Dust particles floated in the air suspended and highlighted by the filtered rays of light. Light. Something the bandaged man had not seen in many a day…a month….a year. He simply didn’t know how long it had been. He couldn’t remember. All he knew was this was a new experience. Cameron’s eyes opened to the sight of the first rays of light. The air carrying with it a moldy stench that was hard to describe. Looking down at himself, he could see the ragged coat, the velvet vest or waistcoat and stained shirt. He wore leather gloves that were tattered and frayed. Small holes were the stitching had long since perished. He tried to breath through his nostrils but alas they were blocked by the bandaging, so he breathed instead through his mouth. A long groan emitting from his lips as he pushed himself up to standing.
Where was he? The room he was in was long, dark and littered with old fashioned furnishings. Oil paintings that would date back hundreds of years. Worn faces in gilded frames. The wooden floor was stained and every few metres there were small rugs that looked to be the type from Persia or the orient.
Taking a few steps he came to stand before an old floor mirror the kind women would dress themselves in front of. This would be when the bandaged man would see himself. He froze in his place. Bandaged from head to foot, and wearing a fedora upon his head. Dark glasses with wire frames that went into the bandages where his ears should be. But what shocked him at first was the fact he saw no lips. Just blackness. A void behind the bandaging. How was this possible? Slowly he removed his hat and set it down on a small table. Reaching up he started to unwind the bandages, but the more he unwound them he came to see….that there was nothing there. Did he not exist? Faster and faster he unwound till he came to the end of the cloth. There was no head….no eyes….nothing.
A strangled cry came from within. He could hear it, yet had no ears.
Cameron had no memory of who he was…or better yet…what he was.
He just stood there…and stared at what was an invisible man.
Unimaginable horror to not be able to see your own reflection. How can that even be? The invisible man reached out with his gloved digits to touch the mirror. Perhaps it had properties that made you believe what you saw to be true. This brought no solace, for the image was unchanging. Cameron panted heavily and whined like a dog that was about to be beaten, for he could not get his mind around the shock. When he reached out to his own face, it was there – he could feel it. He just couldn’t see it.
A rising anger roared to the surface out of nowhere, and his fist clenched as he smashed it through the glass. Shattering the pane and sending broken shards falling to the floor. Now what remained was a distorted reflection – fractured and broken, just like his mind. Someone had to have done this to him. An unknown enemy or even the devil himself. Why….why would someone steal your face?
It was only then, the invisible man looked down and saw the blood that seeped through the holes in his torn gloves. Rich…vibrant. The colour so real that it caught him off guard. As much as he felt the pain, he reveled in the sight of his own blood. Staining his rotting glove. His hand tremored as he brought it up to his lips and licked at the sweetness. Closing his eyes, he felt an inner joy that could not be described. He wasn’t dead. Far from it.
“Ahaha…Ahahaha….AHAHAHAHA!” A sick laugh erupted from within him as he took a broken shard of glass and then turned to one of the more beautiful paintings that was upon the wall. A woman with eyes of green and hair of snow. Such beauty that she was exquisite.
Cameron walked up to the painting, almost in a dance like sway and he whispered to the woman on the canvas.
“My dear…you shall be my first…work of art.”
At that, he slashed at the painting in a frenzy that was so fierce that the canvas tore into shreds. The beautiful woman nothing but a memory. Standing back, the invisible man cocked his head and said. “Now…you are beautiful.” He spun on his heel and did a soft shoe shuffle. “I am…an artist, no?”
There was no one to answer his words but in his mind there were those that listened. He was never alone to the voices in his head.
“This House must be ripe with such sad beauties that need a loving touch.” Cameron crooned.
Pocketing the shard of glass that was now his tool of trade, he again bandaged up his head, and found his hat. A man was not a man without it. Grinning to himself, he decided to leave the attic….and seek out those that dwelled below.