The Man who sold Faces (short story)

Here is a short story written by me, i hope you will enjoy reading it.

THE MAN WHO SOLD FACES

Happy face

Sad face

Smiling face

Bad face

Face from all race

Face which will make you ace

A board that reads the above lines caught the eyes of Lucy who was passing by this odd looking shop. She was on her way to castle with her parents. They were invited to a wedding. Lucy had never been to this village or met the person who invited them before. All she knew was that the person was her distant relative, who happened to be the descendant of a Royal family.

The shop looked old and dilapidated. Lucy was pretty much attracted to the mysterious shop and decided to visit the shop the next day to see what exactly it was. It was a late night. When Lucy stepped out of the car which was sent to receive them at the station, she found the castle very eerie, old and poorly lit. Lucy wondered why. They entered the castle and were directed to a small room by a servant of the castle. A few minutes later, dinner arrived in the room, but nobody showed up to meet them until the next morning. Lucy was disappointed; all her hopes of possible adventure came to an end seeing the castle and the place. Next morning she saw castle full of people. Lucy could recognize most of them, greeted them and eagerly waited to see and meet the person who invited them.

At the breakfast table, she finally saw her distant relative who happened to be her maternal uncle. He was a handsome man in his mid 30s.He wore a crisp white shirt and a well tailored gray trousers.

In the middle of the breakfast and clinking of cutleries, Lucy’s uncle turned at Lucy and asked her how was her journey. I am so sorry I couldn’t come at the station to receive you all dear continued her uncle. Lucy was surprised, thinking how her uncle could recognize her as he had never seen her before. Lucy politely answered her uncle that she had a wonderful journey and she didn’t mind.

Lucy found her uncle amiable. She wanted to ask him about the shop right away, but hesitated to see so many people at the table. She decided to ask about it later and so went to her uncle’s room after breakfast but didn’t find him. She came outside to see children playing in the garden. The boundary walls were big and made of stone, she noticed fascinating carvings on the stone of the walls, the wedding was the next day and she was already feeling bored, she decided to paint the rose bush standing against the boundary wall but unfortunately, she didn’t bring paintbrushes or paint with her. In hope to find some help she went inside, but she found everyone to be busy. Bored Lucy finally decided to go outside and see the town on her own and find the shop she saw last night. She got dressed in her red polka dress and mary-jane shoes. She saw that the village was very peaceful, the roads were paved with cobblestone and there were many old and new shops across the street. She kept walking until she came to the same shop.

She entered the shop. But found no one. Not even the shopkeeper. There were few dusty masquerades and masks hanging on the wall. They looked old, the shop had some spider webs and the only guests that were present in the shop were the spiders who were hanging from their web. Lucy found the place creepy and turned towards the door, when suddenly a man came through the door, Lucy was startled. The man asked, “hello young lady! Are you looking for something?” Lucy asked “are you the shopkeeper?” The man replied, “yes. What are you looking for here?”

I read that board, what do you sell? Lucy asked. The man replied, “I sell faces. All types of face. Do you want some? ” Puzzled Lucy asked him how it was possible to sell faces. The man said,“I do”, Lucy pointed towards the masks and masquerades and asked,“ you mean these? ”. The shopkeeper said, “no, the real ones” and chuckled. Lucy stood still for a while. The shopkeeper stopped laughing and said, “Yes dear! I sell these masks and masquerades.” Lucy asked again,“ but who will buy them, they are so dusty”.The man answered, “some people do buy them.” Lucy smiled and inquired, really? The man answered, “yes dear! ”. What is your name? ,Asked the man. He continued, “I have never seen you before… are you here for the wedding?” Lucy answered, “yes sir, I was passing by and this board caught my eyes. ”The man said, “Lucy, If you aren’t in a hurry then I will tell you a story of Man who sold faces”. Lucy enthusiastically requested him to tell the story.

The man started the story while Lucy quietly sat beside him on a rusty chair. Years back when I was a kid, my dad would tell me a story of a man who sold faces. The man continued, so the story goes like this, Long ago in a far away land, there lived a witch who fell in love with the young Prince of that kingdom when she first saw him passing through the forest. She wanted to marry him, but since she was hideous, she used her magic to change herself into a beautiful woman who was kind. The only problem with the witch was that she was very unkind and evil at heart and once was cursed that every act of unkindness would destroy her magical powers slowly one by one. So the witch who transformed herself into a beautiful princess met the prince and soon the prince fell in love with her, they both got married, but as days passed by, the beauty of the witch started fading due to her unkind heart and so one day prince saw her real face and came to know that she was a witch. He ordered his men to throw her out of the kingdom. The witch returned to the same forest angry and full of hatred for the prince, to seek revenge on the prince she decided to make a magical potion. The next day she went into the nearby town and asked a man who used to sell masks to make an ugly face. She used a magical potion in the face so that when it was worn by someone it became part of him. Thinking it was a good chance, the man presented a proposal in front of the witch and he asked her to give him some of the magical potion. He used the magical potion to make pretty masks.The spell bound masks became so popular that people started buying pretty faces from that man. Nobody took the ugly face, but only one person and you may easily guess who? First person to wear the bad face was the prince who got stuck with the bad face forever. In the middle of the night the witch slipped into the castle and put the magical bad face on prince. Next day the prince woke up with an ugly face and ordered his men to find the Man, who sold faces, when the man was brought to the castle, he revealed everything out of fear. The prince ordered the man to be hanged and his men set out to find the witch, but they didn’t find her, the witch was nowhere to be found. Townsmen burned the shop down after learning what was done to the prince. And the entire magical masks were destroyed. Since then, Prince has lived with the ugly face and a kind heart.

The man finished the story and looked at Lucy who was listening attentively and smiled, he said now I ask you a question. “Well, if you were to pick a face which one would that be?” Lucy thought for a second and answered, “a smiling face”.

The man chuckled and asked, why? Lucy replied, “so that I am never sad”. The man asked, “Won’t it be bad? If you always wore a smile, how would you express it when you are sad”. Lucy answered, “even if we don’t wear faces, aren’t we the one who always wears a smile to hide our sadness in front of the world”.

The man was astounded for Lucy was right. The man gifted Lucy a beautiful velvety masquerade. Lucy got up to leave and thanked the shopkeeper. “Goodbye, sir, see you soon”. The shopkeeper watched little Lucy leave happy with the masquerade in her hand and screamed “Bye dear” standing at his shop’s door as Lucy disappeared from his sight on the cobblestone path.

-Arohii

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5 thoughts on “The Man who sold Faces (short story)

  1. Enjoyed reading it. Creativity is a gift and you are talented to come up with something original and thought provoking like this.
    I realize that English is not your first language. I’d suggest you give ‘Ginger software’ a try. I used it in my early blogging days. It provides you limited number of trials but it is immensely helpful. Just copy and paste your write-up and run the grammar-check on it. It will point out all the corrections. After few times, you’ll know where you commit mistakes repeatedly.

    Liked by 1 person

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