( A short story)
The girl stood before the mirror.
She had chosen well today. Her eyes were hard, cold, and yet… curious. She thought also that she had chosen a good mouth to pair with it. It was a neutral expression, neither happy nor sad, and yet it was grim enough to hint of displeasure, which is precisely what she had been going for.
“Yes,” she thought, satisfied in her decision, “I have chosen well. But then I always do.”
She sighed as she peeled off the mask. They were getting harder to take off. Some days she felt that when she shed the mask she had done a terrible thing. She couldn’t really understand it, but it was as if some deep part of her clung to the extra face and rebelled whenever she rid herself of it. Even now her hands trembled as she peeled away the layer of skin. She broke into a feverish sweat, breathing heavily until at last the thing had been completely removed.
Two black pits stared back at her where her eyes were. There was no mouth, no real eyes, and no nose. She was simply a canvas of skin, a faceless creature with no features. She was nothing.
Her hands went up to touch her skin. It was cold and colorless, like a bleached cloth stretched over her bones. She hated it, and almost on their own volition her fingernails dug into the skin and ripped a long gash. Blood trailer down her cheek, and she felt tears wet her eyes. Her soul felt hollow and cold, and yet oddly she felt the darkness nested within it slowly start to dissipate.
“Enough!” A voice snapped in her ear, “End it!”
She shivered, and then quickly healed herself. The blood disappeared, the skin welding back together, but the pain of the wound was still there.
The darkness flooded her once more.
“Was it always this way?” She wondered, examining her reflection, “I seem to remember something different, as though this wasn’t always my face. Why can’t I remember?”
She sensed something, the mist of a memory, and then slowly it disappeared.
So she walked away from the mirror, and she never remembered. She never knew.
She was still wearing a mask.