Anthony Horowitz (Ed.) by The Puffin Book of Horror Stories

Anthony Horowitz (Ed.) by The Puffin Book of Horror Stories

Author:The Puffin Book of Horror Stories
Format: epub

7/ Kenneth Ireland - The Werewolf Mask

The mask looked just like a horrible werewolf with blood dripping from its fangs. It was one which fitted right over Peter's head, with spaces for his eyes so that when he looked out the movement gave an extra dimension of horror to the already terrifying expression on the rubber face. The hair hanging down from the top of the mask looked real, as did the hair and whiskers drooping from the sides and face. It was very satisfying, Peter felt, as soon as he had been into the joke shop and bought it.

Something, however, was missing. While the mask seemed realistic enough, it was his hands which were wrong. If a human could really turn into a werewolf, it would not be only the face which would change, but the hands would grow hairy as well. He discovered this when he unwrapped the paper bag in which he had bought it and went upstairs to try the effect in front of his dressing-table mirror. As long as he kept his hands hidden, all was well, but once his hands were seen, they were far too smooth. In fact, they weren't hairy at all. It was rather disappointing, but nevertheless he thought that he'd try out the effect anyway. His mother was in, so making grunting and drooling noises he loped away down the stairs.

He went into the living-room where his mother was darning some socks, flung open the door suddenly and leaped in, arms raised to his shoulders, fingers extended like claws, and growling ferociously.

'My goodness,' said his mother, looking up, 'what on earth made you waste your money on a thing like that?'

'I thought it was rather good,' said Peter, not at all put out. 'Doesn't it look - well, real?'

'Well, it was your birthday money, so I suppose you could spend it how you liked,' said his mother placidly, returning to the socks. 'I don't know how you manage to get such large holes in these, I really don't. I think it must be the way you drag them on.'

'But doesn't it look just like a werewolf?' asked Peter, taking the mask off and examining it carefully.

'It would, I suppose, except there are no such things and never have been such things as werewolves. I think you've wasted your money on something which is of no real use,' his mother replied. 'The money would have been better spent on some new pairs of socks. Still, your Aunty Doreen did tell you to spend it on something to amuse you, so I suppose we can't expect everything.'

'The thing that's wrong with it is my hands,' said Peter. 'The face is all right, but the hands are wrong to go with it, don't you think?'

He put the mask on again and held his hands out for her to see the effect. She glanced at him briefly. 'Putting a mask on like that won't make your hands look different from a boy's,' she said. 'The only thing you could do is wear gloves, your woolly ones perhaps, to disguise them.


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