The Silver Mask – Part 12

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Drip, drip drip

The tap was leaking. Or was that the drool from Daniel’s mouth? He was starting to wonder if this sleeping pill binge was an attempt to kill himself. Maybe the mask still had some hold over him.

“No,” Daniel croaked. The first word he had spoken in the past 48 hours after he had buried the mask. “No,” he said again, slightly louder this time. “No more, no more, no more.”

He decided he was done moping. He was going to clean up his act and continue his life. It was in that moment of momentary hope that Daniel heard it once again. That voice he heard not through his ears but in his head. That voice that was not a voice, more like a thought that someone else had planted. It ran through him like a shards of ice and took his mind back to what seemed like years and years of torment. The voice he had hoped he would never have to hear again.

“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaniiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel…”

*****

Daniel burst through the doors of the lab with Mulligan and Ramirez, the two officers from the station. He asked for Stella and the lab technician came rushing through the door to her office.

“Stella,” said Daniel. “The mask. I need to show the officers.”

“Of course!” said Stella. “Right this way.”

She took them into a separate room, one full of file cabinets and one large safe. She put the combination in and opened the safe. It was a heavy door, it made Daniel wonder why they needed something like this in the first place. This was a lab after all, not a bank or some other institution that needed someplace to store valuable items. The door finally opened after what seemed like ages to reveal… nothing.

Daniel was dumbstruck. Stella looked at him with a look of confusion and fear. Mulligan and Ramirez gave each other an incredulous look, after which Ramirez said, “Well? Where is it?”

“It… It was in here!” said Stella. “I don’t understand. I put it in here.”

“Did someone maybe take it out?” asked Mulligan.

“Let me ask,” said Stella, rushing out to find someone that might know what had happened. A secretary came in and looked in and around the safe, saying that it must be there somewhere, that no one had been in this room and no one except him, Stella and Harvey knew the combination anyway.

Throughout all of this confusion Daniel remained completely silent, his face as white as a sheet of paper. There was a knot in his stomach, he could feel the blood pounding in his head. From what seemed like very far away he heard someone say something about security footage. He felt like he should say something but it was like his mouth was full of cotton. He couldn’t say a single word.

Something told him that the security tapes would reveal nothing. He was starting to realize the true dangers of the Silver Mask.

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