Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Deadest of Them All?

corset-vintage1“Beauty’s a doubtful good, a glass, a flower,

Lost, faded, broken, dead within an hour;

And beauty, blemish’d once, for ever’s lost,

In spite of physic, painting, pain, and cost”
–William Shakespeare

Ah, the power of beauty to bewitch and beguile, to captivate–and to kill. What price would you be willing to pay for beauty? Your honor, your integrity…your very life?

True crime meets its equally bizarre match when dark fiction authors pair up with original illustrations from the Victorian tabloid The Illustrated Police News in Firbolg Publishing’s latest release, The Rogues Gallery: The Illustrated Police News, which includes my flash fiction piece “No Hard Feelings.

The Illustrated Police News

The Illustrated Police News

The fourth section in the collection concerns the corset, that contraption of laces and lashes that promises wearers the tiniest of waists–that is, if they survive long enough to show it off. Stand up straight, breathe deeply–now PULL!

A devoted husband gives new meaning to the warning “be careful what you wish for” in “A New Beginning,” by Michael Seese; in R.J. Murray’s “The Duchess of Mount Zirra,” a vain duchess who enshrines herself in a chamber of mirrors learns that the glass may not reflect back who–or what–she wishes to see; in “Felicity Cinch,” by Eric Nash, a reluctant burlesque dancer thinks she gets the better of her audience—that is, until it’s time for the encore; gaze upon the horrifying face of truly ultimate beauty in “The Beauty Within,” by Miriam H. Harrison; in “Death in the Lady’s Dressing Room,” by Charie D. La Marr, a woman discovers that beauty is indeed skin deep—very, very deep; a young girl learns the secret—and the deadly price–of eternal youth in “Forever Young,” by Crystal Leflar; in “A Mother’s Touch,” by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd, the phrase “like mother, like daughter” takes on an entirely deadly new meaning; and learn how a father’s devotion becomes literally all-consuming in “Dear Dead,” by Joshua Skye.

Click here to read these stories and many more in The Rogues Gallery: The Illustrated Police News!
More featured stories coming next week…

Click here to find out how to get one of Firbolg Publishing’s anthologies FREE!