So, first off. The titles of each of these pieces are actually the titles of the short stories they’re from (except in the case of novel excerpts, in which case the titles will be the chapter titles). Thusly, this piece is the beginning of a short story titled “The Face in the Dream.”
The face staring back from the mirror was ugly. It was the face of a murderer. It was the face of a sixteen-year-old girl.
Lisa steeled herself as she put her makeup on; it was hard to escape her thoughts and her dreams. The eyeliner, the blush, the mascara; it was all a mask, not to put forth a good face to the world, but to hide her face from herself.
She did her best to ignore the smooth cheeks, the deep brown eyes, and the long, straight, black hair that she knew were her own features. She lengthened her eyelashes, to hide the brown eyes. She applied blush, to change the cheeks. She curled her hair, to make it less like the hair of a killer.
Lisa closed her eyes when she finished, and simply sat before her mirror, preparing herself for another day at school.
Her mother’s voice filtered through the closed door to her room and into her bathroom. She sighed and got up, though she didn’t feel ready to face the day. It wasn’t a new feeling for her; she never felt ready. Her feet tread the carpets of her house nonetheless, down the stairs and into the kitchen.
Her mother was bustling about, a smile on her face. Lisa almost had trouble seeing her mother; they looked more and more alike each day. She hated seeing even the smallest vestiges of the killer in her mother’s face.
One key difference was apparent, though. Her mother smiled all the time. Lisa forced a smile onto her face, her now-habitual morning grimace for the sake of any members of her family still home when she came downstairs. They didn’t know about her. Nobody knew the truth about her.