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Portrait of a Face Long Erased

For many, the arrival of The Glitch- XD was nothing more than a brief moment of nausea, a momentary lapse in vision. A few were impacted in deeper ways, their very respawns disappearing in a second.   If Clay had the chance to change impacts, he'd rather be robbed of his three lives than choose this again. Or he'd go back to his past self and take his respawns by force, if it meant he could go back to how it was.   Sun on his face, feeling the wind in his hair as he sprints away from his friends, a playful chase, pushing himself further and further ahead until their laughs and shouts are as distant as their town.   No care in the world, responsibility looming but still feeling invincible.   The mask digs into his skull, pulling him out of his reminiscing. He glances back through the magical ceramic at the portrait of his benefactor, his personal hell, and his own face. Hell, he could hardly remember the last time he looked in a mirror at his unmasked face and didn't flinch. To be fair, it might be the pain that shoots through him whenever he takes it off. He hardly touches it anymore, just to be safe.   He puts down the last remnants of before the deal, a portrait of him and his family before he left for adventure. Just like all the other iterations of him, the mask is blocking his face with that damned fixed smile, cartoonish, simple, mocking.   The mask yanks him backward and he stumbles but rolls back to standing. He gives a jerky bow to the portrait of the being that stole his face, and leaves his quarters.   No matter his pain, he has a city to rule. That was the deal, says a voice almost his own, I only gave you what you asked for. He could see his own smile stretched too wide and teeth too sharp, before they both turn to face his best friends, its biggest weapons. On days like this, Clay wishes he still had eyes to cry with.


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4 Oct, 2022 22:35

Eerie, I read it twice to make sure I hadn't missed anything.

Greetings fromThe Ring of Fire and Dragons! I invite you to read my submission for the Spooktober 2022 challenge, Spooktober in the Ring of Fire and Dragons