An excerpt from The Apothecary, a romantic horror novelette:
He gave me calming tea that tasted of flowers. He apologized for having no cake or biscuits to serve along with it, as he wasn’t used to having visitors. That was fine though; as much as I liked him, it would have been hard to eat with that mask watching me, crawling like maggots.
In my childhood innocence, and with my da not around to shush me, I asked him what was under it.
“Nothing interesting,” he said. He voice always seemed to come from far away. “I think you’d much rather see something like this.”
He swept a powder into the candle on the table between us and the flame danced gold and silver.
I laughed and he gave me some of the powder so that I could throw it into the fireplace, and the whole room danced gold and silver, including his mask. But that didn’t distract me entirely from questioning him. I ran to his side and said “Where’d you learn all this?”