"When Gregor Samsa awoke from troubled dreams one morning, he found that he had been transformed in his bed into an enormous bug."

-The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

It's an odd thing, to be cursed. He finds that the longer he dwells on the curse in itself the less repulsive it is, because it's not the curse itself that's the true horror. He finds his enemies aren't quite that clever and he doesn't quite feel like informing them of the errors. No, better to let them think it is the form that disturbs him, the curse in itself, and not the harrowing emptiness inside his soul.

The fairy doesn't understand, she jibes and floats, criticizes and sneers down at him, thinking all the while that it was the curse that made him scream. Who knows, perhaps at the time it was, after all it's quite a shock to find oneself transformed so completely.

Majora's curse was simple enough, a childish spiteful curse, a whim on the part of a cruel deity. He had been unlucky and that had been enough for the Scarecrow. He still sees the masked figure dancing in his dreams sometimes, dancing before the candles, laughing at the world as it lay their bleeding and dying, always that high pitched giggle.

If there is one thing left for him in this world it is Majora's death. He will burn that painted face and watch as the smoke rises until even the moon is blotted out.

It wasn't meant to be revenge, only a hindrance because he had been something of a pest to the Scarecrow. It was meant to be a lesson.

"See fairy-boy, deep down you're only a plant."

Then the reflection, and then the screaming, not because of what he saw but because he couldn't see it anymore. He couldn't see himself in that water, only those haunted eyes staring back at him and screaming, it was the sound of fire racing through the woods and everything burning away. It was his childhood, screaming, torn away from him as he was plunged through time and space until even the memories were like jagged glass.

Tatl suspects sometimes, when she truly thinks about it, he can see her floating above his head thinking quietly as she looks at him. She regards him not as human like she once did, she's learned from that mistake, but she doesn't simply regard him as 'cursed' either, she sees him as a thing made of shifting faces whose form and mind are always obscured from view but every once in a while a glimpse of the true face can be seen. She's not entirely wrong, but she's not right either.

Tatl takes the simple view of the world, a fairy's view, she can't see the more subtle details although she's starting to. He knows that it terrifies her and that even as her view sharpens and all those little details come into play she loathes it. Deep down Tatl longs to be like her brother, like the rest of Termina, ignorant and blissful, unaware of the paradox.

Deep down, she wants to be burned alive.

She hasn't said it yet though, but he knows that one day she will say it to his face. He doesn't know which face, or which paradox, but he knows that she will one day. Just like he knows that one day the moon won't fall down and the earth won't burst into flame. He finds that some things are beyond hope and optimism, they simply exist.

He isn't lying when he says that he will save them, it's not a futile hope, or a wish. He sees it, he sees himself fighting Majora, not the Scarecrow but Majora herself, watching as time and reality is stripped away and strewn into a new distorted form about them.

He finds that if he concentrates hard enough he can see everything. He can see through the walls of time and see every paradox happening simultaneously, all the laughter and pain racing before him and ending in death. He sees his success, but he also sees his own death.

The Goddess of Time is watching over him.

He feels her presence every time he falls backwards, through the nothingness that exists outside of time, he feels her heartbeat in the ticking of the clocks and that haunting white melody. She is watching him.

Oh yes, he knows that she is watching him.

Tatl doesn't feel it, but she's too preoccupied, she can't look past the moon and the death and the changing faces. But he can, he can see her just as easily as she can see him, he sees all her shifting faces and her wolfish smiles.

Through her eyes she sees himself, an irresistible opportunity, traveling on horseback through an unknown woods, and in her heart she is delighted. Majora picked her enemies unwisely, but then, she had fallen right into her sister's trap. How was the Majora to know all the subtleties of time? Coincidence takes a great deal of effort, certain actions and thoughts have to occur precisely on time or the system collapses.

The Scarecrow sees a child in the woods, armed but a child none the less. The child isn't watching too lost in his own memories. The Scarecrow robs the boy. Boy chases the Scarecrow. The Scarecrow decides to teach the child a lesson. The boy tries desperately to follow and finds himself in a new world named Termina.

So many little details that lined up perfectly. All those subtle details, perfect.

That disturbs him far more than the curse ever did. Even in the beginning he knew that things should never have been that perfect. His enemies believe in chance, but he doesn't, chance is too easy to predict, rely on chance and the scheme falls to pieces. No, time is a labyrinth and relying on chance is to rely on pure statistics and in a labyrinth as infinite as time it is unwise to a have an infinite number of wrong paths to choose from.

It frightens him, more than anything ever has, more than the monsters and the shadows this series of coincidences frightens him. It's a system, like the clock tower, it moves to its own rhythm ticking away day in and day out until the fire destroys it and the glass shatters.

Each person is simply a cog, a moment in time with a limited number of responses to a limited number of situations; they all form together in an unaware pattern to make a single synchronized movement. The clock strikes midnight and the carnival begins.

He can no longer find it in his heart to call them human or people, they are simply something other. Something that exists outside of himself and his paradoxical world, they are cogs in the great clock that ticks away and nothing more. He tries though, he tries to care for them, but he finds that as the moon sinks closer to the earth he can't. He's lost all ability to emphasize with them, after all they only have a limited number of options left to them, a limited number of responses. How can they expect him to care.

He wonders if Tatl has realized the extent of it yet, his apathy, that terrible knowledge that he is alone in the world with only time to watch over him. He is utterly alone in the world and no matter what they confide in him he will always be alone, because he can see the labyrinth and they can't.

The curse, he laughs at Majora's curse. Deformity is nothing, it's simply twisted shrunken hands, he could have lived with those wooden hands and those glowing eyes. He can see himself simply wandering off into the forest, past the guards and the gates, off into the swamp never to look back. No, the curse is looking up into the moon's yellow eyes and seeing his own harrowed reflection and the world burning beneath his feet.

He will save them, he knows he will, but still they burn for it. They've burned time and time again and he has done nothing for them, all his good deeds, all his acts of charity mean nothing because the paradox still eats them alive, and they don't even know it. All on the whim of a selfish masked god.

There are days when his only wish is to die.

Sometimes he still finds himself looking for his reflection, not recognizing those wide blue eyes or the dark shadows beneath them. He will gaze down at his pale scarred hands and wonder how they became so battered. The face has become a mask, a stranger's face painted on top of his own, just like the others, there's nothing special or distinctive about it, it is no more realistic than the others. It's only a face, just like all the rest in his collection.

Tatl is wrong, there isn't a single true face hiding beneath the others. In reality he has no face. He is the masks and once the masks are stripped away nothing remains. Perhaps he had one before, but he can't remember, and even then he remembers his reflection blurring every time he looked.

He's promised not to tell them, even at the end, let them believe that they won. Let them believe that all their schemes and nightmares amounted to something. Let them hope. That he can give them at least, he can leave them their ignorance.

He'll watch their fireworks on the night they don't burn, the night they narrowly escape death, he'll watch as they dance and laugh away all their worries, and then he'll leave.

Author's Note: Very depressing one-shot ramble, did it have a plot, no not really but then it's a one-shot they generally don't have a plot. Thanks for reading, reviews would be wonderful.

Disclaimer: I do not own Majora's Mask