the party

If there was an evening to be noticed, tonight was the night.  His mask gave him a limited view of the attendees; but he was used to squinting in his line of work.  No one, so far, he thought, has recognized me.  By the same token, however, he had also not recognized anyone.  What if his magnificent plan failed? What if his performance was viewed only by humdrum tagalongs…?

If only he could ensure Cox was here. Oh sure, Cox could drone on for hours about the mechanism, and the new devices that would could be added during its final phases of work.  Still, that was another invention, for another time.  Yet if Cox were here to witness THIS invention, John’s newest and most extravagant yet, it would bolster his spirits a bit.

He moved awkwardly through the crowd, his feet encumbered by metal that crunched and squeaked on the marble floor.  He received smiles and nods as more graceful guests smoothly skated their way around him.   There were some puzzled frowns. At least, he assumed them to be puzzled.   Many of their shaded eyes did not reveal their true emotion.

A strange man stood opposite his side of the hall. He moved with all the awkwardness of John, and in fact wore a very similar costume.  John chuckled as the realization hit him. He was looking at himself in a mirror, which, was nearly, floor to ceiling.

What a beautiful hall…and a wondrous opportunity.  Seizing the moment, John broke into a swifter motion, parting the astonished crowd as he zig-zagged, uncontrolled, across the hall. A few ladies screamed with astonishment.  To his terror, he realized he was rapidly approaching his reckless visage in the mirror.  With a short glimpse, he noticed the horror in his own eyes behind the mask.

The mirror shattered about his body and the party went completely dark…


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