Masked Truths

Chapter 1


A deep sigh escaped my lips as I stirred. My heavy lashes fluttered, then slowly opened, allowing the dim light of the room to enter my vision. A single candle sat on a small table to my left, nearly burned down, its small flame struggling against the shadows of the darkened room. I pulled myself up into a sitting position and languidly stretched my muscles in an attempt to rid them of the stiffness which often follows a long sleep.

Having shaken off the last remnants of my deep, dreamless slumber, my eyes searched their surroundings with clarity. I sat, leaning against a mound of downy pillows and the high, intricately carved headboard of the massive bed on which I reposed. My lower body was surrounded in thick, warm layers of bedding fashioned in sumptuous fabrics. They were of a dark color which the dwindling candlelight was incapable of illuminating to me.

I crept to the left side of the bed and lowered my feet to the floor. A soft rug protected my feet from the frigidity of the hard floor beneath it. I surveyed the rest of the room, taking in the large pieces of wooden furniture that lined the walls, half hidden in shifting shadows. I crossed the room to the large window, which was covered with heavy velvet drapery in the same indiscernible color as the bedding. The sliver of space between the drapes showed that it was indeed, night. A moonless night which left no light to permeate the room save the solitary candle.

None of this was familiar to me. I was not frightened, as one might imagine, at waking up in a strange place, merely curious. Was I supposed to be here? Possibly. For some reason then unknown, I couldn't seem to recall where my place was. I knew only that I did not know this room.

I turned my head to the right and a wave of cold realization washed over me. I pivoted my body and deliberately made my way to the silver, full- length mirror standing in the corner near the window. The candlelight at my back caused the image to flicker and waver. With much trepidation I raised my right hand to rest against that of the figure in front of me.

I didn't recognize the delicate young girl who trembled in fright before me. I brought my hand up from the cool glass to touch my cheek and watched as she mimicked my actions.

Myself... I didn't recognize myself.

My image's eyes widened as I made this discovery. I darted back to retrieve the candle from the nightstand so that I could look upon the figure... me... more closely.

Large green orbs stared back at me with uncertainty and confusion. I felt a small prick of familiarity when gazing into those eyes. But it was a small comfort to find them staring out of the frame of a stranger. The face was thin and pale and held an air of innocence despite the heavy lashes and pouting lips which were designed for the bedroom. Long chestnut waves flowed down over her shoulders to a slim waist. Petite, supple limbs were clad in a thin, white linen shift which lay softly on the curves of her body.

Who am I?

I shuddered involuntarily, and for the first time I noticed the chill in the room. I wrapped one slender arm around my body and walked toward the door to the room with the candle held before me. It was my weapon against the dark unknown. On the way I noticed that a silky dark blue robe lay across a chair near the door. I abandoned my candle momentarily to pull it on and cinch it at my waist. It served to make my body warmer and yet my mind was more ill at ease.

Who has left this for me? Who and what lies beyond this door? Will they be able to answer my questions?

Only one way to find out. The knob turned easily in my hand and the door opened with a slow creak. I steeled myself momentarily, and with my small light held firmly in one hand, I stepped through.


A/N: This is my first story of any kind to post online. I know this chapter is kind of short, but I wanted to end it with a bit of a cliff hanger and a "What the hell is going on?" sort of feeling. No worries, I'll update tomorrow. Hope you like it.

I welcome all comments, reviews, critiques, etc.

Remember, reviews make for a happy Jen.