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Whispers Behind The Mask

A tale of roses and pearls

By DaphsamPublished 5 months ago 7 min read
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The red velvet curtain lowered on the stage with the finality of a casket lowered into the ground. It had been a long seven months performing at the well-known playhouse in Venice, Italy. Greta thought as she walked to her dressing room. She had been last to leave the cast party. Had promised to close up the little playhouse on the deserted street in Venice.

Greta was alone in the aged playhouse. Just as she wanted.

Slowly, Greta reached up to untie the silky red ribbon of the Venetian mask. Her character in the play was the Angel of the Night.

Greta’s thoughts were not of any angel she knew.

As Greta reached her dark wood dressing room door, it opened violently. A tall older man with silver hair, more muscular than men his age, pulled her into his arms.

His hot, wet lips met her’ in a passionate kiss. Their tongues twirled around each other like a couple dancing the Argentine tango.

Greta could feel his hands slowly slide down to her shapely cheeks. Her arms went snaking around his neck.

When they both filled, they came up for air like free divers after a deep dive. His icy blue eyes met her toffee ones.

“You were magnificent tonight,” Colin said as he released her from his grip.

“You always say that, Colin, dear,” Greta said as she slipped from his tantalizing body.

The light tapping of the beads from her sequined dress sounded like delicate wind chimes dancing from a soft breeze.

Greta walked over to her dressing table and sat on the red velvety seat cushion. Colin placed his hands over hers when she reached for the clasp of her pearl necklace. He leaned in closely to her ear. The soft, warm puffs from his mouth had a faint scent of cigars and whiskey.

Colin whispered. “Let me”.

Greta watched in fascination as he slowly removed the white pearl necklace from her throat like he had done many times these past seven months. The pearls lay over his fingers like a lover draped over her lover in bed.

Greta had lived this scene many times before. They used her for physical pleasure, nothing more. She was like a wilted rose thrown on the stage. Once beautiful and sought after, now discarded. Just like her childhood. Not even her parents wanted her.

Greta stared at her reflection in the circular mirror. She was an illusion for the men who sought out her affection. Greta was part of the hurt they caused her for a long time. She allowed them to toy with her body and her emotions.

It all changed years ago; it was one act where she knew things had to change. Greta was done with being used.

She would use her sultry voice and sexy body to get what she wanted.

Colin spoke, breaking her thoughts.

“Let’s leave and go to my villa for the night,” Colin said to Greta.

He caressed her white pearls between his fingertips.

“What about your wife?” asked Greta as she placed her Venetian mask on her dressing table.

“That cold fish! Don’t worry her. She is probably out with one of her dogs, writing poetry or something.” Colin said.

Colin placed the pearl neck next to the bouquet of red roses and began to caress each soft, delicate petal.

“Colin, be a dear. Stop playing with those roses and grab that crystal vase from the end table and place my roses in it. And use the metal watering can next to the vase to fill it with water,” Greta said.

She began to unwind her long blonde hair from the bun held by crystal pins.

Colin went to fetch the crystal vase and the watering can; he placed the bouquet of roses, removing them from its pink tissue paper and placing every red rose into the vase. He topped it off with water from the watering can.

“Why did you ever marry such a young girl?” Greta asked.

She began to brush her long, silvery blond hair.

“Well, my darling, it’s quite simple. I wanted to impress my gentleman friends with this young flower gracing my arm at all the parties,” Colin said as he finished arranging the roses in the vase.

He moved the pearl necklace to the side of the vase.

“I was captivated by her, an older man like me. I hoped she might give me many children, but she was as barren as a flowerless garden. Eventually, I stopped going to her bed.”

“So she was just merely a conquest for you; why don’t you just divorce her?” said Greta in a rather harsh tone.

“Listen, my darling, it was all an illusion. I was captivated and determined to get between her legs, and I did not think to protect my fortune. I refuse to divorce her because of that. I can’t pay any more for my mistakes than I already have.”

Colin picked up the pearl necklace again to play with it.

Greta gestured to the spray bottle that was sitting by, nestled into a corner bookshelf. She asked Colin to spray her roses that were now so beautifully displayed in the crystal vase.

Just as Colin was about to spray the roses, he changed his mind.

“I don’t bother her; she looks the other way. I prefer to enjoy my company with women with more experience between the sheets. You understand… more mature women… like yourself.”

With that, Colin began to spray the roses, showering them with wetness that left each petal looking like tiny crystals on their fragile petals.

The room began to smell like rose hips, a heady, sweet scent that curled around the couple in a romantic embrace. Colin’s eyes moved between the spray bottle and Greta's.

“What do we have here?” Colin asked. He brought the nose his the bottle up to his nose and took a hefty sniff. “Is that rose hips I smell?”

“Yes, isn’t it refreshing? I just love the smell of the rose hips all around me, especially on my naked body,” Greta answered with a sultry expression on her face.

With that, Colin decided to spray the mist all over his face. As he stood there, his face showed an anticipatory passion for Greta.

In split seconds, though, his once handsome tan face turned ghostly white and looked frantic. He dropped both the pearl necklace and spray bottle. Colin began to grab at his throat, gasping for air. His eyes bulging out of his face.

“Oh, dear Colin, I am so surprised you didn’t recognize me from your wedding. I sat on the bride’s side.”

Just at the last moment, recognition flashed in his eyes, then it was gone. Colin crashed to the ground with the pearl neck. The sounds of the pearls hitting the ground echoed like the pings of sleet on a tin roof, with a thunderous crash of his body against the wood floor planks.

Colin died.

Greta studied him as if he were an insect under a microscope. She began to toy with the silk red ribbon from her Venetian mask.

The door slowly opened, revealing a young blonde-haired woman entering after a soft knock. Her slim body was covered by an elegant evening cape trimmed with white mink. The young newcomer stared at the dead man on the floor, her hazel eyes mirroring those in the chair. The young woman began to cover her nose with her gloved hand.

Greta shook her head.

“No need for that. You have to have physical contact with the mist from the spray bottle,” Greta said with a cold, calculating voice.

Greta stood up and walked over to Colin’s body.

“Colin was right about one thing: it is always just an illusion.”

The young blond woman looks down at the dead man on the floor.

“Now give your mother a hand. Let’s clean up this mess. Colin should have just let you become his young wealthy divorcee, but this works better. You will now become a wealthy widow.”

Mother and daughter picked up Colin’s body and removed him from the dressing room.


Thank you for reading.

This was originally posted on Medium.

MysteryShort Story

About the Creator


Loving Wife, Mom, Dog Mom- A Dyslexic dreamer who never thought I could read or write. But life changed, and I conquered my fears. I am an artist, photographer, wordsmith and illustrator. Looking to weave stories and poems with my artwork.

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Comments (3)

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  • Mike Singleton - Mikeydred5 months ago

    Great story and loved the ending

  • Well written… brutal! Great plot twist.

  • Salman siddique5 months ago

    Loved reading it

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