The Price of Vanity

‘Oh no, what will I do?’

Madison stared at her reflection in the mirror. For the first time years she couldn’t hide the short red and grey hair and freckles she despised. Nor could she shapeshift her face to appear ten years younger. Madison was mortified. What had gone wrong.

Five years earlier she had paid thousands for the ability to rejuvenate at will, so she didn’t have to face the world as a thirty-rapidly-approaching-forty something. She had even paid extra so her hair appeared blonde and curled softly down her shoulders.

‘What am I going to do?’ she wailed, at no one in particular. She never let anyone stay at her flat, so no one ever saw the reality.

She left the bathroom and picked up her phone, dialling the number for laboratory she had used. ‘Please hold the line, madam,’ said the cheerful voice on the other end of the line. ‘What’s she got to be so happy about, doubt she is even twenty yet,’ Madison snarled as the holding muzak droned in her ear.

‘Your call is important to us, please hold the line,’ crackled a robot voice.

‘Oh you bet it’s important, ‘ Madison muttered, ‘I have a multi-million contract coming up and I won’t get it looking like a hag.’

The muzak droned on in reply.

Finally a guy answered. ‘Sorry to keep you waiting, what seems to be the problem?’

‘Your treatment has stopped working, what are you going to do about it?’

‘Which treatment, madam, we have a few to choose from?’

‘The rejuvenating youth one,’ Madison snapped.

‘When did you buy it, madam?’

‘Just over five years ago,’ she said. ‘Look I don’t want my money back I just want another treatment, and soon.’

‘Madam, you would have been advised at the time you could only have one treatment application.’

‘What?’

‘Check your paperwork, it would have been in the consent form you signed.’

‘This can’t be true!!!’

‘I am afraid it is, madam.’

Madison hurled her phone across the room as she slumped dejectedly on her sofa.

©JG Farmer 2019

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