When they keep shifting with the wind, not responding, Pauly moves to go around them. They don’t stop him. How strange, he thinks, and keeps running; but isn’t that a rustling following him? Pauly swings around and the masquerades halt, only a few steps behind.
“Why are you following me?” Pauly asks.
It is the feathered masquerade that speaks; the voice is a whispery, susurrating sound, as if the feathers themselves are speaking. The masquerade says, “Because we are your masquerades.”
to me, that’s creepy as hell, and the thought of three of these quiet terrors following me home and eating all my palm oil is impractical at best
then again, i wouldn’t mind a fullsize one of these fellas in my place, because i have a crush on all of them
although—again—sentience would be a dealbreaker.
anyway, point being that this is not a horror short, and little pauly isn’t vexed by these three enormous masquerades following him home, swaying and whispering and dancing in the corner of his room. but when his dressmaker mom starts asking for a little snipsie here or there from his fancy masquerade pals, he starts having some moral qualms and it all ends up being an emotional story of sacrifice and family and bewildering creatures.
AND NOW I AM DEPLETED
read it for yourself here: