Pretty Ugly

Imagine a world without imperfection, no flaws, no errors or anything classified as a mistake. A society where beauty is more important than the individual. The law states that if you look at a Pretty while you're still transforming into one and you'll be imprisoned. Disobey a Pretty and you die. --- After a project called 'Deus Ex' spirals out of control, raises the question whether humanity's reach has exceeded its grasp.


8. A Beautiful Vicissitude

"It's the little details that are vital.

Little things make big things happen"

- John Wooden


A Beautiful Vicissitude 

As we wandered through the hallway, one open door showed me what I've been trying to avoid. There was someone laying on a surgical bed. His bones had been stretched to the limit and his face still bleeding. 

               "Don't look." I said, closing Daisy's eyes

After that Daisy couldn't control herself. Soon we got closer and closer to one of the doors. I blew into my hands, my breath visible in the chill. Her hand was as cold as ice and I could feel my fingers already getting numb.  Daisy's bare feet constantly made an unpleasant sound as she trailed her heavy icy feet across the floor.

A muffled sound came from behind us. Someone talking. 

               "Shhh," I hissed.

The sound gradually faded. One thing was certain: the building wasn't empty.

We gingerly made our way straight for the door, patches of sunlight crawling across the floor through the doorway.  

The portal didn't have to scan our eyes to recognize us. It was an old human-made door that simply opened with a slight push. The warm sunlight burned my eyes and my skin tingled all over as we stepped outside the building. 

The streets were crammed with gray shiny hovercars restlessly flying here and there, up and down. The sidewalks embellished with beautifully constructed humans and colorful domestic pets taking a walk with the latest humanoids. Each was breathtakingly beautiful, the pretties and the humanoids alike.

A man in a blue sweater stopped before us. His eyes - deep and soulful - widened with a disgusted look. His lips parted wordlessly as he raised his index finger.

               "An ugly!" He screamed.

I looked to see my reflection in the door. I touched my tangled, knotted blond hair and my human ugly skin. I had unwarily shape-shifted back to my original body. I looked back at the tall guy and averted my eyes from his beauty. I realized I've been grabbing Daisy's hand the entire time. 

A tall young woman stopped to inspect at his commotion, then my ugly human body riveted the eyes of all.

              "Run, Daisy." I mumbled. We both brushed past him and ran through the crowd of people already assembling around us. 

              "Stop!" A guardian robot uttered a high-pitched piercing sound from behind us.

              "Don't stop." I yelled at Daisy.

We run past a mural - ignoring the illustrations of the new improvements in technology - and building after building.

I turned to the right and found myself trapped. A brick wall on my left, one at my right and another in front. I dared to see Daisy's face. Her pretty innocent face looked worried. The sirens sounded closer now. 

              "Go back." I yelled at her again.

We made a right turn and then veered towards a flower shop. There were at least a dozen hover cars parked in front, but I was inevitably focused on an old hover-car across. 

              "Where are we going anyway, D-34?" Daisy inquired breathlessly

              "I don't know. Somewhere safe and secure." I replied, trying to ignore the name Dr. Seraph and the nurses had given to me.

An old middle-pretty man walked out of the hovercar, leaving the engine running. It was one of those old hovercars that ran with a simple voice command - the new ones require a voice recognition. 

I opened the shiny door, trying to ignore my ugly features in the car mirror.

              "Get in." I whispered to Daisy.

We entered surreptitiously and carefully placed our feet into the hovercar to maintain it in perfect equilibrium.

              After we buckled up, the hologram of a woman automatically appeared. "Start." I told her.

              "Welcome back, Mr. Griffin. Please specify a location." The hologram said.

              "Woodmere Cemetery." I replied while I set the hovercar to automatic and slowly began fly through the highway.

              "What's this button?" Daisy asked, her finger merely touching a red button.

              "Unless you want to be ejected from the car. Don't push it." 



During the long ride to the cemetery, I didn't have to be a clairvoyant to know that Daisy was getting worried and indisputably mad.

               "Can you change your appearance?" she asked softly. "You look ugly." She added.

I stared at her seemingly delicate face and drew my eyes back to the road ahead. She was relying on me to take her to Dr. Seraph and all this waiting was making her uncomfortable.

Something else boggled my mind though, Daisy doesn't seem to have anything in common with her. In fact, Daisy looked more like the nurse I tried to choke with my bare hands. Same facial features, green eyes, perfect eyebrows and pale skin. 

               "Your mother is a monster." I blurted out the words I'd tried to keep to myself.

               "Liar," she replied, crossing her arms.

               "A mother wouldn't do what she did to you." I said while I fixed my knotted hair.

               Her eyebrows furrowed. "She gave me life." She said and then paused.

               "I used to be a tiny skin tissue and then she made me out of it."

A clone, I said to myself. Everything started to make sense. Dr. Seraph didn't have a real daughter, Daisy was a clone from the nurse in the other cell.

               "Daisy. I'm sorry but she's not your mother." I repeated in a more calm tone. 

               "Stop saying that." She said, small tears started to well from her eyes.

The car was unexpectedly getting cold and small snowflakes were noticeable in the air.

               "Daisy I didn't mean to sound offensive. But I'll tell you what, no matter what happens I'll be there by your side. I want to be your friend." I grabbed her hand gently and the temperature gradually changed back to normal. There was a ghost of a chance that she wouldn't accept my offer. But the warm embrace after what seemed like an eternity meant that she'd accepted. A hug is a tacit gesture humans do to state something without speaking - something only uglies can understand.


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