4900 words and counting. Here's a sample:
I knew that Tara was more beautiful than I from the time we were old enough to share a tub. It was in the bathtub that I studied her, the intricacies of her face and body. The nature of her gestures. All of her exquisite mannerisms. Even at four years old, there was something eerily captivating about Tara’s face. Her eyes, heavy-lidded, and too large for her face made most people turn away. Great beauty has the power to do that. To embarrass. To frighten. Two years younger, I watched my sister with both fascination and desire. I wanted to be near her. I wanted to be her.
I also learned from early on that Tara hated the world. Perhaps for someone of such terrifying beauty, the world could only be ugly place in comparison. In the bathtub, she pulled my mother’s hair from the drain and draped it across the smooth expanse of her chest. She dug the mold out of the grout with her fingernails and held it under my nose to smell. Even at four years old, Tara knew that under every perfect stone there were worms. Maggots. Roaches. Germs.
I, on the other hand, have always been a poet. Not beautiful like Tara. Not captivating to anyone’s eye. But I know how to find grace in the hideous. It’s a skill only the plain and ugly tend to hone. I made beauty because it was not given to me.