Butter Face by Bradley Mason Hamlin
Everybody was looking at her when she walked into the bookstore. All legs, gorgeously tanned and curved, a heavenly highway leading up to a soft white summer skirt.
“Hurry up, sweetheart,” said the old guy standing beside her. He looked like Captain Kangaroo on a weekend drunk, maybe more than twice her age.
The chick with the legs turned at the waist, toward his voice, and they could all see her face. Jagged monster teeth, rough chewed and boiled skin full of zits surrounding the horror of her smile.
“Yes …” she almost drooled.
Joe, working beside Frank said, “What a waste, a butter face.”
“She’s young,” said Frank. “A good orthodontist, some face cream, a chisel, some prayer, hell, she just might make it.”
A female employee overheard the guys. “You guys are so lame,” she said, “beauty is only skin deep.”
“If that’s true,” said Joe, “then she’s not beautiful, because her skin is wicked fucked up.”
“You guys seemed to like her before she turned around.”
“Yeah,” said Frank, “her stems are fine, but her face is like Picasso scary.”
“Well,” said Karen, “at least she reads. That’s better than most.”
“You’re right about that,” said Frank.
Joe looked like he was thinking. “You know, maybe it’s the guy.”
Karen rang up a paperback copy of The Martian Chronicles. “What do you mean?”
“Look at that guy. What’s he doing with her?”
She frowned. “So she can’t be with anyone, right, because she’s not pretty?”
“I don’t think that’s what he means,” said Frank. “You gotta figure either he’s with her because he’s older and can’t get anyone else, just keeping her like a piece of property, turning out the lights and working the good parts, or worst, maybe he made her that way.”
“Yeah,” said Joe, “maybe it starts with the face. He hits her and her smile turns upside down. He calls her names and her face breaks out.”
Frank said, “She’s worried and she grinds her teeth at night.”
Karen nodded. “He doesn’t keep her safe and she creates a mask to ward off the evil.”
Everybody looked at her as she walked out of the bookstore. All legs, gorgeously tanned and curved, a heavenly highway leading up to a soft white summer skirt.