An excerpt from The Apothecary, a romantic horror novelette:
He stands, and turns his back to me and the fire. He walks over to the spinning wheel, and begins unraveling the threads. “There’s nothing to say about my father,” he says.
I stand too. “But I’ve been wondering––”
“You need to go home. It’s getting dark.” The words are harsh, but he speaks them softly. They hurt more than way. With his back to me, with the mask out of sight, I want to run to him, tell him I don’t want to go home. Not tonight. Not ever.
But if I do that, he’ll turn to me, with that mask.
I put down the cup, and put my cloak around my shoulders. The spinning wheel starts circling, squeaking slightly. I catch a glimpse of mask slithering where a cheek ought to be, and again I shiver, though not from cold. He says nothing as I slip out the door.