The Mask


A cellphone lay on a large wooden table surrounded by chairs. There were stapled 8.5” x 11” compiled documents with: a person’s name, date, class, and assignment in the upper left-hand corner, each on its own line, the title of the work centered on the page, two spaces below the double-spaced lines above, two spaces below and then the indented paragraphs that covered the rest of the page. There were several examples of academic papers strewn on the table in the center of the room and on the chair to the right. An open laptop sat on the table. The screen was lit. There were glasses, brown-rimmed, probably plastic. Next to those was a light-green dinosaur on a small stack of books and magazines next to the glasses. Black and orange floral bag, and a stainless steel tall, narrow covered mug, and a wind-breaker. Also on the table was a black leather purse with gold rhinestones running from the top to the bottom at a diagonal, and then around the bottom and up on the front and back of the purse. There were ball-shaped attachments, diamond-shaped round holes, smaller appliqués, a black strap and tan interior. The purse leaned. The bag was new, open, unblemished. Inside the purse was a strand of aluminum, blue on one side and bright silver on the other. It hit the light just so. There were more strands, then a white rubber mask that was covered in black shadows, near the mouth. Along the hair line of the mask were red beads with strands of white hair moving out through the beads. These beads and hair were all over the head. The eye holes were just big enough so that someone’s eyes could see out. The mask was crumpled into itself and there were crimson splatters.