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The “Red Death” was a disastrous plague that swept the land. It caused horrendous pains and afflictions of all kinds. The illness was so awful that it caused those around the afflicted to cast him out and offer no help. The duration of suffering lasted half an hour and led to death.
Sir. I'm afraid you have the red death.
Prince Prospero was happy, fearless, and shrewd. While his lands were afflicted by the disease and dwindling in number, he gathered one thousand friends of high stature and withdrew to one of his palaces. Prince Prospero’s palace was ornate yet peculiar. The courtiers sealed the loft iron gates shut stopping passage either in or out. The palace was well provisioned; the prince and his companions, entrapped in luxury, were determined to escape the disease. The rest of the world was left to look after itself, only fools would grieve the deaths outside, or contemplate its bearer. The prince had prepared a pleasurable and opulent time at the palace with dancers, musicians, and wines. These treasures, along with protection from the dreaded plague, were secured within the palace; all the while, the “Red Death” waged war on those outside.
The illness continued to ravage the world while Prince Prospero and his thousand guests were entertained at a magnificent masked ball.
The opulent masquerade was held in seven rooms, an imperial suite. In most places the imperial suite was straight and one’s view was not impeded. However, in this palace the rooms were irregularly situated so that one could only view one at a time. There was a window for each suite that matched the colour of the room which looked out upon a closed corridor. The blue glass matched that of the blue room and the purple glass matched that of the purple room. The other rooms were green, orange, white, and violet. The seventh room was dark and black. It was enveloped by dark curtains that covered the walls. The window in this room did not match the decorations, instead it was a blood red colour. No light came through the windows, though there was a tripod holding fire that illuminated the most bizarre optical illusions. In the dark room the tripod gave off ghastly impressions and few were bold enough to enter the room.
In the dark room there was also a large ebony clock whose pendulum swung from side to side producing a drab, dense, monotonous clang. For each hour, the clock produced a clear, loud, deep, musical, yet bizarre, sound that caused all those around to pause and reflect. Even the happiest of the company grew somber and the music stopped. When the echos of the clock’s noise had ceased, a light laughter fluttered through the crowd and everyone smiled and muttered at their foolishness. They promised that the next chiming of the clock wouldn’t produced the same reaction. Yet, at the next hour, when the clock rung out the same somber and unsettled atmosphere descended upon the assembly.
Despite these unnerving things, there were happy celebrations. The prince had bizarre and strange tastes that were displayed through colours and effects. His decorations were bold and fiery causing some to think him mad. His followers felt he was sane, compelled to hear, see, and touch him to make sure he was not.
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