Prompt — Birthmarks

Linette stared into the mirror. Stared at the vague brown smudge that bore an uncanny resemblance to the mainland of Denmark. The one that had been getting harder and harder to see as the days went by. As she did every morning these past few weeks, she left the room to have her mother take a picture of it.

Birthmarks weren’t supposed to fade until you found a soulmate with a matching one. Single and eighteen years old, this wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Did this mean there was no proverbial ‘fish in the sea’ for her?

Everybody had a soulmate. Dating sites often asked for descriptions or pictures of the birthmark to help you find the perfect match. Many people dated others with dissimilar soulmates anyway, just for its own sake. Linette had even had a few older friends that got tattoos over their birthmarks so they could never be tied down.

But for her, finding true love was the only way she could ever be happy. After her eighteenth birthday, though, the mark on her neck started to fade. Her mother consoled her, saying it was just something that would pass. Then when the problem got worse, they both started to worry. Just in case there was some metaphyiscal mistake that wasn’t supposed to occur, she began taking pictures of the mark every day. She could lose the mark, but she couldn’t lose it’s memory. And maybe that would be all she needed.

“Mom?” she asked, searching for her. Not in the kitchen. Not in the dining room. Not even in the living room. Was she still asleep?

Linette ran upstairs to her mother’s bedroom. Was she… crying?

She knocked on the door, gently so as not to disturb her. “Mom?” she repeated. The crying didn’t stop. If anything, it got worse.

She took a deep breath and slowly opened up the door, giving her mother plenty of time to say anything if she didn’t want to be disturbed.

As she walked into the room, she noticed that the television was on. It was too quiet to make anything out over her mother’s sobbing, but it was tuned into a news station that was, as usual, reporting bad news. This time it was about an update on a horrible car accident that had happened weeks ago.

Her mother never got overly emotional about events that didn’t directly affect her, though. It couldn’t have been the news that brought her to tears. “Hey, mom,” she said, voice calm and sweet as she sat on the bed next to her. “What’s wrong?”

In response, her mother took Linette in her arms and hugged her tight. It wasn’t an ‘I need comfort’ hug. It was a supportive hug. A feeling of dread washed over her.

She turned back to the TV, reading the headline at the bottom. Fatal Car Accident Victim Identified. The reporter was still too quiet to understand, but as Linette watched, they pulled up a picture of a handsome young man, smiling with a group of friends.

On the lower part of his neck was a birthmark that bore an uncanny resemblance to the mainland of Denmark.


Prompt: Everyone is born with a birthmark on their neck, which is the exact same as their soulmate’s. at the age of 18, your birthmark starts to fade, something that doesn’t usually happen until the pair is united.

2 thoughts on “Prompt — Birthmarks

  1. Just the right amount of lead in to the admittedly obvious conclusion, but still paints a pretty vivid picture of the characters and world. Nicely done.


    1. Yeah, I imagine there are a few obvious “answers” to this prompt, if you will. I was in the mood to write a sad piece, because I don’t do that very often!


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