The voice from the TV faded into the background as Samantha went into the kitchen for a snack. She swiped long blonde strands of hair away from her face. Carrying an overweight brown cat like a baby, she opened the refrigerator.
Samantha put a slice of cold pizza from the box right into her mouth. She struggled with sticking to anything but especially a strict diet. At her highest weight, she tipped the scale at 200 pounds. Before realizing, she had devoured 4 slices of pepperoni pizza. Her jaw cramped up and she ran to the toilet, throwing up chunks of meat and clumps of cheese. Scrubbing her teeth and tongue vigorously, she inspected her forehead in the mirror. The dark landmarks on her pale face made the worst kind of map. The dermatologist told her it would take time to fade but patience wasn’t her strong virtue.
Amazon Prime had same day shipping so she added Mafacia and some boxed wine into her cart. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon when the doorbell rang. The boxes sat quietly outside her door.
She cracked the door and grabbed the boxes quickly as she adjusted her robe. While the newest releases on Netflix played continuously, she sipped on a glass of red wine. Tomorrow was another day at work. She had only been working at African American museum for a few weeks but was tired of seeing them. Tired of dealing with their looks of pride when they entered the building and expressions of arrogance as if they had something to be proud of. Black excellence was the latest buzz word she was annoyed with. But she didn’t complain because the pay was good and the work was easy.
“I hope this works,” she said while opening the box of Mafacia. For a big box, the container was quite small, only 4 oz. She opened the lid and smelled the black goop. The licorice smell was ok, a little too fruity for her taste but not overwhelming. It was slick between her fingers tips. She closed the glass jar and took a shower. You could see it bubble, almost curdling like a thing.
Her reflection was invisible by the steamed mirror. With her hair wrapped in a towel, she applied a dime size amount all over her face. A little went a long way. The tingle was exhilarating but calming. Strangely enough she felt it through her entire body. Like the after affects of an orgasm. She walked to her couch ready to cap the weekend with a movie.
“Oh my God.” She squealed as Four Weddings and A Funeral started playing on the screen. Hugh Grant’s face came on the screen. His lips bigger than she remembered; his neon blue eyes glowed thru the screen.
“Hmmm, that’s weird.” She picked up the glass of wine and examined the sweet alcohol. She shrugged her shoulders and took another sip. The mask had started to harden when she noticed her toe nails were discolored. Black fungus had taken over her feet, right before her eyes it spread up to her ankle. The wine slipped out of her hands, staining the rug crimson.
She rubbed her feet vigorously with no effect. Her skin turned a reddish blue. A burn scar circled around her ankle like shackles from years of captivity.
“Fuck. What the fuck.”
She ran into the bathroom, putting a bright light on her legs. It started to blister and peel. She struggled to breathe, hyperventilating from the shock of her feet decaying. The towel fell to the ground, she was naked as the three loud bangs almost took the door down.
“Open up, it’s the police.” She could hear the dog barking on the other side of the door.
She put on a robe and released the chain lock.
“Miss there was a noise complaint. Is everything OK?”
Before she could answer they pushed passed her and into the kitchen. Her naked body exposed.
With baby in hand and a 3 year old hugging her leg, her black neighbor opened the door to see what all the commotion was. “You’re making too much noise, I have a baby over here.” She smirked at Samantha. “It is what it is. I don’t even know why you moved into this neighborhood.” She whispered while closing the door.
Samantha fell to the ground to find clumps of hair on the laminate floors.
“Get out,” she pleaded.
The dog answered with his teeth digging into her thigh. Blood streamed down her leg as she let out a painful scream.
The men in black rummaged thru the apartment with reckless abandon. Samantha had no idea what they were looking for.
The Garfield looking cat jumped onto a bookcase, but landed on her feet when they flipped the bookcase on its side. It didn’t have a chance, its body was flung side to side, ripped into pieces by the police dog. Tan clouds of fur floated in the air.
“Oh my GOD, “ she screamed and ran towards the K-9, but it was too late. The dog calmly walked away satisfied and sat at the door.
“Ok. Miss, we found this in your drawer. Is this yours ?” The officer showed her a bag of cocaine.
“No, I have no idea where that came from. Get the hell out of my house and take that shit with you.”
The cop opened the clear bag and tasted the white powder. He waited for a second then blew a cloud into her face, pistol whipping her across the head. Her body dropped to the floor, her hands became numb and unable to grab anything as they handcuffed her. On her hands and knees, she hears the cops telling jokes about her lack of melanin. “Looks like a snow bunny to me.”
One of the men went into the hallway and unraveled the fire hose from the wall. He turned it on and let the blast of water wash the epidermis off her body. The pain from the water was like little shark teeth biting her nerves. After drenching Samantha from head to toe and everywhere in between, they walked out the apartment slamming the door closed.
It took her minutes to regain focus. Chunks of blood and flesh filled under her nails as she wiped her face. Hysterical and vision impaired, she ran towards the bathroom but collided with the wall. Her naked wet body collapsed unconscious.
The sound of her alarm woke her up. She could feel a small lump on her forehead but her skin was surprisingly smooth. She went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. The mask had turned into an ash gray powder. The water washed off the remnants revealing something she wasn’t expecting. Her face was clear as day; smooth like a baby’s bottom. She smiled so hard tears streamed down her face.
“WOW, this shit actually worked.”
Her apartment looked like a tornado had done some decorating. Bits and pieces of things littered the place. Her brown cat ran thru her ankles, now its normal color along with her feet. She got dressed and headed to work.
“Hello black queen, have a wonderful day. I feel your struggle, I know your hustle. Please enjoy the exhibitions and remember we are one people. On behalf of all white people, I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry.” She repeated these words all day to whomever would listen.
“Some side effects include hallucination, delusions, irritability, skin cancer, lymphoma, and kidney disease. If you feel any of these symptoms immediately call 911 or visit your local hospital.”
The voiceover whispered with haste; running the words together in one long hidden message.