The ruling council came to the meeting hooded, wearing the blue satin masks that the ritual proscribed.
She’d thought it was silly, but now she felt brave in her anonymity. She argued positions she’d consider too risky and listened as others, safely behind their own masks, made cases for policies that thrilled and horrified her in equal measure. They all spoke from the heart.
The meeting closed at midnight. But just as the group rose to leave, all the masks flew from their faces. They were left staring at each other, knowing one another’s true selves for the first time.

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