Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Italian Mask Caper

'Tis Leap Day and only fitting and proper I present something you shall probably not see again from me for another four years - a fictional post. Once upon a time, several friends and I talked about what would hypothetically happen if we went on an adventure to Italy to replace a broken mask. I was supposed to write a short story about that conversation a long time ago, but I didn't because I'm lazy. Plus fiction writing is HARD. My play cousin and fake beau make it seem so easy. I have about 500 hundred novels in my head but none of the patience to actually write one. So I started part of the tale. It's nowhere near finished and not that great. I am a woman of many talents, but fiction writing is not my forte. Yet I am determined to finish it. Maybe by next Leap Day. Non-fiction chronicles will resume next week.

Present Day - Sunday Afternoon

I never should have agreed to borrow that stupid mask. It was a bad idea the minute Bianca suggested it. And I couldn’t help but feel a sense of impending doom when she gave it to me Thursday afternoon. Instead of paying attention to the feeling, I wore her oh so swanky and authentic Italian mask to Summer’s masquerade ball that night. Then some drunken partygoer broke it. That should have been the second sign something really bad was going to happen, but silly me once again refused to believe it. And even though we made some hair brain scheme to fly to Italy, get a new mask and somehow ended up getting chased by maniac drivers in black suits, I still didn’t listen to the warning bells in my head saying bad things were coming. Now my best friends –Lizzie, Marc, Bianca – and I are hanging over a pit of live alligators. Why didn’t someone tell me this was the bad thing? I’m listening now.

Three days ago – Thursday afternoon

“Staci, you still haven’t found a mask for Summer’s party?” Bianca asked me in disbelief.

“I’ve been really busy with school and work,” I sighed. “Plus none of the ones at the costume shop really call to my soul. You know I’m particular.”

“It’s just a mask, not a lifetime commitment,” she giggled. “The party’s tonight and you need one now. How about just using this mask?

Bianca handed me the harlequin mask she brought back from a study abroad trip to Italy three years ago. It was a soft blue trimmed with gold and hints of siliver. Beautiful couldn't even beging to describe the intricate workings on the mask. The first time I saw it stared for hours looking at every detail. I still tell her every time I visit how cool that mask looks. She keeps it perched on a shelf in the living room since it matches all her d├ęcor. Her parents are rich, there’s no better way to put it, so I know she paid a pretty penny for that mask. Clumsy is my middle name, and I just knew something bad would happen to that mask should I wear it. It would be destroyed in a matter of seconds.

“I can’t wear that thing,” I said hanging it back to her.

“But why not?” Bianca asked. “You love this mask. Or have you been lying to me this whole time?”

“No it’s not that but –.”

“Well it’s settled then,” she said

Once Bianca set her mind to something, there was no changing it. But for once I wished she would reconsider. My stomach started doing somersaults the moment she handed the mask to me. Maybe I was just hungry. So I shrugged it off and thanked Bianca for the use of her mask. I would just have to be extra careful at the party. Nothing bad would happen to this mask on my watch, especially since I couldn’t afford to replace it.

Two days ago – Friday evening

As usual Summer was having the party of the century, and I was late. The facility was decorated to look like a scene from Shakespeare’s “A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream.” Guys and gals were dressed in their finest formal attire while sporting some of the most interesting masks ever. I arrived an hour behind schedule to the party because of work. I had been searching for a familiar face for at least 30 minutes. Masks weren’t supposed to come off until midnight, and I didn’t know what my group was wearing. Would I ever find them? Probably not at this rate. Just when I thought I saw Marc, someone appeared like the matrix. And then it happened. The one thing I feared. … to be continued

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