He picked up a fine but heavier blade and retraced the line on her face, this time pushing hard and hitting the skull beneath, but not going through. “Now we can all be happy,” he said while going around her face a few more times, ensuring that all the muscle was severed, “we all get what we want.” After finishing the first step he traded the blade for a wider one, and began his favorite part. “Now to fulfill my end of the deal,” he slipped the new blade under the skin through the deep cut on her forehead, “you wanted to know who I am.” He slowly slid further under her skin, peeling it from the bone below and holding the rod of the surface to keep everything in place. He took his time, making sure that all the tissue was pulled from the thick bone. He didn’t want the nostrils or lips to stay behind because he needed every piece intact. “I am the chief surgeon at your local hospital,” he said while moving closer pulling down the skin from her forehead to chin. He peeled each individual string from its previous position, taking minutes for an individual thread to detach. The process was long and time consuming, but he never set a specific time frame for the act to be committed, as long as it was removed in perfect condition the deed was a success.
“So you can guess where my talent comes from,” he chuckled as he carefully carried the tissue over to a sink that was filled with cool water. He washed the mask very delicately, and removed all access muscles from the back. He then placed it in a flat tray filled to the top with his formula of antifreeze preservative, to stop the forming of ice crystals and thus ruining his prizes. “And why do I do this?” he said while pushing all edges of the piece under, “well, dearest, I just can’t have an incomplete collection now can I?”
After the new work was successfully frozen, he removed it from the tray with caution and walked towards a stainless steel door, one that led to his trophy room. He twisted the wheel on the door with one hand until a metallic click sounded and the door inched forward. He moved inside and pulled the door closed behind him and added his prize, and newest collectable, a Melanie, to the final spot on (and completing) the third shelf on his beloved maple credenza.