She wasn’t beautiful she knew that. But when she put on the mask and leaped out into the night, she felt safe. Nobody judged her when she was wearing the scarlet mask. There were no sideways smirks. No mumbled comments. She was simply a typical masked teenager.
All her life she had desperately wanted to be “normal.” Unfortunately, a cruel joke had been played upon her face at birth. The birthmark stretched from her left temple to her right cheekbone. It was an ugly purple tinted putty color.
Her parent’s shame of her facial imperfection had deeply scarred her as a child. Their insistence that she be homeschooled for her own protection only added to her enforced isolation. The fact that none of her tutors dared to look at her face made her feel invisible in her own home.
Then the masked craze started. Teenagers began wearing masks to all social functions in order to act out their online personas. She could now interact with other teenagers without fear of rejection. And the cool part was that she had become the most popular teenager in town!
While other teens were role playing, she was finally able to be herself.
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Side Note: Growing up one of my friends had a huge birthmark and was made fun of often by the other kids. Halloween was always the best time of year because everyone dressed up and wore masks. Any form of “difference” can make teens feel isolated and unsafe. In reaction to that they often wear masks of some kind or another. Many times behind the masks they feel a false sense of safety and normalcy. This story is simply a reflection of how many teens feel about themselves and the masks they don.
Narrative: This writing prompt aka “sparker” is meant to spark an idea in your brain that triggers a short story. This prompt came from a great app called “BrainSparker.”
If you would like to join me in trying out a Sparker Saturday post please feel free to add a pingback to this post or put your link in the comment section. You can write this prompt as prose or a poem. Just pick whatever works best for you.
If you would like to add an additional challenge try writing this as a microfiction+ story. I added the “+” because technically microfiction is usually 100 words. For this one, let’s try the challenge of writing it in 200 words or less.
I look forward to seeing what you write.