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Masquerade

by Nancy Pawley
copyright 02-25-2002


Age Rating: 13 +
Masquerade


Darkness has always been my constant unfailing companion; he feels what I feel, he knows what I know. He laughs, he weeps, he loves me as I am. We are two of a kind on the same wavelength, cut from the same cloth. When all is said and done, I am very good at hiding myself, keeping myself in the shadows of life and living. There is just the barest hint of danger for anyone who wants to get involved with me.

I am a watcher. That is my occupation of choice and what I do best; observing, then taking to heart what is learned. In all honesty, my lesson assignment last night was a man of intriguing mannerisms. Some of the single ladies tried their best to catch his attention; he was polite, but did not act overly interested. He talked to each of them for just a minute, then flashed his charm-filled smile. Each assumed he would be back to finish the conversation, so they didn't miss him when he turned on his heel and quickly walked away.

It struck me that he was searching for someone, but disappointed as he settled with a no show. I laughed within myself because I knew I was the object of his quest. At the last minute I had decided to shelve the black a-line sheath and make my grand illusion in blue sequins, and a peacock feathered mask.

I have given many suitors a hangdog attitude with my outrageous flirting. It's true I flirt, but that is just a game to me, a way to pass some pleasant time and fit in with the crowd at large. In any case, it keeps my mind on the fine-honed sharpened edge of keenness.

My motto is 'Forward is as forward does'. There are times to forge ahead and times to retreat. I tread heavily or softly as the need arises. I have never found the one to ignite my imagination and set my blood raging into an unleashed forest fire of secret passions, though.

I have watched and waited, and now I am ready to have him go to the limits of his endurance, and beyond. A free falling plunge into vast uncharted territory, reaching for the heights of heaven on the warm air currents or falling to the depths of hell, with no safety net below.

It is time to reel him in, hook, line, and sinker. I slowly punched his number, savoring on my tongue all the words he wants to hear. " It's me. " I was sure he had studied my voice and my carefully chosen inflections a million times over, my dialect from every different angle. " Are you ready for the unmasking? " I heard the sudden intake of his breath, sharp and deep. " Meet me in the early twilight hours of tomorrow. At the Rabbit Skip Crossroads, take the narrow pathway which leads to the old abandoned carcass of the Ebeneezer Baptist Church. I'll be waiting in the shadows near the cemetery gate. " I clicked my phone off. Yes, his curiosity would get the better of him.

I've spent my night in an old log cabin, far away from civilization, preparing for the morrow's evening pleasures. The early morning mist of Halloween is rising as I start what I've begun. My intentions are to enjoy the day, and then pay homage to the Dark. I am at the summit of Wisdom's Peak, in the Joe Pye Mountain Range. My trek takes me to pointed switchbacks, uphill and downhill in meandering twists and turns. The promise of the day is rainbow leadened in tumbling waterfalls at the coppered lion head's fountain. Invisible fingers strumming tunes; do I hear Angelsongs or DemonMelodies? It is not for me to say, as I must continue on. My meager lunch consists of red ripe raspberries and sweet juicy blackberries, their tangled vines playing closely with each other. Late afternoon approaches as I reach my final destination.

In a tempting game of hide and seek, I've concealed myself right out of sight. I see a lantern light bobbing up and down, as the rusting cemetery gate creaks forth. He calls out my name, but the response is not what he anticipates. Dead souls mingling, swirling phantom shadows whispering. He listens to those grumbling graveyard voices in the chilling wind. He slowly walks among the granite headstones, not even guessing he's a fool to linger past the stranded sundown hours.

I see his face bathed in the lantern's golden flickering glow. He's hoping to achieve immortality and endless fame by catching me, the Famous Spirit of Halloween. My heart beats fastly in great expectation of what's to come.

He's cavorting in the 'Dead Zone', the land of goblins, ghosts, and ghouls. His blood runs cold in freezing terror, as it envelopes his bareknuckled frightened soul. Those no longer living spirits are floating, they're his special welcome wagon committee. I picture a night of no light entertainment, a hell-bent inferno musicale, and he has the starring role in their ghastly onstage production. They wrap themselves around his neck, tightly squeezing in a cloak and dagger diamond choker necklace.

As I see his lifeless form fall to the ground, I sigh in consternation, " I'm so sorry. Apparently you weren't the one that I've been waiting for, after all. "






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        05-03-2004     Debra Rose        

Nancy,
You have no failed to amaze me once more. The image you weave with your words, the story you tell, is something that is amazing. The misty picture of a woman, left to our imagination, eating berries like a Roman Goddess and tempting as the siren's songs, luring in unsuspecting mortal after mortal, waiting for them to past her test. Amazing work. The sentence structure and word usage is wonderful as well.

Great job!

Forever,
Debra

        02-26-2002     Victor Buhagiar        

very interesting.



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