Tuesday, September 18, 2012

J M Blackman Week 13: Masquerade/ “May I?”

Picture 1

Picture 2

J.M. Blackman’s Picture Choice: Two

Title: Masquerade/ “May I?”

Early in the evening, when twilight still had its rosy mouth open, offering supplication, offering the ability of change, she had stared at herself in the mirror for long minutes. These minutes were questioning: minutes of reconsideration, of doubt, of guilt.

She had turned from one side to the other, tilting her head up and then down, trying to see who she could be.

Because the mask made her different. The mask made her someone else.

And it was this someone else who would attend the masquerade.

She wore black lace to cover her tattoos, to make them (and herself) demure. But the septum ring stayed, a pinprick of herself in the swath of alienness.

There was much that was alien to her, though. Like the masquerade. It wasn’t a ball, but more like a party. One where you had to have a friend who knew a friend who knew a guy. And this guy had liked the way she looked and invited her to have an experience...if she dared.

She did, heart beating a techno tattoo within the ribbed corset that encased even her elephant-sized anxiety, smashing it into an atom sized flutter. She concentrated on that palpitation as she circled the hotel’s state room, let it anchor her to the floor among the palpable tension in the air, a pressure that rubber-banded between each masked face.

The-guy-who-liked-the-way-she-looked-found-her, but his playfulness had disappeared behind his mask.

Now, the only thing that remained was hot brushes of his fingertips and scalding gazes. She couldn’t help but be spellbound.

She swayed under his guiding hands, even followed him to a room upstairs. The world was a watercolor blur, a vibrant splash of light that trembled with every breath. She questioned what had been in her drink, though only momentarily.

Because she couldn’t think past his hands, his lips, that hard press against her thigh. That is, until she heard the hotel door open again.The man who entered was almost the twin of the one behind her: black suit, black mask, endless eyes.

She asked him who he was. He asked her what the fun was of a masquerade if they introduced themselves. ‘ He unbuttoned one bucket in his suit jacket, and asked only one more thing: “May I?”

And she said, “yes.”

Because the mask made her different. The mask made her someone else.


J.M. Blackman is a Language Arts teacher, author rep'd by Gina Panettieri and a feminist. She endeavors to review nearly everything she reads and is a happy wife. She's a SFF enthusiast, loves dark humor, and has an unhealthy need to protect the image of Batman.



  1. Love the transformative power of the mask. And oh, what a wicked ending! Sexy and mysterious. Love it, Jalisa!

  2. So descriptive and lovely. Enjoyed the mystery & the sexiness of it all. Well done!

  3. It's elegant in its simplicity. I love your imagery and sense of place.

  4. Delish, Jalisa! Wicked, sexy, tantalizing...


  5. Ooh yes indeed wicked and delicious - and almost frustrating at where you ended it. LOL

  6. @Cara, thank you so much. It being called sexy from you is a huge compliment. @Michela, thank you. I appreciate that. @Jeff, it seems like I did pretty well, since those things (imagery, place) were what I was concentrating on. Thank you! @Sarah, thank you! I'm very complimented by that. @Miranda, yes, I can see why it would be. I'm worried I'm better at lead up than anything else. Ha! Thank you.