A guy who was covered from head to toe in black stepped inside the hotel room. Even his face was wrapped in black cloth, with slits for eyes, nose and mouth. The room he stepped inside belonged to the master magician Maya, whose gender was not known to anybody. People believed that Maya’s ageless beauty was because of the Fancy Mirror which Maya keeps but was never shown to public.
Underneath the black cloth, the guy’s face was marred with burns that scared the scariest of women of all ages. He intended to get the Fancy Mirror, to grant him with at least beauty that would allow him to marry a decent woman.
He searched all the rooms. He found many artefacts that Maya uses, which fascinated him when he was younger, but now not so much. He especially found the fire burning in the middle of the room. He had seen Maya lit the face with the fire. Flames would dance against the skin, not burning them.
He was inspired. It instilled a strong belief in him that fire is harmless against face. He boasted his to his friends and families and when they denied it, he set out to prove it for all.
Once and for all.
That night, he thought of giving them a live show . But all of them talked him out of it, threatened to send him to Insanity Ward and all. He had to let go of the show. But he tried to set his face on fire on the same night, once everyone left.
His face burned and he was in agony. For many days.
His friends ran first, not at all wanting to play with a burned face. Their parents didn’t want to send their children along with a mentally unstable kid. His parents left him, seeing how their peers hated them for a stupid son.
Soon, the word spread about him and when he stepped into manhood, every woman screamed and left him the moment he stepped in front of them.
He was denied work solely on the fact that he burned his face and he had to cover his face with a black cloth, inventing it was their strange religion and get the work. It paid a pity and took all his time.
It was during this time, he heard others talk about Maya and his latest conquest. The Fancy Mirror that turned the old Maya into young.
He was once again so fascinated that he planned to rob the Fancy Mirror from Maya. It was a small price Maya has to face for feeding him with lies.
Ignoring the fire, even though he longed to touch it and see if it burns or not, he continued his search.
He found the strange hat from which Maya pulled rabbits and other things. The rectangular box that has the magical property of chopping the participant thrice, yet letting him live. He was too temped by it, but his burnt face was a reminder of what would happen if he trusted Maya’s devices that would mean harm.
After an hour, he was panting hard, his clothes sticking to his skin in in blotches here and there.
The Fancy Mirror was such that it could not harm him in anyway. If the Mirror cures him of the burns, he would be beautiful otherwise … no. He didn’t want to think about what he would do if it was a false lead.
He searched the room once again. He didn’t find the Mirror.
He was disappointed and angry. Disappointed at himself for believing the rumours about Fancy Mirror. Angry at others who spread them. But more than that, he was angry at himself for even believing Mayas tricks in the first place.
His parents tried to get him in right track by not even allowing him to visit Maya’s shows. He ignored them.
His friends argued that they are bunch of tricks. He neglected them.
Woman … they turned away whenever he enters. Word about his stunt travelled far beyond his city and they refused to even acknowledge that he existed.
He was disappointed with this life.
He wanted to lead a normal life. With a wife and children of his own. He hates to see his own face, every women he met with his cloth covered felt the same once he showed them his face. It was out of question.
He could lead a lonely life but he was fed up of it already.
His only saving grace has turned out to be an empty lead.
The only option left for him was suicide.
He took a deep breath, set his jaw, took a razor from his pocket and slashed at his wrists repeatedly. Blood oozed from the wound, dripping on the floor with a splash.
He walked towards the bathroom, the dripping blood leaving trail behind him and stepped inside Jacuzzi. He took another deep breathe, then held it and submerged his body deep inside the water. The water turned red from the blood that was painfully leaking from the wrist wound.
His eyes prickled with pain, but he kept them open. He was seeing the bathroom in a shade of red. He was not able to hold his breath for longer. His head felt lightheaded, the air felt tighter around him, his chest felt like it weighed a ton. He sucked in red water, bubbles escaping around his mouth and nose.
A blinding white light appeared out of nowhere and his eyes stung. He closed his eyes, eyelids prickling with pain and blackness consumed him.
A heavenly music filled his ears, and he opened to find he was still in the bathroom. He was still submerged in water, but he found himself able to breathe alright.
He looked around in confusion. Everything was covered in the brilliance of light. He was not able to see them clearly. His eyes stung, but after sometime, it adjusted. But still he was not able to see everything clearly.
Look more closely. A voice said. It belong to that of an ageless voice. It was like listening to a music spoke.
He looked around, squinting his eyes in the process. He found the source of brilliance of light.
Maya was standing before him, the ageless beauty enhancing beauty of everything surrounded them.
“I’ve waited for long time, to be visited by someone like you. Now what is it that you seek?” Maya said.
The guy was unable to utter anything intelligible. Every word he could think of seemed like coming from a bad flute while Maya’s word seemed to be coming from one of the best flute available in all the world.
“I have other things to do. Speak quickly as what you are seeking and I would be finally released from this eternal slavery,” Maya said.
The guy opened his mouth, only to close it again. Maya’s face was pinched, filling with anger. Even while in angry, Maya looked beautiful. He found his words.
“Beauty,” he said.
Maya shook head. “I hate to put others in my position, but I wanted freedom as much as anyone else. From this life cycle and all. I am asking you one last time, do you really want beauty?” Maya said.
The guy nodded.
“Good, but in exchange of beauty, eternal one at that, you have to sacrifice many things,” Maya said.
“I would be able to sacrifice anything for beauty,” the guy said.
Maya sighed. “I was as eager as you. Well, if you really want beauty, here we go,” Maya said, raising her hand and muttering something unintelligible. Maya pressed it to forehead. With the opposite hand, she muttered something and pressed it to the guy’s forehead.
The whole world started to turn upside down, twist this side and that, and he felt like he was in the middle of whirlpool. Only no water was seen. The air felt thick around him. His body was in agony, pure agony like someone were melting it or stretching it or pinching it all at the same time.
Blackness consumed him.
When he woke up, he was alone in the Jacuzzi. His clothes were dry. With a stat, he realized that there was no water around him.
There was certain warmth spreading all over his body. He patted his arms, face, and chest and …
His male organ was not there. Instead it was flat. His chest was also flat.
“What’s this?” he asked.
“Your payment for eternal beauty. You would be gender less. Or fluid gender. You could be with any gender and would remain beautiful forever. Until you would be visited by someone like you before, doing blood sacrifice and ultimately life sacrifice. If that was genuine, you would be granted release from this eternal punishment. Otherwise, you are doomed to remain immortal forever,” A voice said and vanished.
He was beautiful. He couldn’t believe it.
He stepped out of the Jacuzzi, slipping and fumbling in the process and stood in front of Mirror. He was glowing in brilliant beauty. He face was no longer covered in black cloth.
I could remain beautiful forever, enjoying girls as much as I wanted.
He observed his face closely and gasped.
The Mirror was Fancy, the object that he had been seeking before. It was reflecting his image. He couldn’t believe the person it was showing.
He waved his hands, jumped up and down and even removed his pants. To see flat area covering his reproductive organ. Like the voice said, he was genderless. Or gender fluid. How it worked, he didn’t know. He covered it. All of this was giving him a headache.
So, he focused on his face. The beautiful face. He gasped. It was Maya’s face that he had seen in pictures and shows.
He was Maya.
“Yeah, you’ve been Maya the whole time,” The Fancy Mirror spoke. “And would remain as Maya forever.”