The Mask

Posted: October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

This is a little short story I did last night when I couldn’t sleep. Thought you all would enjoy.

The Mask

Desmond looked in the mirror at the mask. He’d worn it far too long. He’d been mocked over it, teased, harassed. The kids at school would even beat him up for having it on. His mom didn’t care about his shame.

“Oh honey,” she’d say. “It’s just fine. There is nothing wrong. Ignore those bullies.”

If it were only that easy. The mask was ugly, hideous. It has a big nose, an enlarged forehead and scars all over it. Yet they wouldn’t let him take it off. When he asked his mom to remove it, she just laughed. That laugh was the final straw. Today it would end. Today the mask would come off.

He’d worn it for so long, he didn’t think he’d ever get it off. Luckily, he had an old straight razor he’d found in his dad’s things. His dad had left them when he was still a baby. No one would tell him why, but he was sure it was because of the mask.

With the razor, he began cutting through the mask. Pain shot up the side of his face as he began slicing through the mask’s tough exterior. It was so engrained into his being, there was no way to cut it off without some pain. This was nothing. Physical pain was easy. This way they can see who he really was.

He slowly worked his way all around the edges of the mask, cutting a deep outline around the edges. More pain as he began to pull it off, using the razor to cut some more. He could finally begin to see his real face. Wait till the kids at school finally got a look at him. Graduation was only a few months away. He wanted to finish as himself, not hiding behind this thing.

What would his teacher’s say? He didn’t care anymore. They were just as bad as some of the other students. Like Mr. Roberts, his physics teacher.

“Well, look at you, been chasing parked cars again? Haha! Just kidding, come on kid. Don’t be so serious. Though you always come to school like that. I mean seriously, it’s hard not to say anything. All in fun though, right?”

Desmond never replied, he just sat in the back of class. What Mr. Roberts didn’t realize is that his “jokes” just opened the door for the other kids to tease him about his mask. And tease they did. Though often in the form of paper wads being hurled at him. Or people grabbing at his mask, pulling on it, trying to see what was underneath. He had never even seen what was underneath.
He cut and pulled away, looking into the sink, blood covered chunks of skin and tissue lined the edges. There was no more pain as he pulled the mask away to reveal his true face. He’d known he was different all along, but as he examined himself in the mirror, he was at first horrified. He almost let out a scream, but stopped and took a closer look.

Upon closer inspection, he liked his true face. This was who he really was. The real Desmond, if Desmond was even true name. It didn’t matter. The world was going to have to accept his true face. If not, he would make them.

The no more jokes about the mask, no more poking at it, pulling on it. He held it up and examined it. No wonder they made fun of him. It looked ridiculous. The nose was out of proportion with the rest along with a huge forehead. There were scars on the sides under the eyes. That was from an after school beating that had gone too far.

Looking in the mirror now, all he saw was perfection. His true self.
“Oh my God!” a voice screamed from behind him. “Desmond? What are you doing? What have you done?”
It was his mother. He should have closed the bathroom door, but he thought she had left. He turned slowly to face her.
“Hi mom,” he said. “I took off my mask.” He held it out in front of her.

What she saw before her was him holding the flesh of his face in his hands. His hair was still on his head, but where his face had been still didn’t look right.

There should have been a bloody hole there, of muscle, bone and tissue. Instead she saw sharp, black scales and two large holes where his nose once was. His lower jaw, once round and insignificant, was now larger, and protruding.

“What is going on Desmond? What are you?”

“I’m your son mom. Isn’t that what you always tell me? I told you I needed to remove my mask. You knew, didn’t you?”

“Knew what?” she was walking backwards now into the hallway.

“You knew what was beneath my mask. What I really am. What am I exactly? Dad didn’t just leave, did he?” He glared at her, but she just looked away. “Answer me!” He shouted in a voice that could not have been his own. It was more of a roar, than a shout.

“No!” she said. “He was killed.” She looked at the floor, unable to look at the thing that was her son. “He was a demon. They came for him.”

“Who did?”

“The demon hunters. They sent him into the abyss, where he’s being tortured forever. It’s where demon’s go when they’ve been exorcised.”

Desmond wasn’t expecting that answer as she continued.

“They’ll be coming for you too now. I met him because I’m a witch. I’d used a spell to hide you, to protect you. But now that you’ve been revealed, they will come, and I can’t stop them.”

“Who are they mom? Tell me. I already feel stronger, more powerful. I’ll cut off the rest of this skin suit and take them out.”

“I wish it were that easy,” she said. Before Desmond could reply, there was a knock on the front door. His mother finally looked up at him.

“They’re here.”


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