The Scarf People

I wrote this story in the car on the way to a 4-H meeting. It was really cold outside, like -16, and it was super windy, and the heat in our car wasn’t working because it only functions when it’s above -15. Super useful, right? I, having incredible judgement after living in Montana for eleven years, didn’t put a scarf on and was regretting it severely. Then I started thinking about having a character who always wore a scarf; like, a really heavy knitted winter scarf. And then I wondered, why would they always wear a scarf? The logical assumption was that they were trying to hide their face. Facial scarring and other such deformities aren’t super new, and I wanted a different reason. So I thought, what if they wear a scarf because they’re some type of Eninone who looks completely human; except for the lower portion of their face? Creatures like that could blend in fairly well. And, as I realized with great excitement, you could have the ultra dramatic, Professor Quirrell style, unwrapping of the scarf. At that point, I knew I just had to write that scene. That’s how I ended up with this monstrous beauty.

Frigid wind blew gray flakes of snow across the streets, swirling them in small cyclones. In the midst of this icy storm walked two figures. They were walking in each other’s direction, though they weren’t planning on meeting. They were simply headed towards the same set of doors. They were an old set of doors, with scuffed wood and dirty windows. A sign sat above the doors reading in faded letters of poisonous green; Oddities and Atrocities, Second Hand store. One figure consisted of a green coat and cream colored knitted scarf, topped by a pair of bright blue eyes. The other figure was a black coat and a threadbare gray scarf with murky yellowish green eyes.

Murky Eyes reached the doors first and held one open for Blue Eyes. She trilled out a muffled “thank you” as she drank in the peculiar shop. It was dim and dusty, filled with ancient leather tomes, bottles labeled in spidery handwriting, and dark wooden boxes with rusted hinges. But there wasn’t an employee there, the little bell on the door summoned no one.

“Well this is an odd place,” said Blue Eyes. “Have you been here before?” She turned to Murky Eyes as she spoke,  pulling her scarf away from her mouth.

“Fairly often,” Murky Eyes answered, giving Blue Eyes an strange look. His raspy voice did nothing to deter his cheerful companion.

“Have you found anything fabulous? This seems like the place you’d find unexpected treasures.” She walked farther into the store, peering at the items on the shelves.

“Nothing so fabulous as I’ve found today.” He sidled away from the door, eyes gleaming. Blue Eyes smiled coyly.

“Are the prices good as well?”

“Well, there aren’t any prices I’m unwilling to pay.” He took a few steps closer.

“Now, before I ask you any more questions, I’d rather like to see who I’m talking to.” Blue Eyes sauntered over and tugged at the tail of his scarf. “Wanna take this off?”

Murky Eyes chuckled softly and walked across the room. “Do you really want the scarf off?” he asked, his back to Blue Eyes.

“If you don’t mind.” Murky Eyes chuckled again and started to slowly unwrap his threadbare gray scarf. Holding it bunched in his hand, he turned around to reveal the horrifying face that lay beneath his shining eyes. Blue Eyes gasped in horror and stumbled back. Her hands fumbled for the door knob.

“What, don’t like what you see?” Murky Eyes flashed her grin, showing off his horrible, horrible teeth, no, his fangs.

“Don’t come any closer,” Blue Eyes squeaked, quivering with terror. But he came closer anyways. Much too close. And it was then Blue Eyes realized that the old scuffed doors with the dirty windows were locked.