Earlier in the week I received an invitation- “TO DIE FOR”. The invitation was from an exclusive group of elites. I’ve only heard about it once or twice since I’ve moved to this magical town. As far as I know, they put on a masquerade ball of sorts. It’s a welcoming of new residents. I moved here four months ago, thus assuming the ball was town gossip. When the invitation arrived, I was dumbfounded with excitement.
“You are cordially invited to the Masquerade. You will be provided a mask just before entering. Socialize with the Elitist and possibly meet your Prince Charming. You don’t want to miss out on the event to honor you. It’s to DIE for!”
I arrived at the castle. As an American, it still surprised me to see one as grand. There were masked gentleman awaiting me at the entrance, with a box. The box held a beautiful, jeweled, mask of a fawn. I gently took it out of the box and tied it around my face, gaining passage into the majestic structure. I was escorted by a quiet fellow. There were old paintings of, what I can assume were family. The eyes peered down upon me from the walls. Some looked pleasant enough, others not so much. One painting in particular gave me the chills. A woman sat in a chair with a look of sorrow and a young boy stood next to her with a menacing smile.
“Here we are.”
The curtain revealed a ballroom of tables, dressed in red and white. I must have been the first to arrive. I did like to be early to an event, but never so early to be the only person there.
“Where is everyone? Am I the only guest or something?” I joked.
“Surely not. Your host will soon greet you.” He responded as he made his exit.
I walked around the vast room. The clicks of my heels to the wood floor reverberated throughout. There were no chairs to any of the tables. It was curious, but perhaps was common in my new country. My mind couldn’t wonder too far, when the clamor of a heavy door opened from the balcony.
I watched her below for some time. She was unassuming and delicate. She wore a long dress, not suitable for such an event. I would have to overlook it. The mask fit her beautifully. My mouth ready to water at the sight of her. I descend down the stairs. The meeting always made my heart flutter. I craved for the look in her eyes. It was a look that they all shared. Fright, dread, horror—the moment of realizing they are merely prey behind the mask. We stood before one another. I could hear the thumps of her heartbeat.
“You must be the host.” She spoke and stuck out her hand.
I kissed it and gave her a smile.
“Yes, that would be me. Welcome to my home. I do hope you enjoy the festivities.”
“I’m quite embarrassed. I didn’t mean to show up so early. You haven’t even gotten a chance to set out the food.”
“The food has just arrived. Don’t you worry about that.” I assured her.
“How long until the other guests arrive?”
“Everyone with an invitation is here.”
Ahh—there it was. The look. The look to which made me salivate.
~ Gala Serks
Leave a comment or like if you enjoyed reading this writing prompt. Give it a try and see what you come up with, “behind the mask”.