It's just some actress from the 50's."
    My heart sinks to the floor. With horror, I watch my reflection contort itself. My smouldering eyes, my flawless skin, and all my features twist. Suddenly, I am staring at my mother in the mirror.
The prompt was: Genes - which ones are you glad you inherited?

Ah, the things I put my narrators through...EVIL Laughter! 


EDIT: :wow: Daily Literature Deviation for February 15, 2014! :privateparty: 
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:icongrimface242:
GrimFace242 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014   Writer
As much as I do love the twist at the end, I think the rest could be a bit stronger.  You spend so much time explaining how they are similar and yet I don't know what they look like.  Your main focus seems to be the picture, yea?  All I know is they have the same lips, skin and confidence/arrogance in their demeanor.  If you're going to put so much focus on their appearance being so similar, I should be able to picture her in my head.  And I can't.

I do like how you've shown the difference between the grandmother and mother, but I wonder where the information comes from.  Obviously the narrator has never met their grandmother (or they'd know the picture to be a fake), so where does she gather this information from?  Or is she just speculating from the picture? 

Getting into the start of the day with the character, it slows down.  The pace almost stops.  There's extra information; sentences that could either be reduced or eliminated too. 

And again, you reflect on how the grandmother wasn't suited for that life.  How does the narrator know that? 

Given the circumstances, it's not hard for me to feel empathy for the narrator but you do a nice job of showing her life.  I think if you made this a bit longer and added a bit more detail and allowed the plot to bloom a little more, it would be a much more well rounded piece.

As it stands, the idea is marvelous.  I just think it could be developed a bit more and made it something so much better.
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:iconreireiserenade:
ReiReiSerenade Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much for the constructive criticism! I really appreciate it! :heart: :hug:
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:icongrimface242:
GrimFace242 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014   Writer
Not a problem.  Would love to reread if you make revisions.
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:iconsolidmars:
SolidMars Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wave by chil96
hi there, your lovely work has been featured here: March Feature :heart:
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:iconreireiserenade:
ReiReiSerenade Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
La la la la  Thank you so much! :heart: :huggle:
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:iconsolidmars:
SolidMars Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
you're welcome :huggle:
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:iconshehrozeameen:
shehrozeameen Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
To be honest it deserved the DLD. The twist in this prose was worthy of clapping - genius... ingenius rather :)

Overall, for a flash fic (techincally flash fic, not short story) its concise, very well handled, with decent - but controlled - character development, and the delivery was the best part of this flash fic - it deserves to be highlighted :) Well done :clap:

I didn't find any grammatical or spelling errors which required correcting. The punctuation flowed out well in this work. For me, its a good work :)
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:iconreireiserenade:
ReiReiSerenade Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:heart: Thank you so much! :tighthug:
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:iconshehrozeameen:
shehrozeameen Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:)
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:iconc-a-harland:
C-A-Harland Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014  Student Writer
Great twist. Her arrogance was so strong, and to have the basis of it ripped out was very powerful. 
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