Secret Identity

Secret Identity

A Story by NoblePariah
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This is really tough to describe, it has super powers of a sort, but it's also kind of dark. It may be my favorite piece that I've written so far.

"

     “Well, I'm calling it here. Kelly is making pork chops tonight and I really don't want to miss it... you should go home too, Jason. You've been here all day,” said, Jeremy, taking his coat from the back of his chair.

      “Oh, I don't mind, Pastor. Besides, I was so busy with the Charity Drive that I forgot to prepare for tomorrow’s service,” replied Jason, putting down his large stack of papers to wipe off his round glasses.

      “It's OK. I'll come in early tomorrow and do it.”

      “I couldn't" ”

      Jeremy put a hand up, “no arguments now, Jas. I would much rather come in a few minutes early than risk Katie's wrath for keeping her boyfriend working late for the third time this week.”

      Jason sighed, “you win. Let me just finish up the one I'm working on. Thank you, Pastor.”

      “No, thank you. Just be sure to lock up as you're leaving. If it takes you longer than ten minutes, just leave. We can handle it in the morning.

      “Will do. Have a good night Pastor.”

      “And you, Jason. God Bless,” Jeremy said, pushing open a large wooden door. As he walked outside, he reached into his pants and pulled out his phone, turning it on as he shivered in the cold night air. A voice mail alert from Kelly flashed across the screen. Jeremy put the phone up to his head and struggled to listen to the scrambled words coming through the receiver.

      “Jeremy. . . following me. . . coming. . . there,” were the only words he could make clearly. Is she coming here? he wondered. He thought she had sounded nervous, but the static made it too hard to tell. Looking back to the screen, he realized he had gotten the message three hours ago. Something had to be wrong. Jeremy pressed redial to see if she was in an area with better signal.

      From around the corner, in an alley the chorus Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah began to playing. It was her ringtone. Jeremy followed the sound to the alleyway and stared in shock at what he saw. His jaw dropped as his still-ringing phone fell to the ground.

      Down the alley he saw Kelly facing him on her knees. Her blue eyes were red from the tears that ran mascara down her face. Her black hair was matted and tangled. Her muffled scream turned into a despaired cry through the strip of material tied between her teeth.

      Holding her chin with one gloved hand and the top of her head with the other was a large figure cloaked in flowing black material. The figure wore a plaster mask with two small black dots for eyes and a large toothy grin that span from ear to ear.

      Jeremy fell to his knees. “Please! Don't hurt her. I'll do anything, just don't hurt her!” he pleaded.

The masked figure looked at Jeremy with the two black eyes, piercing his soul with their unnatural gaze. The figure tilted its head slightly before ripping its hands in two opposite directions, snapping Kelly's neck with an audible crack. The figure wordlessly jumped over the fifteen foot roof of one of the buildings as Kelly's body fell to the ground.

      “No!” Jeremy yelled, sprinting over to his wife. This couldn't be happening. This was impossible, it had to be a bad dream. It just had to. He began screaming out, “help! Somebody help me!” over and over again.

" " " "

      “Damn,” Jason cursed, closing the game on his phone. He had been so close to getting a high score, but three losses in a row had soured his attitude towards it. He sighed, adjusting the apron slung over his shoulder.

      The street he was on was empty, as it was most of the time. After all, not many people wanted to breathe in whatever fumes the factory across the street was spewing out. Jason, however, preferred the fumes to the extra hour of walking he would have to do if he went around.

      As Jason passed by an alleyway, his peripherals caught a blur of movement. Before he could turn his head, an arm reached out and threw him to the ground in the alley.

     Three large men stared down at Jason. The two on the sides had baseball bats lifted slightly in a threatening manner. The third, however, held a switchblade loosely in his hand, aimed at the ground as if he didn't consider Jason to be a threat. Each man's face was covered with a black ski mask and they wore all black.

Jason felt fear claw at his gut. He scrambled backwards on all fours, until his back hit the brick behind him.   “P-p-please don't. I'll give you whatever you want!” he pleaded, taking out his wallet and holding it out to the men.

      “Ho ho, we got a real brave 'un here, eh fellas?” the man in the middle said, the shape of his smirk visible through the mask. He snatched the wallet from Jason and opened it up. “Twenty bucks? You gotta be shittin' me guy. Now we gotta kick your a*s for wastin' our time.”

      The three men closed in on Jason. “Please man, I have a fiance. I just want to go home. I won't report this or anything,” he said, his voice shaking with terror.

      In response, the man on the left swung the bat downward at Jason's head.

Jason crossed his arms over his head and squinted in anticipation of the blow. A cloud crack echoed through the alley. Jason opened his eyes and his jaw dropped; the bat had splintered against his forearms and he barely even felt it.

      The robbers seemed to be equally shocked. The one in the middle regained his composure after a moment, then said, “Leave it to you to get a rotten bat man.”

      Jason looked down at his forearms, examining them for a mark or something, but they were undamaged.

      The thug with the other bat used the opportunity to swing his bat at Jason's head. This time, it connected.

Jason fell to his knees from the unexpected force of the blow, but he felt no pain.

      The one with the switchblade straightened his knife and quickly stabbed Jason in the stomach. The knife stopped at Jason's skin, causing the robber's hand to slip over the guard and onto the blade, slicing it.

      “You mother f****r!” the thug on the left yelled, punching Jason in the face.

      Jason heard a crack as the man drew his knuckles back bloodied and broken. Jason looked down at his hands, then back at the thugs and smiled. Finally, for once in his life, he wasn't powerless. He drew back his arm and punched the thug that had stabbed him in the stomach, sending him flying to the end of the ten foot alley.

The remaining two thugs looked at each other and nodded before sprinting out of the alley.

       Jason walked over to the man he had punched and kicked him in the ribs before picking up his apron, wallet, and cell phone and running out of the alley.

       After a long walk home, Jason slid his key out of the now open apartment door. He had barely been able to think the whole way home. How could any of this even be possible?

       “Babe, you home?” he asked, noticing the blood stain on his shirt.

       “In the kitchen,” Katie's voice came from the kitchen.

      Jason quickly took off his shirt as he rushed into the laundry room.

      “Babe, what are you doing?” Katie called.

      “I'm just putting my work shirt in the wash, they're filthy. The store was packed today, so I was sweating,” he replied. He grabbed the shirt and started the washer, dabbing it in the running water to wipe the blood from his face and stomach before crumpling it up and putting it at the bottom of the packed trash barrel. Before leaving, he grabbed a dirty T-shirt and put it on.

     He walked into the kitchen, attempting to act casual.

     Katie was stirring a pot with her back to him. Her light blonde hair was tied back in a pony tail and she was humming a tune that he didn't recognize. “Your late, I was worried you got mugged or something.”

Jason managed a nervous chuckle and began, “I. . .”

      Katie cut him off, saying, “You know I really wish you wouldn't take that creepy factory road, one of these days something's going to happen to you.”

      Jason sighed and said, “You're right babe. If it'll make you feel better I'll take the long way tomorrow.”

      “It will,” Katie said, leaning the spoon against the pot and turning around to look at Jason. She walked over and made to kiss him but stopped. She creased her eyebrows and reached into Jason's hair, pulling out a small splinter of wood. “Why do you have wood in your hair?”

       “Uhh... I walked by construction, must've been from that,” Jason lied.

      “Hah, see just one more reason not to go the factory road, having wood flying at you. Go get yourself cleaned up, I made meatballs. Don't forget, tomorrow's your night to cook! I want pizza.”

       “You got it babe,” Jason said, desperate to get to the bathroom and think about what just happened.

       As he turned, Katie slapped his butt with one hand. “Heyyy have you been doing bun busters? That was firm.”

       Jason smiled slightly, but said, “oh, shut up.”

      When he reached the bathroom, Jason splashed his face with water and stared at himself in the mirror. This is impossible, no one but The Mask has powers. I'm nothing like him. This can't be connected, Jason thought.

Jason looked down and put a finger to where the robber had stabbed him, the skin was smooth and unbroken. Not even a bruise stained its surface. He suddenly felt dizzy and decided that a shower may help him feel slightly better. He turned, taking off his shirt and noticed something strange on his right shoulder. When he looked closer, he realized that there was a circle with two curve lines going through it.

      Curious, he scratched at the area with a fingernail. As his nail brushed the symbol, he fell to the floor covering his mouth to keep him from screaming in pain. He was beginning to get nervous. He grabbed a sponge and began to wash the area, but the mark remained untouched. His continued his efforts, scrubbing violently at the mark as he gritted his teeth and swallowed sobs of pain. Angry, he threw the sponge at the floor.

      Later that night, Jason and Katie sat together on the couch, watching the news.

The newscaster began, “The Mask has struck again. The name of the victim is being withheld, but witnesses confirm that he was seen fleeing the seen. As always the police recommend that you stay inside and keep all doors and windows locked whenever possible. More on this story at 8.”

      Katie turned to Jason and said, “That's so awful. I feel so bad for Jeremy, we should invite him over for dinner like the old days.”

      “Yeah, poor guy. I haven't seen him since Kelly's funeral. I don't even know how to find him nowadays,” Jason replied.

      “It's such a shame, that something so terrible could happen such nice people.”

      “I know, Jeremy just shut down after that night. Last I heard he always has a bottle in his hand, but I can't really blame him.”

      “Promise me that if anything like that were to ever happen to me, you wouldn't go down that road.”

      “Come on, I'll never let anything happen to you.”

      “I know you won't. Please just promise me.”

      “Fine, but do me a favor, don't go out at night without me, yeah?”

      Katie kissed him on the cheek, and said, “Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere.”

      The next morning, Jason sat, searching the internet for superhuman resilience and strength in every different way he could think of. Each time he tried a new combination, the results were the same, the top result was inevitably, The Mask.

      From the corner of his eye, Jason saw something slide under his door. He got up and looked, it was a small piece of paper with his name on it. He opened the door and looked around the hallway, but it was empty.

      He picked up the note and unfolded it. It read

525 Old Factory Road

Come alone if you want answers.

-Mask

      Jason crushed the note, feeling a mix of emotions. The terror he felt at receiving a note from the most efficient and brutal killer in the world was certainly palpable. Curiosity also flooded over him. What if The Mask did know what was going on with him? But most of all, Jason was angry. The Mask had come to his home, where Katie lived. If Katie was in danger then Jason had to go, besides if Jason couldn't stop him with these new abilities then who could. For once he would be the man she deserved. The man he knew that he could be.

      His mind made up, he went to the address. Despite its location on Factory Road, it was actually an empty warehouse of some kind. It was surrounded by the glass of windows, broken from the inside. Grass grew tall and weeds poked through the pavement.

      As Jason entered, he didn't see anything, but he had a feeling that The Mask was there.

      “I'm not into games, what do you want,” he said, trying to sound braver than he felt.

      “Hello, Jason,” came a voice from behind him. It was deep, with a desperate quality of madness to it.

      Jason whipped around, seeing The Mask in person for the first time.

      “What the hell are you?” Jason asked.

      “Why. . . I am your future,” The Mask said. Hearing the voice while seeing only the beady eyes of the signature mask sent chills down Jason's spine.

      “Wha-” Jason began.

      “You have been chosen. Just like I was. You have the mark do you not?”

      “How do you know about that? Why am I like this?”

      “Because, Jason. The universe is fucked up. Don't you understand? These powers aren't free! The universe gives them to you, but it takes away so much more! You can't escape it. I used to be just like you. A family, a job... morals. But then I was chosen. Just like you.”

      Jason felt slightly better. This was crazy, there was nothing that could change Jason into a man like this.

      “Stop rambling. I don't know how I got like this. But, for all those people that you've murdered, for Kelly, and for Jeremy. You're gonna pay with your life,” Jason spat. He didn't know where this confidence was coming from, but he felt stronger and stronger with each passing moment.

      “You want my life? Please, do take it. It's been happening as long as mankind has exited, Jason! There's no stopping what you will become!” The Mask said, running at Jason and punching him in the stomach.

Jason wasn't expecting the hit, it felt like being hit with a sledgehammer, but he managed to grab The Masks shoulder and knee him in the stomach in return.

      They separated for a second before The Mask rushed Jason again. He kicked at Jason's face, but Jason dodged, grabbing The Mask's foot and lifting him overhead before slamming him down in an arcing motion, to the floor. The pavement cracked beneath him.

      Jason jumped on the opportunity and began punching the mask. It was surprisingly durable, but after several hits, it finally cracked.

      The Mask managed to grab Jason's wrist with one of the punches and hit him in the chest hard enough to send him flying into a nearby wall.

      Jason coughed and pushed himself out of the dent his body had created in the wall. “B*****d,” he growled. He wiped the blood from his lip and and charged at The Mask who had regained his footing.

      The Mask punched, but Jason easily dodged it and unleashed a barrage of blows on the man's torso until he fell backwards onto the ground.

      Jason grabbed The Mask's dark cloak and lifted him a few inches from the ground. “I still don't understand. Who are you? Why did you do all of this?” Jason asked.

      “You have it all now, kid. Kill me and it will be done,” The Mask said, his voice shaking. He began laughing hysterically. “Do it!” he screamed.

      Jason ripped off the mask, revealing a middle aged man. His salt and pepper hair and beard was short and neat. His face was a mass of scars, both of the flesh and of the soul. Tears streamed down his eyes and he had stopped laughing.

      “Do it,” the man whispered. “Please.”

Jason didn't quite understand, but he knew he would be doing both the world and himself a favor if he put this man out of his misery. He grabbed The Mask's throat.

      “Thank you,” The Mask said, his eyes showing a small hint of humanity.

      Jason snapped his neck with an audible crack.

      He picked up the mask and looked at it. He would give it to Jeremy. Jeremy would be the only one he told the whole story.

" " " "

      Jeremy woke up to a loud noise and took three large gulps of the paper-bagged whiskey bottle. He had been dreaming of her. Those dreams never did stop. He slumped against the wall behind him. His worn clothes were torn and his hair and beard had grown long, but he didn't care, after all, who did he have to look good to anymore.

      Suddenly, he heard another loud crashing noise. He clawed at the wall in an attempt to stand, falling several times in the process. He made it over to the door of the warehouse he had been sleeping behind and saw someone leaving. He took cover on the wall and peeked out.

     He squinted at the man leaving the warehouse. He starred, shocked at the sight before him. He rubbed his eyes and looked again. Jason was leaving the warehouse and in his hand. . . was the mask that his wife's killer had been wearing that night.

     In his drunken state it took him a second before he could even process what was happening. But then it all made sense didn't it? Jason was there that night, he was there, in the church. It would've been easy for him to do it.

     Jeremy's blood began to boil with hot rage. Now that he knew, nothing would stop him from killing Jason.

" " " "

      The cafe was abuzz with movement and voices. Jason and Katie stepped up to the counter.

      “Two iced lattes, please,” Jason said.

      He dug a ten out of his wallet and paid. A news report was on the TV in the corner about a lack of Mask sightings.

      He heard the bell that signified the door of the cafe was opening. As he reached for the two coffees being handed to him the world seemed to explode into loud noise and movement. He heard Katie yell, “NO!” and felt himself being pushed from the side. A loud bang drowned out everything made Jason's ears ring.

      The push had been Katie, they were both on the floor.

Jason looked around, through the crowd of people running back and forth to see Jeremy standing at the door, holding a gun. He was sobbing openly and saying something that Jason couldn't hear. Jason went to stand up and tackle him, but he felt a hand tug at his shirt.

      He looked over at Katie, only just realizing that a red stain was spreading outward from her chest. Shocked panic overtook him, what had just happened? Why? He knelt down next to her and put her head in his lap, keeping as much pressure as he dared on the wound. The world seemed to spin around them.

      “Katie, you're gonna be okay! This can't be it. I-” Jason began, choking over his words.

      “Jase, I love you,” she said, weakly. “Don't ever change.” She pushed herself up, grimacing, and kissed Jason. At the end of the kiss, she fell back to his lap, limp.

      Jason began to shake her, “please, no. Stay with me Katie!”

" " " "

      Jason stood in his apartment, staring at a picture of him and Katie. His chest felt as if it was continuously collapsing. His suit was now wrinkled. Relatives of both him and Katie had tried to contact him after the funeral, but he ignored them all.

      He put the picture down on a nearby end table and opened up the draw underneath. He picked up the white mask with two beady, soulless eyes and stared at it.

© 2014 NoblePariah


Author's Note

NoblePariah
First draft, any opinions totally welcome. (Thanks in advance for reading, I know it's a long one.)

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I like it!:) enjoyed the reading and impressed with the detailing plot and in the chapters. Keep it up hope you read one of mine and give me your advice and comment.

Posted 5 Years Ago


NoblePariah

5 Years Ago

Thank you, glad you liked it! I will definitely give something of yours a read, it's finals week for.. read more
This piece was definitely interesting. I really enjoyed it and I want to read more on this story. A couple of thoughts though:
You drew me in slowly, which I liked. It wasn't a big grab, but you didn't draw it out. You put enough mystery into it to keep the reader wondering but left enough in so that the reader isn't completely lost. Though I had a tough time with the line, "Jeremy fell to his knees. “Please! Don't hurt her. I'll do anything, just don't hurt her!” he pleaded." To me this line was weak. You had a really strong story going and it was interesting but then I read this line and it just felt dry and out of place. You can leave it in it just needs more flavor and emotion to match what's around it. Try something like "Jeremy fell to his knees, desperation streaked across his face. His eyes wild with fear, pleading for her life. “Please! Don't hurt her," he said through a soft sob. "I'll do anything, just don't hurt her!” he yelled at the assailant, his voice saturated with his desperation." I think if you added more to some of the characters dialogue describing their emotion while the talked it wouldn't be as dry. Try to make the dialogue a little more believable. what they're are saying I can see people actually saying in a situation like that, but with the pace and descriptiveness of the story in the fast-paced sections the dialogue seems out of place and dry. Spice it up!
Also, your villain in this story... can you think of another name for him? I like it for what you're writing but at the same time all I could think of is the Jim Carey character. It was especially confusing since the first time we hear of his name is when Jason is talking to himself in the bathroom. When he said, "This is impossible, no one but The Mask has powers. I'm nothing like him. This can't be connected..." Jim Carey was the first thing I thought of. Maybe introduce his name when Jeremy runs into him in the alley at the beginning?
I hope I didn't offend you, I'm only trying to give constructive criticism. Over all I liked your story a lot. I want to read more!!! Good write!

Posted 5 Years Ago


NoblePariah

5 Years Ago

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it overall. No offense take, you make valid points. As I take it int.. read more

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Added on April 24, 2014
Last Updated on April 24, 2014
Tags: superpowers, dark, mask

Author

NoblePariah
NoblePariah

About
I am a writer trying to better myself in the craft. I'm 22 and in college, pursuing a degree in creative writing. Please don't add me and send me a read request without reviewing a piece of my work. .. more..

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A Story by NoblePariah