"Costumed Mystery" by Alicia Judd

I walk downtown, my black wallet in hand.  I've been invited to a Mardi Gras costume party, and now I need to find a costume.  Mardi Gras is tomorrow, and all the good costumes are taken.  As long as I don't end up in a chicken suit, I don't really care what I get.  I head down a side street, to a large speciality costume shop.  For some reason, before I get there, I turn down a dark alley and onto a small dim street.  It is rather creepy, but, oh well.  I notice a door across from me and I walk in.

"Hello?"

My voice echoes through the small shop.

"You don't need to shout."  I jump and swivel around.  An old man, bent with age, stands hunched over an elaborately carved cane.  "What do you need?  I s'pose you want a costume?"

My voice catches in my throat, and I barely manage a small nod, accompanied by a squeak.  The old man totters into a back room and returns with three packages.  The first is a bright blue and yellow frilly dress, covered in bows.  The mask is beaded and looks like a butterfly.  The second dress is brown, and looks like faux fur.  It is accompanied by a small, eyeglass-like mask.

Finally, he takes out a black, slim dress.  Along with it is a shimmery feathered black cape.  The mask looks like bird wings.  I know which one I want.

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