The White Cat [Extract]

She had to stand on tiptoe to see herself in the little bathroom mirror; even then it was only her head and shoulders that were visible, and her breath came and went on the glass like the colour on her cheek, so that she couldn’t see clearly. But the face that looked so anxiously into hers seemed prettier than ever: the soft, blue-white skin of her temples was almost transparent as if lit from within, her nose a delicate, upturned curve, her mouth like some small, ripe-red fruit, sweet and ready for eating.

As she stood before the mirror, the only one she had, Evie felt the old rodent fear, that one day she might find her face had become ugly suddenly, even disfigured — but of course, the great grey-blue eyes that regarded her were flawless now as ever, soft as smoke, changeable with the light or with her mood, almost with the air she breathed...

From A Change of Direction