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Michael Brookes 

A Mask for

every Occasion

China Doll

A Marriage Made In...






A Man and his Shed

Everything began with a single thought. A pure singularity of consciousness where nothing existed. That first thought begat another and then more. Time formed to mark the passage of one concept to the next.

A universe created to encapsulate the phasespace of infinite possibility. The calculation of perception stratified into a framework of existence.

Immensity expanded into complexity, which in turn compressed into beings with their own thoughts. Nova of consciousness sparked throughout the expansion of the first thought. A billion minds increasing in number creating a confusion of experience.

From ‘I am’ to ‘We are’. What will come next?

I like it here in my shed. There are cobwebs in the roof and it’s chilly in winter, but it’s all mine. I can make a brew, read the paper and even have a smoke if I want to. There’s an old comfy chair that I relax in and listen to the sports news on the radio.

I hear horrific screams from outside, people shouting and even loud bangs like gunshots. It sounds like the end of the world has arrived. 

I’m safe here in my shed, but I snap the padlock shut on the door just to be sure.


I learned at a young age that to blend in with herd provides greater advantage than standing out. Before my balls dropped it became obvious to me that attracting attention would hamper my destined purpose.

The trick is to be like them, to wear the same masks they do. They don't realise they're wearing masks, but that only makes the deception easier. 

Whatever I do I wear the appropriate mask. I once thought the mask for work was the hardest to maintain, now I know it is the one for my wife.

No matter, she'll soon see me without it.

Her cold lifeless eyes are staring into mine. Her perfect porcelain features, without expression, hold me transfixed where I stand.

"Genuine haunted doll", was the description on eBay. Of course I thought it was a gimmick, just something to push up the price. I thought it was pretty cool, so I bid and won.

It arrived yesterday, it looked pretty creepy. I placed it on the table and here I am. I cannot move. I'm hungry and thirsty. I can't even look away; I'm locked in this death stare.

Oh God! Will anybody find me here? Before it's too late?

Hell. You know the place. Lakes of burning sulphur. Torture pits filled with the wailing of the damned. Not the place you'd expect to fall in love. But I did.

Our eyes met across the inferno. It was love at first sight, or at least first scream. The demons didn't approve at first, they tried to quench our love with fire and brimstone.

We endured and in the end they came round.

Lucifer himself even officiated at our wedding. Love, honour and obey, two of those things are welcome here.

But 'till death do us part could be a problem.

Impossible geometries fold the stark reality around me. The obsidian walls are sleek with an oozing luminescence that swallows me in their dread glow. The carved symbols hurt my eyes when I look at them. Octopod obscenities stalk me, I hear their slavered moans.

I pray for to a God younger than this dark temple. A terrible entity from a plane far removed from our fragile cosmos bends its gaze upon me.

In shivering terror I lurch into the morning light.

The Great Cthulhu takes a dim view of calamari; I shall remove it from the menu at once.

IMichael Brookes is an Executive Producer with one of the leading UK game companies. He's also a writer of novels, the most recent being the conclusion to The Third Path trilogy 'The Last True Demon'. Short fiction such as drabbles (100 word stories) are also favourite form of writing covering a range of genres although science fiction and horror are common genres covered. As well as writing and reading he enjoys video games and films. Living in the flatest part of the East of England also means that he enjoys some of the most beautiful skies - night or day.



The Cult of Me, is his Blog:

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