Rob spotted it as he passed the window of a dilapidated store.

Intrigued, he entered the shop and a bell tinkled. A few seconds later an old man hobbled out from a back office to greet him.

Once the storekeeper realised Rob wasn’t interested in anything else he grumbled, but held the item out for Rob’s inspection.

“Stitched leather, full head mask”, the man said. “Used to belong to a coven. These here,” he pointed at the mask’s stained, open mouth, “are real teeth, filed sharp, sown into the leather. Sure as night, you’ll scare the youngsters with this.” He tapped his nose and winked. “Mind, you must never wear it on the stroke of Halloween midnight.”

Rob bought it for fifteen bucks, imaginary curse and all. His wife would probably have a fit, but it was really freaky.

His kids loved it, his wife less so, especially when she realised he could clack its teeth together by opening and closing his mouth. All the visiting trick or treaters were spooked.

By nine o’clock things were winding down. He pulled the mask off, helped his excited children to bed and then slumped onto the sofa with his wife, clutching a bottle of wine and two glasses.

Nearing midnight, his wife got ready to go upstairs. Rob spied the discarded mask, yanked it on, and sprang out at her. She yelped in fright.

“Take that horrible thing off and come to bed!” she said. “How on earth did you get the eyes to look like that?”

“Like what?” he asked, but she was already halfway up the stairs and didn’t answer.

He tugged at the mask, it didn’t budge. Heart thudding, he wrestled with it again. It was vice-like, the pain unrelenting. It wouldn’t give. He moaned, and staggered to the stairs, hands clasped to his head.

He took a first faltering step up and then another, and another after that, each footstep more confident than the last. The pain started to ease.

He opened his mouth, tongue flicking over his sharpened teeth. A dark hunger grew in his belly.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

And this is the reason I don’t like scary masks. I remember watching something with a similar theme on TV a great many moons ago. It put me off masks for life. He really should have heeded the warning. I do hope his poor wife survived the night. Good job.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
1 year ago

Brrrr. I’m shivering after reading this one, Paul. I could just see that horrible mask as soon as you described it and I was dreading (and deliciously anticipating) the ending. You did not disappoint. A very scary and memorable Halloween treat!

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
1 year ago

Hey Paul, you had me hooked from the first introduction to that loathsome mask! A scary but fun Halloween tale. Great job.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Oh my gosh, I almost fell off the chair while reading your story, Paul. I was nervous and looked behind me. You really hooked me. Good job.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Paul Lewthwaite
1 year ago

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

That really is quite scary, Paul. Superb!

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
Reply to  Paul Lewthwaite
1 year ago

You’re welcome, Paul.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

A scary and well told story, Paul. It keeps the reader’s interest until the very end. And then makes their imagination work…

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

Very scary, Paul! And, silly me for reading it just before bed! I liked the way you wrote about what could have been just another Halloween evening, but always the shopkeeper’s warning in the back of our minds. I did hope he would fall down those stairs though!

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
1 year ago

Although we were warned along with Rob, we were taken by surprise by the ending. Very scary!

Last edited 1 year ago by Voice-Team
Heather Chrzanowski
Heather Chrzanowski(@heather-chrzanowski)
1 year ago

This story gave me the chills! Awesome writing. Very suspenseful! A mask from a coven! What could be more creepy?!

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Sandra OReilly
Sandra OReilly(@sandra-oreilly)
11 months ago

Good story, Paul, well done. I’m not good with scary stuff and will definitely avoid masks! The section about the teeth being real was particularly good.

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