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October 24

My eyes shot open as I heaved myself forward gasping for air, any and all of it. My mind immediately drove up a red flag as I tried to understand why I was still alive, if I truly am. The first thing that hit me was the stench of melted iron and crushed glass lingered in the room; it was not a pleasant smell.

One by one I heard screams, sounds of blades and tearing echoing from the next room. My vision was blocked by some sort of mask locked onto my face, which I didn’t notice at first. All of that wasn’t on the forefront of my thoughts however.

I sat still as I felt around my abdomen for the scar or something that would help this situation make any sort of sense. I felt nothing but my normal skin, no blemishes and no change in texture. That didn’t help how I was feeling and actually made this situation even more jarring. I don’t understand why my wound seems to disappear, or, more importantly, why I was even breathing right now.

Also, if I was supposedly taken hostage in some way, why are my hands free? So many things that I don’t understand keep popping up, when will it stop? The voices from the next room started to stop at the same time as my racing thoughts have. I tried my best to listen to the faintest sound that could help me regain my composure. Sadly, only the dripping of a broken faucet gave response.

Then as if by chance I started to hear a rustling sound coming from the corner of the room. Not from the torture chamber, but mine! My mind started to race again as the rustling stopped and the clicking of shoes started heading in my direction. Click, Click, Click. The sound grew closer, quicker, and deeper. My heart started to synchronize with the clicking that was heading my way.

I quickly pushed myself to my feet and made the attempt to run in the opposite way, but it was a wasted effort. I managed to run shoulder first into a wall that was about ten feet away. I attempted to run along the wall to find some method of escape.

Luckily, I managed to find a door on the right most wall, but it was locked and chained shut. I quickly tried to push my shoulder against the door to jar the chain loose and maybe even crack the lock. My attempt to ram my shoulder against the door, halfway through my attempt the person behind me yelled in a sharp tone, which in turn drew my attention and stopped me.

“If you move again, you’ll get stabbed again,” The person said with a confidence of a war time soldier. I stopped immediately due to the last word they had said and that they had the same voice as before. “Again,” the word wavered in my head as a statement, question, and an order.

I wanted to yell back, but I didn’t try to risk it, so I raised my hands over my head and dropped to my knees, but I did not bow down. I am not that sorry for my situation. “I’m listening, see. Can you please take of the mask so I can see the face of who I am talking to?”

“You would like me to do that, huh? What reason do I have to do so?” She sounded a little too serious in her words that it made her sound kind of nervous. It didn’t really matter though; all my voice spewed was anger as if I was the king yelling at my subjects.

“Why do you think? I have no clue where I am. Why I’m even still alive. Also, I don’t know why the fuck I am masked and I also have no want to attack you. It’s mainly because I am in an unfamiliar place in an unfamiliar position with an unknown woman telling me she’d cut me if I resisted. I won’t try anything stupid; I want to live so it wouldn’t be smart to charge you, as much as I truly want to.” I said with a dead lock gaze in her direction, almost in a state of depression, I said, “I have to cooperate, so,” All of my mind and soul resisted as my mouth tried to utter the next word, “Pl……. Please unlock the mask.”

I heard her stumble back a bit, unprepared for my pleading. “W…w… well, ok… okay then. As long as you cooperate and don’t do anything funny, everything will go just fine.” She walked closer as she pulled out the key from god knows where to unlock the mask. My eyes started to burn even before she started to remove it, as if they were anticipating it.

The room was actually dimly lit, almost barely at all, as if by a bulb nearing the end of its life span. It fits in well with the already dreary and creepy environment, so my eyes didn’t burn as much as I thought they would. The first thing I focused on way the walls around the room, but slowly after I looked back at the woman in front of me.

She was still awfully close, almost way too close. So close in fact the iron stench of the room started to drift away, being replaced by a sweet scent with a mixture of sweat. I normally don’t notice these things easily but it was unavoidable. As I proceeded to look towards her, I noticed that I was able to see her face. She is the first person ever that I am able to recognize, I don’t quite understand but I will bask in this moment.

In amazement, I decided to study her features. She had a pretty cute face compared to how she acts, some would say beautiful; too bad she had to be my enemy. Her waist length hair was drooping ever so slightly over her right shoulder, tied at the end. It was a pleasant mixture of quicksilver and midday sun yellow, almost a midday sun; it made her look innocent and pure. Her eyes were two different colors, one blood red and the other emerald green, they both were looking at me with a questioned face, wondering why I was looking for long.

She stood up quickly and stepped back a few feet in a panic, “you were thinking weird thoughts, weren’t you?” She turned her back away slightly as if she thought I was fondling her with my eyes.

She is easily flustered despite her outward appearance and the tough front she puts on, she is still a girl, so I decided to tease her a little bit.

“What if I said yes? Would it change much?” I chuckled, “I’m joking, I’m joking. You are easy to jump to conclusions aren’t you? I was just surprised because you’re the first person that I actually was able to see the face of, and wow I got a good one. You’re cute, you know that.” In a normal situation, I wouldn’t normally talk like this, and I should be angrier being in the same room as her. But surprisingly I am calmer than I ever have been; it’s a truly weird feeling.

Her face turned redder than a spring ripened tomato, I got her. With her hands covering her face, she said, “W….w….why w… would you s… say that? I accept the compliment but I thought we were enemies, why compliment the enemy?” She turned my may hands lowered to chest height, and a curious expression put on, face back to its shining white luster. “Wait, what do you mean first person to be able to see the face of?”

I noticed now that I stepped into a rat hole, not a big one, but a decent size enough that some wouldn’t want to endure it. I didn’t want to share my weakness to the enemy, but this may help me get her on my side later on. Wow, I just noticed how easily I forgave her, but I truly didn’t, its somewhere in my mind, back there but there.

“Hmm… this won’t be easy for me. Give me a minute to word it. Well ever since childhood, I have been cursed with the curse from my ancestors,” she had the look on her face as if she wanted to say something but stopped herself. I wanted to question it, but I restrained myself to keep the momentum going.

I continued, “It’s a curse that makes it that I can’t see anyone faces, no eyes no hair no anything, just a veil of darkness over anyone, even my parents. I’ve gotten used to the repetitive asking of people if I remember them or not, and I always have to answer back with a no, or a sorry. That in itself is very demeaning because everyone thinks it’s a memory problem, which is not the case. Again and again, I have proven that my memory is at level in which I can remember more than most young adults, but they still suggest that I have a disorder.” I looked only towards the ground, my face becoming more and more sullen as I went on.

“So, to stop people from asking stupid questions and suggesting different treatments, I shut myself away in my own little world full of adventure books and historical art. I actually enjoy it more than conversation, so in the end it worked out well in the long run. I have only connected with one person, mainly from him not leaving me alone. You have probably seen him on the news, Nate Matthews.” I quickly looked up to see that it was lost on her. I didn’t ask because honestly I didn’t want to hear the answer.

I continued on as if I didn’t say anything. “Since I can’t see anyone’s faces, I couldn’t read any situation correctly, so everyone decides to leave me alone. The way that I have to live because of my ancestor’s curse is a relatively lonely way of living but at least I am content. That’s all that really matters in life, right?” I looked up at her with a loose smile and small tears in the corners of my eyes. They didn’t fall, just stood there waiting.

Submitted: November 23, 2014

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