She slammed the mirror down on the counter shattering it to pieces “I’m a freak! I can’t go there, I can’t go anywhere!” Alyssa’s mother smiled knowingly. “You’re one of us Al, you’re not a freak.” In answer, her daughter stormed out of the room.

She followed her “You’re class valedictorian Honey, you have to go.” Alyssa looked up showing her tear covered face “I’m hideous mother. HIDEOUS!” Her mother simply placed both hands on her daughters head, running her fingers down her hair letting them rest on her shoulders. Loving her in a way only a mother could. “They want to hear your words Ali Bear, not see your changes, they need to hear you, they voted for you and trust you.” “They didn’t vote for THIS!” Alyssa framed her face with her hands and pulled her mother’s arms away “Why didn’t you tell me about the family secret. You should have prepared me!”

Alyssa promptly walked to her closet, pulled her dress from its protective bag and threw it on the floor. The hours she had spent searching, scouring the internet and vintage shops to find the perfect gown: wasted. “I’m not going, and it’s final.” “I was afraid you’d say that, which is why I have a surprise for you.” Her mother went to her room and returned with an old black satin bag trimmed with lace and beads, she handed it to her daughter.

She peeked inside and looked at her mother with nothing but question marks on her face. Her mother put her hand inside the bag and pulled out an Italian white leather half-mask jeweled with diamonds and sapphires. “This belonged to my great-great-grandmother. Like you, she refused to go out when these episodes happened,” she smiled “You know, they say the whole Mardi Gras fad was started by her.”

Alyssa looked uncertain, she put the mask on her face and turned towards the mirror. “I have been waiting for this day since Grade 9.”

trifectaWritten for Trifecta. On to the weekly prompt.  This week’s word was suggested by Marie Nicole. (pst! That’s me!)  Have fun with it and we’ll see you on Friday.

FREAK (noun) 3: one that is markedly unusual or abnormal: as
a : a person or animal having a physical oddity and appearing in a circus sideshow


This morning I learned my niece was voted class valedictorian. I was also told she’s been preparing her words for such a speech since she was in grade 9. My niece is not a freak, but I did wonder what would it take to keep her from attending her grad.

When she was 5 her halloween costume was a Britney Spears dress. She looked at herself in the mirror and asked me “Who’s sexier: Britney or me?” My sweet, amazing, and inspiring beautiful niece turned into an amazing young woman.


32 thoughts on “Valedictorian”

  1. this was gorgeous, of course I’m wondering what her “episode” looked like but I can imagine that mask (like a Cinderella ball) to hide it.

    CONGRATULATIONS to your niece, what fantastic news for her , for you and for your entire family. 🙂 xo


    1. You know, I was wondering the same thing – and if it’s a family thing, why hasn’t Alyssa ever seen it on her mother? I got a sneaky suspicion this isn’t a true story… 😉 Thanks so much for reading and your comment!


      1. LOL, I am truly growing to just adore you, I mean MORE than I already do.
        Your writing is so good, so evocative. It makes me want to write “BETTER”


        1. You always say the nicest things and you’re not even paid to do so! I wonder how you’ve always treated your employers? Haha.

          I’ve always been told my writing was awkward or raw. I think I’ve learned that rather than fight it, to use it to my advantage. Does that make sense?


  2. I’d love to watch the reaction of an audience if the speaker wore a half-mask ~ how fun! Perfect depiction of a distraught teenager: “looked at her mother with nothing but question marks on her face.” I always enjoy your writing.
    And congrats to your niece!


    1. I think if it were done by somebody like Alyssa all the girls would suddenly be jealous they hadn’t thought of it first.

      Thank you so much for your comments!


    1. Thanks! Actually, that’s the beauty of the story! To a beautiful young valedictorian it could be something as small as a cold sore or it could be something really weird like a total transformation. What did YOU see? That’s what matters!


    1. Thanks! I guess the fact I often still feel like a teenager myself makes it easy to write in that voice! Tiny little horns hunh… interesting!


  3. At first, I thought she had a big zit (that’s what always happened to me right before big events…picture day, band concerts, first dates, etc.) I’m curious about the family secret, too.


    1. Masks are indeed very cool! Especially those old Italian leather ones they would shape and mold. Sigh. Comedia del’arte… such a cool thing!


    1. Thanks Guap – after writing that I had to backspace and add a great to the grandmother. Just to make it more real. Or batter. Hmm… batter… I want pancakes!


    1. Yes. Actually, I need a number of them to carry in my purse like handy little emoticons to let people know how I feel. Kind of like a pre-emptive warning sign on how I need to be treated by others.

      I think I’m on to something great! 😉


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