Masks for Beginners

Chapter 4: Massacre

Time passed as Lyra worked most nights tirelessly, for three months. Her first discovery was that the fusion of the commonly used Deuterium and the extremely uncommon Helium-3 produced the best results. The discovery gained a look of shock from Valentino, who immediately moved her to a private lab with top-of-the-line materials to help her get even more results.

The issue was getting enough electricity to break even on the energy consumption of running the reactor, this has been the problem that has stumped nuclear fusion across the industry.

Lyra made a ground-breaking discovery, which was that electricity could be harvested from the plasma when the fusion of the elements is occurring. By doing this she finally broke even on the energy used to run the experiment.

”Mr Chavez I did it!! ” exclaimed Lyra excitedly as she stormed his office.

”Ill contact the headquarters and arrange the meeting, excellent job Lyra, ” said Valentino as he got up, he patted her shoulder and left with his phone.

Lyra was ecstatic, Valentino was the only person to trust her. As soon as she showed her worth, he placed full trust in her and let her fly. She knew the results she produced would get her the recognition she deserved.

When Lyra went home, she received a mail from Valentino stating she had the week off for such an incredible job and that the meeting would happen right after her vacation. She decided to unwind and read her favorite books over the week and catch up on some much-needed sleep.

The day before she returned to work, she saw the news, ”BREAKING NEWS: SABER INDUSTRIES CRACKS NUCLEAR FUSION. ”

”…What, ” muttered Lyra as she read it again.

The news stated lead engineer Valentino Chavez made groundbreaking discoveries that lead to the companys stock shooting through the roof, along with him being named the brightest mind in nuclear engineering.

Lyra looked at her phone as she received a call from Valentino.

”Ah ha, hello darling Lyra, ” he said intoxicatedly. ”Thanks to your brilliant mind my career has reached a new height, I thank you so very much, ” he said in the same sing-song tone that caused pure unadulterated rage to flood Lyras soul.

”I TRUSTED YOU, I RESPECTED YOU ” she screamed. ”HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME, ALL THAT GLORY IS MINE!! ” she said hysterically.

”The game is the game darling, ” he said in the same tone as usual. ”Oh, by the way, you are going to be transferred back to Chicago in two weeks so you can continue your vacation till then, ” he said as he giggled uncontrollably as he cut the call.

As the phone dropped from Lyras hand, she fell to her knees as tears stopped streaming down her face. Her eyes looked oh so cold, colder than that of a corpse. She let out one scream of terror and rage as she went unconscious. To anyone who might have seen this, they might have thought the girl collapsed from the stress, but in truth, something was happening within the broken womans mind.

In her mind, memories that were long forgotten started to tug at her mind. Lyra seemed to be strapped to a chair in her mind with her eyes tapped to stay open. In front of her was an old television, as this television switched on her whole life would never be the same again.

Lyra was born to a mother and father who were anything but put together themselves, and constant arguments and violent beatdowns were the first memories that she ever had. One day her father simply disappeared from her life, on her fourth birthday no less. Her mother Marzia Bale cherished her child, but by the gods was she bad at expressing it.

Marzia worked as a psychiatrist, evidently not a good one given the situation her child was growing up in. Lyra had many demons in her life, but her intelligence gave her hope that she would rise above it all. At four years old she was capable of doing mathematics that even fourteen-year-olds would struggle with, this gave her assurance that she truly was better than others.

This type of thinking was most definitely not conducive to making any friends. It led to immense bullying as the children felt not only threatened but also belittled by her intelligence. Along with this her mother simply was never home, or if she was home she was most definitely drunk.

Lyras mother started to notice certain things in her daughters behavior after her sixth birthday, and Lyra never showed emotion. She had no friends yet returned home late claiming to have been with her friends, and it seemed lying came as easy as breathing to her daughter.

Then one day she saw the news to find out a child had died at Lyras school. This child had fallen off the stairs and smashed the skull into a wall. She turned towards Lyra to ask what happened but stopped abruptly as she turned deathly pale. Her daughter, who never showed any emotion, had a small smile tugging at her lips as she saw the news.

She dragged her child to the room and demanded to be told the truth, she tried lying but it seems the charade was up.

”Yes, I pushed her down the stairs, ” said Lyra with no emotion to be found in her voice or face.

Marzia had sweat running down her back, her child was a psychopath.

Lyra explained that she was bullied by them at school because she was too good at everything, but confessed that was not the only reason she committed murder.

”The look on her face when I pushed her was everything I had dreamed of, ” said Lyra with an innocent smile on her face.

Marzia knew her daughter was a psychopath because of the neglect she was put through, and it seemed it was far too late to change anything. All she could do was mold her child into a highly-functioning psychopath rather than a ruthless killer.

Thus began a cat-and-mouse game between a seven-year-old and her mother, Marzia played on Lyras narcissism to make her learn all the traits and characteristics of a normal person. This would not have been possible if Lyra was not a genuine genius so Marzia was thankful for at least something going right in her life.

The seven-year-old turned eight and the psychopath seemed to have become more dormant. Marzia made it a game for Lyra to develop a mask so perfect that she could fool everyone in school into friendship, such a play was right up Lyras alley. And it worked, Lyra bragged that she made many friends at her new school and that fooling idiots was no challenge for her at all.

Marzia noticed that as the year went on the mask was staying on longer and longer, Lyra sometimes didn know she still had her mask on. The line between fiction and reality was blurring and Marzia was ecstatic.

On the other hand, as Lyra noticed this, she was extremely aggressive. Lyra finally realized that her mother wanted to erase her, regardless of if this was the truth or not, it was now Lyras truth.

Lyrass mind was a whirlwind, all the information she learned to form her mask dictating the course of action while she wanted chaos. The cause of all this turmoil was her mother who wished to erase the psychopath.

It then dawned on Lyra that she was a psychopath. She was the monster of many stories and she was a killer.

”WHO EVEN AM I? ” Lyra lashed out at her mother. ”THIS IS A GAME YOU STARTED, AND NOW I DONT KNOW WHO I AM!! ” she screamed as she left the house.

She returned home an hour later to find her mother was not home. She waited and waited and waited, but no one came back.

Lyra decided to go outside and wait for her mother to come home. As she went outside, she heard a lot of commotion.

A man was talking on the phone as he passed her house and said, ”There was a car accident on the next street, man was it brutal. ”

Lyra felt horrible and immediately ran to the street in question. There she saw two cars destroyed and in flames, she could read the license plate of one car though. It was her mothers car.

The streets seemed empty and desolate, while the lamppost flickered ever too gently with its unique buzzing, giving the street its ambience of a somber day. People were screaming everywhere yet all that the girl heard was the crackling of the flames.

The nine-year-old child with black hair had a completely blank face while staring at the flames with an empty look in her bright blue eyes, as she stood watching the flames many thoughts ran through her mind.

”Common knowledge dictates I feel bad, but why do I feel nothing? ” questioned Lyra. Part of her was glad the person trying to erase her was gone. As these thoughts kept spiralling she felt like a monster for the first time in her life.

Lyra fell unconscious, and inside her mind, all these memories were repressed and rewritten. The real Lyra was locked away in the deepest chambers of her mind as the mask became a reality.

As that scene played out on the television, the end credits played and the television switched off. Out of the dark cell in the corner of the room came a being who looked like Lyra but with silver hair instead.

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