Beauty. Charm. Grace. Courage. Who wouldn't want them? Who in their right mind wouldn't want them? They are indeed the gifts that give all. Adoration. Adventure. Friendship. Love. Things that the human heart most desires…

And the human instinct requires that, when given the opportunity, we snatch our desires and hide them away in our shirt pockets so no one can take them back. It's our nature, really. It's in our blood. Especially if we're lacking considerably in many areas. If you are ugly, naturally you will long to be beautiful. If you are dim-witted, of course you will desire to be intelligent. If you are weak, you will undoubtedly wish to be strong. It's a fact of life. There's no way to avoid it.

But…what if there's a price? Well, of course there always is. Plastic surgery is painful. Studying is tedious. Working out is exhausting…

But, what if there's an even larger price to pay? Well, naturally you should expect to receive even more in return, but that's not the point. What I'm trying to get at is this:

What if, to possess everything you desire, you must become someone else?

Now, I'm not talking about some kind of new-agey "self-renewal" crap. I'm talking about a complete metamorphosis. No. Scratch that. I'm talking about an absolutely radical transmutation. So extreme that you hardly feel like yourself. So colossal that you don't even know your name. So tremendous that you start to doubt if your thoughts are truly your own. So drastic that when you look in the mirror, you find yourself asking "Who's that?".

Let's make things even worse, shall we?

What if the thing you become is something you've despised and feared your entire life? What if, to possess everything you desire, you become a monster?

I'll bet you're starting to think about how much you really want those particular desires of yours. Whether it's beauty, brains, charisma, or all of the above, you might actually reconsider your previous decision to take them, now that the stakes are much higher. You might be thinking, "Do I really want this?"

Let me tell you. I really did want it. I wanted it all. I wanted it more than anything in the world. At one point, I might've given my soul to the devil just to be beautiful for a day. To be adored for a day. To be a hero for a day. To be loved for a day. Yes. For one fleeting day of magnificence, I was willing to trade my soul for all eternity. Luckily, I never got the chance to do that. If I had, I would not be writing this now.

But although my soul remains mostly in-tact, the decision I made to acquire my heart's desire was just as twisted and depraved as a deal with Satan.

Yes, reader. If you haven't guessed already, I, Ellen Johns, did the unthinkable, sacrificing every ounce of dignity in my being…

I became a Mary Sue.