Ripple Hunk held his mouth in the perfect wrinkle free pout as Susan (personal depilator) yanked at the final wax strip. Sharon (creamologist) began to moisturise his newly defollicled pecs while Shaznay (vanity promoter) bubbled around seeking the perfect angle for the next insta pose.
Shirley (muscatologist) coughed so Sharon made room for her to probe seven vital muscle groups. She frowned, something Ripple discouraged with his usual passive aggressive put down. She held up the monitor. ‘Your fourth oblique is showing a diminished bulk of seven percent.’
He shook his head, causing Serenity (tonsorial engineer) to scoot forward and reposition his coiffure.
‘I’ll reprogramme tomorrow’s gym with a right side focus.’
‘It’s the third day running. We’re seeing a weekly average diminution of five percent.’
Ripple began to glare and felt his eyes bulge uncomfortably. Sandra (cosmeticist) had warned him to avoid any extreme facial expressions for two weeks or the consequences could be, literally, eye-popping. He slowed his breathing and mentally chanted until he felt his cheeks subside. ‘I’ll go now. Put in an extra set.’
Sapphire (personality enhancer) held up her clipboard. ‘You’ve a zoom with your public in seventeen. You’re scheduled Botox in four, a bouffant blast in seven, a buttock…’
Sapphire persisted. ‘And a tan top up in twelve.’
Shirley, who has been sulking since her put down pushed herself away from the gilt pillar where she had been leaning. ‘Use that new filter.’
The others goggled at her. ‘But it’s untested.’
‘They say it’s foolproof. No one can tell the filter has been applied. Just open the app, choose the tone, and point the phone at the subject. And the good thing, Ripple is you’re not aware of a thing, no distracting lights or lasers.’
‘I can preen?’
‘And I’ll be what colour?’
‘Simpering caramel? Tramelled dulce de leche?’
‘Oh go on. Let’s do Caramel.’
Sapphire waved. ‘What about the backdrop? Will it affect the backdrop?’
Shirley studied the functionality. ‘No, I think I can set it to ensure compatibility. What’s it this time?’
Sapphire checked the itinerary. ‘This one is sponsored by Artic Breeze.’
‘Okay. So we need caramel and azure. That’s it I think. I…’
‘You’re on in five, four…’
‘Hang on. I think I need a moment…’
‘No, that’s not right…’
‘Two… lights, smile Ripple…’
‘Agh it’s the wrong way… it’s…’
Ripple’s multimegawatt smile rose like the dawn and dazzled all who had logged on to be stunned by such egregious and ineffable beauty… all the watchers held their breaths…
…and let them go.
Muttering arose as the audience realised what they were looking at. The stunning ethereal otherworldly beauty of this Adonis rising against the simple azure wonderment of the calming landscape had been replaced by a dry and arid dun-coloured desert into which staggered a strangely blue-hued and lopsided lumpen monster.
Ripple remained unaware of the chromatic catastrophe as he strutted and swanned about, gradually slowing as he realised the usual fawning and unctuous applause was absent.
He stopped and stared at his entourage. ‘What?’
They stared back, each aware that even as they gawped, screen shots of Ripple Hunk, man of every gender’s dreams were trending on every social media platform. It was beyond a disaster.
Sapphire was the first to look at her phone. She took a step back as if physically shoved, and held it up for all to see.
The others bent closer. They all needed to know. ‘What’s the hashtag?’
Shirley swallowed. In a barely-there voice she croaked…
This was written in response to this week’s #writephoto prompt