The Fantome

The small boy ran home, careful not to let his mask fall from his face. He once let the mask slip and was devastated for days. But now, this had become a common occurrence for the boy and he would not let the mask slip. The public would not see him as they were not ready. That’s what his mother had always told him and he knew it to be true. He approached the large white ornately designed house he called a home. The most beautiful home Erik had seen and it was where he got to live. The inside was just as beautiful as the outside. Erik’s father had been an architect, his mother, an interior designer. A match made in heaven until Erik’s father died. A car accident, a deer appeared and made him swerve off the road, down a cliff to his death. Some say it was a suicide, as there were never any tire tracks found, just a broken guard wall.

“Mother, the boys, they are teasing me again,” Erik reached to her for comfort.

“Do not worry, they are not ready to see you greatness,” she promised as she forced herself to run her fingers through his whispery and threadlike hair.

Erik’s mother held a secret, she despised the boy. He was sweet, innocent and had a hear that would make anyone question if he could be guilty of anything. Erik was the perfect child, if you didn’t have to look at the boy. His face was twisted and disfigured, his lip drooping to the side. His teeth were much too large for his small mouth, they crowded his tongue and made his words slur. In an attempt to correct this, his jaw was broken at a young age, it never quite healed correctly and had no positive outcomes. Papery white skin that was nearly invisible at parts allowing you to see through to his veins covered his body. At parts it was warped, wrinkled and appeared to peel away from his face. The part that bothered his mother most of all was his nose, or lack of a nose. Two large holes drilled directly into his face at birth, as he was born without nostrils. The combination of these traits gave Erik the visage of a deformed skull, even if he was very much alive.

Erik was not a sickly child; his endurance and strength was much more than that of an average child despite his frail appearance. Beyond his appearance he was more well lived than most adults. Still, he had the face of a monster, the skin and hair to match. His mother believed that is what drove his father to suicide. How could two beautiful people produce such a monster? That was a question Erik’s father had asked many times since the child’s birth. It was one she had asked since the man’s death nearly every day.

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