Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Haunted Mask

Not all ghosts get what they want

So I owed Tranzmute a caption over at the Haven.  She made me a wonderfully D&Desque cap involving a mask, and when I read in her preferences that she liked the idea of "The Haunted Mask" from Goosebumps, I figured I had my way to repay her.

I mean come on.. Masks?  Me?  Yougettheidea.

The rest of Tranzmute's preferences were... well... out of the ordinary.  She seems to have a love for humiliation (YAY!), but also a love for turning into a clown.  Seriously... in her words:

I would love to see more elements of forced to be silly or unable to stop smiling and giggling in some of the clown caps ^^ would like to see my self forced to act silly and perform tricks maybe even do a birthday party or entertain some men

 At first I thought I could combine the two... have a haunted mask that would make her act silly.  Sounded like a good plan, so I went off looking for an image.  The closest I could find was this:

I liked the image, but really didn't like the pure white background.  I found another image just after it, but while it did have a mask, it wasn't clownish in the least:

This one gave me at least a part of a story.... the mask has transformed the guy and he is trying to get the mask off.  Not much else, but it was more than I got from the clown.

So I saved them both and set them aside   Monday I came back to them and gave them a clean look.  The clown still didn't give me anything while I got more from the other image.  Going to a costume shop (called of course "Caitlyn's Masks"), a guy gets pushed into buying this mask.  Once he gets home he tries it on, but it sticks.  More than that it takes over his body making him get dressed up and.... and I didn't have an ending, but that seemed like a good starting off point.  I got to writing and came up with this before the well went dry:


I can still see her grinning face... that damned redhead who sold me this costume from her shop... Caitlyn's Masks.  I just wanted something that would impress at the office costume party and she promised that I'd be a hit if I wore this little number.  I tried to explain that I was looking for more of a full head piece, but she insisted.  I didn't think it'd work... I mean even then I could see that it was a rather dainty feminine mask... but it's just the way she talked.  "Trust me Terry, I know masks.  While I can certainly sell you some silly monster face to wear over your head, your boss would be far more impressed to see you in this little number.  I'll even throw in the accompanying costume at no charge."

When I sat down at home with the mask sitting on top of the unopened costume box, I felt just silly.  Sure, it was only a fifteen dollar mask along with a free costume, but I knew I'd look ridiculous in it and would just have go to another costume shop later.  Picking up the mask I walked in front of the mirror and slipped it over my head.  As it settled into place I briefly wondered how she knew my name as I hadn't introduced myself.  Hell, I hadn't even told her that I needed this for an office party.  But my thoughts were shattered as I looked at my reflection.  As I watched I could see my face... changing.  My nose grew smaller as if to fit the mask better, while my eyes grew wider and wider.  May hair started to spill down my face and back as my lips grew more plump and shiny.  And while I watched my entire face smooth out and grow more feminine I could feel the same happening to my body.  My chest and hips grew out while my waist and arms became smaller.   And as I reached up to pull the mask off I could see how small and elegant my hands had become.

When I pulled at the mask though, it wouldn't budge.  Running to the costume box I ripped it open hoping to find some sort of directions, but all that was inside was a lacy lingerie set, a pair of stylish heels, a makeup kit and a long black formal party dress.  Instead of sitting down and considering the situation, I felt my hands reach out and grab everything in the box.  My eyes widened in terror as I couldn't stop my body from moving.  Soon enough I found myself naked in front of the mirror again, only this time I was applying makeup to my new pretty face.  Once I was made up, my hands styled my hair on their own, and then pulled on the panties, bra, dress and shoes.  I tried to struggle against each action, but couldn't seem to control my body in the least.  After one last look in the mirror I saw myself wink, pick up the purse and head out to the street.

There was something bugging me about it though... enough that I stopped writing until I could figure it out.  Only much later did I realize that it was taking a liberal helping from a recent 'Rauk' caption (you can see it here).  Sure, it had some big differences, but it was the idea behind Rauk's cap that was driving me.  Now if this was a cap just for me or the blog or not specifically for someone, I might have let it go and continued it.  But I don't like doing that when it's for someone specific.  

So this morning when I picked up the story, I started over.  I would still follow the gist of the story, but gloss over the whole 'mask is forcing me to move my body how it wants' parts.  Instead I'd focus in on the memories.  

While I wrote out the first few paragraphs, I honestly had the intention of going in a far more fun or at least funny direction.  I pictured this being the ghost of some stripper, who was going to head back to the strip club for a final show.  Or maybe a prostitute who wanted to have one last customer.  Something along those lines.  But as I got into the memory aspects, I was finding that I liked this girl more and more.  I pictured an innocent country girl that just wanted to come back to her lover.   And since I didn't hate what was coming out of my fingers, I just kept going.  

Honestly... I have no idea where the sad ending came from.  I didn't start out with that idea, and I didn't suspect it was coming until I found myself writing "That's when I saw the lights.  The loud music was cut off by the loud screech of tires..."  Only then did I realize that I was writing her death.   

And as we all know death isn't fun or funny.  I stopped at that point and read over the story from the beginning and realized that emotionally it all flowed together.  And maybe it's just me... but I was a little sad.  I didn't want to see this girl go.  If I felt like that, I assumed that at least some others would feel the same... so I kept writing up until the end.  

At first I didn't have this end with her being from the distant past... I had 'Felix' (Felix, by the way, is the male name of T_M, another capper that's made me a couple really nice caps over at the Haven), going off to Afghanistan and being mentioned on a 'new' memorial.  But when I read over the story looking for errors, I realized that the emotional punch was in the second to last paragraph.  Her being 'just too late' didn't seem to have as much as an emotional impact as I wanted.  Reading her memories again I realized that the only 'modern' thing I had was the loud music playing from the vehicle than ran her down.  It was simple enough to change that out to 'the roar of the engine' and that let me place it in just about any period.  

So to add a just a bit more of an emotional ride I changed it to her life in the early 1900s, and having her boyfriend die in World War 1.  

I'm really torn on the cap now.  First, there is far to much story for that single image.  The desgin more or less fell apart as I had to keep squeezing into the image more and more.  Second, it certainly isn't the fun feeling that I wanted to give to Tranzmute.  And lastly... I really like the story.  So I DID post it to Tranzmute's trading folder with the provision of if she didn't like it, I'd gladly make her another.   

Hopefully even if Tranzmute doesn't like this, someone else will. 


  1. .........uhh. ......wow, I've got a chill run down my spine, it's that good!

  2. I like it a lot. It isn't a happy cap, that is true, but it does tell a short but compelling story all the same. Not every tale has a happy ending, but ever tale DOES end.

    I'm glad you let the story tell itself as it was meant to, not force it to wear a mask that didn't fit (sorry, but that phrase popped into my head, and it would only leave here).

    I applaud you for telling it as you did.

  3. It's a very beautifully written story. Very sombre and touching. Even the brief moments of sex and tantalizing touches to her body, only seemed to highlight the more emotional story. Not any sort of physical excitement.

    But I have to admit, I did have trouble reading it around the 3rd and 4th paragraph. That sudden blast of bright white was a little jarring and made it hard to find my place. At least that's how it was for me.

  4. It was a fun if somewhat sad read. :)