's 2014 Horror Write-off:

" Masks "

Submitted by Keefer Lowe

I saw the first one on my way to work one cool November morning. Living in the city it was better to walk to work, I didn't live too far from the office so the train would be too much, and trying to drive in this mess would be a deathwish. He, or rather It stood about half a head above everyone else, his height wasn't out of the ordinary though, after all there are a few Taller People out there, but what caught my eye was their mask. It was a bright gold, bearing a Theatrical Smile, It looked like one of those Comedy Masks you often see. No one else seemed to notice though, I thought for sure someone else would at least look twice at it, I asked one someone passing by if they noticed him too they looked at me like I was drunk. The rest of the day I tried to get past it, I mean a random person in a mask, but why? It kept clawing at the back of my mind for the next couple of days that was, Until I saw the Next one.

This one I saw in a local coffeeshop, their mask wasn't gold though it was plain flat white. The expression was one that showed worried too, it wasn't the joy the gold mask held. They stood in line and when it came to be their time, they simply stood at the counter, the barista conversed with them despite them not speaking back, it seemed the will of the masked was conveyed, they got their order. Again no one thought anything was out of the ordinary. Why was their mask in such torment, what was worrying them? Once again I tried to get past it, tried to bury it deep in my subconscious where I wouldn't think about it anymore, but this one unlike the Gold Masked one, kept showing up. It seemed this person for whatever reason decided to put on a mask and go about their normal life, and they just so happened to frequent quite a few of the same places I did, I decided this was time to change up my routine.

More and more have started to appear all with differnt expressions and in that same plain white, I hadn't seen any other Gold mask like that first one. Mixed in with the crowd like the worst part of the trail mix that just keeps showing up. They never speak but somehow they can communicate with everyone, I witnessed two standing facing each other one day, they just stood there staring down one another. I decided to try speaking to one, I asked them about their mask, I think it held a guilt ridden look, they simply looked at me. How could people talk to these things!? They don't answer anything, just standing there in silence! What do they want? why don't they remove their masks! I was fed up at this point, I decided to try something with one of them at work, I was going to pull that damn mask right off their face! I pulled, pulled, and pulled. . It didn't budge, and I was fired for assaulting an employee.

Why didn't it come off, What held it there? I couldn't wrap my head around it at all, where did they come from, why did they keep multipling? Every day more and more of them kept showing up, mixed in with the crowd, the Masked now out number the unmasked, all with differnt expressions, I think I figured out why. One of my friends recently started to wear one, his mask looked paranoid, a few weeks before He put his on he told me he was afraid his long time girl friend was cheating on him. He kept it inside around her though, never let it show, the masks show what someone hides on the inside, instead of masking our emotions they now wear us.

I can't take it anymore! A sea of white masks Every where I look! I can't talk to them anymore none of them answer a damn thing I ask! The Silence is torture, I long for the noise of the city, the overheard conversations! Even the television, which was my last sanctuary for actual humans, has nothing but the damned masked! Every where I turn and every where I look, It's. . Just. . A. . Damn. . . MASK! Why!? It's driving me crazy, But, I know where the answer is, It lies with the Gold mask, I just have to find him again and I can figure it out. How do I go about it though, how can I properly convey I'm looking for a man in a certain mask when I'm the only Damned one who sees it! When Anyone I ask DOESN'T ANSWER ME! Nothing I look up or Search for holds anything on Seeing masks!

...........I know how to bring him too me, He started this. It all leads back to him and his gold mask. I ordered a copy of it, the gold comedy mask that started this. I'm going to use it to end it, I'm going to grab his attention. I had to go take something out of storage too, an old family hand me down, and had to deal with the Masked in the process to buy something for it. I put on my copy, And hope this will work, I load up the shells one by one, and head out to the street, I will mow down any and all of these bastard that stand in my way until He shows himself and I make him answer this!

My rampage didn't last long, I got to take care of a few of those bastards until their police force took me down, I tried to fight but they were too much, Took me alive, and pulled off my mask Never saying a word to me. A couple monthes have gone by, I've yelled and yelled at them all through my trial and every chance I got. Apparntly they can't hear me though, I saw one of the newspapers about it, they're calling me a mute psychopath, apparently they can't hear me, just like I can't hear them. . .