Occasions of masks and dresses, times of lights and music, candles and a mirrors. This is the stage and it is set for a night and another, many more onward. Smoke is in the atmosphere. As the ball was in a stir, a woman walked in with a long black dress and a matching black mask. She looked at the other guests in the room and everything seemed hazy. They were all twirling here and there and spinning around and around. Passing from hand to hand and no two faces were alike; they were all unknown, hidden behind their masks.
She joined into the commotion and twirled and spun with the strangers, as men and women passed around her and handed her off to one another, they were all in a blur of colors and swirls.
Music played loud and seemed never ending. The hours ticked by on a giant grandfather clock at the top of a grand staircase and beside the clock stood a man draped in all black with giant antlers coming from out of his top hat and smirking smile on his mask. Was he real?
Women were laughing and men we’re talking, everyone smoked and the scent of it filled the air, but it was sweet and thick and made the room seem foggy after some time. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. The minutes passed by and turned into hours. The sun might come up soon, but time was standing still here and everything kept moving, faster and faster. Round and round she goes, where she’ll stop, nobody knows!
Sweet drinks passed from lips to other lips, lip marks and lipstick rimmed the glasses and then the mouths of others. The sweetness was light and bubbly; it seemed to fill her insides from bottom to top and gave her a consistent buzzing about her but no matter how much of it she drank, her thirst never wavered.
She twirled and spun, drinking and rimming her glasses, one after the other. Sipping with a thirst so strong, but it never quenched. So many masks about her, she wondered briefly if she knew any of them. She ran into a woman who didn’t seem to notice her, because she was lost in her own trance with the man she was dancing with. Were they in love?
She rounded the room in a spinning motion and her feet seemed to not touch the floor. Candles slowly dripped and she indulged herself in the sweetest looking treats from a silver tray that seemed to shine as bright as the sun and reflected like a mirror, lights scattering across its surface.
The sweets seemed divine as they passed her lips and soaked into her tongue. She could never have enough and surely she believed such. She could consume every piece and she believed she’d never be full.
What disguises some of these guests wore. There, that woman looks like a mouse, in a greyish dress with blue lace and little grey round ears, and see, that man over in the corner, he looks most peculiar, for it almost seems that he has multiple faces, a mask in front and another on each side of his head. Such fantastic things were gathered here, but none of them she knew. Where did they come from?
The light was elegant in the space, one moment it would be dark and hazy, soft and gentle, then in the time it took her to blink, bright light flooded the floor and washed over the guests and it was hard to tell what the true colors were anymore. The light was magnificent and radiant, it seemed it could be brighter than the sun and almost seemed to blind her, but then it was dark again and shadows crept around.
What lovely things about the room, what beautiful silks and robes and dresses and shoes, what wondrous shrines on skin and jewels, so many things to look at, she thought for sure she couldn’t possibly see everything in a single lifetime. Smoke and drinks went around the room and this time she felt sick in her stomach, so she declined and watched the many others enjoy themselves and as the night grew longer and hours grew heavier, the dancers and masks changed.
They passed her by as she sat in a large seat with too many pillows, it had been so soft; she thought if she didn’t hold herself up, the chair might swallow her up. She admired the dancers, spinning and twirling in the lights, flashes of color and sparkles, and she thought of something, she figured that these masked guests were always here. There was never a before the party and there would never be an after the party, for it simply always was and they were from here and nowhere, it was just so. This was the whole world and all of time lay within this space forever.
She watched them all, they spun and laughed and joked and played and sang out loud with no one in particular. They kept changing hands and no two people stayed with another person for long. See there, that man and that woman she ran into, they were off with different partners, he was kissing another woman and she was kissing another man. So they were not in love. How sad.
Bong, Bong, Bong, the clock called out to the crowd of people, but none of them seemed to hear it over their laughter and chitter chatter. Glasses clinked and more drink was poured, glass upon glass, lips would run out of color, but they seemed to be infinitely, perfectly and delicately hued. Skirts swayed and men bowed, hats tipped and fans fluttered, they were all bustling from one corner of the room to another in a matter of moments. What a cycle! Spinning and spinning and spinning, all the twirling and whirling and never stopping swooping and looping.
That man from by the clock, there he was across the way now and she looked at his masked face and searched for his eyes but they were not there. She stood and twirled back into the mess and hysteria of the mass and rounded to the side where he was and as she approached him, she realized she could not see his eyes for he had none. He had removed his mask and beneath there, he also had no face, just a blank canvas and she peered into the crowd and looked closer to their masks.
In a frantic rush, she swooped back into the chaos of the ball and tore at the masks, and underneath was the same as the man with the antlers, blank, nothing. She gasped and the lights went low again and shadows danced around her, playing and toying, prodding and poking. None of them were real. She had realized this. The guests continued to dance and she was alone, standing on the edge, watching them twirl and spin. The faceless. The expressionless. The fake. The masked.
Welcome, to the masquerade
The Scyer’s Fairytales