Tag: Masquerade

MASQUERADE: Masquerade By B.A. Sarvey

Word: MASQUERADE
Word Count: 500
Masquerade
B.A. Sarvey
She had been hiding amongst them for days. Initially, she panicked at being left behind. Later, she had allowed her mind to settle, to grasp a solution. Being here was not exactly forbidden. Especially if no one knew. Thus she had slipped in, masquerading as one of them. A traveler from another town; still, one of them.
That her own clan had vanished perplexed her. She had lingered briefly in the meadow, reveling in the soft, grassy scent, the spicy-sweet of Dame’s Rockets—a profusion of purple blooms, towering above the lacework of pale green and golden buttercups. So different from the musky woods of home. When she arrived at the gathering place, a click, a whoosh, a whisper hung in the air; no other remainder of the beings who made those sounds. Had they been spirited away by their own hand? Or something else? How was she unaffected? Nary a broken stick or trampled blade of grass evidenced that they had existed at all. Had she been magicked here, all alone, a false memory of the posy-picking excursion planted in her mind? A curious thought.
Mother always chided her for ‘gathering wool’, but Father indulged her. Destined for greater things than washing and spinning, he said. Was this punishment for wandering? Or was she waking to her destiny?
Perhaps, like being left behind, destiny would just happen. For now, the masquerade was the important thing. Her appearance seemed normal in this bustling settlement by the river. If she kept the hood of her cloak pulled close, she blended in with market shoppers, scullery maids, nurses—a feast of watery blues, daffodil golds, meadow greens, violet thunderstorms—gathered here, there, wandering singly, but all belonging. She could communicate in their tongue, but her quicksilver voice would sparkle in forenoon’s raucous din. Gestures worked. Later, when the evening dimmed the daylight, subdued the urgency of life, her speech would be more in keeping with their drowsy discourse. Likewise, the wisps of silvery hair curling from her hood would go unnoticed.
These things she knew from observing—from afar the first day, then creeping closer. She now sat at the fire with some young women. The stories they shared were of love, longing, labors, so similar to stories exchanged in her village, she could have closed her eyes and imagined herself home. Biscuits, warm and buttery, cups of tangy-sweet juice. Mmmm. She settled into the sheltering sumac. The rock under her hand, cool, rough, emitted a soft shush as she rubbed it. A mouse rustled the grass. A beetle chewed a twig. Breezes buffeted leaves. All sound distinct, separate; then all sound together, reverberating. Her eyes danced with stars as she opened them. Before her stood a boy.
“You are from away,” he said. “Welcome.”
Beyond the boy, as through a mist, loomed her home in the woods. Near, but unreachable. This place. This boy. Her destiny? He offered his hand. “Ready?” he asked. “I’ve been waiting.”
Removing her hood, she nodded.

MASQUERADE: Masquerading as Death By Claire Robertson

Word: MASQUERADE
Word Count 323
Masquerading as Death
By Claire Robertson

There was a stunned silence in the cave. Then there was a noise outside the cave. Annalaya glanced out. “The others are back!” They left the cave to find the Elemental Warriors and a girl about ten with green wings and brown hair. Frozen Flame introduced her as Earth Flight. In all, there were ten of them. “Why are there so few of you?” “Our nightly dance. We all dress up as Death and Death comes out of the forest. Then we dance and stop when we face someone else. Whoever faces Death gets taken.” “Ok…” Minaya noticed everyone putting on black robes. “Here are some costumes you can borrow.” Frozen Flame handed them each a robe and a mask.
When everyone was changed, it was still possible to tell who was who. The Elemental Warriors were shorter then Spirit Seer, who was shorter then Earth Flight, who was shorter then the twins, who were shorter then Frozen Flame and Analaya, who were shorter then Saphria, who was shorter then Minaya and Magnus. Frozen Flame gave them each a pair of boots that made them all the same height. Then they all walked into the jungle. They moved around for about five minutes, then fourteen figures stepped out into the clearing.
There was then much leaping and spinning in a tribal dance. They stopped when they were facing someone. When everyone had stopped, they all removed their masks. All the Elemental Warriors were facing each other. Storm Chaser and Dark Huntress were facing each other. Spirit Seer was facing Saphria. Frozen Flame and Analaya were facing each other. Magnus found himself staring into his sister’s eyes. Earth Flight was facing an unfamiliar boy. His skin was as white as paper and his hair as black as night. His eyes were empty pits, dark and infinite. Earth Flight’s face was frozen in an expression of shock as she and the boy dissolved into nothing.

MASQUERADE: Unmasking the Masquerade By G. Ackman

Word: MASQUERADE
Word Count 495

Unmasking the Masquerade
by G. Ackman

She turned into the little used park, planning to eat her lunch quickly in the car and then head home. She could still tackle three or four items on her to-do list before everyone came home. But then something magical and unexpected happened. The park was deserted, not a soul in sight. She couldn’t resist. She had to get out into that glorious solitude. It probably wouldn’t last – someone else with a carful of kids would surely show up any minute, but until then, she relished being alone. She didn’t even notice that she left her cell phone in the car’s console. Lunch became a leisurely endeavor, sitting at a picnic table and watching the leaves dance on the gentle breeze that lightly caressed strands of her hair. After that she took a nice long walk along the edge of the woods, her thoughts only on the moment and letting herself really see and acknowledge each varied aspect of her surroundings. She could discern seven different bird calls and smiled as she envisioned their conversations. She made eye contact with a squirrel who then raced off to finish his chores, chiding her loudly about her laziness. The weather was perfect- she was neither too warm nor too cool. The light gray clouds allowed enough sun through to be pleasant but not enough to be insistent. She didn’t just look or move through her space; she really saw. Partway through her walk an old swing set beckoned to her and she gleefully answered its call. The rough chain links leaving rust stains on her hands, her feet just scraping against the hard packed dirt, the pulling back on her legs and then she was up. The rhythmic push and pull to get herself just high enough to be able to sail through the air, legs straight out, head and hair back, her own version of a bird. For almost an hour she swung, not thinking at all but just being. As far as she could see, the white fluffy dandelions kept time with her dance.

A subtle shift in daylight brought her back to earth It was time to go home.

As she settled into the driver’s seat, her mind automatically fell into its normal mode – she needed to get dinner on. The kids would be home soon, then Mike. The dogs needed to go out. There was laundry to fold, papers to grade, stories of the day to listen to. They might even ask about her day. But she would just smile and say “good.” She would not share the special gift of today. Today was just for her. She had been unconnected from everyone and everything except her essential being. It had been a soul renewing experience but now it was time to go back. She donned her old, familiar, yet comfortable, costume of wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, friend, and neighbor to rejoin the masquerade dance that we call society.

MASQUERADE: Masquerade By Miriam Rose Mancuso

Word: MASQUERADE
Word Count:
Masquerade
By Miriam Rose Mancuso

I couldn’t focus on the masquerade-themed story we were reading in class because Baekyun looked just to firkin irresistible. Yeah, he can’t speak English to save his life. Yes, we barely know each other. Yes, I’m aware I’m not so commonly traditionally beautiful to steal his heart, but I’ll try. I just hope he hasn’t noticed the “B+H” inside an arrow heart on my left wrist. I looked over with a sea of blind admiration in my brown eyes that glowed to a chestnut shade. He smiled at me with his impossibly white teeth. God, he’s gorgeous.
“Ka-nee-chi-wah!” I waved. He laughed at my incorrect, horrible pronunciation. Teeheehee. I wish I knew Japanese so I could talk to him and ask him about Japan. Is it really as amazing and Hello Kitty centered as the TV depicts it to be? No, I’m not a weeaboo who wants to become a Japanese person. I just wanna possibly date and marry one in particular.
“Sorry, I’m late,” I heard a familiar British accent at the door. I took a good, long stare at Joe Wilshire, our aqua-eyed English exchange student. Ok, confession time. I, Hinkley Roberstein, want to be a British girl and Joe’s girlfriend. I am of British descent!
Wait! What about Baekyun? I guess I have some deciding to do!
“Oh, Joe, seat behind Hinkley for today!” Mr. Monroe instructed.
“Thankyouthankyouthankyou!” I whispered to whichever God is up there. Maybe it’s a sign from them saying me and Joe are meant to be together!
“Hi, Joe!” I muttered. “Cheers, Joe!”
I really hope that’s what ‘Hello’ means in England!
“Oh, that’s kind of a ‘goodbye’ thing to say. But thanks for trying!” Joe smiled at me warmly. He corrected me. But he spoke to me! He also smiled at me! This is a very good sign! Gee, I wonder if he likes me…Maybe, I should try talking to him! I turned around and that caught his eye.
“Hello again!” He smirked.
“Hi! Um, have you ever been to a masquerade before?” I had literally nothing not-forward to say to him so I compensated with relating our conversation to our class.
“No. Is that an American normality?” He queried.
“Not really. I thought they’d have all sorts of parties and balls in England! It’s a cultural wonderland!” I gushed. I hope I didn’t come off as a 4 year old to him.
“Oh, is it? Seems like all rain, tea, and exams to me! School sucked,” He sighed.
“So you don’t miss the UK?” I frowned, trying to show some support.
“Not as much as you’d think. Terror attacks happening in London every other week? Kind of terrifying. I also have never had good friends. Everybody I knew was fake,” Joe bit his bottom lip to the point of redness. I assume it’s to numb the frustration on to distract me from life itself.
“Well, there isn’t a lack of fakeness here in ‘Merica, either! But if you need a friend, you have me. I’m not fake. Oh my God, what a fake person thing to day! Ugh!”
He laughed. I blushed.

MASQUERADE: Wonder Woman By Nan Ressue

Word: MASQUERADE
Word Count 402
WONDER WOMAN
By Nan Ressue
Mother,” Elizabeth called, as she jumped to her feet and threw the newspaper into the nearest chair.
“Did you read that infuriating editorial in this morning’s Gazette? New York has never had a more stupid, narrow minded editor than that man”, she continued, stomping her high button shoe for emphasis.
“Imagine thinking that women are only fit for cleaning, cooking, and child bearing. What does he think we have between our ears? Empty space? That man will be receiving a rude letter from one of his irate readers who wholeheartedly disagrees. Prepare to take fire, Mr. Editor”
Not too many days went by before the guilty editor called her with an invitation to visit his office. Still seething, she went prepared to further defend her values as an intelligent woman, capable of all life’s assignments. To her amazement, the purpose of this anticipated matching of wits was a job offer, an opportunity to prove herself. i
“Can I do this?”, she asked herself nervously. “Why Not? I’d match my brain against any of these stuffed shirted men.”
With steady eye contact and a firm handshake she answered,” I’d be pleased to work for you.”
“You realize, I’m sure, that if you are going to be a writer, you’ll need a pen name. Do you have one in mind?”,
“Have you ever heard of Stephen Poster?”, she inquired. “He’s written a new popular song called “Nellie Bly. I’d like to try that one”.
“Well Nellie, let’s get down to business. Would you agree that the best writing is drawn from personal experience?”
“Yes sir,” she replied without hesitation
Standing up and leaning forward over the desk, he announced,” I‘ve arranged for you to be committed in cognito to Blackwell Island Insane Asylum to see firsthand how the patients are abused. They have a wretched reputation and I want to give them the publicity they deserve. The newspaper’s attorney will arrange for your release at the proper time. Are you up for this?
The answer came from a young woman who was destined to race around the world in record time writing about each stopover and causing newspaper subscriptions to soar. However, one of Nellie Bly’s most memorable pieces called“Ten Days in a Mad House” was reprinted across the country and founded a new branch of journalism called investigative reporting .. Here was a woman who clearly made a difference.

MASQUERADE: Unmasking the Masquerade by G. Ackman

Word: MASQUERADE

Word Count 495

 

Unmasking the Masquerade

by G. Ackman

 

She turned into the little used park, planning to eat her lunch quickly in the car and then head home.  She could still tackle three or four items on her to-do list before everyone came home.  But then something magical and unexpected happened.  The park was deserted, not a soul in sight.   She couldn’t resist.  She had to get out into that glorious solitude.  It probably wouldn’t last – someone else with a carful of kids would surely show up any minute, but until then, she relished being alone.  She didn’t even notice that she left her cell phone in the car’s console.   Lunch became a leisurely endeavor, sitting at a picnic table and watching the leaves dance on the gentle breeze that lightly caressed strands of her hair.  After that she took a nice long walk along the edge of the woods, her thoughts only on the moment and letting herself really see and acknowledge each varied aspect of her surroundings.  She could discern seven different bird calls and smiled as she envisioned their conversations.  She made eye contact with a squirrel who then raced off to finish his chores, chiding her loudly about her laziness.  The weather was perfect- she was neither too warm nor too cool.  The light gray clouds allowed enough sun through to be pleasant but not enough to be insistent.  She didn’t just look or move through her space; she really saw.  Partway through her walk an old swing set beckoned to her and she gleefully answered its call.  The rough chain links leaving rust stains on her hands, her feet just scraping against the hard packed dirt, the pulling back on her legs and then she was up.  The rhythmic push and pull to get herself just high enough to be able to sail through the air, legs straight out, head and hair back, her own version of a bird.  For almost an hour she swung, not thinking at all but just being.  As far as she could see, the white fluffy dandelions kept time with her dance.

 

A subtle shift in daylight brought her back to earth    It was time to go home.

 

As she settled into the driver’s seat, her mind automatically fell into its normal mode –  she needed to get dinner on.  The kids would be home soon, then Mike.  The dogs needed to go out.  There was laundry to fold, papers to grade, stories of the day to listen to. They might even ask about her day.   But she would just smile and say “good.”  She would not share the special gift of today.  Today was just for her. She had been unconnected from everyone and everything except her essential being. It had been a soul renewing experience but now it was time to go back.    She donned her old, familiar, yet comfortable, costume of wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, friend, and neighbor to rejoin the masquerade dance that we call society.

 

 

MASQUERADE: Masquerade By Miriam Rose Mancuso

Word: MASQUERADE

Word Count:

Masquerade

By Miriam Rose Mancuso

 

I couldn’t focus on the masquerade-themed story we were reading in class because Baekyun looked just to firkin irresistible. Yeah, he can’t speak English to save his life. Yes, we barely know each other. Yes, I’m aware I’m not so commonly traditionally beautiful to steal his heart, but I’ll try.  I just hope he hasn’t noticed the “B+H” inside an arrow heart on my left wrist.  I looked over with a sea of blind admiration in my brown eyes that glowed to a chestnut shade. He smiled at me with his impossibly white teeth. God, he’s gorgeous.

“Ka-nee-chi-wah!” I waved. He laughed at my incorrect, horrible pronunciation. Teeheehee.   I wish I knew Japanese so I could talk to him and ask him about Japan. Is it really as amazing and Hello Kitty centered as the TV depicts it to be?  No, I’m not a weeaboo who wants to become a Japanese person. I just wanna possibly date and marry one in particular.

“Sorry, I’m late,” I heard a familiar British accent at the door. I took a good, long stare at Joe Wilshire, our aqua-eyed English exchange student.  Ok, confession time. I, Hinkley Roberstein, want to be a British girl and Joe’s girlfriend. I am of British descent!

Wait! What about Baekyun? I guess I have some deciding to do!

“Oh, Joe, seat behind Hinkley for today!” Mr. Monroe instructed.

“Thankyouthankyouthankyou!” I whispered to whichever God is up there. Maybe it’s a sign from them saying me and Joe are meant to be together!

“Hi, Joe!” I muttered. “Cheers, Joe!”

I really hope that’s what ‘Hello’ means in England!

“Oh, that’s kind of a ‘goodbye’ thing to say. But thanks for trying!” Joe smiled at me warmly.  He corrected me. But he spoke to me! He also smiled at me! This is a very good sign!  Gee, I wonder if he likes me…Maybe, I should try talking to him!  I turned around and that caught his eye.

“Hello again!” He smirked.

“Hi! Um, have you ever been to a masquerade before?” I had literally nothing not-forward to say to him so I compensated with relating our conversation to our class.

“No. Is that an American normality?” He queried.

“Not really. I thought they’d have all sorts of parties and balls in England! It’s a cultural wonderland!” I gushed. I hope I didn’t come off as a 4 year old to him.

“Oh, is it? Seems like all rain, tea, and exams to me! School sucked,” He sighed.

“So you don’t miss the UK?” I frowned, trying to show some support.

“Not as much as you’d think. Terror attacks happening in London every other week? Kind of terrifying. I also have never had good friends. Everybody I knew was fake,” Joe bit his bottom lip to the point of redness. I assume it’s to numb the frustration on to distract me from life itself.

“Well, there isn’t a lack of fakeness here in ‘Merica, either! But if you need a friend, you have me. I’m not fake. Oh my God, what a fake person thing to day! Ugh!”

He laughed. I blushed.

MASQUERADE: A Masquerade of Fiction By Maggie Robertson

Week 15:  Masquerade

Word Count: 220

 

A Masquerade of Fiction

By Maggie Robertson

 

So here we are in Flash Fiction

Where we can all practice our diction

With one word a week

Some stories are bleak

Labyrinth was our predilection

 

Then came Soil and Bane

Stories of spiders insane

Before long we found

Our rules ran aground

When too many words we did gain.

 

Mahogany brought furniture and wood

And a curious critter quite good

We created diversion

With the word Aversion

Just like we all thought that we could

 

My Gift story was written deviously

Yes, I planted the word mischievously

The room sure was quiet

Thought I might start a riot

Not like the ones I wrote Previously

 

Stories of the Soul were quite dark

They weren’t such a walk in the park

A limerick for Parody

Was such a rarity

‘Twas filled with a fine dose of snark

 

As expected for word Hemorrhagic

Some stories had their share of tragic

And for Translucence

We put in our two pence

Writing these tomes is quite magic

 

It’s time to look underneath

For stories to you we Bequeath

You might find Transform

When you write is the norm

And in fiction to sink in your teeth

 

And so fiction is Masquerade

With words and pens we have played

We are not done yet

So don’t you dare fret

We hope you enjoy what we’ve made.

 

MASQUERADE: The Masquerade Gown by Sally Madison

Word:  Masquerade

Word Count:  417

 

The Masquerade Gown

Sally Madison

 

The two children were watching from behind the nearly closed door of the parlor, as Elizabeth regally descended the massive oak staircase.  Their faces were struck with awe, but they were surprised.  They thought she would have been delighted to go the masquerade ball, but her lovely face was sullen and thoughtful. How could they have known that the man she had wished to marry, would be announcing his betrothed tonight? But it was not her.

 

The brocade gown glittered from the golden threads.  The ruffled cuffs and layers of hems were lined with gold scalloped edges, with pearls framed by each scallop. The layers of brocade draped over her hips and with her snug bodice the gown accentuated her tiny waist.  Her ballerina slippers peeked out from under her gown to show the same brocade as her dress.

 

A rope of white pearls intertwined with her light brown hair piled high on the crown of her head.  Three more ropes of pearls hung on her ivory neck.  In her hand she figured the ivory stick supporting the gold and white pearled and feathered mask.  From her wrist dangled the matching purse she had made for the occasion, adorned with the black pearls that her mother had smuggled from Moravia.

 

The children watched their father, the butler, holding her long sleeved cape of ermine and matching hand muff, as she approached. After her ensemble was complete, he opened the door intending to guide her down the steps, but she took a deep breath of resolve, and pulled her hand away in independence.  Distracted by her dread of the evening, she focused on the fine carriage and four horses waiting at the carriage step, blindly negotiating the icy granite steps.

 

Boom, boom, boom, in a flash she was on her bottom at the foot of stone steps.

The children jumped in to action: the little one to the kitchen to fetch more help, and older one outside to assist. “Are you alright?”  They kept asking. “Yes, I think so.” she whispered.  ‘I won’t be able to go to the ball after all… What a waste of this beautiful gown…  Maybe I really didn’t want to go to the ball… The Lord works in mysterious ways …or maybe it wasn’t the Lord this time, but my self-preservation, ‘she thought.  They tried to lift her. Moaning in pain, she winced, “Oh that hurts!”  Thinking to herself she analyzed, ‘it’s hard to say which hurts worse: my pride, or my backside.’