The Mask

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The door is closed. The door to vault 613 at my father’s bank. As I crept down the hallway I heard voices behind me. I didn’t have much time. I hurried to the door of the vault and, using my father’s key, opened the door.

I had heard many stories about vault 613 and who owned it, but I never believed any of them. But still, the workers hardly ever came down that part of the bank. The workers were instructed never to open 613. I had always wondered what was kept there. All of the other vaults mainly had money but some vaults had people’s possessions in them as well. I used to love to look in the vaults whenever my dad put something in them. I had seen a lot gold watches, old dusty books, I even saw a golden plunger. But when I opened the door I saw the strangest thing yet. An old rubber mask. No money. Nothing of value able. Just the mask. I mean sure, it was pretty creepy looking, but a mask? I didn’t have time to marvel over it any longer because I heard footsteps coming round the corner. In a flash I turned around, shut the door to the vault, locked the door, and ran around the corner just as the workers emerged from the opposite end. Only then did I realize I had the mask.

I couldn’t turn around, then put the mask back, not with my dad’s employees there, so I decided to sneak it home and hide it until I got a chance to put it back. I snuck it upstairs without incident and was able to get it into my room without anyone noticing. Finally I was alone with the mask. Only when I took a good look at it, did I realize how revolting it was. It was flesh colored with straggly hair growing out of the head of the mask. It had an extra long nose with warts on it, which was gross. Its mouth was twisted into an insane smile and the eye holes were wrinkled. But being ever curious I slipped the mask on. It seemed to fit me perfectly and when I looked out of the eye holes I noticed the sinister look it gave my eyes. I went to take the mask off, but it wouldn’t budge. I tried yanking at it. Nothing. I tried pulling. More nothing. I looked for the seam between the mask and my neck but I couldn’t find it. I began to panic. Where was the seam? It couldn’t have just melted into my neck, could it? Suddenly I heard a knocking at my door. “Max?” I heard my dad say through the door. Oh no I couldn’t let dad see this. He thought I was his perfect little girl. So I began looking for an alternate exit. My eyes immediately landed on the window. I immediately made a bee line for it. I scrambled out the window just as my dad entered my room. “Thank God I live in a first story bedroom”, I thought. I hurried away from the window and headed off down the street. I had to find someone who could get this off.

I didn’t know how long I had been walking. My feet ached and all I wanted to do was rest. I sat down on the sidewalk and closed my eyes. I had not been sitting there more than a minute when I say the glare of headlights coming down the street. I thought they would just pass me but instead they stopped in front of me. Suddenly the doors flew open and five thugs burst out. “Well, well, well, we’ve finally found It.” one of them said. Then to me he said “Give me the mask.” I was so stunned I couldn’t reply for a second. Suddenly I regained the use of my voice. “You can’t.” I said, not just because it was stuck but because it didn’t belong to them, I could tell. “I didn’t want to have to do this.” he said, “Get her.” I was out of there before any of them could respond. “After her!” I heard him order and as I looked back, I saw three of the five thugs charging after me. I raced down the street looking for a place to hide of at least some way to elude them. As I ran, I began to notice I was getting to a part of town I wasn’t familiar with. I couldn’t stop because that the thugs were still close behind me, so I plowed on, getting more and more nervous.
Presently, I came upon an old store near the edge of town. The thugs hadn’t seen me yet so I quickly scurried inside. As I closed the door I notice an eerie glow coming from the back of the shop. I crept closer, curious. Suddenly a felt a hand on my shoulder. I whirled around to ready to race whoever it was when I noticed it was just an old man. “Hello.” He said in a kindly voice “looks like you’ve got some problem there. Luckily you’ve come to the right place.” “Where am I?” I asked. “The Old Magic Shop,” he said. “Now may I ask, where did you get that mask?” I felt reluctant to tell him but something about him made me think I could trust him. “In a vault at my father’s bank.” I said. “Really?” he asked, “Do you know who the original owner was?” “No.” I said. “Well.” He said “I can take that mask off for you if you promise me you’ll destroy it.” “Destroy it!” I exclaimed. “Why?” “Because,” he said “that mask has very dark powers. It can control whoever wears it too long. It’s lucky you got to me on time. Otherwise...” he trailed off.
I had to think about this. If I destroyed it, then I would be destroying someone else’s property. If I didn’t, then it may fall into the wrong hands. My thoughts were cut off by a sudden pounding at the door of the shop. It was the thugs. “There is a furnace in back.” The store owner said. “Alright.” I said, “I’ll get rid of it. “Good choice.” he said as he pulled out a small flask containing some purplish liquid. He quickly smeared it all around the edges of the mask, or at least, where the edges used to be. Right when he finished the door exploded as the thugs rammed it in. “Throw the mask in the furnace then go out the back door.” the store owner screamed. I quickly turned tail and charged to the back of the store. I heard the thugs race into the store not too far behind. I quickly found the correct door to the room with the furnace. As soon as I opened the door the heat hit me like a wave. I staggered into the room and located the furnace. I ran toward it and flung it open. I hesitated though when I was about to throw in the mask. I was somebody else’s property and if the owner found out my dad’s bank had lost it, my dad would be in big trouble. But as I heard the loud footsteps coming closer to the door I made up my mind. I quickly tossed it into the furnace and ran out the door.

It turns out that the very same day I took the mask the old owner died of uncertain causes. So my father never got in trouble for losing the mask. I came back to the store where that nice man had taken off the mask to find it was no longer there. There was only an empty alleyway.





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