The Catalyst

Saving the Time Convenient Beautiful

Justina Jeffers, Fiction Writer

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robot_1_tThe museum was going to be perfect.

All 195 countries held pageants to ensure it was, and only the most beautiful and best from each were chosen. They were prodded and studied and marked and mapped out on paper. And they say these 195 women were nearly perfect–mathematically of course. Because the distance between their big and colorful eyes were the perfect ratio to the the length of their noses, and their cheekbones were high, and their eyebrows were thick, and their lips were full, and they had no flaws.

They brought all the girls together and then they separated them. Each and every one excited to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They thought nothing of it when they were taken into a room, told to sit, and were locked inside. They sat back and relaxed, not minding when pink smoke came from the walls and coerced them into a deep sleep.

Their faces were then covered in a coating. It was unlike any material that had ever been made before. It was white for their purity and soft like their pearl skin, but it was neither of those things ,just drawing comparisons to them. This material was designed to do the impossible; it was designed to stop the human body from decaying.

It fell onto them smoothly and peacefully at first.

And then it did not.

Then the girls couldn’t breathe, but they were not supposed to be able to, as the gooey substance hardened. They had been put under to ensure that they wouldn’t scream, to ensure that no creases of pain or wrinkles of fear would ruin their beautiful faces, would ruin the art. And when the process was done, their bodies were cut off. Just below the collarbones. Because their beauty test had not gone that far down.

And opening day the museum looked beautiful. The 195 human busts were placed in a large circle. Every girl trapped under the material, but their beauty flooding out. Each chest had been engraved in a fancy cursive, reading not their names, but that of the country from which they had come.

Most would admit that each and every girl could be admired. That if one entered the museum every morning and sat, not leaving until the night, gazing at a single statue for hours, they would fail to grow bored for the rest of their lives.

But even these girls were not the museum’s main attraction. Contained by a large, clear glass was the single most beautiful thing that ever walked the earth. A pristine robot moved with grace, stopping at the edge of her cell to place her hand up to the glass, meeting it with those on the outside.

But the most startling part was when her coal black eyes met into the visitors. When the soulful and the soulless meet. Because the robot’s face was not her own, but the design of the 195 corpses, ensuring that their beauty would live on.

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The news site of Harrison High School.
Saving the Time Convenient Beautiful