More Than A Pretty Face

"You have a beautiful face," the woman said. "I wish I had it."   It was nothing Sariel hadn't heard before, of course, but she still appreciated the compliment. She sized up the woman standing alone in the moonlit street. She was a little older than Sariel, but she was well-dressed and well-proportioned. Her pale face, made paler by the moonlight, was cute, in a plain sort of way. It was her eyes that caught Sariel's attention the most. Her eyes betrayed her, in a way. Sariel knew that the talk of her beauty was no friendly compliment. There was an intensity to her eyes, a hunger, a desire. It was a feeling Sariel was intimately familiar with. Eyeing the woman up, Sariel decided that it had been a fun night carousing, and this seemed like the perfect way to end it. Putting on a sultry smile, she slowly approached the woman.   "Well," Sariel purred, "this beautiful face is all yours for the rest of the-"   A needle pierced Sariel's chest, and within seconds she collapsed.  
Sariel jolted upright, or at least attempted to. Ropes clung tightly to her wrists, to her ankles, to her forehead, to her neck. She was strapped to a table, with some oppressively bright light shining at her face. Probably magical, she thought. Her head ached, her chest throbbed with dull pain, her limbs felt numb and brittle. She struggled against her restraints, the ropes chafing against her but offering little to no wriggle room. As she struggled, she heard footsteps approaching, and soon felt the presence of a figure to the right of her head. As Sariel attempted to shift her head towards the figure, the woman's looming, staring face entered her peripheral vision.   Sariel gave a pained smile. "If you wanted to tie me down, you could have just asked," she nervously quipped.   The woman just stared at her. After a moment, she stepped out of sight, and Sariel could hear her rummaging around the room. A while later, the woman returned to Sariel's line of sight, once more staring into her eyes.   "I am sorry," the woman said.   "You don't have to be sorry! You can just let me go," Sariel reminded her.   "I am sorry that you are awake," the woman clarified. "That was the last of my paralysis potion. I was hoping this operation would be painless for you."   "Well, if you don't want to cause me any pain, you could just let me go," Sariel prodded.   For the first time, the woman acknowledged her. "How could I let you go when you still have what I want?"   "Well, what do you want?" Sariel queried.   The woman moved closer. "I have told you. Your face. I want your face."   Sariel struggled harder against her restraints, the rough ropes tearing at her skin.   The woman continued unperturbed. "Your face is perfect. It is beautifully proportioned. Elegant, but youthful. Glamorous, but approachable. I must have it. Then I will be beautiful."   "But- but you're already beautiful!" Sariel pleaded.   "Excellent. Then you will be content with your new face. The lady I took these hands from was far less accommodating." The woman got closer and closer to Sariel's face. Sariel could see, from the corner of her eye, the glint of a blade.   "Y-you're crazy!" Sariel exclaimed.   "I think you will find I am quite reasonable," the woman said calmly. "If I were not, I could have simply killed you, or left you disfigured. Instead, I am merely… performing a transaction. And, of course, I have already apologised for the temporary pain you will experience. Now, please stay still. I want to ensure the cuts are as clean as possible."   Sariel struggled more and more. Blood tricked from her wrists as they chafed harder and harder against the tight ropes. With a sigh, the woman pressed her free hand down onto Sariel's face. Gripping the knife in her other hand, she slowly lowered it down into Sariel's forehead and began her work.   Sariel gritted her teeth. She tried everything she could to focus on struggling against the ropes, on getting free. But the searing pain from her forehead overwhelmed her. She breathed faster and faster, until she couldn't contain it. Sariel howled in agony. Her screams rattled the walls of whatever room she had been trapped in. The woman's brow furrowed. "Be quiet," she ordered.   Sariel screamed louder and louder, in defiance as much as in pain. Sighing, the woman put her knife down, leaving a large gash along Sariel's forehead. Sariel carried on screaming.   "I told you to be quiet," the woman muttered, and stepped out of Sariel's field of vision. Sariel heard the sounds of rummaging around once more. The woman returned with a roll of cloth. Tearing a large sheet off, the woman stuffed the cloth into Sariel's open mouth. Sariel quickly tried to push the cloth away, but already the woman was on top of her, wrapping the rest of the cloth around the lower part of her head. Tried as she might to scream, Sariel's sounds were sufficiently muffled.   "You really are being very disruptive," the woman chided. "Perhaps it was foolish of me to expect you to cooperate without being paralysed." The woman paused for a moment. Sariel felt a glimmer of hope. If the woman went to get more of this potion, Sariel would have a window to escape! "Well," the woman continued, "I suppose I have already begun the operation. It would be a waste to stop now."   Sariel's eyes widened as her hopes were dashed. The woman once more reached for the knife, as Sariel struggled frantically. Just then, she heard a banging noise emanating from the ceiling above her head. The woman sighed once more and stepped away from the table. Sariel heard her walk up a set of stairs. She heard the creak of a door, and the unmistakable sound of a lock clunking shut behind the woman. Sariel could very faintly hear the conversation above her.  
"What is it?"   "Are you alright? I heard what sounded like screaming." It sounded like a man's voice.   "Screaming? Why, I certainly wasn't screaming."   "Did you hear anything, then?"   "Oh no, I was… engrossed in my work."   "Are you sure you didn't hear anything? It was rather loud, and it got louder as I got closer to-"   "You must be imagining things, then."   "No, I'm absolutely certain I heard something, and I'm not sure where else it could be coming from. Is there anyone else in the house, or-"   "You are disturbing some very important work."   "Well, if you do hear anything, then-"   "Very important work."   With that, the door slammed, leaving the woman to her work. Barring the front door once more, she unlocked the weighty door to her cellar, and eagerly stepped downwards, ready to complete her project. There had been too many distractions today – she still had her own face to cut off, after all. She found her ‘donor' was still bound and gagged. The auburn-haired girl was lying still, having undoubtedly exhausted herself with all her inconsiderate struggling. All the better. The woman approached her desk, looking for where she had left her knife, only to see no sign of it. She rummaged around at her desk to no avail. Perhaps in all her rushing she had left it on the operating table? She turned towards her ‘donor' and immediately caught sight of her knife in the girl's hand.   In an instant, Sariel sprung up from the shredded ropes. She lunged at the woman, plunging the knife into her chest. The woman stumbled backwards. Sariel pulled out the knife and thrust it into the woman's chest once more. The woman crumpled to the floor, a pool of blood slowly forming around her. Stepping forward towards the stairs and freedom, Sariel caught sight of herself in a large mirror. A huge gash streaked across her upper forehead, with partially dried blood sticking onto her hair. Her cheeks were bruised from the tight gag, and her brow and neck were shredded from struggling under the ropes. After a moment's look, she chuckled to herself slightly.   Despite it all, she really did have a beautiful face.


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Oct 21, 2023 03:40

What I’ve learned from tales and myths is that being pretty causes more trouble than it’s worth XD   Good story, my friend.

Life is too short to be squandering on things you don’t enjoy or things that do nothing to benefit those around you.
Oct 31, 2023 22:09 by Always Room For Pud

Thanks! I ended up being too busy to do much more for Spooktober so I'm glad you enjoyed it!