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Mirror Story per Brenda Arledge Prompt

I'm interested in social issues, relationships, problems of daily living, jobs, exercise, poems and fiction, plus safer living conditions.


Brenda's New Prompt 'Mirror'

Brenda Arledge has given us another prompt, the word ‘mirror’. Brenda has many of us writing poetry and stories. She has been a very positive influence on us.

I didn’t think I would respond to this prompt for a few days as my mind was blank. I wrote an acrostic poem, but I couldn't think of anything else for a while.

Then, my muse started working, and I thought of a scenario for a short story. A young woman, who is so insecure she is always looking into the mirror. She was teased by other children as a child, which caused her mirror addiction.


A Bit of Humor

My reflection I gazed in the mirror

I couldn’t believe I gained ten pounds

Roaring with laughter was my sister

Rage exploded throughout my body

Every inch of me wanted to scream

Ruse she had a magnified mirror

Jennifer's Image

Jennifer is a petite, beautiful girl with black hair and piercing green eyes. She looked in the mirror frowning one last time as she grabbed her purse to head to work. When she got into the car she looked in the mirror again.

Driving carefully through traffic she was running a few minutes late again. When she parked the car she got out her compact to check her makeup again. Then, she arrived at the door to her office and walked in. Her boss was standing there.

This imposing man looked down at her and said, “Jennifer, you have been late six times in two weeks. You’re fired.”

Jennifer gasped and was speechless. She simply turned around and fled out the door to her car. She sat in the car crying, feeling sorry for herself. Finally, she grabbed the cell phone and called her mother. Crying into the phone she told her mom she had been fired.

Her mother just said, “Jennifer, come on over.”


“You have always been so concerned about how you look. When will you just be comfortable in your own skin?”

Jennifer started crying all over again. “I don’t know Mom. I don’t think I look that good.”

“You were always looking in the mirror when you were a teenager. I thought you outgrew that when you were in college. I remember those girls that used to tease you, but honey, they were just jealous of you,” her mom asked.

“Do you really think they were jealous? I never thought that.” Jennifer whimpered.

“They were absolutely jealous. You became so paranoid with that teasing that it always took you forever to get ready to go anywhere. Maybe you ought to consider some counseling.”

“Oh, mom. I don’t think so.”

“Anyway, what happened to that guy, Mike, that you were dating?”

Jennifer regained control of her emotions, started the car and headed that direction. She had always been close to her mother. When she arrived at her widowed mother’s bungalow she started crying again.

“Oh, mom. I screwed up, and I got fired.”

“Exactly what happened, Jennifer?” her petite mother asked. Jennifer had definitely inherited her mother’s genes. They looked almost identical despite the age difference.

“I have been late too many times. But, I was only a few minutes late.”

“Jennifer, Jennifer, when will you learn? A job requires being on time. It doesn’t matter if it is a few minutes or an hour. Why are you so frequently late?” her mother asked.

“I don’t know. I get ready, and it seems I have plenty of time. Sometimes I change outfits and you know, I have to put my makeup on. That takes time.”

“You could get up earlier, and you don’t need makeup. You are a beautiful, college educated girl.”

“I don't think so. I need makeup, Mom. You don’t understand.”

“I broke it off with him, but that has nothing to do with this problem.”

“Well, are you ready to change? When are you going to accept that you are an attractive, smart woman? Why don’t you try NOT looking in a mirror for just a week while you send out resumes to find a new job.”

The Beach Boys-Don't Worry Baby

A Week Later

Jennifer wrote resumes and sent them out all week. She stayed in her apartment showered each day and put clean pajama bottoms on with a T shirt. Since she never went out, she didn’t need to look in the mirror. The test came at the end of the week when she had a job interview.

She dressed in a navy blue business suit with a crisp, white blouse for the interview. When it came time to put her makeup on she decided to set a timer for ten minutes. When the timer went off she wasn’t done. However, she stood up, pushing the small chair out of her way. She grabbed her purse and left for the interview. She felt like she needed more time, but she also felt good that she had accomplished her goal by using the timer.

She arrived for the interview feeling a little uncertain. When she was called in for the interview she was facing a stern looking woman. The woman looked at her and said, “Sit”.

Jennifer sat down, feeling intimidated, but she answered all the questions. The stern looking woman said, “What happened at your last job?”

“I was fired for being late.” Jennifer answered. “I promise I won’t be late if you give me a chance.”

“I’ll let you know,” ended the interview.

Jennifer left and figured being fired from her last job would make getting any new job difficult. She went back home. She called her mother and told her about the interview.

“I really want that job, Mom, but I think it is not likely.”

“Have faith, sweetheart. You never know what might happen.”

Two days later Jennifer got a phone call offering her the jobThe stern looking woman said, “Jennifer, you are the most qualified of all our applicants. I am offering you the job with the understanding that if you are late any time in the first three months you will be fired.”

“I understand. I won’t be late. Thank you so much.”

Jennifer got off the phone and danced around the house with glee, saying, “I’m free, I’m free at last.”

Pretty Woman

Final Results for Jennifer

© 2021 Pamela Oglesby


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 07, 2021:

Hi MG,

Thank you for reading and making such a nice comment.

MG Singh from UAE on July 07, 2021:

That is a very nice story Pamela and shows that you have the art of writing stories as well.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 06, 2021:

Hi Charlene,

Vanity is a problem for some people. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

I appreciate your comments, Have a good week!

Charlene Gallant from Cape Town, South Africa on July 06, 2021:

Thank you for the read Pamela:) #sigh yes vanity is a terrible thing, hopefully, Jennifer learnt a very valuable lesson.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 05, 2021:

Hi Yves,

A 'fall from grace' is a good way to sum up what happened to Jennifer. A mother is often the perfect person to steer us back into the light.

I am glad you enjoyed the story. I appreciate your comments. I hope you have a very good week.

Yves on July 05, 2021:

I enjoyed your story, Pamela. I think Jennifer got the message and that her life will be better from now on. Sometimes it takes a good fall from grace and a good talking to by someone close to us to help us "see the light."

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 05, 2021:

Hi Brenda,

I was trying to have some humor with the acrostic poem, although I do not really think someone would not know that are looking in a magnifying type of mirror.

I have know some women who were very insecure about their looks, so they ar always checking their makeup in the mirror. When I thought about that the story seemed to flow.

I am glad you liked my response to your prompt, and I appreciate your comments.

I hope all is well with you, but I know you are living with a stressful situation that would be difficult for any of us. I think about you often, and I say a little prayer for you. Take care, Brenda.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on July 04, 2021:


Sorry I missed this one, but I'm glad I found it.

In your ur acrostic poem, "A Bit of Humor" I can picture the girl getting mad at her sister thinking she had done something to the mirror on purpose.

In your short story, Jennifer's Image

you show us how someone can out to much importance on his outward appearance.

As in Jennifer's case, the constant worrying & looking at herself innthe mirror made her late for work which in turn, got her fired from her job.

Her mother gives her great advice. To steer clear of a mirror for a week while she seeks other employment.

So Jennifer hides away in her house for a week so she's not tempted to glance at her appearance.

At tge end of the week she had an interview where she makes a point to set a timer while applying her makeup.

Although she didn't feel ready when the timer went off, she stopped anyway and went to the interview.

After a couple of days she finally got a phone call offering her the job.

She now realizes the makeup & her outer apoearance do not matter. What matters most are those inner qualities & her accomplishments.

Great story. It teaches us that we need to first be happy with ourselves.

I will post a link in the article.

This is a great

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 04, 2021:

Hi Peace,

I am really glad you enjoyed the poem and story. I was always close to my mom, so I thought that was good for Jennifer. We all have lessons to learn in life and I think Jennifer learned one of hers.

Thank you for your comments.


Peace Tobe Dike from Delta State, Nigeria. on July 03, 2021:

I loved the poem and the story...I'm glad Jennifer got a new job and she's got a supportive mom too. I hope she knows she's beautiful and is able to deal with her insecurities and be happy.

Well done Pamela for putting this piece together wonderfully. It was such a good read.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Fran,

That is so funny! I am so glad you enjoyed the story and poem.

I appreciate your comments. I hope you have a good 4th of July weekend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Peggy,

I think continue effort is a good idea. I have known people like her and it seemed to fit with the prompt of mirror.

I am glad you enjoyed the story. I appreciate your comments. Have a good 4th fo July weekend!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 02, 2021:

I think that with continuing effort, Jennifer will become happier and more secure in her own skin. I enjoyed this story, Pamela.

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on July 02, 2021:

Pamela, this was especially a great story and poem. Fortunately, I have the opposite problem and I am often told I'll be early for my funeral. I am always way too early for everything. I really enjoyed your piece.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Misbah,

I am glad you enjoyed the story and the poem. Thank you so much for your comments. I hope you are feeling well. Take care.

Blessings and love.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on July 02, 2021:

Pamela, it was a very nice read. I enjoyed reading your poem and the story. Brilliant response to the prompt challenge. Thank you so much for sharing. Keep smiling!

Blessings and Love

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Vidya,

Yes, I really loved Chitrangada's comment as your it is so true. I would hope we could all be judged by our inner qualities.

I am glad you enjoyed reading the story and poem. Thank you so much for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Bill,

I am glad you enjoyed the article. I love happy endings as well. I think Jennifer has probably learned a hard lesson.

I appreciate your comments. Have a good 4th of July weekend!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Shauna,

I agree with you completely. I have been around women who valued vanity about most everything and women like that are shallow, for lack of a better word. We definitely should not be judged by our looks.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Have a good 4th of July weekend!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Rosina,

I thought that was a good message as being on time is the right thing to do. I think you are absolutely right about not spending too much time checking our makeup, and we need to be comfortable in our own skin.

I am glad you liked the poem and the story. Thank you so much for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi John,

As a RN you could not be late because the person you were following could not leave until you were there. I have always liked to be on time. I certainly agree with your statements.

I am glad you liked the story and poem. Thank you so much for your comments.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on July 02, 2021:

I liked your acrostic poem, Pamela, but particularly the story. Jennifer learned a valuable lesson. Many people waste so much time on their appearance sometimes a the expense of all else. I on the other hand hate to be late for anything and tend to get stressed if my wife is taking too much time to get ready and we are running late. Nice response to the prompt.

Rosina S Khan on July 02, 2021:

I loved both the story and the poem based on the word prompt mirror. The story does teach us a lesson that if we spend too much time looking into the mirror for putting on makeup or checking our makeup, we will be late for work. It is good to be confident in our skin and not rely so much on makeup for getting ready to go to work, which makes life easier and we can almost always be punctual.

Thank you so much for the message in your article today, Pamela.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 02, 2021:

Pamela, this story lends the message that vanity comes with consequences. One shouldn't be judged by their looks, especially by oneself!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2021:

Good for Jennifer! I love happy endings. Let's hope she is able to deal with her insecurities and have a brilliantly happy life. Thanks for the fun read first thing Friday morning, Pamela.

VIDYA D SAGAR on July 02, 2021:

As Chitrangada aptly mentioned, mirrors only reflect the outer appearance of a person whereas it is the inner qualities like punctuality and dedication that make a person achieve anything in life. I enjoyed reading your poem and short story. Thanks for sharing.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Chitrangada,

You make several very good points in your comment. Punctuality is very important. Self-confidence and belief in your self as a valuable hymn being is important, because we all are important. I also like what you said about the mirror.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Chitrangada. I always appreciate them.


Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 02, 2021:

Hello Pamela!

Nice response to the word prompt. I liked the story of this young girl, and also your poem. I believe, the story gives the message of the importance of punctuality. One should have self confidence, and self belief, irrespective of what opinion, others have about you. Mirrors can reflect the outward appearance, and not the inner talents.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi EK,

You summed up the story perfectly. People need to be responsible.

Thank you for your good comments. I hope you stay safe and healthy too.

EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on July 02, 2021:

You have done a great job, Pamela. The short story has the great lesson for people who don't care about time. And for the girls who waste their time looking at the mirror and don't think that they are attractive enough even without makeup.

Stay safe and healthy...

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Rozlin,

I am glad you enjoyed the story and the phone. I am glad you liked my response to Brenda's prompt.

Thank you so much for your comments, as always. I hope you stay safe and healthy too!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Cheryl,

I am glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you so much for your comments.

I like your new picture. Have a good 4th of July weekend.

Rozlin from UAE on July 02, 2021:

Hi, Pamela. I enjoyed reading your story and poem too. Story conveys the importance of punctuality. It's a good read and I love the ascortic poem too ...cute one. Thank you for sharing. Great response to Brenda's word prompt. Kepp Hubbing. It's always pleasure to read your work.

Stay safe and healthy always.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on July 02, 2021:

Thiis was really god so please keep up the excellent work and bring us more.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 02, 2021:

Hi Flourish,

I agree habits are hard to break. I think the probationary period is a good thing.

I appreciate your comments. Have a happy 4th of July weekend.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 02, 2021:

Your short story reflects one of the most pervasive problems in the workplace and a big reason why people are fired. I like that the new employer had a probationary period. She'll also have to stick to their work rules thereafter. Habits are hard to break.

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