The Mask – An Original Short Story

Janae McKenzie, Staff Writer

On Thursday, October 13th, it occurs to me I’ve been wearing the same mask for nine long years. Yes, it’s a literal mask. The kind you use for Halloween. Cheap from the dollar store, with one long string wrapping around my head and fraying at the edges.

The last time someone asked about my mask was two years ago, when I was 14. “Isn’t Iron Man for, like, babies or something?” the drugstore cashier asked, despite being well overdue for a split end treatment herself. I could’ve thought of a million snappy comebacks, from her slight lisp to her horrible B.O., and I could work wonders with the impossibly cliché infinity tattoo. I didn’t. “Weirdo,” she mutters as I walk out, will made of iron like the namesake I carry.

It was a part of me people rarely questioned. Not when I was nine, and kept wearing it after the elementary Halloween parade. A candy wrapper blew into the street and I, ever the superhero, couldn’t let the litterer get away with his crime. When you’re busy saving the planet, you don’t bother with looking both ways. I didn’t see the headlights until they were all I could see.

To be continued in this month’s issue of The Cannon along with a Liberty art showcase, your fall sports preview and more! Be sure to buy it on Friday Sept. 9 for just $2!