Flash: Devote Your Life to Beauty

By Loreen Heneghan.

Read by Mur Lafferty.

We are not a cult. Don’t allow any outsider to confuse you. We are a holy order. You’ll never be asked to give up your family or friends; not for our benefit. We only want you to stay pure. If they try to draw you into some distorted place, don’t listen. Your world is a thing of beauty.

Truth is not beauty. Only Beauty is real. How could it be otherwise?

Texas George
September 15th, 2006 11:05 am

As a business coordinator for cosmetics in a dept. store chain, allow me to be the first to congratulate you on a brilliant story! This was awesome, terrifying, and a bit amusing to me, I must confess, as I check the sales #’s from yesterday. Thanks for a great story, and please pardon me while I apply some hand cream… OWWW it BURNS!!!!

September 16th, 2006 7:35 pm

Nice story but yet i am confused how it its terrifying, it cinda mikes my drowzy a litle but all and all good. And one day if i eaver get popula with my comic your top on my list top play
no-ran mrster Mur Lafferty good work

September 17th, 2006 1:49 am

I must say Mur that was your best narration yet. Sorry but you did that even better than your own work. Good story but the narration made it. Congrats.

September 19th, 2006 4:07 am

That was downright creepy! The flash fiction here is truly impressive.

September 21st, 2006 6:22 am

First one so far that I nearly shut off mid-story it was so boring. I ended up doing some desk work, and ignored it until the next podcast came on in the playlist.

Dull, dull, dull.

September 26th, 2006 3:46 pm


I was interrupted near the end so I decided to start again from the beginning.

And I am glad I did.

What I first thought was a sardonic telling from the self justifying perspective of a frivolous and mildly scary industry (where the real horrific thing is the depths that people will go to for “beauty”), turned out to be something more sinister.

Much much more sinister.

Thuroughly, enjoyably creepy!

And Kyle was right, Mur made the story.

October 24th, 2006 2:34 pm

Delightfully sinister. I imagined women at makeup counters with secret symbols and knowing looks.

March 6th, 2007 12:20 pm

i’m sorry, but i dont get what’s creepy about this story.

June 27th, 2007 7:43 pm

I loved this: apparently Loreen feels precisely as I do about spas and exfoliating hand creams.

January 21st, 2008 5:29 am

And all these years, I thought I’d avoided the whole beauty regimen thing ‘cuz it just seemed like such a waste of time! Now I know the truth. Thanx, you lovely psychotic thing.

Mari Mitchell
March 26th, 2008 8:59 pm

This is interesting.

The woman who read this did a wonderful job–perfect!

After watching only one episode of The Real Wives of New York, I can see so many of doing this. Maybe they already have. That would explain their air headed life, self centered life.

January 16th, 2009 4:16 am

I believe I have found a place I DON’T want to go. I am happily content with my scars, oily skin, and imperfect face. I have to say I am scared.

August 12th, 2009 10:13 am

This was a truly excellent story, subtle and building to a menacing crescendo, which was assisted by a very able reading. While I might quibble with the inflections on one or two of the lines, that shift in tone at the very end was pitch-perfect.