Senior. Years 10+


First place in Senior category

A Perfect World

By Lizzie Kennedy, year 10+, The Ladies’ College

On the laptop in front of her flashes an image of a supermodel. The teenager moves her hands swiftly over the keyboard, replicating, fragmenting, checking angles. She reads intently from a script, her eyes flickering nervously. Several more keystrokes. The image fades and another appears - her own distorted features. Around her, in endless rows her peers sit, silent as a catacomb, concentrating on their own patchwork quilts. Frantic clicks. The walls pulsate menacingly with the thrum of their blood. They know their lives depend on this.

Eve swallows hard, forcing the fear back down her throat. She’s not the worst off in here. She needs less work - the words, “Do what it takes!” ruminating in her mind.

The heavy door flies open. “Two minutes ladies! Finishing touches please. Pray to the States that you’ve succeeded.” declares Ms Figish.

Eve looks at her through narrowed eyes, ”However did you get through the trials?” she thinks contemptuously.

Ms Figish gazes over the hapless sixth form. ”Perfection!” she pronounces “perfect attendance, perfect grades, perfect looks. Uphold the values of this school or … well.“ With a dismissive shrug and tight-lipped sneer, she raises a pencil-thin brow.

Fear-filled eyes rove around the room resting briefly on each other, none of them wanting to linger too long on a lost friend. Who will make it?

The waiting begins. The men outside deciding their fate. Whatever nips and tucks the girls have presented in their plans will be scrutinised, graded and costed. Half will be moved to the clinic – the fruits of their labour granted. The guards will take the rest. Eve thought of her mother’s damp cheeks this morning. Neither spoke, knowing the reality. Her mother would never see her again… at least not with this face…. not in this perfect world.

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