(Source image: "I Am So Hidden" by China Hamilton)
The tile was cool and smooth against her bare feet. Her eyes were hopeless, lost, through the eyelets of the mask. Her breasts heaved with suppressed emotions, her whole body shivering as if in a high wind.
The door swung wide and he entered. She twisted to face him, arms crossed protectively before her. Shock skirled across his face and was gone in an instant.
"My God," he whispered. "What have they done to you, my darling?"
Trembling, she reached up and removed the mask.
And he smiled, the sun bursting through clouds. "Is that all?" he murmured, reaching up to caress her scarred visage. “You had me worried there for a minute.”
And he kissed her passionately, hands moving over her body, and she responded ardently, though the tears still trickled down the ruins of her face.
Your challenge for today was to use the picture above and write a flash fiction of 85-135 words. Additionally, I provided a key phrase I wanted to see used somewhere in the submission:
"...cool and smooth..."
Nobody's checking word counts, or for the key phrase, but you're only cheating yourself if you break the rules. Unless you're doing it to earn a spanking (in which case, see me after class).
Special Bonus Director's Commentary Track:
This picture fascinated me. At first I had planned a sort of Phantom of the Opera tie-in, with the Phantom taking a lover from among the dancers and musicians of the Opera House, but with a twist -- that he would require her to hide her own face while they made love. I decided against that one because it seemed there'd be very little intimacy with the faces of the participants hidden, but it's still given me ideas for some semi-anonymous fantasies that may yet see life here (I understand that semi-anonymity can be a powerful turn-on, at least in some of the stories I've read). We'll see.
In any case, the approach I wound up going with actually came over me when I happened to see a woman on TV whose husband had left her after a horrific burn accident left her scarred. I'm one of those old-fashioned people who thinks that love does conquer all, so I promptly wrote this sort of fairy-tale approach (fairy tales AGAIN; I really do need to stop that) where our heroine had been the victim of horrible torture that left her face scarred but her body intact. Naturally, she is terrified that her lover won't want her anymore. Most men, I think, would look only at the body and still be titillated, but would they react well if and when she removed the mask? Our heroine's lover isn't at all fazed by it, but (as seen by the TV show I watched) real life is not always so forgiving.
So, after last week's lighthearted take I go right back to the introspective darker stuff. What's my mind coming to? I don't know. Let's see what you all come up with.
Please note that for the past few weeks I have been trying something different with the participants list. If you are playing along this week, please leave your link below. It will appear in the text of the post itself, not in the comments, so everyone that's playing will be listed here. This frees me from having to chase people down to find out if they're playing or update the Friday post several times for late entries.
In any case, the participants list is below. Go check them out, and thanks to all who played along.
Check back here on Monday for the next challenge! And if you have any photos or artwork you'd like to see in a future challenge, please send them my way.