Flash Fiction Friday 38: Her Reflection Calls Her Tess by Kimberly Gray

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the thirty-eighth piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s is a 925-worder by poet and article writer Kimberly Gray.

Her reflection calls her Tess

And it was her reflection that she spent most of her time with now. Suppose it had been this way longer than she cared to admit. Just the mirrors changed.

Reflections are funny things. Take a mirror for example, and you’re in its frame. Naked, no make-up, hair pulled back on a short cut shag rug in gray, completing the picture is a rose crystal chandelier, ever so fragile, dangling above your head.

What details strike us? What colors illuminate? How much light do we notice? Are there details in the mirror? What is behind us?

Familiar Routines

Her tiny frame was misleading, even to the two men escorting her from home, and taking her coat once inside her dressing room. With a thorough room sweep, they proceeded politely by closing and locking the overly large double wooden doors upon their exit of her sanctuary.

Tess did decorate her oasis. Demanding she could certainly be, everything she loved in life, the simple things to most of us, was everything she had worked so hard to become. The key to a successful art of applying stage make-up was lighting. Overhead lighting made her washed out and gray. Thus applying correct color to her beautiful face.

She noticed the time, always running late, daydreaming, and losing herself in her world of unforgettable passion that, day-by-day seemingly came true.

Powered her thigh-high, purple boots and began the 6-minute routine of tightly lacing them up.


Still lying on the floor she calmly pulled out a joint from her robe and lit it. Closed her eyes and took a long drag. It was that first toke that always helped her get through the memories of yesterday. The yesterdays where there was no Tess.

She stood and started pacing as she smoked. Decided to go to the open window, where a brick building with the same window mirrored back. Instantly, three men were popping their heads up one at a time, like peeping toms.

Fools indeed. Surely they need not act this way when, on the net, she can been seen for sale on my stripper pole for $100 bucks. If they only knew a time, she could show her beauty beneath her skin with such modest purity.

A sight of her yesterday appeared in her mind. Visually flashing back in time, not even yet a decade.

15 and alone

It became a post traumatic stress reaction for her to such a degree, Tess never did two things; one, cry and two, never doubt or let anything ruin her dream.

She ended that thought, aching the visual and uneasy memory of her attacker.

She wasn’t Tess then, rather she being immature living with her birth name. However she was not the last one to use it. The chanting of her birth name through the attack… being called a stripper not a dancer.

She wasn’t dumb, but this was all she knew, and took the rough pathway towards everything she wanted.

Who was anyone to judge her fantasy, they spoke her name for the last time. She joined in mourning the true that night. What transpired the next evening changed her life forever.

Curtain Call 1 hour

Never had Tess been remotely late for a curtain call. Passion is passion, and when it bites you, all facets come into play in the most serious of manners.

At 24 she looked like a movie star, felt like one too. Burlesque performing was a level of singing and acting and dancing and wardrobe far beyond anything she had dreamed of. Alone now working as a physical actress of sorts.

Yes him, Michael, in 6 years he never hurt her, always made her feel like a queen and continues to be the only lover she believes will ever have. She loves him, though 20 years her senior, no one ever did things to her, and the way he could.

However he understands and respects Tess for absolutely no form of intimacy or relationship of love. She does not desire it, need it, or want it. He still pleased her beyond any heard fairy tales.

Smokey, rowdy, whiskey drunk perverts started her career in the adult entertainment district. Yet, it was a gentleman who turned out to be Michael she was about to meet.

Years ago, as she routinely did her stage act nude, out of nowhere a man threw his overcoat around her and carried her out of the shady club, the owner with his baseball bat took a swing.

Michael ducked, threw 5K his way, and simply said “that should keep you busy for a good long time. You’re lucky I don’t report you, she’s a mess.”

As she finished her hair she forbid herself to wonder why he saved her life. Wouldn’t ever doubt why she was handed her dream. She smiled in her mirror, thinking of her superhero, her protector, and why she was performing with class, each and every night.

Final encore and she bolted for her safe place with the double doors.

After all these years as Tess, trying to catch her breath, eyes closed and tears streaming for the first time in ten years, she prayed they liked her, god she prayed they were there, spotlights are blinding.

She couldn’t breath and those stupid tears were ruining her make-up, should they come to see her.

There is no IF in her fantasy.

That’s when Tess exhaled and really realized she was her own fantasy all along. She created Tess. As she started to rest, they came………….

Knock, Knock.

Morgen: I asked Kimberly what prompted this piece and she said…to explore the romantic part of me, while mixing it with the down to earth person I am out on those streets, everyday.  Lastly, putting a name and face to adult entertainment, through using the same emotions we all share. Thank you, Kimberly.

Kimberly possesses such a strong desire to reach people.  To reach them in a capacity people will trust she is sincere.  That brought on the donation of time she spends donating much of her writing to charity and the time consuming column of dear addict.

Quite insecure about the quality of her work, she finds it is improving so much over the years the awards were well-deserved.

It is not easy for her and at times, mental illness can take over and not allow her to write.  She always says it is the mental illness that gifts her with the imagination to be able to write.

She certainly is determined and has much fun working hard, regardless of the task.

Still loving being the best pillow fighter, holding the best title for champion, 3 years running now. She can be found at (are you sitting comfortably? :))… Sunnie Day’s feature, Kimberlyslyrics, Smashwords, Prey, Dear addict, lyricsingray, Hubbie, Top 200, 800 days 1st feature, 2nd feature, one of four blogs, SligoBay and bbnix. She can also be reached via email: lyrics@rogers.com.

If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with mystery author Marni Graff – the three hundred and ninety-fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

15 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday 38: Her Reflection Calls Her Tess by Kimberly Gray

  1. kimberlyswritings says:

    Morgen the gift you have is not just strengthening our writing skills, but also celebrating them. As you know writers exhaust themselves in doubt and ‘should have’s’ with very little feedback.

    I want to thank you and everyone for making me feel validated and special today. You give so much and work like I have never seen anyone and you are a gem, to us all. Merci. Thank you for you! mush mush must stop steaming up ha xoxoxoxo


    • morgenbailey says:

      :*) You’re so welcome. Cheered me up just when I needed it – my internet router died yesterday morning and I’ve been running on a dongle the past two days (so am online erratically) so have 240 emails stacking up… none of them spam. Hey ho… just as well it’s raining here in the wet UK. 🙂


      • kimberlyswritings says:

        morgen with an M

        must try to stay dry know why? Could meet a guy who’ll buy you rye, don’y get high, nor will I, me oh my, just stay dry, bye


  2. kimberlyswritings says:

    And in one of these comments, I’m laughing and despite your tag with photo, intro to blog, emails and worst of all being writers, why can’t they get your name right? MORGEN BALEY lol


  3. bbnix says:

    There is no end to the magic of Kimberly’s writing….
    Wonderful, I felt a part of Tess’s world…enough so, I imagine being an unwritten extension of it…..

    Thank you, Kimberly..


We'd love you to leave a comment, thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.