#Writober Day 16: Masks of Truth and Fiction

So Many Masks by Maria L. Berg 2022

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is “mask.” Masks are not only fun for Halloween, I think they are a great symbol for this week’s contradictory abstraction: finding the fiction in truth and the truth in fiction. Humans use masks to both hide the truth and create a truth they want others to believe.

Festive Masks by Maria L. Berg 2022


The Masks Unseen

magnified imperfections
amplified by rejection
scaled to infinite
knives, carving
slicing, and dicing
character and courage
honest appearance for
accepted alterations
normalized through farce
glamorized falsification
eclipses objective reality
fantasy-focused manipulation
altering perceptions of beauty-truth
creating masks upon masks
eviscerating will and sight past
shape and skin

Masking Nature by Maria L. Berg 2022

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s image is “First Circle” by Shahab Alizadeh.

As we climbed up the jagged rocks to the side of the enormous steps, approaching the giant doors carved into the mountainside, Alex lost his footing and cut his knee. When we collapsed on the top slab, the blood from Alex’s wound began to pool. I pulled a belt from my pack and cinched it around his thigh, trying to slow the flow. The red puddle wasn’t growing, so my dread subsided. Then the ground beneath me rumbled. The blood sank into the slab, as the doors slid apart into the rock on each side.
Rosen had already scrambled to the far corner and behind a stone. I pulled Alex under his shoulders and dragged him to the corner near Rosen. He yowled in pain, but it was a powerful, angry sound which gave me relief that he wasn’t as bad off as I had feared. Alex’s eyes went wide and his mouth dropped open. I followed his gaze and froze horrified as monstrous, gigantic humanoid fingers clawed through the crack in the door.
As if we had been shrunk to the size of flies, I suddenly knew the fear of being swatted. I imagined my bones crunching, pinched between a thumb and a forefinger. I covered my mouth with both hands to stifle a scream. Alex’s head lolled on his chest in a faint. More and more unbelievably enormous hands and forearms reached through the opening as if trying to escape. I began to imagine that all of the hands belonged to one multi-armed god. And not the benevolent, forgiving kind.
Rosen’s voice quivered behind me, “Are, are, you, see-ee-ing this? Tell me you’re not seeing this.”

Maria L. Berg #Writober7 Day 16 2022