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To live is to die and to die is to live; no truer words have been spoken. I, but not you, know what mask I own. Perchance, you may figure in the course of my epilogue my true face, or, you may find yourself contemplating for quite some time to follow. I will never reveal, for I play tricks, I play fools, and the conundrum you face from me, shall be nectar I will suckle on till I find more sweet fruit. Hints may be provided, or you may view them as rambles, tricks to disguise my mask further, while you contemplate. The dawn of day and closure of night hath no control over when I move. I'm my own entity, no control, no restraints, I am the ultimate master, the master of you.

I say, I'm with you from the start and hold your hand at the close. You tremble at me, the thought of my overwhelming capacity for fear. Fear and I are two companions that know no single being. My touch feels all, my kiss hath no preference. First breath to final, I strike all. Coming and going, I greet you and you me. The thought of my being haunts you, welcomes you, scares you, and even joys you. You've thought about me, and oh by chance, I've thought about you a great deal.

Throughout all, I've experienced many, given joy and grief. Some fear, fear what I bring and how time will change for their being. Others, greet me with a smile, but I do not greet that back, for I may upset their joy at some part. I’m not evil, though some would believe that with doubt. Every action I take, I take with trepidation, for I know that I must battle future moments, I must battle my future self.

I’ve encountered Fear myself, for Fear isn’t the truest of acquaintances. Tricksters we are, and not even I can’t escape our hold. He’s turned on me thrice, I remember as if my eyes hath laid view on it just this past breath. I will speak of my accounts in these times, the times where my friends hath betrayed me. You will arrive at the thought that you know the entity behind the mask, and I can tell you that you will be false. But, I still find humor in your petty guesses. So please, guess away, and look further than the words that greet your eyes.

The first account occurred when the day met the ground, the earth was greeted with water, and a family greeted by Insanity. There was a daughter, hair graced with gold, eyes brushed with sapphire, and a smile that held absence that night. A boy blended with his biological half. Uncomfortable mixed with Fear, they held their backs to a corner of a small, narrow room. Perfection fit this room for the family. The term family, however, is used loosely in this condition, for a family shall never endure the events that had transpired.

As we look back to the children, I now remember that I only saw glimpses of the Horror that painted their faces. The droplets of moisture had now migrated to the sapphires, such beautiful gems. Joy greeted me as I met their eyes and in the strange occurrence, they noticed me. It only happens in times of great tragedy, great despair, that you can see me. If you see me, take caution, for I should not be beheld in your eyes. And for these children, I was an eyelash, dangling in front of them.

Poor, poor children. I did not enjoy viewing them, which now I tell you that, luckily, I did not have to see Fear toying with them, for their mother blocked the acts of Fear. As he poked and prodded, their mother stood erect, stood tall, for she could see me as well. My mask had fallen now, for I let my guard fall with it, exposing my true nature. She knew who I was, knew what power I held, and yet she did not question my presence. All I received, all I was bestowed with, was the look of desperation. Her body said she was her own savior, yet her eyes said otherwise. They begged for a savior, a scapegoat. Yet, as much as her mind had not come to the conclusion, I knew, I was her savior.

She looked at me, and not the monster that toyed her children. She looked at me, and not the monster behind the gun. She looked at me, and not the monster hiding in her husband. A thank you would suffice, yet I will never be greeted with one. No, that phrase shall never grace my presence, for her lips will never part and meet again. They will never tell her children that she has a deep love for them as she tucks their snug bodies into miniature beds. They will never place a kiss on their foreheads, comforting them from a fall they experience on the pavement. And they will never, never in their capable future, be able to ask the alcohol in possessing her husband and his gun, why?

I let the round pistol break through the air and puncture her perfect skin. I regret my actions, for children should never behold their mother’s departure that soon. To my pleasure, however, that mother now must never experience her children’s trauma I saw so many nights after. I took her from the perfection of a room, a room that soon held a self-departed father, and two children. Two children who I’ve followed multiple times, for they’ve called on me more than once. You tend to notice eyes, they are the gateway to the soul. My vision of them was blurred, however, for their gateway has been blocked by tears every time I greet them. They remember me, as do I them. We’ve attempted to speak, to draw words, but we sit in silence, in darkness, searching for each other, gripping hands, but losing every time. The girl lost for the last time, sometime in the last breath. Oh, how I do miss her touch.

Fear got the best of me that time. My mind was taken, not allowing true thoughts to flow to a process. I envy, but commend the trickery. Fear sucked the nectar, I lost mine, but we continued on from there, for friends always continue on. This act of trust became my downfall, for Fear used it against me, once more.

She was forcefully bestowed another heartbeat. Times of darkness fell after this, for a growing body blocked the path in front of her. She called on me many times. I held a candle, I held a light in front of her, but my mask was the night. Black in her path, behind the candle, and in herself. That is the view that her eyes had held. The entire way through. Despair was with her, closing her vision when I waved to her, covering her ears as I screamed for her. Despair was hired by Fear, for I knew the moment I saw the smile creep up the face that had beat me to the end of the race.

Her name, I do not know. Consulting feelings rather than rationality is the biggest mistake one can make in my line of profession, for it incorporates future and the future is unknown to all, until one makes a decision. I find myself despising my own feelings, for they creep, like a word to a mouth, demanding to be said, demanding to be felt. In the moment, in the breath, I might feel sensation that plays with my mind, I believe it is Fear, for Fear never leaves, but sometimes I believe it is my ownself. But nonetheless, I have enough feelings to diminish, so names, history, stories, and other personal data is tossed from me, for then, I’d be completely entrapped.

There was a hiatus from her, she stopped asking for me and I stopped arriving. She was one that I let have control, for it wasn’t only her that the situation now held. I was asked for, though, when one entity became two. Her heartbeat echoed beyond her own being. Beautiful. Breath-taking. Yet, she asked for me, for Fear made a personal appearance, giving Despair relief. Fear stood in front, as I leaned by the bed, holding her hand. I was to be with one of them, we both knew this, yet it was under my mind to make the burden. Fear said nothing, however, Fear hovered, for that was enough to bestow pressure unto all of us. My decision, though, was made for me, for the original heartbeat ceased to exist after that moment. I still ponder whether that would have been my decision or not. Fear won the best of me again.

The last occasion was the last time I let Fear in. There were many faces in this case, many young, a few old, but youth presided in this case. Oh, for how I hated Fear for bringing me here. I would have never been needed, but Fear convinced everyone to ask. I was everywhere, but nowhere, all at once. Trying to split myself, to be with the ones that asked for me, to mediate the ones that could not hold a less care for me. That was my dilemma. Fear stood back and laughed, laughed behind the safety of a boy and a gun. I find myself wondering if Fear hired Temptation to entrap this boy, ultimately to get to me. But Fear is my friend, Fear would never do such a thing.

To make the story short, for this is one I do not like to dwell on, my decision was made not for me. No. There were too many souls that needed my guidance and I let them down, for I could not be with all of them. Fear coerced the boy to move forward, sending me back. Pop, bang, pow, and I did not decide. For when I came to the realization that this was to how it would end, I found the loudest scream. The loudest prayer, and I flew to it. She was barricaded in the janitors closet, one foot in a bucket, the other, well, didn’t exist. When I arrived, she didn’t scream, for that was what I expected. In fact, she smiled, she was not yet alone anymore.

I removed my mask, this one was different. She deserved to see what truth looked like, what face her relief held. We again, did not speak; I hold difficulty in forming the words needed to be spoken. She smiled, I touched her shoulder, and in that moment, I realized one of us must leave, neither the same again. She knew the same and with that, the room fell darker than what it once was, and I left, with a friend that I trust will never trick me.

You may ask, why allow Fear to walk in the prints that you’ve left? I laugh. For if you have not learned, you shall now. We learn from enemies, we learn that evil is there, maybe even inside. But from our friends, we learn betrayal, which teaches us how to do the same. I’ve repaid Despair for their assistance, as well as Temptation and others. I repaid tenfold, and now, they know tricks shall never work for me again. I’ve made my stand. I’ve made myself.

And this is now where I leave you to ponder, to wonder my true appearance. You have an idea now, I see it in your mind, for I am always watching, knowing. The idea you possess, it may find truth, but most of you will never understand the beauty I possess. I’m not evil, but I certainly don’t find myself with virtue. I am neither, which makes me both. I am what I am.

My name is Timothy Lyzen, born and raised in a suburb outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I'm finishing my senior year in High School and plan on attending New York University in the fall to study Journalism and Business with a minor in Playwriting.


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