The stranger in the mirror

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2003, 12:00am

Chapter 1

Mirrors never lie, do they? They always tell the truth. What you see in a mirror is the wrong way round, but it is always true. Mirrors show things as they really are. They cannot do anything else. Or can they?

Kit Kelly knows all about mirrors. She used to look in the mirror first thing in the morning and last thing at night. And during the day she looked in a mirror hundreds of times. It was her job to look good. Mirrors always told her that she did.

The image she saw in the mirror made her feel confident and powerful. It was strange, but the only thing she did not like about herself was her name. Her mother and her first agent had picked it long ago and she had no say in the matter. From that moment, she had become Kit Kelly and everything else had been forgotten.

Everyone called her The Kit. Her face sold everything from make-up to cars. When she modelled an outfit on the catwalk, orders flew in from all over the world. The Kit was instantly recognised like a top brand of chocolate or fizzy drink. Her face meant money to lots of people and she had to look after it.

Kit sat down for a few seconds trying to shut out the noise and chaos around her. She rested her head on her hands and kicked off her uncomfortable silver shoes.

But soon she was back on her feet again, and someone was pulling a purple mini-dress over her head. She felt dizzy and hot, and she swayed a little, but no one noticed. The show had to go on. Her adoring public was waiting to see her.

The bright spotlights almost blinded her as she stepped out on to the catwalk. She could see nothing, but managed to put one foot confidently in front of the other and walk out into the glare.

Bella, her best friend, brushed past her and disappeared behind the curtain. Kit couldn't see the end of the catwalk as she sauntered forward into an explosion of camera flashes. The floor under her feet felt soft and wet like sand. Suddenly, a jagged white flare blinded her eyes and for a split second she saw the hideous face she had seen in the mirror that morning.

She lost her footing and stumbled down on to the red carpet. There was a loud gasp from the audience and a reporter on the front row near the catwalk shot to his feet to help her. All Kit could see as she fell was the face of a wrinkled old woman. The rest was black.