The Mask

shadow-mask-for-story

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.

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3 comments

  1. I like your detailed description of the different objects, the way the light reflects on some of them and the whole air of mystery this piece of writing seems to contain. I try to imagine what kind of person hides behind all those belongings. Someone who deals with academic papers, could be a sophisticated woman if there is a floral bag and a black leather purse with gold rhinestones, unless it be a man studying the belongings of this woman, detective-like? I wonder at the mask and how you describe it. Why would that person want to hide behind such a mask and not show the real self? Someone being afraid of the real world or someone wanting to commit a robbery, having already done it? The mask seems used. Why black shadows near the mouth? Optic effects of the light coming into the room? Or does this have a symbolic meaning, the shadows of a person’s fears, of life sufferings? Why the read beads on the mask? Blood? Crimson splitters coming from a lipstick? And then there is your picture. I look at it and find it revolting.To me it speaks of horror and suffering in life with a combination of immense sadness. I feel enraged at the possibility of how a person might become so distressed because of others’s wrong-doings, abuse?

  2. Yes, both your drawing and text could reference an example of the clown sightings. I have just read it all started in the U.S., then Canada, Latin America, the U.K. and across Europe. We have recently had a few “creepy clowns” in my country. Unfortunately the social networks have helped multiply the cases, especially on Halloween. A “creepy clown” in Catalonia was photographed by several people. In the end that man had done no criminal offense and the citizens just walked past, ignoring him. That was because that particular case was no real threat to the people unlike other clown sightings, mainly those in the U.S., which started in South Carolina already in the 80s. So, let us hope it is a temporary fashion. However, the real threatening clowns, like serial killers and those who terrorize children, must get arrested.


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