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Masque of the Red Death
in response to Red Death exercise
by Ryan Camilleri

In the dark depths of the Bavarian mountains, laid a village. A village that was plagued with fear, riddled with death. The church bells tolled continuously, terror gripping the town people. They called the terror Red Death.

Prince Danzig, whom lived in the castle by the mysterious lake, took notice of the horrors of the doomed village which his castle overlooked. He opened his doors to the thousand petrified villagers and bolted the doors and locked away the keys for their safety.

Red death lurched the streets of the village at night preying on the unaware and weak. It was a dark and mysterious character whom when you looked into its bright red face would end your life within half of the hour. One gaze into those disturbing white eyes would place a curse of death on the poor soul who would die a slow and pain filled death. Fuelled by pure evil, Red Death was the work of Satan himself. It dined on death and was intoxicated with horror. With no conscience, no soul, this beast might take human form but is not fit for society. He wore an all black cloak with a blood red inverted cross and has a skull and cross bone tattoo on his upper chest. Around his neck he wore a shrunken skull as a pride medal. No man was brave enough to face him.

The curse would first start paralysing the body slowly from the feet up, and then it would eat the muscles and slowly shut down your system. Then as a grim finally as you are griping onto your life you would spontaneously combust. A death fit for no human, no mater how sinful they are.

One story of ill fame was that of Wilham Krankenscwartz. He was a 12 year old boy who was the breadwinner for his family. He spent his days in the town square polishing people’s shoes for whatever small change they could give him so he could buy food for his mother and siblings. His father was killed by the King of Bavaria 3 years before for thieving a goat. One day, Wilham went into the town to begin work. This tall dark mysterious character over towered him. He slowly looked up and saw the shrunken head around the hellion’s neck and Wilham tried to kick him over but he was to overpowering. He grabbed the young child by the neck and proclaimed “In the pits of hell thou shall writhe for eternity” and the boy was cursed and killed.

“You all shall be safe within the castle walls. No demons shall enter the doors alive”. The Town crier, Ivan Hamish, arose and said powerfully “Thank you kind prince, on behalf of the town’s people I wish to thank you for allowing us to seek refuge from the horror of Red Death”. He was a full figured man who may seem charming in the public, but can be self cruel and self centred at times. At night, the families would retire to the castles many secure rooms and the prince’s armed guards would patrol the castles corridors and perimeters. Once again joy and the sense of security had been restored in the people of the old village. Prince Danzig would hold giant feasts every evening which provided the prince with company. All this time the main doors of the castle remained bolted. Until one night.

The Princes staff worked endlessly to prepare the castle and guests for the Masquerade ball. The Tailors worked miracles with the materials they had on hand to dress the townspeople marvellously. The chefs spent three days cooking and preparing food for the big event. The Main function room was transformed from a dark dusty disused room into a magical and exquisite ball room. On that cold January night the guards lit a roaring fire in the main ball room which not only illuminated all the room and its many crystal items it provided a great source of warm and comfort for the towns people. By eight of the clock the towns people starting to make their way to the ball. They all looked so dignified and important. They all wore masks of all different colours and materials.Ms. Helena Brocsher even got involved with the evening she looked marvellous wearing an all crimson dress with a beautiful golden mask.

Helena was once a beautiful long black haired girl whose family owned a stall in the main strip selling medicine. She was studying medicine like her father and other siblings, until there was a need for a cure to the dreaded Red death Curse. This was when she was sent into a nervous breakdown and to add fuel to the fire her husband to be was killed by the disease. The site of the dreaded disease sends Helena into distress and for her to come and dress up was something really big.

All of the guests were having a good time. They all dined on a long table with every type of meat and vegetable available to them. The children ran around playing and laughing as they swapped masks to see how silly they could look. The others walked around and mingled. They reminisced about the passed as they had no news to discuss. Thus may be the reason why the evening was such a success because there was no politics or religion to heat up the discussion. It was so relaxed and everybody enjoyed themselves. It bought the town closer together and allowed them to understand each other more and enjoy there company.

Some of the more musically talented townspeople got together and formed a band and regaled the crowd with classic tunes from near and far. The music got the people dancing and even the Prince was seen to have a dance. It was the first time in many years that the castle walls had heard the sound of a crowd and people laughing. The prince was almost ready to call the evening a success until…

On that cold January night in the castle, some months after the village people had shifted into the castle on the other side of the mysterious lake; the night of the Masquerade ball; there was an unfamiliar sound at the abandoned door. A banging was becoming disturbingly louder. One of the guards, Lemmy Kilmeister went to the door to investigate. As he looked through the inspection door he saw something quite menacing. A dark figure which moved silently through the night although the guard could not see the persons face. “Halt! Who is knocking on the castle door so late?” the guard queried. No response. The guard repeated himself, then he experience the most terrifying display. The figure looked the guard in the eyes and proclaimed “the bell tolls for thee!!” The guard’s eyes protruded from his face. The guard looked the bright red face in the eyes and all he could see where fiery demons and bodies being horribly tortured. Images filled the guards head. Images that no man could possible imagine. The guard instantly fell to the floor and began to die a slow and painful death.

The courageous guard, known as Lemmy Kilmeister was a man with nerves of steel. 6 foot tall his harms were the size of tree trunks. He had a head full of blonde thick hair and eyes of piercing blue. He was the type of person who was not afraid of anything. Until that horrible night.

The town’s people rushed to the scene. Helena Brocsher wailed “it’s the curse of Red Death, It has returned for us”. The prince out of the armoury returned with his shining armour and an axe. “I shall put an end to the horror!” Prince Danzig said bravely. He exited the castle fully alert and ready to fight the demon. The prince started to breathe heavier and heavier. Sweat dripped off his fore head. Fear overwhelming him. All of a sudden the red faced figure appeared in the meadow. The Prince avoiding his deadly stare swung the axe violently. A giant roar was let out and a loud explosion followed. Prince Danzig tucked his body away from the flames. He slowly rose from his crouching position and proclaimed to the villagers” You have nothing to fear no more. The Red Death has been banished from this world!” The Villagers ran out side and picked up the prince and carried him into the village where they celebrated with a month long festival.

After these festivities when all returned to normal. Except for Prince Dazig. He returned to the castle to find the corpses of his guards arranged in a weird formation and in the middle laid a stone tablet which was engraved. It stated; you are now cursed to an eternity of solitude. You may never see the gates of heaven or the pits of hell but you may never be truly content. Long Live Prince Danzig.

Every year after the slaying of red death, the village has a feast to commemorate the liberation, but still to this day the horrors remain in their minds and to this day Prince Danzig remains Locked up confined from the world never to see the face of another human.