The Man in the Paper Mask

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
She chooses tonight to take the long walk down that street and ends up getting more than she bargained for! Short, one and a half page story.

Submitted: May 06, 2008

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Submitted: May 06, 2008

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I opened my eyes alarmed. Everything was blurry. Shaking my head, I was trying to clear my mind. I was sitting upright on a hospital bed and I was fully clothed. The room was small and octagonal. Two large windows were perched on either side of the door, which had a glass window of its own. This room was painfully white.
"Why did I come here?" I asked myself aloud.
"Didn’t you choose to come here?" A voice that seemed to come from nowhere pierced the eery silence.
Over my shoulder was a man with blond, spiked hair standing next to a sink, where the water was running. He shut the faucet off and dried his hands with paper towels. When he turned around, fear shot down my spine. He was wearing a protective mask over his nose and mouth. My eyes followed the strings of the mask up to where I saw two-inch rings in his ear lobes. His eyes were dark green, and they were very serious.
"I take my job very sincerely, Miss.." he peered down at a sheet of paper on a tray, "Miss Sims." On my left there was a bed-side table and two trays packed with instruments were placed upon it. Some looked surgical, others not so much.
I watched him unfold a blue wrapper and slip on the gloves that lied inside. He said, "Please remain forward-facing. The less you move, the less I will have to react."
"Wha..what do you mean?" I tried to understand but everything was becoming hazy.
I heard a quick snap and felt a sharp pain on my face.
"What did you just do?"
"You’ll do good to relax Miss." The pain was constant. Why wasn’t he telling me anything?
Trying to follow his directions by only looking forward, my eyes were tempted to stray when I heard pieces of metal clinking together and being set back on the trays. In his left hand, he was holding something too small for me to see out of the corner of my eye. But in his right, I spotted pliers. They were moving in a twisting motion.
At that moment, I was the pretty blond girl in horror movies, oblivious to the danger lurking just beyond the darkness.
He set the pliers down and stood to my immediate left.
"Now sit back and do not move. This is going to hurt."
Oh dear God, I should have listened to my boyfriend and just stayed home tonight. I shouldn’t have gone looking for trouble. I shouldn’t have been walking down that street. I knew what awaited me at the end of the road, but I never thought it would be like this. And I definitely didn’t think it would be so soon! These thoughts raced through my brain in broken-record fashion.
Part of me was terror-stricken, unable to move, but the other part was ready to run from this sterile environment and back up the street towards my home.
Just as I convinced myself to jump off the table and escape, a woman in black clothing moved outside one window and positioned herself behind the door. Her hair was a matted poof of black frizz. Her make up was frightful and her appearance alone made me stay right was I was. She was blocking me in anyway.
I forced myself to sit back, hoping that I would be able to endure whatever he was about to do to me.
"Very good dear," he told me. "If you are ready, I will begin. Please rest your back on the bed and close your eyes."
The pain, already present on my face, intensified when he grabbed and pulled on my nose. I shrieked in pain as my eyes bolted open and bulged from their orbits, my back bowed. He was hovering over me and by the wrinkles rising over his cheek bones, I could tell he was smiling. "Just a few more moments; sit back."
I forced myself backwards and tears were streaming down my temples.
"What the fuck did you do that for?" I screamed.
"Just making sure your septum is completely intact." He replied.
"What does that have to do with anything?"
He ignored this question as he reached over to the tray and grabbed something. I watched the ceiling dance while my face was smothered in pain. The tears were free-flowing. My hands were clenched tightly over my chest. I wanted to hit him. Again I thought about why I’d chosen tonight, of all nights. Right now I could be lying in my warm bed, watching mTV, but no. Instead I’d chosen this. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
He looked deep into my eyes, signaling the time had come. This was it, the end was coming. Whatever he was going to do, he was ready.
Oh my GOD! I wrinkled my entire face, expecting death-inducing pain.
The fire on my nose presented itself again and I felt him push hard with a sharp object. He was forcing it into my skin. The stabbing was hurting my face, my body, my brain. He was standing there forcing this upon me while I could only mentally fight him. My body was weak under his pressure and had no will to respond. No more, no more. I change my mind; I don’t want this anymore. I want to go home. I want to leave this place. I promise I’ll never return. I tried to tell him all this, but the room started to go black. I couldn’t see anything peripherally, and the ceiling above was no longer white, but dark gray. I was fading.This must be the end, I thought.
The pain eased while the gray continued to linger overhead.
There was a noise to the side so I turned my head and saw the man standing there, his mask removed. Was he going to wish me a good trip?
"You can look in the mirror now Miss. Your new nose piercing is complete. Good job. You’ve been most amusing! When you’re done, place the mirror on the table and proceed to the bathroom outside the door so you can clean your face. Be sure to follow the directions that Madam Balk gave you on keeping your piercing clean. Goodnight."


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