An elaborate ploy to wrap them around your fingers.
One, two, three.
And, God, does it work.
You smile, polite and proper. You curtsy, delicately place your hand in theirs, and the dance begins. They lead, and you follow with ease, first playing to their tune. No mistakes, no missteps, or the dance is unsuccessful. While you dance around the ballroom, you talk, and laugh, and murmur in their ear.
Everything you do is planned.
Planned to perfection.
You thank them for the dance, still giggling with your “partner.”
Could you be any more fake, dancer?
The second song begins, and it's at a faster pace.
It’s your style.
You tap their shoulder, smile, and they understand.
You sink your fangs in when they don’t realize it.
You take the lead.
And the puppet’s strings are yours.
After that, you toss them aside. And it’s not like they care much. It’s not like they know much.
You curtsy again, thank them for the dance, then move on to a different partner. There’s no malice in your words, no change in the tone of your voice. They simply understand that it’s time to change partners, and the game begins again.
You discard your mask.
And don another.
One more new, with a brighter sheen. It catches your new partner’s attention.
It melds into your skin. You never get tired of the feeling of the masks clicking like the missing piece of a puzzle. Like they were designed for your face, and yours alone. Like the snake you are.
For this puppet, you’re more dominant. You bow, take their hand in yours, kissing their knuckle.
It works like a charm.
For those who don’t realize it, your mask is completely invisible. Those who fall for you trap never realize it was a trap in the first place. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of how many different masks you have for every individual you’ve charmed, but the snake skin will always be your favorite part of the masks.
Scales. Colors bland or bold, Bright or dull.
You are all of them. But to your prey, you are none of them.
You can tell when one knows about your mask. They glare at you with contempt and disgust, their eyes building a barrier around themselves.
They're immune to you, but it doesn't matter in the slightest.
It doesn't stop you from tricking the more innocent puppets in the ballroom.
You’re just here to enjoy the company.
To laugh, and flirt, and tease, and slip out of their grasp when they want you too much.
To live without a mask or two or a dozen is boring.
A mask-wearer, born and raised. A dancer, blind and crazed.
With your masks and your music, you are unstoppable.