She came to him every evening and morning.
She said he never really changed,
day to day he was the same guy she first met.
Watching the same old programs and humming the same old songs.
Every morning when his t.v. was blaring
A purgatory programming
He’d say to her, “The day I met you,
my life was in ruins. You’ve changed my life to a different tune”, Then she’d sigh, look off at the sunset and whisper to herself,
“I wish he was dead by noon”.
He never understood how they could be so close, yet so distant;
They saw each other every day,
sometimes had the same taste,
and in his own eyes, the good outweighed the bad.
Every dime in his pocket ended up in her lap.
Every care he’d put in the fear of being alone would disappear when she was near.
She was his drug, and he wasn’t planning on stopping.
She neglected him, beat him, starved him,
kicked him out daily to use his house with other guys.
He’d find his home at the corner of some bar on nights like those.
From the stories she spread around town about him,
no one ever stopped to talk to him,
the stools were always unoccupied around him.
The bartender did say he’d order a jack and coke,
but thats about all anyone ever knew of him those nights.
He’d come back to find her sound asleep.
A while back he sold masks out of his basement.
He sold all kinds;
animals, demons, famous people.
Until one day, he sold a mask he had made of himself to a man in black.
At first he didn’t want to give a price; he liked it too much, it felt like it was a part of him.
But the man insisted that he needed it for a masquerade
and pulled a glittering, solid gold watch out.
The face of the watch seemed to suck his concentration in,
he couldn’t take his eyes off of it.
Immediately, he decided the deal was worth it,
and handed the mask to the man in black.
but as he handed it to the man,
he hesitated as the mask appeared to look back at him.
Things like this kept him up at night,
Every so often he’d think of what his mother once told him
“If you sleep on dreams, you might never wake up”.
Little did he know,
at this point
he was sound asleep,
but the world was trying to wake him up.
there was a loud knock at the door.
The two lay sound asleep in bed.
One more knock,
A quick noise of surging air
& the whole house jolted.
Both woke up immediately
The Man In Black stood at the foot of their bed holding two wooden black masks, smoke still rising from his suit.
He said, “I’d like to thank both of you in the combined efforts of making
my most marvelous masks, they are both special in different ways.
I’d like to give the misses her mask first”
He extended a long, cold bony arm from under his suit coat holding her black wooden mask.
She hesitated, but the man held it closer,
She could see lights coming from etchings on the mask.
Something came over her and in a trance-like state,
She grabbed the mask and put it on;
Darkness enveloped her perception.
Her body then turned to ash, and floated to the ceiling.
In her eyes, she woke up in the same house,
lounging with her favorite actor she had watched in t.v. shows by herself.
The weather was always frigid-cold outside, and she could see her old love interest out there freezing by a fire pit, laughing hysterically.
“What a mad man”,
she’d think, close the blinds and go back to her fascination.
One morning, he froze to death,
the papers reported it as a suicide
He was found frozen mid-cackle.
But this was not reality for him
As in his eyes
the moment she disappeared,
he immediately grabbed at the other mask, with golden watch in arm.
The Man In Black looked at the watch, and pulled the mask back.
The Man In Black then sighed and said,
“You are not to follow that path, I have another”,
he then pulled the man’s face off his own,
and gave it back to him.
The man then said,
“Give me my damn watch”,
and with that exchange,
there was a “poof”, and the man disappeared from the house.
He then put his own mask on,
his reality caved to black,
then there was a bright flash of light,
He awoke back in his house alone.
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