Donning the Mask (part 1)
J. Decker

(Please forgive the writing style; I just finished reading Dolores Clairborne by Steven King.  Great author.  Also, a quick little nod to Rob himself.  Excellent Fan Author.)

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So, you say you want to know more about the Terror Mask?  I don't really know that I can explain it.  But, you're really the only one who believes me.  Well, of course Jennifer does.  David still thinks it was all a bad dream.  I guess I can't blame him.  But, you are the only one who knows I'm not out of my mind.  Or maybe I am, but you know I'm not bull-shitting you.

Well, you know my story, Dr. Turner.  But, I guess you can't really know what I've been through.  I'm not sure that I even understand it.  I've wondered for years, "Why me?"  I guess we were just in the wrong place at the right time.  I suppose I should start by getting a little something off of my chest.  I haven't even told Jennifer this...  But, I suppose it needs to be said.

I know that I told everybody that I woke up with the Mask on, but that isn't true.  The thing is, there was someone else.  I don't know who, and I can't begin to guess, but there was another person in that house that night.  I was beaten, I was knocked out, and I probably would have died if not for this person...  I woke up when they entered the room.  It was dark, I couldn't see anything but a shadow, but I know there was another person.  I know I heard their voice.  "Here," they said, and threw me the Mask.  Before I could get my breath back and ask who they were, they were gone.

I looked the mask over.  Not that I could see much in the dark, but I did check it out.  It was smoothe, I could tell that it had a pale color to it.  It was actually rather heavy, and very warm. Almost hot, even.  It seemed to have a light in its eyes, or in the eye-holes, or whatever.  The thing is, I didn't know why they gave it to me, or what it could do for me.  I looked it over one more time, and decided to put it on.

When I did that, I knew that my life had changed.  I didn't see in color anymore.  Everything was in black and white, but I could see, even in the darkness.  All of my senses were changed.  I heard the cockroaches in the walls, and I could hear the blood dripping off of the walls.  I could smell the rot in the wood, I could feel... everything.

That was the strangest part, Dr. Turner.  It was like I had been connected, plugged in to the entire universe.  I felt the joy of a young couple's first kiss, and the pain of their breaking up. I knew the happiness of a newlywed woman, and I felt the anquish she felt at her husband's fists.  I felt the sorrow of the young widow, the hatred of the dead child's mother.

Most of all, I felt the fear...  The fear in my Jennifer...  Oh, God, that was it...  I knew it...  I just had to go...  I could feel everything I believed crashing down around me.  Every time that my mother told me that only good things happen to good people...  But, I guess we're all sinners, aren't we?  That damned Mask...  It gave me what I needed...  And nothing that I wanted...

I've seen things that the most disturbed man couldn't even dream. I've seen things that would give the most hardened serial killer nightmares.  I've seen things that would make Satan himself run crying for his mother...  And you know what, Dr. Turner?  I see those things, still...  Every night, every time I turn a corner, every time a light bulb flickers and dies...  That Mask, it's still with me.  It's still in my mind.  I have become the Mask. I carry its spirit within myself, or a part of it.  I can still feel what it feels.  It's sleeping right now, Doctor.  Did you know that?  A mask that sleeps...  A mask that lives...

Do you know what this mask has seen?  It's seen everything...  It saw Jesus betrayed, it saw Napoleon fall, it's been responsible for some of the biggest deaths in history.  You know its force was what drove Hitler to kill himself?  It occupied his mind, and filled him with the pain of the entire Jewish nation.  It drove him beyond madness...  And now I've been touched.  I'm its eyes now...  Its ears, its body...  And
the thing is, I still don't know what it wants...  Or I don't understand...  I...  I don't know, Doctor...  Heh...  I just realized, you're a pyschiatrist's psychiatrist.  What's that like?

Really?  Just like any other person?  Yeah, I guess you're right. I wouldn't be like any other person, even if I wasn't a shrink.

Anyways, though, the Mask...  I do still feel it...  I can see what it sees, and it can see what I see...  I feel, sometimes, like it's watching over me...  But, other times, I feel like it's just spying on me...  Waiting...  Watching...  Wondering when it can awaken again...  That damned Mask...  That damned house... My damned life...