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"The Halloween Mask (Story)"

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Fri 31/10/03 at 19:08
Posts: 13,017
Keeping in with the Halloween theme, here is a story for you all to read.

The mask looked just like a horrible werewolf with blood dripping from its fangs. It was one which fitted right over Peter’s head, with spaces for his eyes so that when he looked out the movement gave an extra dimension of horror to the already terrifying expression on the rubber face. The hair hanging down from the top of the mask looked real, as did the hair and whiskers dropping from the sides and face. It was very satisfying, Peter felt, as soon as he had seen it in the joke shop from which be bought it.

Something, however, was missing. Whilst the mask seemed realistic enough, it was his hands which were wrong. If a human could really turn into a werewolf, it would not be only the face which would change, but the hands would grow hairy as well. He discovered this when he unwrapped the paper bag in which he had bought it and went upstairs to try the effect in front of his dressing-table mirror. As long as he kept his hands hidden, all was well, but once his hands were seen they were far too smooth. In fact, they weren’t hairy at all. It was rather disappointing, but nevertheless he thought he’d try out the effect anyway. His mother was in, so making grunting noises he loped away down the stairs.

He went to the living room where his mother was ironing some clothes, flung open the door and leapt in, arms raised to his shoulders, fingers extended like claws and growling angrily. “My Goodness!” exclaimed his mother, glancing up at him, “what on Earth made you waste your money on a thing like that?”
“I thought it was rather good,” said Peter, not at all disheartened. “Doesn’t it look…real?”
“It’s your birthday money, I suppose you can spend it how you like” was his mothers answer. He rephrased his question, “But doesn’t it look real?”
“It would, I suppose, except there are no such things and never have been such things are Werewolves.”

“The thing that’s wrong with it is my hands” said Peter. “The face is all right, but the hands are wrong, don’t you think?” He put the mask on again and held out his hands to show his mother the effect. His mother glanced up from the ironing. “Putting a mask on like that wont make your hands look different from any other boys,” she said. “The only thing you could do it wear gloves, woolly ones, to disguise them.”

Since she was taking no more notice of him, he returned upstairs and drew a pair of woolly gloves from a drawer in his dressing table. He tried the effect in his mirror. Well perhaps it wasn’t all that bad. Al least gloves gave some kind of appearance of hairiness, but it was still not quite right. He tried combing the back of the gloves but this proved useless. He still had some money left and so went back to the joke shop, taking the mask with him.
“have you got,” he asked “anything like hairy hands?”
The shopkeeper, being a bit of a joker himself, looked down at his own hands and asked if they would suffice.
“No, I mean,” explained Peter carefully, “I bought this werewolf mask but my hands don’t look right with it. I need some sort of hand masks to make it look more, well, real.”
“Hairy with some sort of claws, you mean?” asked the shop keeper nodding, “I might have, hold on.”

He rummaged through the many drawers that lined the back wall of the shop, each with a little indistinct label scrawled on childish handwriting. The shopkeeper extracted a plastic back from one of the drawers and placed it on the counter.
“Will these do?” he asked
Peter eagerly picked the bag up and examined its contents. They looked about right.
“Can I try them on?” Peter asked
“Sure” the shop keeper handed them to him.

They were not like gloves as they did not cover the hands all round but merely lay on top of the hand and were fastened by a strap underneath and another at the wrist.
“You can’t expect a perfect fit” added the shopkeeper, “They only make them in one size. If they don’t fit just tighten the wrist strap.”
They were rather big but they weren’t bad after all. Peter decided he would have them, after al he could afford them. They were just as good as the magnificent mask and had what looked like real hair growing from the backs of them as well as long claws on the back with rep tips that made it look as if they had just torn into someone’s flesh. The shopkeeper suggested Peter tried the mask as the hands at the same time and directed him to a mirror in the back of the shop. Peter decided this looked much better, especially in the dim light of the joke shop. Peter paid his money and left the shop.

On his way home Peter saw his friend Steven leaning against a wall, he looked as if he was waiting for someone. Peter donned his outfit and crept up on Steven and laid a clawed hand on his shoulder.
“That’s pretty good!” exclaimed Steven, gazing at the costume carefully. “Oh- its Peter”
“What do you think then?” asked Peter
“Its good, I can tell who you were by the clothes though. It needs to be darker though, I mean, you can’t expect to come across as a werewolf in daylight. If it was dark though, you could really scare someone with that!
“Mind if I try them on?” asked Steven
“Go ahead” replied Peter. After all, he wanted to see if what his friend said was true; and it was. Peter told himself it was money well spent. However it was still unfortunately true that in broad daylight the mask was just a mask and it was blatantly artificial.
Peter got back his mask and gloves and headed home, taking them upstairs and placing them carefully in the drawer of his dressing table.

It began to grow dark quite early that evening so at the first opportunity he got, Peter slipped upstairs and put on his mask and gloves and turned off his bedroom light. It looked beautifully eerie and he almost managed to frighten himself. There was something that the costume was missing, Peter ran downstairs into the kitchen, hurrying back with a little pocket torch in his hands and switched it on underneath his chin. This time he did actually jump in fright, in front of him was a monster, utterly horrible, writhing and drooling with just a hint of blood shining on the claws and fangs as if freshly drawn from a victim.

His father was calling him from downstairs, “Peter!”
“Would you do something for me?”
“Come down, and I’ll tell you”

He pocketed the mask and gloves and went downstairs to find his father waiting for him in the hall. “I’ve remembered a couple of errands I’d like doing. You know the envelopes I’ve been putting through people’s doors, collecting for the children’s home?”
“Yes” responded Peter.
“There are two houses I called to collect from last night but nobody answered. You can go round and collect them for me. Take this with you-” he handed him an identification card which stated Peter’s father was an authorised collector for the children’s home “and explain who you are. I expect they’ll know you anyway, but just in case.”
“Which houses are they?” asked Peter?
“Number 12 on our street, Mr and Mrs Hubbard, and 41 Church Road, he’s new so I don’t know his name”
“No problem, won’t take me 10 minutes.” Said Peter, hurrying out of the door.

This was the chance Peter had been looking for; once he was clear of the house he carefully drew the mask and gloves out of his pocket and put them on, then with his little torch ready he set off down the street. Number 12 was not far away and as he walked toward it Peter realised there was nobody else on the street but him. It was nicely dark and the sky was darkened over, blocking out most of the moonlight. Just the sort of night for a werewolf to be out, he thought. Peter perfected the mask and tightened the hands and briskly continued to number 12. He knocked on the door with his pocket torch at the ready.
“Who is it?” he heard a woman’s voice ask from the inside.
“I’ve come for the envelope for the children’s home,” he declared loudly.
“Just a minute”
There was a pause, and he assumed that Mrs Hubbard was trying to find the envelope and slip some change inside it before opening the door. The chain rattled and the door opened, Mrs Hubbard appeared and Peter switched on the torch right under his chin. Mrs Hubbard gasped and stepped back. She slammed the door and he heard the chain rattle and the bolt clunk into place.

That was very good, Peter was thinking. He did consider knocking again, this time with the mask off, but thought better of it. She might not answer twice. So now for whoever it was who lived at number forty-one. This was a large gloomy house with tall fir trees growing in the front garden and a thick hedge lining the garden path. He did not remember ever having seen this house before. He opened the wooden gate and began up the path, only to realise the front door was not at the front of the house at all, but at the side.

He did not need to flash his torch to find the doorbell, as it was one of those illuminated ones. He pressed the button and heard an angry buzzing from inside the house. Feeling secure and safe behind his mask he pushed the bell again when nobody answered and this time he heard a man’s voice from inside the hall of the dark house. “Go round the back” it exclaimed hoarsely.

We walked further along the thin path to find a tall wooden gate that opened easily and led to the back door of the house. The door opened just as the clouds parted in the sky to allow the moonlight to light the garden up. Peter was ready and flicked the torch on under his chin immediately. However the man who answered the door didn’t frighten easily. He was a short man wit ha thick beard and moustache and he simply stood there regarding Peter steadily.
“I’ve come for the envelope for the children’s home,” explained Peter, switching off the torch since it was obviously having no effect.
“Ah yes,” said the man, but made no move to go and fetch it.
“I’ve got a card here” said Peter, fumbling in his pocket with some difficulty due to the hand masks he was still wearing. “It’s my fathers really, but it proves that you can give the envelope to me.” The short man continued to regard him without moving.
“Switch that torch on again” he asked, so Peter did.
“Do you know why you never see two robins on a Christmas card?” the man asked him suddenly.
Peter did not
“It’s because it you ever find two robins together, they fight each other to the death. Did you know that? You can only ever find one robin in once place at once time. The same with one or two other creatures.”
Peter had no idea what the short man was getting at. He had made no mention of Robins or Christmas cards.

The man’s face was beginning to change rather strangely in the moonlight, which was now shining fully upon him. It was as if his beard was growing stragglier, somehow, and the face becoming more lined and his lips seemed thinner and more drawn over his teeth. Peter noticed too, now the light was brighter, how hairy this man’s hands were. Peter flicked off the torch, as he no longer needed the light. Then the short man did a very odd thing, he came right to the edge of his doorstep as if he were going to whisper something to him. When the man’s mouth was somewhere near his ear Peter, always curious, strained to be able to hear was the man was about to whisper. He was astonished then to feel the bones in the side of his neck crunching and blood running don inside his shirt. He didn’t even have time to shout out before long nails were tearing as his flesh.
Sat 01/11/03 at 00:33
"Remember me?"
Posts: 6,124
It was funny, and yet hideously poor at the same time.
Sat 01/11/03 at 00:29
"gsybe you!"
Posts: 18,825
Sat 01/11/03 at 00:23
"Remember me?"
Posts: 6,124
the_aoe_slaught  wrote:
> Well... My mum and dad have let me stay up (for no reason) and for
> once can spend the night how i want... Quietly.


Best not to pop too loudly then.
Fri 31/10/03 at 23:22
Posts: 9,631
Well... My mum and dad have let me stay up (for no reason) and for once can spend the night how i want... Quietly.
Fri 31/10/03 at 23:12
"gsybe you!"
Posts: 18,825
Well, theres not much else reason too.

No offence Kyz.
Fri 31/10/03 at 23:10
Posts: 9,631
Cos i was bored.
Fri 31/10/03 at 22:58
"gsybe you!"
Posts: 18,825
Why pop it?
Fri 31/10/03 at 22:27
Posts: 9,631
Fri 31/10/03 at 20:51
"Va Va Voom"
Posts: 328
Thats freaky and really long. Sets the mood for halloween indeed.
Fri 31/10/03 at 20:36
"Remember me?"
Posts: 6,124
That was great. Though I do agree you could have done more with the ending.

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