A.J. Walker


Ageless Beauty

Microcosms - 180

Ageless Beauty

Reginald Royale was an ebullient man of indeterminate age, with one of those faces that never aged and a coy smile that would make people feel protective about him. He’d looked about twenty to me for the last thirty years. We’d always meet up when his circus was in town. He could truly get away with murder with that smile. Last week I found out the truth about him - he was no baby faced assassin: he was getting away with grand art thefts in the towns the circus visited.

I looked again at the Monet on my bathroom wall. I dare say hanging it in the wet room was not the most sensible call. But I’ve not been tarred with the sensible brush. He’d gifted it to me when we were in the Grand Gin Palace last Tuesday.

He told me such a story over a night of countless spirits; it was over a week ago and I still haven’t recovered. It was such a blur I became sure the things he told me I’d dreamt. I mean how could the man be three hundred years old? He didn’t say what he was, other than different. Said he’d been with the circus ninety years; occasionally dipping out to ‘recharge his batteries’ on an idyllic tropical island, his house stuffed with stolen treasures. Said he loved ageless beauty, but he had so much that he’d decided for every new item he’d have to throw out one. Hence my gift.

In the mirror I saw my pallid features looking old and tired. The Monet and me in the mirror. Beauty and the beast. I wondered if I’d grow to love or hate it. To be surrounded by ageless beauty may not be a good thing when compared with your ever deteriorating self.

300 words
Art Thief / Circus / Fantasy