Show The Cameras What They Want
By Nora Chery
Volume 1 Issue 4
January 20, 2021
Image provided by Jasmien Wynants
The little girl sat on her pink stool in front of her pink vanity, the golden mirror lights pouring their light on her small round face and her small body. Using her reflection, she applied red lipstick, a brand she teamed up with, on her little non-existent lips while her humming of a mainstream song bounced around the room.
How long are you going to keep putting on that makeup, darling? They're expecting you," a voice with a tint of sweetness mixed with annoyance spoke up.
The little girl's red lipstick pauses, midway on her bottom lip. She glances at the left side of her mirror, her eyes seeing the large lens that belonged to a bridge camera. She turns her head, facing the camera's body towering over her. Her eyes meet the backsides of smartphones and their smaller lens, on both sides and top of the bridge camera. Millions of them, pushing, shoving, and stacking on amongst each other, forming a stadium just to get a view of her, millions of their lenses were staring right at her. The little girl felt sweat form on her forehead, a drop of nervousness forming inside her chest. She never thought that this many cameras would take an interest in her.
The bridge then says in a small cheerful voice, "Go on, and you can do it," while adjusting its lens.
The little girl shifting on the cushion of her stool, hesitating until a small plop on the ground startled her. She looked down at her feet to see a heart that was no smaller than a dime, it's vibrant red, and cherry scent attracted her to pick it up. Every touch she felt on its smooth surface, a shimmer of warmth had risen in her chest, spreading.
She grinned ear to ear. The cameras watched her, stood up from her stool, and grew. She no longer was a little girl. Through their lenses, she is a woman with grinning red lips and revealing clothes that showed her grown up body. When she rolled, the woman danced and thrust her hips; the lenses clicked with joy while sprinkled her with hearts. The cherry smell enveloped her, loading her nostrils with encouragement. When she got on the ground, lifted her long-grown legs, they clicked with excitement, showering her with hearts. When she swung around, picked up a low squatting stance, and threw her hips back, the clicks grew stronger with eagerness, dousing her with hearts.
The hearts kept on arriving, coming down and bouncing off her body every time she twisted and curved her body.
"That's my girl!" said the bridge camera, and she felt validation flood all over her body.
But suddenly, Swoosh! The woman felt an intense pain graze through her left shoulder; she yelped. The audience paused, stunned, as did the woman, heavily breathing as she peered at her shoulder to see a gash already forming with blood trickling down at the length of her arm. She looked back at her vanity, following the direction of the weapon that cut her to see a heart bigger than a dime, its lower half pinned to the right side of the mirror frame. She stared at it with fright; 'Aren't hearts supposed to be a good thing?' she thought.
Her reflection catches her attention; she stares at it with dazed confusion that soon transformed into confused horror. Her reflection was not a grown woman with a grown body; it was a little girl with a little body. Her small round face covered in sweat and smudged with red lipstick from dancing she was too young to do, in an outfit she was too young to wear, with a gash she was too young to have.
"What are you waiting for?" said the annoying Bridge camera, dismissing the event that just happened. "Show the cameras what they want.