Did he ever imagine this day would come? When he was younger,
his mother told him stories that always began ‘a long, long, time ago,’ and in these stories there were fabulous creatures, or horrible mutant monsters, but only the boy in the story could see them.
Only he had the magical powers.
Now, the monsters are commonplace. One has only to go downstairs, to the market or to the movie house, to see them: their long fangs glistening with saliva, their hooded eyes burning with a green fire, their long arms dragging on the ground. Their shuffling steps and pitiful moaning.
Better to stay inside. Watch the television, even if it’s just snow. If he is lucky, there is still some cough syrup in the medicine cabinet. Or some decongestant pills. Anything to dull the senses. It is unendurable, he thinks, to wear the mask any longer. His skin itches, everything he says is muffled. It is damp and oppressive.
He turns the sound up on the television.