Picture It & Write: The Hag

Every week, Ermilia posts an image to use as a prompt for a story. Picture It & Write is a great way overcoming a block or just for inspiration.

This week’s is a special one. The image is a two of one. If you look, you can see two women. You can see an old lady with a huge nose and a huge chin  facing left. If you look carefully though, you can see that the curve of the nose, is also the jaw line of a woman facing away, with the eye of the old woman being the ear of the young woman. The mouth of the old woman is a necklace of the younger one.

To make it easier to spot, I have given an earring to the young woman, and lipstick and shadows to the old woman.


Old woman with lipstick and shadows

Old woman with lipstick and shadows

Young woman with earring

Young woman with earring


Jedediah could not believe it. The old woman wanted to see HIM. Nobody ever wanted to see him. She was the sage of the town. If you wanted to know anything, you went to her. Giselle, the old woman, could tell you if you were ever going to marry; if you were ever to have children; if you were going to be successful. Her predictions were correct 100% of the time. Now, she called him to see her.

He entered her room and took his sunglasses off. He looked for diplomas on the walls, finding none he raised an eyebrow and went through the coloured streamers. The old woman looked up over her massive nose and grinned at him. She pointed to the seat opposite her and bade him sit down. He nodded and sat as requested, placing his glasses on the table.

Her hands shot across the table and grabbed his wrists. He instinctively tried to pull his arms back, taken by surprise at her speed and her strength. Finding his arms held in place, he looked up into her face, her eyes. His heart missed a beat when he looked into her eyes. There was something there, it was something special, something unique, something that pulled on his heart.

He tore his eyes away and caught a glimpse of her reflection in his sunglasses.  The image was not the same as that of the hag in front of him. She followed his gaze and suddenly breathed out a joyous sob. Jedediah looked back at her and as he watched, the years seemed to just fall off her, going from an aged hag to a beautiful twenty-something siren.

Her hands released his as the curse lifted due to seeing her own reflection at the same time as someone else did.

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25 thoughts on “Picture It & Write: The Hag

  1. I wonder what it is that makes us presume the two women are different ages. Their hair is exactly the same.

    I like that you captured the looking away aspect of the picture by looking over at the mirror. I hope her clairvoyance wasn’t lifted with the curse.

    • I guess it’s the look in the face of the old lady.

      I hope so. I would have loved ot let it go on longer, but I think it would have bored people

  2. Fantastic work Alastair — I have seen this image before (always amazes me – and i usually see the ‘young woman’ at first take). I loved your story — it says a lot about beauty being in the “eye” of the beholder… Lovely indeed! x RL

  3. Very nice work, Alastair! You have a great imagination, for sure. My brain would never come up with something so interesting. I have always been amazed by that picture whenever I have come across it. I used it when I taught art. I had the class try and draw a double picture, as well. The results were hysterical.

  4. very interesting story. Wonder if she evoked more feelings in him (since his heart missed a beat) and she just looked at him as an object to remove her curse. Good for her that his eyes wandered to the sunglasses:)

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