- Masks -
White Fox Mask (continued)
She pulled her father’s dagger from the hidden sheath in her sleeve and took aim.
Just as the princess saw the knife in her hand and screamed, something pierced the bodice of her white dress. A knife.
She stumbled and fell.
This could not be it; she had come so close.
She felt herself begin to bleed.
With trembling hands she untied the ribbons and unfastened the mask from her head. Let them see who had wreaked such havoc on their perfect world. Let them look upon her true face and tremble.
Pulling off the mask, she revealed criss-crossing scars over her ice blue eyes.
“Opal….” the Princess said, legitimate fear shining in her eyes.
“I am the White Fox you hunt so mercilessly, Princess,” she snarled, Princess Estella looked like she might be sick.
She turned her head to the rest of the crowd. “I may be dying, but I am dying free. Any who wish to be free may join me.”
No one moved, and she laughed.
“You are all fools, then. But where there is one there are more. Someone shall follow in my footsteps, I have faith.” She lay back on the cold marble to look up at the ceiling.
As she lay dying, the wine-red blood spread across her snowwhite dress like frost over a windowpane.
She looked up at the enchanted ceiling and smiled. If the King would take her life, then she would take his pride. the only magic left in the kingdom, or so he said.
She reached up a surprisingly steady hand in the air.
She intended to pull down the magic that enchanted the ceiling and windows, but as she poured the last of her energy into the spell, her magic spread beyond the confines of the ceiling and grabbed hold of every star in the sky. She reached as high as she could into the sky and then seemed to pull something down on herself.
The kingdom was transfixed by the dying girl, there was no movement but the shaking of the Princess’s shoulders as she cried.
Blinding light flooded the room.
White Fox smiled and whispered into the light of the stars she had pulled to earth as their burning magic turned her to ashes.
“Only they who are truly worthy of your light may return you to their homes.”
So she was not the one meant to break the bars of this prison, she had done her best and it was not enough, so be it. The least she could do was use the last of her strength to hold the spot for someone who was strong enough. She grasped her fox mask, the last piece of who she used to be, she held it tightly for a moment. Then she let it go.
When the light cleared, she was gone and the only source of light was the torches that lit the room. The mask was all that remained, and no one dared touch it. After the ball, when no one was watching, Estella picked it up and took it away, her eyes burning with tears, her heart burning with rage.
That night became known as The Night The White Fox Stole The Stars.
Tainted Love (continued)
Not-Quite-Emily snarled, smiling wider and wider until the smile took up her whole face. She walked towards me, pushing me into the corner, limbs looking gnarled and jagged, like they were trying to break through her skin. That wretched face loomed above me, grinning its gruesome grin. “You, Jess, are about to become my meal.”
At that point, I gave up any hope that that thing was my girlfriend anymore. I ducked out from under the monster that used to be Emily, and I ran. Tried the door. Where the doorknob used to be there was just a hole, a metal bar jammed through it lengthwise to keep the door shut. The thing using my girlfriend’s body was still changing, and didn’t seem to be able to walk very well, but not for long. I didn’t want to run upstairs and risk being trapped, but where else could I go? The basement was worse, there weren't even any windows down there.
There were seconds at most.
God, Jessica, think! This is life or death for all you know and it’s like you’ve forgotten the layout of your own house!
Calling neighbors wasn’t an option, they were all old and mostly deaf, so they wouldn’t even hear me, and since that thing had tampered with the door, I didn’t even want to try the phones and waste more time. No way it had left them usable, right?
Suddenly a realization washed over me, and I sank to my knees.
I had to kill her. No, it. I had to kill it.
The idea barely had time to sink in before Not-Emily came lumbering around the corner.
The skin looked too tight over Emily’s face and tears were leaking out of her too-big eyes. So she was in there somewhere. That didn’t make it any easier to kill the beast, knowing my girlfriend was still trapped in there.
Upstairs. I had to get upstairs. I kept a switchblade in my dresser. I’d always wondered why Emily had seemed so serious when she’d given it to me. I thought it was just a joke at the time.
The imposter was blocking my way, so I picked up a vase off the hall table and hurled it.
I wasn’t even close to hitting the thing, but shards of porcelain ricocheted off the walls and at its face.
I threw my arms over my head as I ran by, sprinting towards the stairs. It made a grab for me, nails-turned-talons tearing through my side like butter. Pain washed over my body, like I’d gotten caught up in some hellish riptide. I cried out. No, this wasn’t happening… I had to get up, get out of here! I couldn’t die without trying to save myself. I couldn’t die without trying to save her. Clutching my side, I scrambled up the stairs.
The bedroom door was ajar when I got there, and dread settled in my stomach. I went in, shutting and locking the door behind me. (That was another thing Emily insisted on when she moved in. Lockable doors. It’s kind of funny now.) The dresser drawers were all open, clothes tossed on the floor.
The knife wasn’t there.
I couldn’t do anything.
Tears welled in my eyes for the third time today, but this time I didn’t push them down.
I cried. I cried for my life and hers, for any other victims this thing had claimed. I cried in fear as I heard it climbing the stairs, making sounds I can only describe as joyful.
What was I going to live for, anyways, when Emily was dead, or close enough to it? And knowing that I killed her… I wouldn’t make it a month. A week, even. What was I thinking? Giving up was inevitable, so why not do it sooner than later?
It was right outside now, and it was no secret as to where I was.
I cowered against the far wall as it jiggled the doorknob before deciding to just pound on it until it fell in. The sounds of joy paired with the pounding was deafening, and seemed to be getting louder by the second. I couldn’t even hear my own screams.
Not-Emily broke down the door. I sighed, swallowing my tears. If I was going to die, let it be at least with some level of dignity.
I stood up and walked towards the figure looming in the doorway. It grinned down at me with that same distorted face.
“I love you.” I said, staring into its eyes, glad that they were still Emily’s eyes. Those warm hazel eyes were what I saw when the thing ripped through my chest, tearing my heart to pieces.
All of a sudden I was weightless, yet heavy. Fragile as glass but rigid like stone. Everything and nothing all at once.
As my vision fell away and I dropped to the floor, the last thing I heard was her sobbing.
I forgive you