15 Jul The Mask of Edward Marquis
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"The Mask of Edward Marquis"Written by
Estimated reading time — 4 minutes
From the Case File of the Marquis Manor Massacre
Suspect: Nicholas Jacobs
Investigator: Michael Wells
The audio tape clicks on and a voice comes in…
It does not matter what more I say or add to my testament. You and the others will not believe me, and perhaps it is better this way. The saint in me feels that my being behind these walls is a small price to pay… but the devil ever seeks freedom does he not? Very well, Mr. Wells, I shall tell you what really happened that night…
It was late April, year 2005, when the now late Mr. Edward Marquis agreed by letter to allow me to view that strange oddity he had secreted away from the rest of the world. He simply referred to it as “the mask” in all of our long correspondence to one another. To say that I was excited to finally view the object would be a gross understatement.
It wasn’t until I got to his mansion and seen the grave expression on his face that I question my motives to see the object, and hopefully purchase it. I have always had a bit of obsession with occultism and the macabre antiques tied to it. I have heard stories of the mask, rumors with no real meaning, that is, until one lead me to Edward Marquis.
He at first disavowed all knowledge of the object or the cult that it was tied to it. It took months of prying at the old man to finally hear his confession and it seemed thick of regret. I was ever the fool in those days.
Edward met me at the door, stating that he called his staff away for the evening so that it would just be the two of us; I remember feeling that my friend had an overbearing taste for the dramatic. He offered to show me his gallery of art works and curios, an offer I accepted for we had the same tastes it seemed. After about an hour of dusty tomes and paintings we retired to his study for brandy.
In this time I tried greatly not to ask about the mask or press my viewing of it and my patience was waning. When I had finally brought up the mask he was startled, swearing off all knowledge of agreeing to allow me to see it. After several moments of discourse about the dangers that it possessed, warnings I now wish I headed, he took out a small chest from beneath his desk. It was an elaborate affair, lacquered ebony and polished iron bands, small etchings covered the boxes entirety. I found it odd that the box had no lock on it, yet had a ring for one; the small things that I dismissed astound me now.
He sat there for a while staring at the box, then started, “What do you know of the mask, my dear boy? What have you heard?” So I recanted the little snippets of lore that I was able to gleam together in my years of study on the cult. He laughed at me. “They believed there to be a fallen angel of sorrows that would save all mankind from sadness, grief, and despair, I pity their naivety. They also believed there to be another entity, a demon of hatred that would always battle with the angel. This mask was made as a vessel for these entities, in hope that they could pull them here, into our world.”
He placed the box upon the table before me and slid it towards me. Simply, he commanded, “Look and see,” and I was compelled to obey. The lid seemed heavy; unnaturally so, as if it weighed several times more than it should, but still, it slid open with wanting. Within the box was a parcel wrapped in linen. I glanced up to my host for confirmation that this is what I sought, he nodded and smiled. It was his first smile since I arrived, and I thought I saw moisture build in his eyes. With nervous hands and almost giddy heart I carefully, slowly, unwrapped the linen. What was within was an object of horror and beauty, simple, yet complex in its simplicity. It was a mask. Smooth with no real facial features, save two eye holes. One side was pure white the other was black. Beneath each eye was a line of the opposing color, as if it were weeping, and the white side had a black smile colored in while the black side had a white frown. In essence, it resembled one of those comedy and tragedy theater masks, but it was so much more. It chilled me to the bone and elicited a yelp for joy.
I was so entranced by the mask, lulled into its beauty, I almost didn’t hear Mr. Marquis weeping. I… remember asking what was wrong, but my eyes didn’t leave the mask until his reply was forced and choked with laughter. “He… made me do it,… boy,… I didn’t want… to do it, but he made me.” As he spoke a red drop landed upon my hand, drawing my attention to the ceiling. I vividly remember the taste of bile as I retched into my mouth at the sight. Five bodies, assumedly the staff, were chained tight against the ceiling, ripped to shreds, their faces locked in expressions of horror.
The sound of scraping metal drew my eyes to Edward. His face… it was twisted… frozen in a snickering grin, mouth wide, teeth black, and he was crying, but his tears were black. He looked like the mask, or rather, half of the mask, and he held a long knife in his hand, drying blood still on it. “Isn’t it lovely…? They will never feel sorrow again…” He began to laugh again, but his voice was… different, as if he were someone else. “So, how about it, Nicholas, you wanna smile for Ed,” he asked just before then lunged at me. I scrambled out of the way, for some reason grabbing the box. As he fell to the floor, I startled him and began bashing his had in. What happened next is vague and I can just barely remember that I was laughing. It was several hours later when the police picked me up on the side of the highway, covered in blood, clutching my mask in my hands…
A second voice comes in….
Your mask, Mr. Jacobs?
The first returns…
Why, yes, Mr. Wells, it is my mask after all. Now tell me, Michael, wanna smile for me?…
Laughter fills the remainder of the tape…
Credit To – 3wingzblack
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